Getting Help


If it's about Emacs Lisp:

  • Invoke the info manual: C-h i
  • Find the Elisp manual: m Elisp
  • Search the index for, say, "defvar": i defvar

If it's about a specific package, and you know what the package is called:

  • C-h P, which runs describe-package

You can also evaluate a lisp form to jump to info docs. For example:

(info "(elisp) Packaging")


M-x apropos, then type the part of the function name you remember.

Info-mode Invocation

C-h i to get the top-level info

M-x info-display-manual to get a specific manual (TODO: bind to C-h RET)

Info-mode Navigation

^ to go up

n/p next/previous node (not child node!)

I find this confusing because many modes (dired, magit) bind n and p to move up and down. Although n/p does work from top-level node of a mode's help. Hm.

m Pick menu item by name. Super useful.

d Go to top-level node.


Info is an emacs-only format. There are other possible formats, and there have been proposals to change the Emacs help system to use a different format.