Commit 9ab48fa6 authored by Richard M. Stallman's avatar Richard M. Stallman
Browse files

Simplify the discussion of DEL. Refer to `DEL Gets Help' node

for fixing problems.
parent ed368846
......@@ -46,15 +46,22 @@ still before the @samp{B}.
To @dfn{delete} text you have just inserted, use the large key
labeled @key{DEL}, @key{BACKSPACE} or @key{DELETE} which is a short
distance above the @key{RET} or @key{ENTER} key. This is the key you
normally use for erasing the last character that you typed.
Regardless of the actual name on the key, Emacs always thinks of it as
@key{DEL}, and that's what we call it in the manual.
normally use, outside Emacs, for erasing the last character that you
typed. Regardless of the label on that key, Emacs always thinks of it
as @key{DEL}, and that's what we call it in this manual.
The @key{DEL} key deletes the character @emph{before} the cursor.
As a consequence, the cursor and all the characters after it move
backwards. If you type a printing character and then type @key{DEL},
they cancel out.
On most computers, Emacs recognizes automatically which key ought to
be @key{DEL}, and sets it up that way. But in some cases, especially
with text-only terminals, you will need to tell Emacs which key to use
for that purpose. If the large key not far above the @key{RET} or
@key{ENTER} key doesn't delete backwards, you need to do this.
@xref{DEL Gets Help}.
Many keyboards have both a @key{BACKSPACE} key a short ways above
@key{RET} or @key{ENTER}, and a @key{DELETE} key elsewhere. In that
case, the @key{BACKSPACE} key is @key{DEL}, and the @key{DELETE} key
......@@ -62,12 +69,6 @@ does something else---it deletes ``forwards,'' deleting the character
after point, the one underneath the cursor, like @kbd{C-d} (see
below).
On a text-only terminal, Emacs cannot automatically tell which keys
it has and where they are located. If the convenient key for deletion
is @key{BACKSPACE}, you must type @kbd{M-x
delete-key-deletes-forward-mode @key{RET}} to make that key behave as
@key{DEL}. @xref{Deletion}, for more explanation of this.
@kindex RET
@cindex newline
To end a line and start typing a new one, type @key{RET}. This
......
......@@ -118,7 +118,7 @@ kill instead, since they can erase more than one character this way.
Every keyboard has a large key, labeled @key{DEL}, @key{BACKSPACE},
@key{BS} or @key{DELETE}, which is a short distance above the
@key{RET} or @key{ENTER} key and is normally used for erasing what you
have typed. Regardless of the actual name on the key, it is
have typed. Regardless of the actual name on the key, in Emacs it is
equivalent to @key{DEL}---or it should be.
Many keyboards have a @key{BACKSPACE} key a short ways above
......@@ -126,34 +126,22 @@ equivalent to @key{DEL}---or it should be.
case, the @key{BACKSPACE} key is @key{DEL}, and the @key{DELETE} key
is equivalent to @kbd{C-d}---or it should be.
@findex delete-key-deletes-forward-mode
Why do we say ``or it should be''? When Emacs starts up using a
window system, it determines automatically which key should be
window system, it determines automatically which key or keys should be
equivalent to @key{DEL}. So the @key{BACKSPACE} and/or @key{DELETE}
keys will almost surely do the right things. But on text-only
terminals, Emacs cannot tell which key is where; it has to make an
assumption, which can be wrong.
If the usual key for text erasure does not behave as @key{DEL},
probably that means it is really a @key{BACKSPACE} key. You can use
the command @kbd{M-x delete-key-deletes-forward-mode} to swap the
meanings of @key{BACKSPACE} and @key{DEL}, so that the convenient key
for deletion actually does deletion. To do this for every Emacs
session, put the following line into your @file{.emacs} init file
(@pxref{Init File}):
@lisp
(delete-key-deletes-forward-mode 1)
@end lisp
@noindent
This also makes the @key{DELETE} key, if there is one, delete the
character after the cursor.
@vindex delete-key-deletes-forward
The variable @code{delete-key-deletes-forward} is @code{t} in the mode
where the @key{DELETE} key deletes forwards, @code{nil} if
@key{DELETE} is equivalent to @key{DEL} and deletes backwards.
keys normally do the right things. But in some unusual cases Emacs
gets the wrong information from the system. If these keys don't do
what they ought to do, you should tell Emacs which key to use for
@key{DEL}. @xref{DEL Gets Help}.
@findex normal-erase-is-backspace-mode
On text-only terminals, Emacs cannot tell which key is where, so it
follows a uniform plan which may or may not fit your keyboard. The
uniform plan is that the ASCII @key{DEL} character deletes, and the
ASCII @key{BS} (backspace) character asks for help (it is the same as
@kbd{C-h}). If this is not right for your keyboard, if you find that
the key which ought to delete backwards enters Help instead, see
@ref{DEL Gets Help}.
@kindex M-\
@findex delete-horizontal-space
......
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