The Single Largest Obstacle Preventing Me From Using Emacs

I open XEmacs. It gives me a temporary buffer for random things. I want to create a new, empty file. There’s no command to create a new file in the menu. I quit.

Now, I know, I know. There’s a paradigm shift involved here. I have to get used to the idea that Emacs uses buffers instead of files, sort of, and you can open a file that doesn’t exist and it will create it, or something, but I just want to create a new file, without a name, write in it, decide what I want to call it and where I want to save it later. And so far I haven’t read any documentation that provides me a way to do that. It is, of course, slow going. I’m trying to learn Emacs and Lisp at the same time so I can sort of get the full experience. Lisp looks like a wonderfully interesting language, and as a VIM person, I’ve always been fascinated by the kind of respect that Emacs commands. Hell, I’ve even played Tetris in Emacs and stood in awe of that.

But I can’t figure out how to make a new file.

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One Comment

  1. Brad Collins
    Posted July 28, 2006 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    That’s what the *scratch* buffer is all about — just put whatever you want in it and if you want to save it then C-w and give it a name.

    If you don’t want to use the scratch buffer then create a new buffer C-x b “new-file” and answer yes that you want to create a new buffer named “new-file”. You can then decide what to do with the buffer when you’re ready to save it or discard.

    Yes, you are right this is a buffer, not a file. But this is true in any other editor even though they call it a file. It’s not a file unless the contents of the buffer has been saved to a file.

    This is not really a paradigm shift, it’s just that Emacs is a lot more precise about everything.


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