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You should use Text mode--rather than Fundamental or Lisp mode--to
edit files of text in a human language. Invoke `M-x text-mode' to
enter Text mode. In Text mode, TAB runs the function
`tab-to-tab-stop', which allows you to use arbitrary tab stops set with
`M-x edit-tab-stops' (Note: Tab Stops.). Features concerned with
comments in programs are turned off unless they are explicitly invoked.
The syntax table is changed so that periods are not considered part of a
word, while apostrophes, backspaces and underlines are.
A similar variant mode is Indented Text mode, intended for editing
text in which most lines are indented. This mode defines TAB to run
`indent-relative' (Note: Indentation.), and makes Auto Fill indent
the lines it creates. As a result, a line made by Auto Filling, or by
LFD, is normally indented just like the previous line. Use `M-x
indented-text-mode' to select this mode.
Entering Text mode or Indented Text mode calls the value of the
variable `text-mode-hook' with no arguments, if that value exists and
is not `nil'. This value is also called when modes related to Text
mode are entered; this includes Nroff mode, TeX mode, Outline mode, and
Mail mode. Your hook can look at the value of `major-mode' to see
which of these modes is actually being entered.
Two modes similar to Text mode are of use for editing text that is to
be passed through a text formatter before achieving its final readable
- Nroff Mode
- The major mode for editing input to the formatter nroff.
- TeX Mode
- The major modes for editing input to the formatter TeX.
Another similar mode is used for editing outlines. It allows you
to view the text at various levels of detail. You can view either
the outline headings alone or both headings and text; you can also
hide some of the headings at lower levels from view to make the high
level structure more visible.
- Outline Mode
- The major mode for editing outlines.
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