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I'd like to learn emacs in depth. The problem is that they divide in 2 categories:

  • Basics (That C-x C-s saves files and C-x C-c exists emacs etc.)
  • Everything

I'm currently use 1%-10% of emacs features and I'd like to increase it to 20%-40%. However I'd prefer not to have to read in depth to find out how feature is useful for me.

Is there an intermediate tutorial for programmers (I know several programming languages including the functional ones but not LISP)?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 11 down vote accepted

This is a vast topic, and you'll find lists of lists of Emacs tutorials such as on the Emacs wiki. I'm not going to make this answer a list of lists of lists of tutorials. I recommend browsing the learning strategies.

Once you know the basics, the best way to learn is by doing. When you want to accomplish a particular task, and think it might benefit from better automation, look for an existing feature or package:

  • Search for a command in the menu, or with M-x apropos.
  • Look in the manual.
  • Look in the Emacs Wiki.
  • Search on Stack Exchange or Google.

If you want to start writing (or even reading) Emacs Lisp code, read the official Emacs Lisp tutorial. Work through the first few chapters before writing your first function, then continue as you feel the need.

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The emacs builtin tutorial (C-H t starts it) was enough for me to start. No, I don't think I've ever used more than 2% of emacs, but then again, nobody can use 100% of such a monster. –  vonbrand Mar 7 '13 at 23:03

There is a good manual, which is actually a series of articles by Michael Stutz published on IBM developer works http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/aix/tutorials/au-emacs1/ These articles translated to many other languages, so you probably can find a translation to your mothertongue. They are written for a totally unfamiliar to Emacs novice, but covering aspects interesting for an advanced user of Emacs. I hope it will be useful for you as you defined your percent of Emacs usage as 1-10%. The articles are not of interest of a professional since elisp is mentioning there as far as it needs to be described for a user to use Emacs as an application.

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I don't know about tutorials, but I found that the best way to learn was to find something I wanted to do in emacs and then google a solution. You can find tutorials for specific intermediate aspects, but once you get beyond the basics it's hard to have a general tutorial, because the intermediate stuff really isn't general.

I second the recommendation for the emacs-fu blog. It's a good way to discover features you might never have otherwise stumbled upon.

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The problem is that I can do anything in emacs. I just want to do it more efficiently. –  Maciej Piechotka Jun 19 '11 at 0:10

Reading this post may be a good start. Although I don't know better way than learning by doing. Every time I try to do something interesting in emacs I hit Ctrl+hA (capital A) and some phrase I hope a command have inside. Also Ctrl+hm helps me get the most of current buffer mode features .

I've almost forgot about this blog. You can find interesting hints in there.

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that SO post has since been deleted –  Tshepang May 29 '12 at 20:00

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