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25 Commands for Human Languages

This chapter describes Emacs commands that act on text, by which we mean sequences of characters in a human language (as opposed to, say, a computer programming language). These commands act in ways that take into account the syntactic and stylistic conventions of human languages: conventions involving words, sentences, paragraphs, and capital letters. There are also commands for filling, which means rearranging the lines of a paragraph to be approximately equal in length. These commands, while intended primarily for editing text, are also often useful for editing programs.

Emacs has several major modes for editing human-language text. If the file contains ordinary text, use Text mode, which customizes Emacs in small ways for the syntactic conventions of text. Outline mode provides special commands for operating on text with an outline structure. See Outline Mode.

Org mode extends Outline mode and turns Emacs into a full-fledged organizer: you can manage TODO lists, store notes and publish them in many formats. See the Org Info manual, which is distributed with Emacs.

Emacs has other major modes for text which contains embedded commands, such as TeX and LaTeX (see TeX Mode); HTML and SGML (see HTML Mode); XML (see the nXML mode Info manual, which is distributed with Emacs); and Groff and Nroff (see Nroff Mode).

If you need to edit ASCII art pictures made out of text characters, use Picture mode, a special major mode for editing such pictures. See Picture Mode.

Words:    Moving over and killing words.
Sentences:    Moving over and killing sentences.
Paragraphs:    Moving over paragraphs.
Pages:    Moving over pages.
Quotation Marks:    Inserting quotation marks.
Filling:    Filling or justifying text.
Case:    Changing the case of text.
Text Mode:    The major modes for editing text files.
Outline Mode:    Editing outlines.
Org Mode:    The Emacs organizer.
TeX Mode:    Editing TeX and LaTeX files.
HTML Mode:    Editing HTML and SGML files.
Nroff Mode:    Editing input to the nroff formatter.
Enriched Text:    Editing text enriched with fonts, colors, etc.
Text Based Tables:    Commands for editing text-based tables.
Two-Column:    Splitting text columns into separate windows.

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