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Epsilon allows you
to create your own commands and attach them, or any pre-existing
Epsilon commands, to any key. If you bind a command to a key, you
can then invoke that command by pressing the key. For example, at
startup, Epsilon has forward-character bound to the Ctrl-F key.
By typing Ctrl-F, the forward-character command executes, so
point moves forward one character. If you prefer to have the command
which moves point to the end of the current line,
end-of-line, bound to Ctrl-F, you may bind that there.
You bind commands to keys with the bind-to-key
command, which you can invoke with the F4 key. The
bind-to-key command asks you for the name of a command (with
completion), and the key to which to bind that command. You may
precede the key by any number of prefix keys. When you type a
prefix key, Epsilon asks you for another key. For example, if you
type Ctrl-X, Epsilon asks you for another key. Suppose you type Ctrl-O.
Epsilon would then bind the command to the Ctrl-X Ctrl-O key sequence.
Prefix keys give Epsilon a virtually unlimited number of keys.
Epsilon at startup provides Ctrl-X and Ctrl-C as the only prefix keys.
You can invoke many commands, such as save-file (Ctrl-X
Ctrl-S) and find-file (Ctrl-X Ctrl-F), through the Ctrl-X
prefix key. You may define your own prefix keys with the command
called create-prefix-command. Epsilon asks you for a key to
make into a prefix key. You may then bind commands to keys prefixed
with this key using the bind-to-key command. To remove prefix
keys, see Command File Examples.
When you press a prefix key, Epsilon displays the key in the echo area
to indicate that you must type another key. Epsilon normally
displays the key immediately, but you can make it pause for a moment
before displaying the key. If you press another key during the pause,
Epsilon doesn't bother displaying the first key.
You control the amount of time Epsilon pauses using the
mention-delay variable, expressed in tenths of a second. By
default, this variable has a value of zero, which indicates no delay.
You may find it useful to set
mention-delay to a small value (perhaps
3). This delay
applies in most situations where Epsilon prompts for a single key,
such as when entering a numeric argument.
The unbind-key command asks for a key and then offers to rebind
the key to the normal-character command, or to remove any
binding it may have. A key bound to normal-character will
self-insert; that's how keys like "j" are bound. A key with no
binding at all simply displays an error message.
You may bind a given command to any number of keys. You may invoke a
command, whether or not bound to a key, using named-command, by
pressing the Alt-X key. Alt-X asks for the name of a command, then runs
the command you specified. This command passes any numeric argument
you give it to the command it invokes.
The command alt-prefix, bound to <Esc>,
gets another key and executes the command bound to the Alt version of
that key. You will find this command useful if you must use Epsilon
from a keyboard lacking a working Alt key, or if you prefer to avoid
using Alt keys. Also, you may find some combinations of control and
alt awkward to type on some keyboards. For example, some people
prefer to invoke the replace-string command by typing
<Esc> & rather than by typing Alt-&.
The command ctrl-prefix, bound to Ctrl-^, functions similarly.
It gets another key and converts it into the Control version of that
key. For example, it changes "s" into the Ctrl-S key.
Some key combinations are variations of other key combinations. For
instance, <Backspace> and Ctrl-H are related in this way. Epsilon
uses a notion of generic versus specific keys; for instance, the
specific key <Backspace> is also generically a Ctrl-H key. If you
bind this key to a new command, Epsilon will ask if you want to bind
only the <Backspace> key, or all key combinations that generate a
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