O'Reilly logo

Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition by Bill Rosenblatt, Eric S. Raymond, Marc Loy, James Elliott, Debra Cameron

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Different Kinds of Searches

While you're editing, you frequently want to find something you've already typed. Rather than hunt through the file trying to find what you're looking for, virtually all editors provide some kind of search feature that lets you look for a particular text string. Emacs is no exception to the rule. It supplies a search command—in fact, it provides a dizzying array of search commands. Here's a quick summary of the different kinds of searches that are available:

Simple search

You give Emacs a search string, and it finds the next occurrence. You will find this search in almost any editor.

Incremental search

With incremental search, Emacs starts to search the file as soon as you type the first character of a search string. It continues to search as you type more characters.

Word search

A word search is like a simple search, except that Emacs searches only for full words and phrases. For example, if you are searching for the word hat, you don't have to worry about finding the word that. A word search is also useful when you need to find a phrase that is spread across two lines.

Regular expression search

To search for patterns, you can use a regular expression search. For example, if you wanted to find all instances of B1 and B2, you could search for them using the regular expression B[12]. However, regular expressions can be extremely complex. We'll give a brief introduction to this topic here; it is discussed more fully in Chapter 11.

Incremental regular ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required