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2.2.3 The Options Menu

There are sub-menus for some of the menus which you will need to select. If sub-menus exist for an item, they will be displayed automatically when you drag the mouse on that item. The items in this menu provide some fancy editing operations.

Read Only

Selecting this item will cause the buffer to visit the file in a read-only mode. Changes to the file will not be allowed.

Case Sensitive Search

Selecting this item will cause searches to be case-sensitive. If its not selected then searches will ignore case. This option is local to the buffer. For example, if this item is selected and you are searching for ‘Smile’, then an occurrence of ‘smile’ will not be recognized because of the smaller case of ‘s’.


After selecting this item, when you type letters they will replace existing text on a one-to-one basis, rather than pushing it to the right. At the end of a line, such characters extend the line. Before a tab, such characters insert until the tab is filled in.

Auto Delete Selection

Selecting this item will cause automatic deletion of the selected region. After you select a region and hit the RET key, the selected text will be deleted. The typed text will replace the selection if the selection is active (i.e. if its highlighted). If the option is not selected then the typed text is just inserted at the cursor.

Teach Extended Commands

After you select this item, any time you execute a command with M-x which has a shorter keybinding, you will be shown the alternate binding before the command executes. For example if you type M-x find-file-other-window which performs the same function as the Open in Other Window... in File menu you will see the following message:

M-x find-file-other-window (bound to keys: C-x 4 f, C-x 4 C-f)
Syntax Highlighting

You can customize your init.el file to include the font-lock mode so that when you select this item, the comments will be displayed in one face, strings in another, reserved words in another, and so on. See Customization in SXEmacs User’s Manual, for more information on customizing init.el file. After selecting this item, you will find your code a lot easier to read. When Fonts is selected, different parts of the program will appear in different Fonts. When Colors is selected, then the program will be displayed in different colors. Selecting None causes the program to appear in just one Font and Color. Selecting Less resets the Fonts and Colors to a fast, minimal set of decorations. Selecting More resets the Fonts and Colors to a larger set of decorations. For example, if Less is selected (which is the default setting) then you might have all comments in green color. It does not matter what the comments contain. Whereas, if More is selected then a function name in the comments themselves might appear in a different Color or Font. Even though the comments themselves might appear in green color, a function name within the comments might appear in red color.

Paren Highlighting

After selecting Blink from this item, if you place the cursor on a parenthesis, the matching parenthesis will blink. If you select Highlight and place the cursor on a parenthesis, the whole expression of the parenthesis under the cursor will be highlighted. Selecting None will turn off the options (regarding Paren Highlighting) which you had selected earlier.


You can select any Font for your program by choosing from one of the available Fonts. The whole buffer will be converted to the Font you select.


You can select any size for the text in your buffer (ranging from 2 to 24) by selecting the appropriate option.


You can choose either Bold or Medium for the weight of the text of your buffer.

Buffers Menu Length...

Prompts you for the number of buffers to display. Then it will display that number of most recently selected buffers.

Buffers Sub-Menus

After selection of this item the Buffers menu will contain several commands, as submenus of each buffer line. If this item is unselected, then there are no submenus for each buffer line, the only command available will be selecting that buffer.

Save Options

Selecting this item will save the current settings of your Options menu to your init.el file so that the next time you start SXEmacs, you won’t need to select the options again.

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