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Copyright (C) 2001-2020 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
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See the end of the file for license conditions.

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		Emacs version 28.0.50 for MS-Windows

  This README file describes how to set up and run a precompiled
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  distribution of the latest version of GNU Emacs for MS-Windows.  You
  can find the precompiled distribution on the server and
  its mirrors:

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  This server contains other distributions, including the full Emacs
  source distribution, as well as older releases of Emacs for Windows.

  Information on how to compile Emacs from sources on Windows is in
  the files README and INSTALL in the nt/ sub-directory of the
  top-level Emacs directory in the source distribution, as is this
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  file under the name README.W32.  If you received this file as part
  of the Emacs source distribution, and are looking for information on
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  how to build Emacs on MS-Windows, please read those 2 files and not
  this one.

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* Preliminaries

  There are two binary distributions named
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27 and,
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  where VER is the Emacs version.  These are 64-bit and 32-bit builds,
  respectively.  If you are running a 32-bit version of MS-Windows,
  you need to install the 32-bit build; users of 64-bit Windows can
  use either build, but we recommend to install the 64-bit one, as it
  will be able to edit larger buffers and will generally run faster.

  The binary distribution has these top-level directories:

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  + bin
  + libexec
  + share
  + var
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* Setting up Emacs

  To install Emacs, simply unpack the binary package into a directory
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  of your choice.  If you use the Windows Explorer and its "Extract"
  action, by default this will be in a top-level directory with the
  same name as the zip file.

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  Emacs is completely portable.  You can create your own shortcut to
  runemacs.exe and place this wherever you find it convenient (the
  desktop and/or the Taskbar), or run it from a USB or network drive
  without copying or installing anything on the machine itself.

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  It is also possible, although not recommended to use the program
  bin/addpm.exe which will place an icon for Emacs on the start page.

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* Prerequisites for Windows 9X

  The 32-bit build supports MS-Windows 9X (Windows 95/98/Me).  To run
  Emacs on these versions of Windows, you will need to have the
  Microsoft Layer for Unicode (MSLU) installed.  It can be downloaded
  from the Microsoft site, and comes in a form of a single dynamic
  library called UNICOWS.DLL.  If this library is not accessible to
  Emacs on Windows 9X, it will pop up a dialog saying that it cannot
  find the UNICOWS library, and will refuse to start up.
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* Starting Emacs

  To run Emacs, simply select Emacs from the Start Menu, or invoke
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  runemacs.exe directly from Explorer or from a command prompt.  This
  will start Emacs in its default GUI mode, ready to use.  If you have
  never used Emacs before, you should follow the tutorial at this
  point (select Emacs Tutorial from the Help menu), since Emacs is
  quite different from ordinary Windows applications in many respects.
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  If you want to use Emacs in tty or character mode within a command
  window, you can start it by typing "emacs -nw" at the command prompt.
  (Obviously, you need to ensure that the Emacs bin subdirectory is in
  your Path first, or specify the path to emacs.exe.)  The -nw
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  (non-windowed) mode of operation is most useful if you have a telnet
  server on your machine, allowing you to run Emacs remotely.

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* EXE files included

  Emacs comes with the following executable files in the bin directory.

  + emacs.exe - The main Emacs executable.  As this is designed to run
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    as both a text-mode application (emacs -nw) and as a GUI application,
    it will pop up a command prompt window if run directly from Explorer.

  + runemacs.exe - A wrapper for running Emacs as a GUI application
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    without popping up a command prompt window.  If you create a
    desktop shortcut for invoking Emacs, make it point to this
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    executable, not to emacs.exe.  If you pin Emacs to the task bar,
    edit the properties of the pinned shortcut (with Shift-right mouse
    click) to point to this executable.
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  + emacsclient.exe - A command-line client program that can
    communicate with a running Emacs process.  See the `Emacs Server'
    node of the Emacs manual.
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  + emacsclientw.exe - A version of emacsclient that does not open
    a command-line window.

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  + addpm.exe - A basic installer that adds Emacs to "Start" menus and
    adds Emacs-related entries to the Windows Registry.
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  + ctags.exe, etags.exe - Tools for generating tag files.  See the
    `Tags' node of the Emacs manual.
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  + ebrowse.exe - A tool for generating C++ browse information.  See the
    `Ebrowse' manual.

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  Several helper programs are in a version-specific subdirectory of
  the libexec directory:

  + cmdproxy.exe - Used internally by Emacs to work around problems with
    the native shells in various versions of Windows.

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  + ddeclient.exe - A tool for interacting with DDE servers.  To be
    invoked as "ddeclient SERVER [TOPIC]", where SERVER is the DDE
    server name, and sends each line of its standard input to the DDE
    server using the DdeClientTransaction API.  This program is
    supposed to be invoked via the 'call-process-region' Emacs

  + hexl.exe - A tool for producing hex dumps of binary files.  See the
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    `Editing Binary Files' node of the Emacs manual.

  + movemail.exe - A helper application for safely moving mail from
    a mail spool or POP server to a local user mailbox.  See the
    `Movemail' node of the Emacs manual.

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  + profile.exe - A helper program that generates periodic events for
    profiling Emacs Lisp code.

  + update-game-score.exe - A utility for updating the score files of
    Emacs games.

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* Emacs without optional dependencies
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  The files and contain a
  large number of optional dependencies for Emacs.

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  Emacs has a number of optional features which use these additional
  dependencies.  They enable support for the following:
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  - displaying inline images of many types (PNG, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, SVG)
  - SSL/TLS secure network communications (HTTPS, IMAPS, etc.)
  - HTML and XML parsing (necessary for the built-in EWW browser)
  - built-in decompression of compressed text

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  If you do not want these files (if you have them already for
  instance, or you want the smallest possible Emacs), then you may use
  the files or The dependency files are also available
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  as and Source
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  code for these dependencies is available as

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  All distributions of Emacs have built in support for XBM and
  PPM/PGM/PBM images, and the libXpm library is bundled, providing XPM
  support (required for color toolbar icons and splash screen).
  Source for libXpm should be available from the same place from which
  you got this binary distribution.

* Installing Emacs with an existing MSYS2 installation

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  You may also use Emacs with an existing MSYS2 installation by
  unpacking the over the MSYS2
  distribution. You should not use the from this
  site, as this will overwrite MSYS2 files (the dependency bundle
  derives from MSYS2, but will be from a different version). You can
  then use the 'pacman' utility to install dependencies.
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  Some of the optional libraries need to be of certain versions to
  work with your Emacs binary.  Make sure you install those versions
  of dependencies, and no others.  Emacs variables such as
  libpng-version and libjpeg-version tell what versions of the
  corresponding libraries are expected by Emacs.  (We recommend that
  you use the dependency bundle, where these issues are always
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  To install the optional libraries, start the MSYS2 Bash window and
  type the following command:

    pacman -S PACKAGES

  where PACKAGES is the list of packages you want to install.  The
  full list is as follows:

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  You can type any subset of this list.  When asked whether to proceed
  with installation, answer Y.

  Alternatively, you could install the packages manually from this

  However, the packages there are not self-contained, so you will need
  to manually download all their dependencies as well.

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* Uninstalling Emacs

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  If you should need to uninstall Emacs, simply delete all the files
  and subdirectories from the directory where it was unpacked (Emacs
  does not install or update any files in system directories or
  anywhere else).

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  If you ran the addpm.exe program to create the Start menu icon, this
  can be removed by right-clicking and "Uninstall".

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  Finally, addpm.exe also creates a few registry entries; these can be
  safely left, but if you really wish to remove them, all of the
  settings are written under the Software\GNU\Emacs key in
  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, or if you didn't have administrator privileges
  when you installed, the same key in HKEY_CURRENT_USER.  Just delete
  the whole Software\GNU\Emacs key.

* Troubleshooting

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  Some known problems and their solutions can be found in the file
  etc\PROBLEMS in the unpacked Emacs distribution.

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  Virus scanners

  Some virus scanners interfere with Emacs' use of subprocesses.  If you
  are unable to use subprocesses and you use Dr. Solomon's WinGuard or
  McAfee's Vshield, turn off "Scan all files" (WinGuard) or "boot sector
  scanning" (McAfee exclusion properties).

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  Windows 9X

  On Windows 9X, make sure you have the UNICOWS.DLL library either in
  the same directory where you have emacs.exe or in the directory
  where system-wide DLLs are kept.

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* Further information

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  The Emacs User manual describes Windows-specific issues in the
  appendix named "Emacs and Microsoft Windows/MS-DOS".  You can read
  it in Emacs by typing

        C-h r g Microsoft Windows RET

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  This appendix is also available (as part of the entire manual) at

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  In addition to the manual, there is a mailing list for help with
  Emacs here:

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  To ask questions on this mailing list, send email to

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  A mailing list for issues specifically related to the MS-Windows port
  of Emacs is here:

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  To ask questions on this mailing list, send email to
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* Reporting bugs

  If you encounter a bug in this port of Emacs, we would like to hear
  about it.  First check the FAQ on the web page above to see if the bug
  is already known and if there are any workarounds.  Then check whether
  the bug has something to do with code in your `.emacs' file, e.g. by
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  invoking Emacs with the "-Q" option.

  If you decide that it is a bug in Emacs, use the built in bug
  reporting facility to report it (from the menu: Help -> Send Bug Report).
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  If you have not yet configured Emacs for mail, then when you press
  C-c C-c to send the report, it will ask you to paste the text of the
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  report into your mail client.  If the bug is related to subprocesses,
  also specify which shell you are using (e.g., include the values of
  `shell-file-name' and `explicit-shell-file-name' in your message).

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This file is part of GNU Emacs.

GNU Emacs is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
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the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
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GNU Emacs is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
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along with GNU Emacs.  If not, see <>.