- 1.1. How do I install Emacs?
The sequence of commands to obtain and build texinfo and Emacs
(assuming that you already have Developer Tools installed) should look
something like this:
curl -O ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/texinfo/texinfo-4.2.tar.gz
tar zxf texinfo-4.2.tar.gz
sudo make install
cvs -d:pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsroot/emacs login
cvs -z3 -d:pserver:email@example.com:/cvsroot/emacs co emacs
./configure --with-carbon --without-x
sudo make install
For specialized methods of building Emacs, such as building it to run
on the X Window System, read the file
- 1.2. The build fails saying "No rule to make target ...
You're probably not doing a
make bootstrap at the
top-level directory while you got this error message. Otherwise
lisp/abbrev.elc would have already been created. The top-level
Makefile will not try to create
../etc/DOC before that happens.
Check that you are in fact doing a
make extraclean; ./configure ...whatever...; make
- 1.3. Why does the build fail to
makeinfo saying "Unknown command `copying'"?
You need makeinfo from texinfo version 4.2. Earlier versions will
not work. Check your version of texinfo by typing
- 1.4. After I rebuild Emacs, its icon in the dock doesn't work. Why?
Perhaps you can try rebuilding the launch service database as
- 1.5. Do the warning messages regarding precompiled headers matter?
Those messages just mean that the compiler needs to read and parse
the header files, instead of being able to use the pre-compiled
headers. In any case, the compiler is doing the right thing using the
new definitions for
than those in the pre-compiled headers. So it is normal to see them.
- 1.6. Can binaries built on Mac OS X 10.1 run on 10.2 (or vice versa)?
- 1.7. How do I install a font in Mac OS X?
I put it in my Mac OS 9 System Folder so both systems 9 and X can
see it. You can also try putting it in
for only that user to see or
/Library/Fonts/ for all
users to see.
- 1.8. How do I install an earlier version of Emacs in the CVS?
You say something like this:
cvs update -D "29 Sep 2002 11:00:00 -0600"
for example. Note however, that once you've used
-D option, your copy will be `stuck' at that date.
To update to a later version subsequently, do this:
cvs update -A
- 1.9. I have some Fink packages installed and Emacs fails to build. Why?
There being so many Fink packages, it is hard to give a definitive
answer. Furthermore, I build everything from source! So I know
nothing about Fink.
But in general, development software and libraries installed by
Fink can affect the build. If so, perhaps it is possible to remove
them and try. Also check whether your environment variables (such
LD_LIBRARY_PATH, etc.) are set by these packages.
- 1.10. Can I put all the support files in the
Yes. Copy the
site-lisp, which are by default installed into
Copy the files installed into
Copy the files installed into
Now the application bundle (as a whole) can be moved around anywhere
you want. A script to automatically construct such an application
bundle will follow.
- 1.11. Why don't you provide a binary distribution?
- I don't have the time and resources to do that.
I will provide one at
ftp.gnu.org when the Mac OS X
code becomes part of a standard Emacs source distribution.
This will probably not happen until version 21.4, however.
- 1.12. Are there other ports of Emacs to the Mac OS X?
Emacs on Aqua
XEmacs 19.14 for Macintosh
- 1.13. What do you consider to be the strength of your implementation?
It is based on and will be part of the standard Emacs 21 distribution.
It is highly stable. It runs natively as a GUI application and does
not require X Window to run (although it can be compiled to run under
- 2.1. How can I learn to use Emacs?
If you are learning to use Emacs, you should read the Emacs FAQ
C-h C-f), the tutorial (
C-h t), and the
online manual (
The book Learning GNU Emacs by Cameron, Rosenblatt, and Raymond
provides a good introduction, although dated.
- 2.2. How can I learn to write Emacs Lisp programs?
Read the Emacs Lisp online manual (
C-h i g ( Elisp ) RET).
The O'Reilly book GNU Emacs Extensions by Bob Glickstein is also a
good source of information, although dated.
- 2.3. Can I transfer text yanked to the kill ring to another application and back?
There are routines that connect the Mac clipboard and the Emacs kill
The most recent kill is copied to the clipboard when Emacs is
suspended and the contents of the clipboard is inserted into the kill
ring when Emacs resumes. The result is that you can yank a piece of
text and paste it to another Mac application or cut or copy one in
another Mac application and yank it into a Emacs buffer.
- 2.4. How do I change a file's end-of-line style?
Emacs detects and selects the correct characters to be interpreted as
end of line. It should automatically and correctly handle Mac-,
Unix-, and DOS-style end of line characters in files it edits and
saves them in their original end-of-line styles.
To change a file's end-of-line style, visit it and determine its
coding by evaluating the
buffer-file-coding-system. Then change the
suffix to the desired end-of-line style and save the file using by
M-x set-buffer-file-coding-system. For example if
the coding of the file is undecided-mac, changing it to undecided-dos
and saving the file will cause the file to use DOS end-of-lines.
- 2.5. How do I set the option key (or command key) as meta key?
Emacs can use either the option key or command key as the meta key.
The Lisp variable
mac-command-key-is-meta can be set
dynamically to a non-nil value (e.g., in
.emacs) to make
Emacs recognize the command key as the meta key. The default value of
this variable is nil, which means that the option key is the meta key.
Most people, however, should want to use the Mac command key as the
meta key so dead key processing with the Mac option key will still
- 2.6. What colors does Emacs support?
All X colors defined in
.../etc/rgb.txt are supported
M-x list-colors-display to see them). Therefore
modes and packages that require color support like font lock mode,
hilit mode, and customize will be displayed in color.
It also supports old-style RGB color specs (i.e., #RRGGBB).
- 2.7. How do I set the foreground and background color?
Here's an example. Evaluate the following expressions
- 2.8. How does Emacs choose the font it starts up in?
It looks for
and if that's not installed on the system, it looks for 12-pt Monaco.
- 2.9. How do I modify the width and/or height of a frame?
Like its font, the width and height of a frame can be changed
dynamically. E.g., to specify a 100 x 44 initial frame, add the follow
line to .emacs:
(setq initial-frame-alist '((width . 100) (height . 44)))
To set the width and height of a frame after it has been created,
evaluate the expression
'((width . 100) (height . 44)))
Note that there must be at least one space before and after the
- 2.10. How can I change the default file open path ?
That's easy. Just put
at the end of your
- 2.11. How do I start Emacs as a GUI application from the command line?
Replace the binary
/usr/local/bin/emacs (or wherever
you installed it) with a file containing the following two lines (of
course you need to change the pathname according to where you have put
Emacs.app application bundle).
/usr/local/bin is include in your PATH
environment variable) will start Emacs in GUI mode.
emacs -nw will start Emacs in terminal mode.
- 2.12. Why is the output of subprocesses being chopped off?
Try doing this:
(setq process-connection-type nil)
There seems to be a problem with the pty implementation in Mac OS X.
Unfortunately some Emacs packages (like ange-ftp) depends on it.
- 2.13. Can command-h be sent to Emacs (as
M-h) instead of
being processed by the Finder as the Hide Emacs shortcut?
to nil. Another variable
determines whether control keys are sent first to the system for
- 2.14. How do I get printing to work?
Once you have set up the Unix command
<filename> to work correctly (for both text files and
Postscript files), you should be able to use all the printing commands
There are different bits information on the web on how to do this.
You will probably need to experiment a little. Try
one (for 10.1), e.g., or
one (for 10.2).
- 3.1. Does Emacs recognize the setting of the Keyboard Control Panel?
Yes. Emacs recognizes the setting in the Keyboard control panel and
should support international and alternative keyboard layouts (e.g.,
Dvorak). Note that the Mac toolbox still performs deadkey processing
(see Inside Macintosh: Event Manager) which affects the characters
that Emacs actually receives.
- 3.2. How do I directly enter ISO Latin-1 characters using the Mac keyboard?
To use the Mac keyboard (which ordinarily generates characters in the
MacRoman encoding) for entering ISO Latin-1 characters, evaluate the
(setq mac-keyboard-text-encoding kTextEncodingISOLatin1)
and select one of the layouts from the keyboard layout pull-down menu.
Note also that not all Mac Roman characters that can be entered at the
keyboard can be converted to ISO Latin-1 characters.
- 3.3. How do I directly enter ISO Latin-2 characters using the Mac keyboard?
This experimental feature allows you to enter ISO Latin-2 characters
directly using the Mac keyboard. To do this evaluate the expression
(setq mac-keyboard-text-encoding kTextEncodingISOLatin2)
M-x set-keyboard-coding-system RET iso-latin-2
RET. Please let me know if this works. I have no way of
- 3.4. How do I input and display traditional Chinese characters?
To edit a file in Big-5 Traditional Chinese encoding, set the language
environment to Chinese-BIG5 and set a LEIM Big-5 input method (e.g.,
chinese-b5-tsangchi). This can be achieved by placing
the following lines into your
You can then input Chinese characters using the LEIM input method.
- 3.5. How do I use a Traditional Chinese input method provided by Mac OS X?
To use a Traditional Chinese input method supported by Mac OS X,
evaluate the following expression
and select one of the Traditional Chinese input methods the keyboard
layout pull-down menu.
- 3.6. How do I input and display Japanese characters?
To edit a file in
set the language environment to
Japanese. This can be
achieved by evaluating the following expressions.
- 3.7. How do I use a Japanese input method provided by the Mac OS X?
To use a Japanese input method supported by Mac OS X, evaluate the
and select one of the Japanese input methods the keyboard layout
- 3.8. How do I specify a font to Emacs?
Fonts must be specified to Emacs using the long X font spec format.
where the fields are foundry, font family, weight, slant, width,
pixels, point size, horizontal resolution, vertical resolution,
spacing, average width, and character set, respectively.
With respect to Emacs, there are two types of fonts on the Mac: normal
fonts, like Monaco, Taipei, Osaka and those that are converted from
GNU fonts. The latter have foundry, family, and character sets
encoded in their names. E.g., the converted font ETL-Fixed-ISO8859-1
is identified by the name
The names of normal Mac fonts do not provide information about their
encoding. The Mac OS determines that from the number of their FOND
resources, which implies that the font should be use for a certain
script by examining the range of values into which this number falls.
Internally, the Mac font Taipei is referred to by the name
because it is used for Traditional Chinese.
The plain, bold, italic, bold-italic variants of an X font are
represented by the long font specs of the forms
respectively. However, each Mac font is assumed to already contain
all four variants and if a certain bitmap is absent, the font manager
will create it as it is needed.
- 3.9. How do I set the font for a frame?
A frame can be set to use a certain font by evaluating the expression
of the form
'((font . "-*-Monaco-*-100-*")))
The above example shows how to set the Monaco font of size 10.
Evaluating the expression
'((font . "-ETL-Fixed-*-140-*-ISO8859-1")))
makes the front most frame use the size-14 version of the converted
The font used for the initial frame and subsequently created frames
can be set by changing the value of the initial-frame-alist and
default-frame-alist as described in Emacs documentation.
- 3.10. How do I set the fontset for a frame?
A frame can be set to use a fontset by evaluating the expression
'((font . "fontset-mac")))
A list of fontsets can be obtained by typing
list-fontsets. Two fontsets are created by default:
To see which fonts are used for the codings
fontset-mac, e.g., type
M-x describe-fontset RET
- 3.11. How can I make latin-1 and other non-ASCII characters display correctly?
The simplest way is to install the GNU intlfonts (see download link
below). Then latin-1 characters should be displayed correctly by
default. If you want to use Monaco instead, make sure you have that
font installed in your system and set your font
fontset-mac. To find out how to do this, read about
default-frame-alist in the on-line manual. The most
flexible method of setting which fonts to use for characters in
different codings is to define your own fontsets. Please read about
create-fontset-from-fontset-spec in the
manual and use
fontset-mac as an example.
- 3.12. How do I create my own fontset?
To properly display latin-1 characters using 9-pt Monaco, do this:
You can also use any other font that has non-zero size in the list
returned by the function
- 3.13. Why are some of the fonts in the
HELLO file not supported?
I've written an MPW tool to convert fixed-width BDF fonts to Mac NFNT
fonts. Because of the limitation of the NFNT format, this program
will work only for fonts with no more than 256 code points.
Font sets with more than 256 code points cannot be represented in the
NFNT format. I have also written another MPW tool to convert BDF
fonts to the "bitmap" variant of TrueType fonts (the one that uses a
'bhed' table instead of a 'head' table). Of course the conversion
will not generate any font outlines. I have not finished testing this
tool and the fonts generated by it.
An alternatively method of get more fonts to work is by
implementing our own font cache as done in
is not easy to adapt the code in
because it depends on the ability of Windows to map a portion of
virtual memory to a file.
- 3.14. What about international text in the clipboard?
Ikegami Tsutomu suggested the addition of the following lines to
.emacs to enable kill-yank region (and clipboard
transfer) containing Japanese characters
; translate clipboard
'(lambda (str push)
(encode-coding-string str selection-coding-system t) push)))
(mac-paste-function) selection-coding-system t)))
- 3.15. How do I execute an AppleScript from Emacs?
The Emacs Lisp function
do-applescript allows one to
run an AppleScript from Emacs by writing, e.g.,
(do-applescript "tell application "iTunes" to activate")
Since the Mac using 'r' as end lines, multiple-line script should be
written in the form, e.g.,
(do-applescript "tell application "iTunes"r activaterend tell")