Geekices

Trying out Emacs again

A few days ago, I decided to give Emacs another try. I’ve previously attempted to use this text-editor / operating system — probably about 10 years ago or maybe a bit more — but never got the hang of it.

A few years after my first try at Emacs, I discovered Markdown. Since then, I’ve used text editors with a GUI to write in this markup language. That was until two years ago when I encountered a Vim mode for Markdown and adapted it to my specific needs. It has been one of my main tools to write, but I don’t really like the Vim keybindings.

After a bit of pondering, I thought about giving Emacs another go, mainly because the shortcuts are similar to the ones used by Tmux and I felt this would make my adaptation to the editor easier. But to do that, I would need to read about this software, given its complexity. That’s how I got to an amazing reading resource: “Emacs Mini Manual (PART 1) – THE BASICS”. If you want to learn how to use Emacs, give it a go; it’s really useful.

One thing about Emacs is that it feels bare-bone when compared to some editors. This is not true, of course, but for a newbie like me, it might as well be because most of the options are “hidden” and you need to know how to get to them.

After reading the “Emacs Mini Manual” and some other resources sent to my by folks at Twitter and at Fosshost’s IRC channel, I decided to try an Emacs distribution to help me use this software. That’s how I got to Prelude.

Prelude is an enhanced Emacs 25.1+ distribution that should make your experience with Emacs both more pleasant and more powerful.

And it really does. It has some themes, avoiding the eye-hurting default white background, and includes several plugins to ease your life. Also, you can configure it as you like, just like vanilla Emacs.

To try this distribution, I decided to write this blog post after setting it up. So far, so good.

PS: It’s almost time for EmacsConf.


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