SXEmacs provides a variety of on-line help functions, all accessible to the user as subcommands of the prefix C-h, or on some keyboards, help. For more information about them, see Help in The SXEmacs Lisp Reference Manual. Here we describe some program-level interfaces to the same information.
This function finds all symbols whose names contain a match for the regular expression regexp, and returns a list of them (see Regular Expressions). It also displays the symbols in a buffer named ‘*Help*’, each with a one-line description.
If do-all is non-
apropos also shows
key bindings for the functions that are found.
If predicate is non-
nil, it should be a function to be
called on each symbol that has matched regexp. Only symbols for
which predicate returns a non-
nil value are listed or
In the first of the following examples,
apropos finds all the
symbols with names containing ‘exec’. In the second example, it
finds and returns only those symbols that are also commands.
(We don’t show the output that results in the ‘*Help*’ buffer.)
(apropos "exec") ⇒ (Buffer-menu-execute command-execute exec-directory exec-path execute-extended-command execute-kbd-macro executing-kbd-macro executing-macro)
(apropos "exec" nil 'commandp) ⇒ (Buffer-menu-execute execute-extended-command)
apropos is used by various user-level commands, such as C-h
hyper-apropos), a graphical front-end to
C-h A (
command-apropos), which does an apropos over only
those functions which are user commands.
apropos, specifying a predicate to restrict the output to
symbols that are commands. The call to
apropos looks like this:
(apropos string t 'commandp)
The value of this variable is a local keymap for characters following the Help key, C-h.
This symbol is not a function; its function definition is actually the
keymap known as
help-map. It is defined in help.el as
(define-key global-map "\C-h" 'help-command) (fset 'help-command help-map)
This function builds a string that explains how to restore the previous
state of the windows after a help command. After building the message,
it applies function to it if function is non-
Otherwise it calls
message to display it in the echo area.
This function expects to be called inside a
with-output-to-temp-buffer special form, and expects
standard-output to have the value bound by that special form.
For an example of its use, see the long example in Accessing Documentation.
The value of this variable is the help character—the character that
SXEmacs recognizes as meaning Help. By default, it is the character
‘?\^H’ (ASCII 8), which is C-h. When SXEmacs reads this
help-form is non-
nil Lisp expression, it
evaluates that expression, and displays the result in a window if it is
help-char can be a character or a key description such as
Usually the value of
help-form’s value is
nil. Then the
help character has no special meaning at the level of command input, and
it becomes part of a key sequence in the normal way. The standard key
binding of C-h is a prefix key for several general-purpose help
The help character is special after prefix keys, too. If it has no
binding as a subcommand of the prefix key, it runs
describe-prefix-bindings, which displays a list of all the
subcommands of the prefix key.
If this variable is non-
nil, its value is a form to evaluate
whenever the character
help-char is read. If evaluating the form
produces a string, that string is displayed.
A command that calls
probably should bind
help-form to a non-
while it does input. (The exception is when C-h is meaningful
input.) Evaluating this expression should result in a string that
explains what the input is for and how to enter it properly.
Entry to the minibuffer binds this variable to the value of
minibuffer-help-form (see Minibuffer Misc).
This variable holds a function to print help for a prefix character.
The function is called when the user types a prefix key followed by the
help character, and the help character has no binding after that prefix.
The variable’s default value is
This function calls
describe-bindings to display a list of all
the subcommands of the prefix key of the most recent key sequence. The
prefix described consists of all but the last event of that key
sequence. (The last event is, presumably, the help character.)
The following two functions are found in the library helper.
They are for modes that want to provide help without relinquishing
control, such as the “electric” modes. You must load that library
(require 'helper) in order to use them. Their names begin
with ‘Helper’ to distinguish them from the ordinary help functions.
This command pops up a window displaying a help buffer containing a
listing of all of the key bindings from both the local and global keymaps.
It works by calling
This command provides help for the current mode. It prompts the user
in the minibuffer with the message ‘Help (Type ? for further
options)’, and then provides assistance in finding out what the key
bindings are, and what the mode is intended for. It returns
This can be customized by changing the map