[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE. Command Line Arguments

GNU Emacs supports command line arguments to request various actions when invoking Emacs. These are for compatibility with other editors and for sophisticated activities. We don't recommend using them for ordinary editing.

Arguments starting with `-' are options. Other arguments specify files to visit. Emacs visits the specified files while it starts up. The last file name on your command line becomes the current buffer; the other files are also visited in other buffers. If there are two files, they are both displayed; otherwise the last file is displayed along with a buffer list that shows what other buffers there are. As with most programs, the special argument `--' says that all subsequent arguments are file names, not options, even if they start with `-'.

Emacs command options can specify many things, such as the size and position of the X window Emacs uses, its colors, and so on. A few options support advanced usage, such as running Lisp functions on files in batch mode. The sections of this chapter describe the available options, arranged according to their purpose.

There are two ways of writing options: the short forms that start with a single `-', and the long forms that start with `--'. For example, `-d' is a short form and `--display' is the corresponding long form.

The long forms with `--' are easier to remember, but longer to type. However, you don't have to spell out the whole option name; any unambiguous abbreviation is enough. When a long option takes an argument, you can use either a space or an equal sign to separate the option name and the argument. Thus, you can write either `--display sugar-bombs:0.0' or `--display=sugar-bombs:0.0'. We recommend an equal sign because it makes the relationship clearer, and the tables below always show an equal sign.

Most options specify how to initialize Emacs, or set parameters for the Emacs session. We call them initial options. A few options specify things to do: for example, load libraries, call functions, or terminate Emacs. These are called action options. These and file names together are called action arguments. Emacs processes all the action arguments in the order they are written.

AE.1 Action Arguments  Arguments to visit files, load libraries, and call functions.
AE.2 Initial Options  Arguments that take effect while starting Emacs.
AE.3 Command Argument Example  Examples of using command line arguments.
AE.4 Resuming Emacs with Arguments  Specifying arguments when you resume a running Emacs.
AE.5 Environment Variables  Environment variables that Emacs uses.

AE.6 Specifying the Display Name  Changing the default display and using remote login.
AE.7 Font Specification Options  Choosing a font for text, under X.
AE.8 Window Color Options  Choosing colors, under X.
AE.9 Options for Window Geometry  Start-up window size, under X.
AE.10 Internal and External Borders  Internal and external borders, under X.
AE.11 Frame Titles  Specifying the initial frame's title.
AE.12 Icons  Choosing what sort of icon to use, under X.
AE.13 X Resources  Advanced use of classes and resources, under X.
AE.14 Lucid Menu X Resources  X resources for Lucid menus.
AE.15 LessTif Menu X Resources  X resources for LessTif and Motif menus.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.1 Action Arguments

Here is a table of the action arguments and options:

Visit file using find-file. See section M.2 Visiting Files.

`+linenum file'
Visit file using find-file, then go to line number linenum in it.

`+linenum:columnnum file'
Visit file using find-file, then go to line number linenum and put point at column number columnnum.

`-l file'
Load a Lisp library named file with the function load. See section V.7 Libraries of Lisp Code for Emacs. The library can be found either in the current directory, or in the Emacs library search path as specified with EMACSLOADPATH (see section AE.5.1 General Variables).

`-f function'
Call Lisp function function with no arguments.

Evaluate Lisp expression expression.

Insert the contents of file into the current buffer. This is like what M-x insert-file does. See section M.10 Miscellaneous File Operations.

Exit from Emacs without asking for confirmation.

The init file can access the values of the action arguments as the elements of a list in the variable command-line-args. The init file can override the normal processing of the action arguments, or define new ones, by reading and setting this variable.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.2 Initial Options

The initial options specify parameters for the Emacs session. This section describes the more general initial options; some other options specifically related to the X Window System appear in the following sections.

Some initial options affect the loading of init files. The normal actions of Emacs are to first load `site-start.el' if it exists, then your own init file `~/.emacs' if it exists, and finally `default.el' if it exists; certain options prevent loading of some of these files or substitute other files for them.

`-t device'
Use device as the device for terminal input and output.

`-d display'
Use the X Window System and use the display named display to open the initial Emacs frame. See section AE.6 Specifying the Display Name, for more details.

Don't communicate directly with the window system, disregarding the DISPLAY environment variable even if it is set. This forces Emacs to run as if the display were a text-only terminal.

Run Emacs in batch mode, which means that the text being edited is not displayed and the standard terminal interrupt characters such as C-z and C-c continue to have their normal effect. Emacs in batch mode outputs to stderr only what would normally be displayed in the echo area under program control, and functions which would normally read from the minibuffer take their input from stdin.

Batch mode is used for running programs written in Emacs Lisp from shell scripts, makefiles, and so on. Normally the `-l' option or `-f' option will be used as well, to invoke a Lisp program to do the batch processing.

`-batch' implies `-q' (do not load an init file). It also causes Emacs to exit after processing all the command options. In addition, it disables auto-saving except in buffers for which it has been explicitly requested.

Do not load your Emacs init file `~/.emacs', or `default.el' either. When invoked like this, Emacs does not allow saving options changed with the M-x customize command and its variants. See section AD.2.2 Easy Customization Interface.

Do not load `site-start.el'. The options `-q', `-u' and `-batch' have no effect on the loading of this file--this is the only option that blocks it.

`-u user'
Load user's Emacs init file `~user/.emacs' instead of your own.

Enable the Emacs Lisp debugger for errors in the init file.

Do almost everything with single-byte buffers and strings. All buffers and strings are unibyte unless you (or a Lisp program) explicitly ask for a multibyte buffer or string. (Note that Emacs always loads Lisp files in multibyte mode, even if `--unibyte' is specified; see Q.2 Enabling Multibyte Characters.) Setting the environment variable EMACS_UNIBYTE has the same effect.

Inhibit the effect of EMACS_UNIBYTE, so that Emacs uses multibyte characters by default, as usual.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.3 Command Argument Example

Here is an example of using Emacs with arguments and options. It assumes you have a Lisp program file called `hack-c.el' which, when loaded, performs some useful operation on the current buffer, expected to be a C program.

emacs -batch foo.c -l hack-c -f save-buffer >& log

This says to visit `foo.c', load `hack-c.el' (which makes changes in the visited file), save `foo.c' (note that save-buffer is the function that C-x C-s is bound to), and then exit back to the shell (because of `-batch'). `-batch' also guarantees there will be no problem redirecting output to `log', because Emacs will not assume that it has a display terminal to work with.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.4 Resuming Emacs with Arguments

You can specify action arguments for Emacs when you resume it after a suspension. To prepare for this, put the following code in your `.emacs' file (see section AD.2.3 Hooks):

(add-hook 'suspend-hook 'resume-suspend-hook)
(add-hook 'suspend-resume-hook 'resume-process-args)

As further preparation, you must execute the shell script `emacs.csh' (if you use csh as your shell) or `emacs.bash' (if you use bash as your shell). These scripts define an alias named edit, which will resume Emacs giving it new command line arguments such as files to visit. The scripts are found in the `etc' subdirectory of the Emacs distribution.

Only action arguments work properly when you resume Emacs. Initial arguments are not recognized--it's too late to execute them anyway.

Note that resuming Emacs (with or without arguments) must be done from within the shell that is the parent of the Emacs job. This is why edit is an alias rather than a program or a shell script. It is not possible to implement a resumption command that could be run from other subjobs of the shell; there is no way to define a command that could be made the value of EDITOR, for example. Therefore, this feature does not take the place of the Emacs Server feature (see section AC.16 Using Emacs as a Server).

The aliases use the Emacs Server feature if you appear to have a server Emacs running. However, they cannot determine this with complete accuracy. They may think that a server is still running when in actuality you have killed that Emacs, because the file `/tmp/esrv...' still exists. If this happens, find that file and delete it.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.5 Environment Variables

The environment is a feature of the operating system; it consists of a collection of variables with names and values. Each variable is called an environment variable; environment variable names are case-sensitive, and it is conventional to use upper case letters only. The values are all text strings.

What makes the environment useful is that subprocesses inherit the environment automatically from their parent process. This means you can set up an environment variable in your login shell, and all the programs you run (including Emacs) will automatically see it. Subprocesses of Emacs (such as shells, compilers, and version-control software) inherit the environment from Emacs, too.

Inside Emacs, the command M-x getenv gets the value of an environment variable. M-x setenv sets a variable in the Emacs environment. The way to set environment variables outside of Emacs depends on the operating system, and especially the shell that you are using. For example, here's how to set the environment variable ORGANIZATION to `not very much' using Bash:

export ORGANIZATION="not very much"

and here's how to do it in csh or tcsh:

setenv ORGANIZATION "not very much"

When Emacs is uses the X Window System, it inherits the use of a large number of environment variables from the X libraries. See the X documentation for more information.

AE.5.1 General Variables  Environment variables that all versions of Emacs use.
AE.5.2 Miscellaneous Variables  Certain system-specific variables.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.5.1 General Variables

Here is an alphabetical list of specific environment variables that have special meanings in Emacs, giving the name of each variable and its meaning. Most of these variables are also used by some other programs. Emacs does not require any of these environment variables to be set, but it uses their values if they are set.

Used by the cd command to search for the directory you specify, when you specify a relative directory name.
Defining this environment variable with a nonempty value directs Emacs to do almost everything with single-byte buffers and strings. It is equivalent to using the `--unibyte' command-line option on each invocation. See section AE.2 Initial Options.
Directory for the architecture-independent files that come with Emacs. This is used to initialize the Lisp variable data-directory.
Directory for the documentation string file, `DOC-emacsversion'. This is used to initialize the Lisp variable doc-directory.
A colon-separated list of directories(17) to search for Emacs Lisp files--used to initialize load-path.
A colon-separated list of directories to search for executable files--used to initialize exec-path.
Used for shell-mode to override the SHELL environment variable.
The name of the file that shell commands are saved in between logins. This variable defaults to `~/.bash_history' if you use Bash, to `~/.sh_history' if you use ksh, and to `~/.history' otherwise.
The location of the user's files in the directory tree; used for expansion of file names starting with a tilde (`~'). On MS-DOS, it defaults to the directory from which Emacs was started, with `/bin' removed from the end if it was present. On Windows, the default value of HOME is `C:/', the root directory of drive `C:'.
The name of the machine that Emacs is running on.
A colon-separated list of directories. Used by the complete package to search for files.
A colon-separated list of directories in which to search for Info files.
The user's preferred locale. The locale has six categories, specified by the environment variables LC_COLLATE for sorting, LC_CTYPE for character encoding, LC_MESSAGES for system messages, LC_MONETARY for monetary formats, LC_NUMERIC for numbers, and LC_TIME for dates and times. If one of these variables is not set, the category defaults to the value of the LANG environment variable, or to the default `C' locale if LANG is not set. But if LC_ALL is specified, it overrides the settings of all the other locale environment variables.

The value of the LC_CTYPE category is matched against entries in locale-language-names, locale-charset-language-names, and locale-preferred-coding-systems, to select a default language environment and coding system. See section Q.3 Language Environments.

The user's login name. See also USER.
The name of the user's system mail inbox.
Name of file containing mail aliases. (The default is `~/.mailrc'.)
Name of setup file for the mh system. (The default is `~/.mh_profile'.)
The real-world name of the user.
The name of the news server. Used by the mh and Gnus packages.
The name of the organization to which you belong. Used for setting the `Organization:' header in your posts from the Gnus package.
A colon-separated list of directories in which executables reside. This is used to initialize the Emacs Lisp variable exec-path.
If set, this should be the default directory when Emacs was started.
If set, this specifies an initial value for the variable mail-default-reply-to. See section Z.2 Mail Header Fields.
The name of a directory in which news articles are saved by default. Used by the Gnus package.
The name of an interpreter used to parse and execute programs run from inside Emacs.
The type of the terminal that Emacs is using. This variable must be set unless Emacs is run in batch mode. On MS-DOS, it defaults to `internal', which specifies a built-in terminal emulation that handles the machine's own display. If the value of TERM indicates that Emacs runs in non-windowed mode from xterm or a similar terminal emulator, the background mode defaults to `light', and Emacs will choose colors that are appropriate for a light background.
The name of the termcap library file describing how to program the terminal specified by the TERM variable. This defaults to `/etc/termcap'.
Used by the Emerge package as a prefix for temporary files.
This specifies the current time zone and possibly also daylight saving time information. On MS-DOS, if TZ is not set in the environment when Emacs starts, Emacs defines a default value as appropriate for the country code returned by DOS. On MS-Windows, Emacs does not use TZ at all.
The user's login name. See also LOGNAME. On MS-DOS, this defaults to `root'.
Used to initialize the version-control variable (see section M.3.1.1 Single or Numbered Backups).

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.5.2 Miscellaneous Variables

These variables are used only on particular configurations:

On MS-DOS and MS-Windows, the name of the command interpreter to use when invoking batch files and commands internal to the shell. On MS-DOS this is also used to make a default value for the SHELL environment variable.

On MS-DOS, this variable defaults to the value of the USER variable.

On MS-DOS and MS-Windows, these specify the name of the directory for storing temporary files in.

On MS-DOS, this specifies a file to use to log the operation of the internal terminal emulator. This feature is useful for submitting bug reports.

On MS-DOS, this specifies the screen colors. It is useful to set them this way, since otherwise Emacs would display the default colors momentarily when it starts up.

The value of this variable should be the two-character encoding of the foreground (the first character) and the background (the second character) colors of the default face. Each character should be the hexadecimal code for the desired color on a standard PC text-mode display. For example, to get blue text on a light gray background, specify `EMACSCOLORS=17', since 1 is the code of the blue color and 7 is the code of the light gray color.

The PC display usually supports only eight background colors. However, Emacs switches the DOS display to a mode where all 16 colors can be used for the background, so all four bits of the background color are actually used.

Used when initializing the Sun windows system.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.6 Specifying the Display Name

The environment variable DISPLAY tells all X clients, including Emacs, where to display their windows. Its value is set by default in ordinary circumstances, when you start an X server and run jobs locally. Occasionally you may need to specify the display yourself; for example, if you do a remote login and want to run a client program remotely, displaying on your local screen.

With Emacs, the main reason people change the default display is to let them log into another system, run Emacs on that system, but have the window displayed at their local terminal. You might need to log in to another system because the files you want to edit are there, or because the Emacs executable file you want to run is there.

The syntax of the DISPLAY environment variable is `host:display.screen', where host is the host name of the X Window System server machine, display is an arbitrarily-assigned number that distinguishes your server (X terminal) from other servers on the same machine, and screen is a rarely-used field that allows an X server to control multiple terminal screens. The period and the screen field are optional. If included, screen is usually zero.

For example, if your host is named `glasperle' and your server is the first (or perhaps the only) server listed in the configuration, your DISPLAY is `glasperle:0.0'.

You can specify the display name explicitly when you run Emacs, either by changing the DISPLAY variable, or with the option `-d display' or `--display=display'. Here is an example:

emacs --display=glasperle:0 &

You can inhibit the direct use of the window system and GUI with the `-nw' option. It tells Emacs to display using ordinary ASCII on its controlling terminal. This is also an initial option.

Sometimes, security arrangements prevent a program on a remote system from displaying on your local system. In this case, trying to run Emacs produces messages like this:

Xlib:  connection to "glasperle:0.0" refused by server

You might be able to overcome this problem by using the xhost command on the local system to give permission for access from your remote machine.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.7 Font Specification Options

By default, Emacs displays text in the font named `9x15', which makes each character nine pixels wide and fifteen pixels high. You can specify a different font on your command line through the option `-fn name' (or `--font', which is an alias for `-fn').

`-fn name'
Use font name as the default font.

Under X, each font has a long name which consists of eleven words or numbers, separated by dashes. Some fonts also have shorter nicknames---`9x15' is such a nickname. You can use either kind of name. You can use wildcard patterns for the font name; then Emacs lets X choose one of the fonts that match the pattern. Here is an example, which happens to specify the font whose nickname is `6x13':

emacs -fn "-misc-fixed-medium-r-semicondensed--13-*-*-*-c-60-iso8859-1" &

You can also specify the font in your `.Xdefaults' file:

emacs.font: -misc-fixed-medium-r-semicondensed--13-*-*-*-c-60-iso8859-1

A long font name has the following form:


This is the name of the font manufacturer.
This is the name of the font family--for example, `courier'.
This is normally `bold', `medium' or `light'. Other words may appear here in some font names.
This is `r' (roman), `i' (italic), `o' (oblique), `ri' (reverse italic), or `ot' (other).
This is normally `condensed', `extended', `semicondensed' or `normal'. Other words may appear here in some font names.
This is an optional additional style name. Usually it is empty--most long font names have two hyphens in a row at this point.
This is the font height, in pixels.
This is the font height on the screen, measured in tenths of a printer's point--approximately 1/720 of an inch. In other words, it is the point size of the font, times ten. For a given vertical resolution, height and pixels are proportional; therefore, it is common to specify just one of them and use `*' for the other.
This is the horizontal resolution, in pixels per inch, of the screen for which the font is intended.
This is the vertical resolution, in pixels per inch, of the screen for which the font is intended. Normally the resolution of the fonts on your system is the right value for your screen; therefore, you normally specify `*' for this and horiz.
This is `m' (monospace), `p' (proportional) or `c' (character cell).
This is the average character width, in pixels, multiplied by ten.
This is the character set that the font depicts. Normally you should use `iso8859-1'.

You will probably want to use a fixed-width default font--that is, a font in which all characters have the same width. Any font with `m' or `c' in the spacing field of the long name is a fixed-width font. Here's how to use the xlsfonts program to list all the fixed-width fonts available on your system:

xlsfonts -fn '*x*' | egrep "^[0-9]+x[0-9]+"
xlsfonts -fn '*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-m*'
xlsfonts -fn '*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-c*'

To see what a particular font looks like, use the xfd command. For example:

xfd -fn 6x13

displays the entire font `6x13'.

While running Emacs, you can set the font of the current frame (see section P.12 Setting Frame Parameters) or for a specific kind of text (see section J.1 Using Multiple Typefaces).

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.8 Window Color Options

On a color display, you can specify which color to use for various parts of the Emacs display. To find out what colors are available on your system, type M-x list-colors-display, or press C-Mouse-2 and select `Display Colors' from the pop-up menu. If you do not specify colors, on windowed displays the default for the background is white and the default for all other colors is black. On a monochrome display, the foreground is black, the background is white, and the border is gray if the display supports that. On terminals, the background is usually black and the foreground is white.

Here is a list of the command-line options for specifying colors:

`-fg color'
Specify the foreground color. color should be a standard color name, or a numeric specification of the color's red, green, and blue components as in `#4682B4' or `RGB:46/82/B4'.
`-bg color'
Specify the background color.
`-bd color'
Specify the color of the border of the X window.
`-cr color'
Specify the color of the Emacs cursor which indicates where point is.
`-ms color'
Specify the color for the mouse cursor when the mouse is in the Emacs window.
Reverse video--swap the foreground and background colors.

For example, to use a coral mouse cursor and a slate blue text cursor, enter:

emacs -ms coral -cr 'slate blue' &

You can reverse the foreground and background colors through the `-rv' option or with the X resource `reverseVideo'.

The `-fg', `-bg', and `-rv' options function on text-only terminals as well as on window systems.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.9 Options for Window Geometry

The `--geometry' option controls the size and position of the initial Emacs frame. Here is the format for specifying the window geometry:

`-g widthxheight[{+-}xoffset{+-}yoffset]]'
Specify window size width and height (measured in character columns and lines), and positions xoffset and yoffset (measured in pixels).

This is another way of writing the same thing.

{+-} means either a plus sign or a minus sign. A plus sign before xoffset means it is the distance from the left side of the screen; a minus sign means it counts from the right side. A plus sign before yoffset means it is the distance from the top of the screen, and a minus sign there indicates the distance from the bottom. The values xoffset and yoffset may themselves be positive or negative, but that doesn't change their meaning, only their direction.

Emacs uses the same units as xterm does to interpret the geometry. The width and height are measured in characters, so a large font creates a larger frame than a small font. (If you specify a proportional font, Emacs uses its maximum bounds width as the width unit.) The xoffset and yoffset are measured in pixels.

Since the mode line and the echo area occupy the last 2 lines of the frame, the height of the initial text window is 2 less than the height specified in your geometry. In non-X-toolkit versions of Emacs, the menu bar also takes one line of the specified number. But in the X toolkit version, the menu bar is additional and does not count against the specified height. The tool bar, if present, is also additional.

You do not have to specify all of the fields in the geometry specification.

If you omit both xoffset and yoffset, the window manager decides where to put the Emacs frame, possibly by letting you place it with the mouse. For example, `164x55' specifies a window 164 columns wide, enough for two ordinary width windows side by side, and 55 lines tall.

The default width for Emacs is 80 characters and the default height is 40 lines. You can omit either the width or the height or both. If you start the geometry with an integer, Emacs interprets it as the width. If you start with an `x' followed by an integer, Emacs interprets it as the height. Thus, `81' specifies just the width; `x45' specifies just the height.

If you start with `+' or `-', that introduces an offset, which means both sizes are omitted. Thus, `-3' specifies the xoffset only. (If you give just one offset, it is always xoffset.) `+3-3' specifies both the xoffset and the yoffset, placing the frame near the bottom left of the screen.

You can specify a default for any or all of the fields in `.Xdefaults' file, and then override selected fields with a `--geometry' option.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.10 Internal and External Borders

An Emacs frame has an internal border and an external border. The internal border is an extra strip of the background color around the text portion of the frame. Emacs itself draws the internal border. The external border is added by the window manager outside the frame; depending on the window manager you use, it may contain various boxes you can click on to move or iconify the window.

`-ib width'
Specify width as the width of the internal border, in pixels.

`-bw width'
Specify width as the width of the main border, in pixels.

When you specify the size of the frame, that does not count the borders. The frame's position is measured from the outside edge of the external border.

Use the `-ib n' option to specify an internal border n pixels wide. The default is 1. Use `-bw n' to specify the width of the external border (though the window manager may not pay attention to what you specify). The default width of the external border is 2.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.11 Frame Titles

An Emacs frame may or may not have a specified title. The frame title, if specified, appears in window decorations and icons as the name of the frame. If an Emacs frame has no specified title, the default title has the form `invocation-name@machine' (if there is only one frame) or the selected window's buffer name (if there is more than one frame).

You can specify a title for the initial Emacs frame with a command line option:

`-title title'
`-T title'
Specify title as the title for the initial Emacs frame.

The `--name' option (see section AE.13 X Resources) also specifies the title for the initial Emacs frame.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.12 Icons

Most window managers allow the user to "iconify" a frame, removing it from sight, and leaving a small, distinctive "icon" window in its place. Clicking on the icon window makes the frame itself appear again. If you have many clients running at once, you can avoid cluttering up the screen by iconifying most of the clients.

Use a picture of a gnu as the Emacs icon.

Start Emacs in iconified state.

The `-i' or `--icon-type' option tells Emacs to use an icon window containing a picture of the GNU gnu. If omitted, Emacs lets the window manager choose what sort of icon to use--usually just a small rectangle containing the frame's title.

The `-iconic' option tells Emacs to begin running as an icon, rather than showing a frame right away. In this situation, the icon is the only indication that Emacs has started; the text frame doesn't appear until you deiconify it.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.13 X Resources

Programs running under the X Window System organize their user options under a hierarchy of classes and resources. You can specify default values for these options in your X resources file, usually named `~/.Xdefaults'.

Each line in the file specifies a value for one option or for a collection of related options, for one program or for several programs (optionally even for all programs).

MS-Windows systems don't support `~/.Xdefaults' files, but Emacs compiled for Windows looks for X resources in the Windows Registry, under the keys `HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\GNU\Emacs' and `HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\GNU\Emacs'.

Programs define named resources with particular meanings. They also define how to group resources into named classes. For instance, in Emacs, the `internalBorder' resource controls the width of the internal border, and the `borderWidth' resource controls the width of the external border. Both of these resources are part of the `BorderWidth' class. Case distinctions are significant in these names.

In `~/.Xdefaults', you can specify a value for a single resource on one line, like this:

emacs.borderWidth: 2

Or you can use a class name to specify the same value for all resources in that class. Here's an example:

emacs.BorderWidth: 2

If you specify a value for a class, it becomes the default for all resources in that class. You can specify values for individual resources as well; these override the class value, for those particular resources. Thus, this example specifies 2 as the default width for all borders, but overrides this value with 4 for the external border:

emacs.BorderWidth: 2
emacs.borderWidth: 4

The order in which the lines appear in the file does not matter. Also, command-line options always override the X resources file.

The string `emacs' in the examples above is also a resource name. It actually represents the name of the executable file that you invoke to run Emacs. If Emacs is installed under a different name, it looks for resources under that name instead of `emacs'.

`-name name'
Use name as the resource name (and the title) for the initial Emacs frame. This option does not affect subsequent frames, but Lisp programs can specify frame names when they create frames.

If you don't specify this option, the default is to use the Emacs executable's name as the resource name.

`-xrm resource-values'
Specify X resource values for this Emacs job (see below).

For consistency, `-name' also specifies the name to use for other resource values that do not belong to any particular frame.

The resources that name Emacs invocations also belong to a class; its name is `Emacs'. If you write `Emacs' instead of `emacs', the resource applies to all frames in all Emacs jobs, regardless of frame titles and regardless of the name of the executable file. Here is an example:

Emacs.BorderWidth: 2
Emacs.borderWidth: 4

You can specify a string of additional resource values for Emacs to use with the command line option `-xrm resources'. The text resources should have the same format that you would use inside a file of X resources. To include multiple resource specifications in resources, put a newline between them, just as you would in a file. You can also use `#include "filename"' to include a file full of resource specifications. Resource values specified with `-xrm' take precedence over all other resource specifications.

The following table lists the resource names that designate options for Emacs, each with the class that it belongs to:

background (class Background)
Background color name.

bitmapIcon (class BitmapIcon)
Use a bitmap icon (a picture of a gnu) if `on', let the window manager choose an icon if `off'.

borderColor (class BorderColor)
Color name for the external border.

borderWidth (class BorderWidth)
Width in pixels of the external border.

cursorColor (class Foreground)
Color name for text cursor (point).

font (class Font)
Font name for text (or fontset name, see section Q.10 Fontsets).

foreground (class Foreground)
Color name for text.

geometry (class Geometry)
Window size and position. Be careful not to specify this resource as `emacs*geometry', because that may affect individual menus as well as the Emacs frame itself.

If this resource specifies a position, that position applies only to the initial Emacs frame (or, in the case of a resource for a specific frame name, only that frame). However, the size, if specified here, applies to all frames.

iconName (class Title)
Name to display in the icon.

internalBorder (class BorderWidth)
Width in pixels of the internal border.

lineSpacing (class LineSpacing)
Additional space (leading) between lines, in pixels.

menuBar (class MenuBar)
Give frames menu bars if `on'; don't have menu bars if `off'.

toolBar (class ToolBar)
Number of lines to reserve for the tool bar. A zero value suppresses the tool bar. If the value is non-zero and auto-resize-tool-bars is non-nil, the tool bar's size will be changed automatically so that all tool bar items are visible.

minibuffer (class Minibuffer)
If `none', don't make a minibuffer in this frame. It will use a separate minibuffer frame instead.

paneFont (class Font)
Font name for menu pane titles, in non-toolkit versions of Emacs.

pointerColor (class Foreground)
Color of the mouse cursor.

reverseVideo (class ReverseVideo)
Switch foreground and background default colors if `on', use colors as specified if `off'.

screenGamma (class ScreenGamma)
Gamma correction for colors, equivalent to the frame parameter screen-gamma.

selectionFont (class Font)
Font name for pop-up menu items, in non-toolkit versions of Emacs. (For toolkit versions, see AE.14 Lucid Menu X Resources, also see AE.15 LessTif Menu X Resources.)

synchronous (class Synchronous)
Run Emacs in synchronous mode if `on'. Synchronous mode is useful for debugging X problems.

title (class Title)
Name to display in the title bar of the initial Emacs frame.

verticalScrollBars (class ScrollBars)
Give frames scroll bars if `on'; don't have scroll bars if `off'.

Here are resources for controlling the appearance of particular faces (see section J.1 Using Multiple Typefaces):

Font for face face.
Foreground color for face face.
Background color for face face.
Underline flag for face face. Use `on' or `true' for yes.
Font family for face face.
Relative proportional width of the font to use for face face. It should be one of ultra-condensed, extra-condensed, condensed, semi-condensed, normal, semi-expanded, expanded, extra-expanded, or ultra-expanded.
Height of the font to use for face face: either an integer specifying the height in units of 1/10pt, or a floating point number that specifies a scale factor to scale the underlying face's default font, or a function to be called with the default height which will return a new height.
A weight to use for the face face. It must be one of ultra-bold, extra-bold, bold, semi-bold, normal, semi-light, light, extra-light, ultra-light.
The slant to use for the font of face face. It must be one of italic, oblique, normal, reverse-italic, or reverse-oblique.
Whether the face face should be drawn with a line striking through the characters.
Whether the characters in the face face should be overlined.
Whether to draw a box around the characters in face face.
Whether to display the characters in face face in inverse video.
The name of a pixmap data file to use for the stipple pattern, or false to not use stipple for the face face.
The background pixmap for the face face. Should be a name of a pixmap file or false.
Whether to draw the characters in the face face as bold.
Whether to draw the characters in the face face as italic.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.14 Lucid Menu X Resources

If the Emacs installed at your site was built to use the X toolkit with the Lucid menu widgets, then the menu bar is a separate widget and has its own resources. The resource names contain `pane.menubar' (following, as always, the name of the Emacs invocation, or `Emacs', which stands for all Emacs invocations). Specify them like this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.resource:  value

For example, to specify the font `8x16' for the menu-bar items, write this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.font:  8x16

Resources for non-menubar toolkit pop-up menus have `menu*', in like fashion. For example, to specify the font `8x16' for the pop-up menu items, write this:

Emacs.menu*.font:	8x16

For dialog boxes, use `dialog' instead of `menu':

Emacs.dialog*.font:	8x16

Experience shows that on some systems you may need to add `shell.' before the `pane.menubar' or `menu*'. On some other systems, you must not add `shell.'.

Here is a list of the specific resources for menu bars and pop-up menus:

Font for menu item text.
Color of the foreground.
Color of the background.
In the menu bar, the color of the foreground for a selected item.
Horizontal spacing in pixels between items. Default is 3.
Vertical spacing in pixels between items. Default is 1.
Horizontal spacing between the arrow (which indicates a submenu) and the associated text. Default is 10.
Thickness of shadow line around the widget.
The margin of the menu bar, in characters. The default of 4 makes the menu bar appear like the LessTif/Motif one.

[ < ] [ > ]   [ << ] [ Up ] [ >> ]         [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

AE.15 LessTif Menu X Resources

If the Emacs installed at your site was built to use the X toolkit with the LessTif or Motif widgets, then the menu bar, the dialog boxes, the pop-up menus, and the file-selection box are separate widgets and have their own resources.

The resource names for the menu bar contain `pane.menubar' (following, as always, the name of the Emacs invocation, or `Emacs', which stands for all Emacs invocations). Specify them like this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.subwidget.resource:  value

Each individual string in the menu bar is a subwidget; the subwidget's name is the same as the menu item string. For example, the word `File' in the menu bar is part of a subwidget named `emacs.pane.menubar.File'. Most likely, you want to specify the same resources for the whole menu bar. To do this, use `*' instead of a specific subwidget name. For example, to specify the font `8x16' for the menu-bar items, write this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.*.fontList:  8x16

This also specifies the resource value for submenus.

Each item in a submenu in the menu bar also has its own name for X resources; for example, the `File' submenu has an item named `Save (current buffer)'. A resource specification for a submenu item looks like this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.menu.item.resource: value

For example, here's how to specify the font for the `Save (current buffer)' item:

Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.File.Save (current buffer).fontList: 8x16

For an item in a second-level submenu, such as `Complete Word' under `Spell Checking' under `Tools', the resource fits this template:

Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.popup_*.menu.resource: value

For example,

Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.popup_*.Spell Checking.Complete Word: value

(This should be one long line.) It's impossible to specify a resource for all the menu-bar items without also specifying it for the submenus as well. So if you want the submenu items to look different from the menu bar itself, you must ask for that in two steps. First, specify the resource for all of them; then, override the value for submenus alone. Here is an example:

Emacs.pane.menubar.*.fontList:  8x16
Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.fontList: 8x16

For LessTif pop-up menus, use `menu*' instead of `pane.menubar'. For example, to specify the font `8x16' for the pop-up menu items, write this:

Emacs.menu*.fontList:  8x16

For LessTif dialog boxes, use `dialog' instead of `menu':

Emacs.dialog*.fontList: 8x16
Emacs.dialog*.foreground: hotpink

To specify resources for the LessTif file-selection box, use `fsb*', like this:

Emacs.fsb*.fontList: 8x16

Here is a list of the specific resources for LessTif menu bars and pop-up menus:

The color to show in an armed button.
The font to use.
Amount of space to leave around the item, within the border.
The width of the border around the menu item, on all sides.
The width of the border shadow.
The color for the border shadow, on the bottom and the right.
The color for the border shadow, on the top and the left.

[ << ] [ >> ]           [Top] [Contents] [Index] [ ? ]

This document was generated on April 2, 2002 using texi2html