Emacs Characters

Who would have thought that three dots could cause so many problems?

Most of the Aethernet Magazine writers use the ellipsis …

The Guardian Style Guide suggests leaving a space before and after the ellipsis.

In the Aethernet style guide the ellipsis is always followed by a space

“Is it… ?”

“Yes… ”

Preparing texts proves to be an interesting Emacs exercise.

It’s easy to search for three dots … , but there also exists a unicode character …
Now, as everyone knows, Emacs characters are saved as integers. You can insert any character on Emacs by hitting C-q and then the appropriate code in octal, in this case:

C-q 20046       gives …

If you want to enter the codes in denary, evaluate the following: (setq read-quoted-char-radix 10)

Evaluate the above and now…

C-q 8230 gives  …

Better yet, place the code in your .emacs file. Set the value to 16 if you want to quote in hexadecimal.

It’s easy to find a character’s value:

C-x = gives information about a character under the point.

For example, the ellipsis gives

Char: … (8230, #o20046, #x2026, file ...)

There are easier ways to insert non-keyboard characters using C-x 8

C-x 8 ' e prints é
C-x 8 `e prints è
C-x 8 ^ e prints ê
C-x 8 " u prints ü
C-x 8 / / prints ÷
C-x 8 C prints © copyright

The above are just a few examples

C-x 8 C-h to see all characters

If you want to hurry (dépêcher in French) you might get tired of typing C-x 8 all the time. The following allows you to omit the C-x 8 section

M-x set-input-method latin-9-prefix

Okay, what now… ?

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