There is no doubt that Emacs is the most powerful text editor available! Unfortunately Emacs has quite a reputation for being difficult to learn and hard to use. With this book this will not be true for you, for the following reasons:
The book is organized in a way that makes it possible for you, within just a few hours, to learn enough for your daily work with Emacs.
The focus in this book is on usability, rather than on obscure features that only a few people need. Thus several extensions to Emacs are discussed (including
on-the-fly spell-checking, file templates, and major modes for editing LaTeX, HTML, C, C++, and Java).
In Hour 1, "Introduction to Emacs," you will learn how to bind functions to the function keys (F1, F2, F3...F12). The CD-ROM accompanying this book contains a keyboard quick reference card, which you may edit to include your customizations. This way, you do not need to learn difficult keybindings.
Accompanying the book is a CD-ROM with many extensions to Emacs that you can play with in your spare time. Using these extensions, you can customize Emacs in even more ways than those described in the pages of this book.
The CD also contains a file with features that might seem like they are missing in Emacs, when you read the book. Often these features are not missing; to avoid discussing details that are too technical, however, a fix has been made to ensure that the topics are as easily understandable as possible. (This file is discussed in Hour 1.)
The focus in the book is on using Emacs with a graphical interface, either X Window or Microsoft Windows. Thus no time will be wasted on discussing how to make Emacs work when you have a monitor that displays only 25 lines with 80 characters each.