(lemacs.info)Meta Key

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Assignment of the META Key

   Not all terminals have the complete set of modifiers.  Terminals
that have a Meta key allow you to type Meta characters by just holding
that key down.  To type `Meta-a', hold down META and press `a'.  On
those terminals, the META key works like the SHIFT key.  Such a key is
not always labeled META, however, as this function is often a special
option for a key with some other primary purpose.

   If there is no META key, you can still type Meta characters using
two-character sequences starting with ESC.  To enter `M-a', you could
type `ESC a'.  To enter `C-M-a', you would type `ESC C-a'.  ESC is
allowed on terminals with Meta keys, too, in case you have formed a
habit of using it.

   If you are running under X and do not have a META key, it is
possible to reconfigure some other key to be a META key.  Note: Super
and Hyper Keys.

   Emacs believes the terminal has a META key if the variable
`meta-flag' is non-`nil'.  Normally this is set automatically according
to the termcap entry for your terminal type.  However, sometimes the
termcap entry is wrong, and then it is useful to set this variable
yourself.  Note: Variables, for how to do this.

   Note: If you are running under the X window system, the setting of
the `meta-flag' variable is irrelevant.

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