Easymacs 1.1 review

by rbytes.net on

Easymacs is an easy-to-learn, one-size-fits-all configuration for new users of GNU Emacs

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Peter Heslin
0 stars award from rbytes.net

Easymacs is an easy-to-learn, one-size-fits-all configuration for new users of GNU Emacs. It sets up key bindings that conform to a common denominator of the Gnome/KDE/OS X/Microsoft Windows human interface guidelines, and provides function-key bindings for other powerful Emacs features.

It is fully documented, and the new user can productively edit text right away, without going through the Emacs tutorial. Many commonly-used functions can be accessed without having to learn the "chords" or multiple keystrokes that Emacs uses by default.


Easymacs was designed with the non-programmer in mind, someone who would like to use Emacs to edit mainly text files, especially LaTeX and TEI-conforming XML. Since many aspects of the configuration of Emacs require a certain knowledge of programming, this sort of person might find the default behavior of Emacs too foreign and too hard to reconfigure.


On the other hand, Easymacs is also a great environment for programmers who would like to use Emacs, but don't want to spend the time in learning how to configure it.

Here are some key features of "Easymacs":
All of the usual features of an editor: undo, redo, search and replace, intelligent indentation and wrapping.
Spell-checking as you type. This distinguishes between true misspellings and words which are used more than once in a file, and so are likely to be correct but unknown. You can correct misspellings with a single keystroke (F8).
There are many convenient ways of entering non-ASCII text, including Unicode and various exotic encodings.
Rectangular selection of text, which can be also used to insert the same text in many columns (Ctrl-Return).
Most file-types define syntax-sensitive folding (F7).
Visible, persistent bookmarks to mark particular lines in a file (Alt-F2).
You can search for text in multiple files in a given folder or set of subfolders (Ctrl-Shtf-F9). The output displays a menu of the lines in the different files that match a your pattern, and you can jump from one to the next with a single keystroke (F10 or Alt-`).
Auto-completion of words based on the content of other open files (F5), or on a dictionary (Shft-F8).
Multiple cut and paste clipboards (just hit Ctrl-number before cutting, copying or pasting, and the commands will use the clipboard numbered 0-9 for that operation).
History of clipboard contents: you can browse through the past contents of the clipboard and insert any one of the previous contents (Shft-Ctrl-V).
Keyboard macros that let you record (Alt-Shft-F5) and play back (Alt-F5) a series of keystrokes, to ease repetitive tasks.
You can look up the word at the cursor in dictionaries and thesauri with a single keystroke (Alt-F8).
You can easily switch between open files via a menu (F9), or other quick shortcuts (Shft-F9, Ctrl-F9). There is also a menu of recently opened files (Alt-Shft-F1).
There is a full command shell for manipulating files and running commands. (Alt-F9).

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