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Finding a Tag
The most important thing that a tag table enables you to do is to
find the definition of a specific tag.
`M-. TAG &OPTIONAL OTHER-WINDOW'
Find first definition of TAG (`find-tag').
Find next alternate definition of last tag specified.
`C-x 4 . TAG'
Find first definition of TAG, but display it in another window
`M-.' (`find-tag') is the command to find the definition of a
specified tag. It searches through the tag table for that tag, as a
string, then uses the tag table information to determine the file in
which the definition is used and the approximate character position of
the definition in the file. Then `find-tag' visits the file, moves
point to the approximate character position, and starts searching
ever-increasing distances away for the text that should appear at the
beginning of the definition.
If an empty argument is given (by typing RET), the sexp in the
buffer before or around point is used as the name of the tag to find.
Note: Lists, for information on sexps.
The argument to `find-tag' need not be the whole tag name; it can be
a substring of a tag name. However, there can be many tag names
containing the substring you specify. Since `find-tag' works by
searching the text of the tag table, it finds the first tag in the table
that the specified substring appears in. To find other tags that match
the substring, give `find-tag' a numeric argument, as in `C-u M-.'.
This does not read a tag name, but continues searching the tag table's
text for another tag containing the same substring last used. If your
keyboard has a real META key, `M-0 M-.' is an easier alternative to
If the optional second argument OTHER-WINDOW is non-`nil', it uses
another window to display the tag. Multiple active tags tables and
completion are supported.
Variables of note include the following:
Controls which tables apply to which buffers.
Stores a default tags table.
Controls completion behavior.
Specifies a buffer-local table.
Sets whether tags tables should be very hidden.
Specifies how many tags-based hops to remember.
Like most commands that can switch buffers, `find-tag' has another
similar command that displays the new buffer in another window. `C-x 4
.' invokes the function `find-tag-other-window'. (This key sequence
ends with a period.)
Emacs comes with a tag table file `TAGS' (in the directory
containing Lisp libraries) that includes all the Lisp libraries and all
the C sources of Emacs. By specifying this file with `visit-tags-table'
and then using `M-.' you can quickly look at the source of any Emacs
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