[ESS] keystroke for help

Martin Maechler maechler at stat.math.ethz.ch
Tue Sep 1 17:02:13 CEST 2009

>>>>> "ba" == baptiste auguie <baptiste.auguie at googlemail.com>
>>>>>     on Tue, 1 Sep 2009 14:49:07 +0200 writes:

    ba> Thanks! I'd tried that but sadly it was on a Grid function, and it so
    ba> happens that Grid isn't part of the default help system... I guess custom
    ba> packages can be added to the search path, somehow?

Of course, help is only searched in active packages, not in all
the thousands of packages that may be installed.

    ba> Best regards,

    ba> baptiste

    ba> (still hoping to raise my editing ratio real work vs. ~/.emacs higher than
    ba> unity)


    ba> 2009/9/1 Stephen Eglen <S.J.Eglen at damtp.cam.ac.uk>

    >> baptiste auguie <baptiste.auguie at googlemail.com> wrote:
    >> > Dear all,
    >> >
    >> > Yet again a silly question: how do you obtain help for a given function
    >> > (selected, or simply where the cursor currently sits)? I could use C-c
    >> C-v
    >> > but this requires me to type the word again.
    >> If point (emacs' term for the cursor) is currently on a R function,
    >> e.g. apply, then when you do C-c C-v you should see in the echo area:
    >> Help on (default apply):
    >> so if you hit return, the default is used.
    >> > Also, is there a way to open the help in a new window as opposed to
    >> > masking the buffer I was working on?  I keep having to switch back to
    >> > this one with the mouse and it's annoying (e.g. when I start the R
    >> > process it covers the file i was working with).

"cover"  ???
You should have the help open in another emacs buffer (in the
same frame aka "window"), and you can very quickly switch and
from that , using  C-x o / C-x 1 / C-x 0 / C-x b  etc etc.
*NO* need for the mouse here. There's nothing faster than the

    >> See variable ess-help-own-frame if you want it in a separate frame.

Yes, but that will be even "slower" and more "mouse using".


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