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30.7 Text Mode

When you edit files of text in a human language, it's more convenient to use Text mode rather than Fundamental mode. To enter Text mode, type M-x text-mode.

In Text mode, only blank lines and page delimiters separate paragraphs. As a result, paragraphs can be indented, and adaptive filling determines what indentation to use when filling a paragraph. See section Adaptive Filling.

Text mode defines <TAB> to run indent-relative (see section Indentation), so that you can conveniently indent a line like the previous line.

Text mode turns off the features concerned with comments except when you explicitly invoke them. It changes the syntax table so that single-quotes are considered part of words. However, if a word starts with single-quotes, these are treated as a prefix for purposes such as capitalization. That is, M-c will convert ‘'hello'’ into ‘'Hello'’, as expected.

If you indent the first lines of paragraphs, then you should use Paragraph-Indent Text mode rather than Text mode. In this mode, you do not need to have blank lines between paragraphs, because the first-line indentation is sufficient to start a paragraph; however paragraphs in which every line is indented are not supported. Use M-x paragraph-indent-text-mode to enter this mode. Use M-x paragraph-indent-minor-mode to enable an equivalent minor mode in situations where you can't change the major mode—in mail composition, for instance.

Text mode, and all the modes based on it, define M-<TAB> as the command ispell-complete-word, which performs completion of the partial word in the buffer before point, using the spelling dictionary as the space of possible words. See section Checking and Correcting Spelling. If your window manager defines M-<TAB> to switch windows, you can type <ESC> <TAB> or C-M-i.

Entering Text mode runs the hook text-mode-hook. Other major modes related to Text mode also run this hook, followed by hooks of their own; this includes Paragraph-Indent Text mode, Nroff mode, TeX mode, Outline mode, and Mail mode. Hook functions on text-mode-hook can look at the value of major-mode to see which of these modes is actually being entered. See section Hooks.

Emacs provides two other modes for editing text that is to be passed through a text formatter to produce fancy formatted printed output. See section Nroff Mode, for editing input to the formatter nroff. See section TeX Mode, for editing input to the formatter TeX.

Another 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. See section Outline Mode.

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