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Emacs In a Box

Emacs - Elisp Programming and Customization


Emacs doesn’t need any presentation. Emacs is a software “Lisp Machine” that provides a programmable text editor, email reader, text web browser, image viwer, calculator, shell, games, easter-eggs and more. Emacs is programmed in Elisp, an Emacs own lisp dialect that is based on MacLisp, one of oldest lisp dialects, older than Common Lisp and Scheme, created in MIT. Emacs was written in 1976 by the legendary Richard Stallman. Despite many incompatibilities with Common Lisp it has many constructs similar to it and n excellent book about Common Lisp that is also useful to understand Elisp and Scheme is On Lisp - by Paul Graham.

Repository Link


  • It is a work in progress.
  • You can see this document inside Emacs since it was converted to org-mode, see the file It can also be exported to html, pdf, github markdown and so on.

Configuration File

The user configuration file, which is executed when Emacs starts, is stored in the directory ~/.emacs.d/init.el or ~/.emacs. The first one is better because it is in the same directory of all emacs configuration files.

The Emacs scratch buffer can be used to test new features and try Emacs codes along with IELM - Emacs Lisp interactive shell.

Emacs Features

  • Run in GUI or in terminal.
  • Programmable “text editor” (Lisp Machine)
  • Support to many programming languages
  • Can run shells and interpreters inside Emacs.
  • Highly customizable
  • Easy task automation
  • Package manager
  • Multiple OS support
  • Remote file editting through ssh. (Tramp mode)
  • Keyboard macros
  • Utilities
    • Calculator
    • Eshell
    • Tramp-mode - Edit remote files and edit as super user (sudo).
    • Shells
    • File manager (dired-mode)
    • Git interface (magit)


  • Increase Emacs API discoverability;
  • Empower Emacs users to create their own extensions and customization;
  • Provide self-contained working examples about Emacs API and Elisp programming.
  • Unleash all Emacs potentials.


Elisp Programing

Key bindings / shortcuts

Settings and Packages

Emacs Utilities


  • Eshell Eshell - Multi-platform unix shell written in Elisp highly integrated with Emacs and with several platform independent shell commands such as ls, pwd, cp, mv implemented in Elisp.
  • Bookmarks - Emacs bookmarks to Wikis, tutorials, videos, codes and etc.

Future Work

  • [ ] Comint Mode / interacting with REPLs and subprocesses
  • [ ] Network API - Interacting with servers.
  • [ ] Add cross references
  • [ ] Emacs Widget Interfaces and Emacs User Interfaces
  • [ ] Add more examples about org-mode API.
  • [X] Add a better layout.

Downloading it

Download manually

Automated download

curl -L -o
unzip -e 
rm -rf
mv Emacs-Elisp-Programming-gh-pages Emacs-Elisp-Programming
firefox Emacs-Elisp-Programming/index.html &

View the extracted repository contents:

$ ls Emacs-Elisp-Programming/
images/                         index.html
theme/                        Elisp_Snippets.html            Keybindings.html
Customization.html                  Emacs_Key_Bindings_Elisp.html
Development_Environment.html   Resources.html   Emacs_On_Windows.html
Elisp_Programming.html           Utilities.html         Eshell.html