2. XEmacs Windows and Menus
The first section of this chapter will show you how you can manipulate
XEmacs Windows and the other section will explain the Pull-down Menus of
an XEmacs window.
2.1 XEmacs Windows
When you use XEmacs under X, you can open multiple windows and each
window can display one buffer or multiple parts of one buffer. Each window
will have its own mode line and echo area. At any one time
there is only one selected window and the buffer it displays is
the selected buffer. There are some commands for manipulating
This command will scroll the window which is not selected
- C-x 0
- This command will get rid of the selected window (
That is a zero. If there is more than one Emacs frame, deleting the
sole remaining window on that frame deletes the frame as well. If the
current frame is the only frame, it is not deleted.
- C-x 1
- This command will get rid of all the windows except the selected one.
delete-other-windows). For example, if you use the Describe
variable option from the Help menu, the window will split
vertically and the bottom window will contain documentation for that
variable. After you are done looking at that variable's documentation
you might want to come back to your original single window. Just type
C-x 1 after your cursor is in the top window (the window which you
want to keep) and hit RET.
- C-x 2
- This command will split the selected window into two windows, one above
the other (
split-window-vertically). Both the windows will start
out by displaying the same buffer. The window in which you have your
cursor will be your selected window.
- C-x 3
- This will split the selected window into two windows positioned side by
split-window-horizontally). A line of vertical bars will
separate the window.
You can select a buffer in another window by using some other
commands. These commands all have a prefix key C-x 4
- C-x 4 b bufname RET
- This command will select a buffer bufname in another window. This
switch-to-buffer-other-window. It will prompt you for a
- C-x 4 f filename RET
- Visit file filename and select its buffer in another window. This
find-file-other-window. See section `Visiting' in XEmacs User's Manual. It will prompt you for a filename.
- C-x 4 d directory RET
- Select a Dired buffer for directory directory in another window.
dired-other-window. See section `Dired' in XEmacs User's Manual.
- C-x 4 m
- Start composing a mail message in another window. This runs
mail-other-window, and its same-window version is C-x m.
See section `Sending Mail' in XEmacs User's Manual, for information on how
to Send Mail using XEmacs. See section `Reading Mail With Rmail' in XEmacs User's Manual, for information on reading mail using
If you click the right button on the mouse on a mode line, you will
get a menu with following options:
- Delete Window
- Choosing this menu will remove the window above this modeline from the frame.
- Delete Other Windows
- Delete all windows on the frame except for the one above this modeline.
- Split Window
- Split the window above the mode line in half, creating another window.
- Split Window Horizontally
- Split the window above the mode line in half horizontally, so that there
will be two windows side-by-side.
- Balance Windows
- Readjust the sizes of all windows on the frame until all windows have
roughly the same number of lines.
2.2 XEmacs Pull-down Menus
When you run XEmacs under X, each Emacs frame has a menu-bar at the top
which provides commands for editing, help and other
options. All these options are also available via key commands, the
menus just provide convenient short-cuts. The key commands are displayed
right besides some of the options. The following is a brief
description of the four default menus on the menu bar:
2.2.1 The File Menu
The File menu bar contains the following items. To choose a
particular option, press the left mouse button and drag it to the item
you wish to select. Then release the button.
- This option will prompt you for a file name. You will get a message in
the echo area:
After Find File, there might be a directory path also. After you type
the file name and press RET the file will be loaded into a new
- Open in New Frame...
- It prompts you for a file name and loads that file in a new buffer in
a new frame. You can open many frames for the same Emacs session. You
can delete the frame by selecting Delete Frame.
- Insert File...
- Prompts you for a filename and inserts the contents of this filename in
your current buffer. Position your cursor at the place you wish to
insert the file and select this option. You will get the following
message in the echo area:
Insert the file name and press RET.
- Save <Buffername>
- It saves the changes you have made to the buffer. If you have made
changes which are not saved yet, the option will appear dark, otherwise
it will be light and unselectable. If you do not wish to save the
changes, select Revert Buffer.
- Save As...
- Prompts you for a filename and saves the current buffer in that file. It
loads the new file if the filename you specify is different from the one
you were working with.
- Print Buffer <buffername>
- Prints a hardcopy of the current or selected buffer.
- New Frame
- Opens a new frame with *scratch* as the default buffer. It doesn't
prompt you for a filename. To open a file you need to go to that frame
and select Open...
- Split Frame
- Splits the current window into two equal-sized windows with the same
buffer. To get back a single frame, select Un-Split (Keep
This). See section 2.1 XEmacs Windows, for more information about windows.
- Un-Split (Keep This)
- If the frame contains multiple windows, it will remove all windows
except the selected one.
- Un-Split (Keep Others)
- If the frame contains multiple windows, it will remove the selected
window and keep the other one.
- Revert Buffer <buffername>
- If you do not wish to save the changes you made to the file since you
opened it, select this option. It will restore the last saved version of
the file to the current buffer.
- Kill Buffer <buffername>
- It will kill the current buffer. If will prompt you if there are unsaved
- Exit Emacs
- It will kill the Emacs process as opposed to simply killing the
buffer. Before it kills the process, it will prompt you as to
which unsaved buffers you wish to save by going through the list of the
2.2.2 The Edit Menu
Most of the commands in this menu work on a block of text or a selected
region. The text will be highlighted as you select it.
- Undoes the previous command. If you type something by mistake you can
use this command. For example, if you select Insert File... from the
File menu and insert a wrong file by mistake, you can select this
item and it will remove the inserted file. It undoes a batch of text
which is worth an emacs command.
- Removes the selected text block from the current buffer, makes it the X
clipboard selection, and places it in the kill ring
(see section 9.4 Moving Text). Before executing this command, you have to select
a region using Emacs region selection commands or with the
mouse. See section 9.1 Setting the Mark.
- Makes a selected text block the X clipboard selection, and places it in
the kill ring. You can select text using one of the Emacs region
selection commands or by selecting a text region with the
mouse. See section 9.1 Setting the Mark, for more information.
- Inserts the current value of the X clipboard selection in the current
buffer. Note that this is not necessarily the same as the Emacs
yank command, because the Emacs kill ring and the X clipboard
selection are not the same thing. You can paste in text you have placed
in the clipboard using Copy or Cut. You can also use Paste
to insert text that was pasted into the clipboard from other
applications. See section `X Clipboard Selection' in XEmacs User's Manual,
for information on using Clipboard Selection.
- Removes the selected text block from the current buffer but does not
place it in the kill ring or the X clipboard selection. You will not be
able to get this text back.
- Start Macro Recording
- After selecting this, Emacs will remember every keystroke you type until
End Macro Recording is selected.
- End Macro Recording
- Selecting this tells emacs to stop remembering your keystrokes.
- Execute Last Macro
- Selecting this item will cause emacs to re-interpret all of the
keystrokes which were saved between selections of the Start Macro
Recording and End Macro Recording menu items. You can now execute
the most recent keyboard macro. See section `Keyboard Macros' in XEmacs User's Manual, for further information.
2.2.3 The Options Menu
There are sub-menus for some of the menus which you will need to
select. If sub-menus exist for an item, they will be displayed
automatically when you drag the mouse on that item. The items in this
menu provide some fancy editing operations.
- Read Only
- Selecting this item will cause the buffer to visit the file in a
read-only mode. Changes to the file will not be allowed.
- Case Sensitive Search
- Selecting this item will cause searches to be case-sensitive. If
its not selected then searches will ignore case. This option is
local to the buffer. For example, if this item is selected and you are
searching for `Smile', then an occurrence of `smile' will not
be recognized because of the smaller case of `s'.
- After selecting this item, when you type letters they will replace
existing text on a one-to-one basis, rather than pushing it to the
right. At the end of a line, such characters extend the line. Before
a tab, such characters insert until the tab is filled in.
- Auto Delete Selection
- Selecting this item will cause automatic deletion of the selected
region. After you select a region and hit the RET key, the
selected text will be deleted. The typed text will replace the selection
if the selection is active (i.e. if its highlighted). If the option is
not selected then the typed text is just inserted at the cursor.
- Teach Extended Commands
- After you select this item, any time you execute a command with
M-x which has a shorter keybinding, you will be shown the
alternate binding before the command executes. For example if you type
M-x find-file-other-window which performs the same function as the
Open in Other Window... in File menu you will see the following
M-x find-file-other-window (bound to keys: C-x 4 f, C-x 4 C-f)
- Syntax Highlighting
- You can customize your
init.el file to include the font-lock mode
so that when you select this item, the comments will be displayed in one
face, strings in another, reserved words in another, and so
on. See section `Customization' in XEmacs User's Manual, for more
information on customizing
init.el file. After selecting this
item, you will find your code a lot easier to read. When Fonts is
selected, different parts of the program will appear in different
Fonts. When Colors is selected, then the program will be displayed
in different colors. Selecting None causes the program to appear in
just one Font and Color. Selecting Less resets the Fonts and Colors
to a fast, minimal set of decorations. Selecting More resets the
Fonts and Colors to a larger set of decorations. For example, if
Less is selected (which is the default setting) then you might have
all comments in green color. It does not matter what the comments
contain. Whereas, if More is selected then a function name in the
comments themselves might appear in a different Color or Font. Even
though the comments themselves might appear in green color, a function
name within the comments might appear in red color.
- Paren Highlighting
- After selecting Blink from this item, if you place the cursor
on a parenthesis, the matching parenthesis will blink. If you select
Highlight and place the cursor on a parenthesis, the whole
expression of the parenthesis under the cursor will be highlighted.
Selecting None will turn off the options (regarding Paren
Highlighting) which you had selected earlier.
- You can select any Font for your program by choosing from one of the
available Fonts. The whole buffer will be converted to the Font you select.
- You can select any size for the text in your buffer (ranging from 2 to 24) by selecting the appropriate option.
- You can choose either Bold or Medium for the weight of the text
of your buffer.
- Buffers Menu Length...
- Prompts you for the number of buffers to display. Then it will display
that number of most recently selected buffers.
- Buffers Sub-Menus
- After selection of this item the Buffers menu will contain several
commands, as submenus of each buffer line. If this item is unselected,
then there are no submenus for each buffer line, the only command
available will be selecting that buffer.
- Save Options
- Selecting this item will save the current settings of your Options
menu to your
init.el file so that the next time you start XEmacs,
you won't need to select the options again.
2.2.4 The Buffers Menu
The Buffers menu provides a selection of up to ten buffers and the
item List All Buffers, which provides a Buffer List. If you select
Buffers Sub-menus from the Options menu, you will get some
sub-menus for each of the buffer listing.
2.2.5 The Help Menu
The Help Menu gives you access to Emacs Info and provides a menu
equivalent for some of the choices you have when using C-h.
See section 5. Help, for more information.
The Describe variable and Describe function will provide
documentation for the corresponding variable or function. The Help menu
also gives access to UNIX online manual pages via the UNIX Manual...
This document was generated
by XEmacs Webmaster on August, 3 2012