P. N. Hilfinger
This document describes the major features of GNU Emacs (called ``Emacs'' hereafter), a customizable, self-documenting text editor. It's much more powerful than your ordinary text editor, but it has a steep learning curve.
Emacs carries with it on-line documentation of most of its commands, along with a tutorial for first-time users. Section 5 describes how to use these facilities. Because this documentation is available, I have not made attempted to present a complete Emacs reference manual here.
To run Emacs, simply enter the commmand emacs to the shell. Within Emacs, as described below, you can edit any number of files simultaneously, run UNIX shells, and compile, execute, and debug programs. As a result, it should seldom be necessary to leave Emacs before you are ready to logout.