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July 23, 2018
1 Aquamacs Emacs: a User-friendly Emacs Distribution 4
1.1 Terminology in this Manual .......................... 5
2 Tutorial: Aquamacs for Beginners 5
2.1 What Makes Aquamacs Like Other Text Editors .............. 5
2.2 What Makes Aquamacs Emacs Different from Other Text Editors .... 5
3 In Depth: The Aquamacs Interface 6
3.1 Tabs and Windows ............................... 7
3.2 Configuring the Toolbars ............................ 7
3.3 File ........................................ 8
3.4 Edit ........................................ 8
3.5 Options ...................................... 8
3.5.1 Line wrapping ............................. 9
3.5.2 Using the Options key and more... .................. 10
3.5.3 Languages of the World - Dealing with Different Character Sets . 10
3.5.4 The Right Look: Colors and Fonts for Frames and Modes . . . . . 10
3.6 Window ..................................... 11
3.7 Tools ....................................... 11
3.8 Help ....................................... 12
4 Aquamacs for Emacs Veterans 12
4.1 Bringing some Emacs 24 behavior back ................... 12
4.2 Key Bindings .................................. 12
4.3 Customizing Aquamacs ............................ 12
4.4 L
EX Support .................................. 16
4.4.1 Skim: A L
EX Previewer ........................ 16
4.5 Command Line Tools .............................. 17
4.6 Vanilla Emacs Mode .............................. 18
5 Requirements 18
6 Extending Aquamacs 18
6.1 Plug-in Interface ................................. 18
6.2 Load path .................................... 18
6.3 Disabling a plug-in or a load-path ...................... 19
6.4 Startup files ................................... 19
6.5 Changing Aquamacs source files ....................... 20
7 Getting Help 20
8 Aquamacs lives from your donations 21
9 Contribute to Aquamacs – Join the Fun! 21
10 Acknowledgments 21
11 Nightly Development Builds 22
12 Obtaining the Source Code 22
13 Licenses 22
14 Aquamacs Emacs: What’s New in This Release 24
14.1 Changes— 3.4 .................................. 24
14.2 Changes— 3.3 .................................. 24
14.3 Changes— 3.2 .................................. 26
14.4 Changes— 3.1a ................................. 26
14.5 Changes— 3.0 .................................. 28
14.6 Changes— 2.x .................................. 29
14.7 Changes— 2.5 .................................. 29
14.8 Changes— 2.4 .................................. 31
14.9 Changes— 2.3 .................................. 31
14.10Changes— 2.2 .................................. 32
14.11Changes— 2.1 .................................. 34
14.12Changes— 2.0 .................................. 35
14.13Changes— 1.9 .................................. 39
14.14Changes— 1.8c ................................. 40
14.15Changes— 1.7 .................................. 41
14.16Changes— 1.6 .................................. 43
14.17Changes—1.5 .................................. 48
14.18Changes—1.4 .................................. 51
14.19Changes—1.3b .................................. 54
14.20Changes—1.2 .................................. 55
14.21Changes—1.1 .................................. 57
14.22Changes—1.0b .................................. 57
14.23Changes—0.9.9d ................................. 61
14.24Changes—0.9.9c ................................. 62
14.25Changes—0.9.9b ................................. 62
14.26Changes—0.9.9a ................................. 62
14.27Changes—0.9.8 ................................. 65
14.28Changes—0.9.7 ................................. 66
14.29Changes—0.9.6 ................................. 70
14.30Interface/Usability Improvements—0.9.5 .................. 71
14.31New and Updated Major Modes—0.9.5 ................... 72
14.32Bug Fixes—0.9.5 ................................. 72
14.33Bug Fixes—0.9.4 ................................. 73
14.34Bug Fixes—0.9.3a and 0.9.3b .......................... 74
14.35Bug Fixes, Features and Changes—0.9.3 ................... 74
Figure 1: Aquamacs combines the legendary power of Emacs with user-friendly cus-
tomizations to provide a more Aqua-specific user experience.
1 Aquamacs Emacs: a User-friendly Emacs Distribution
Aquamacs is an freely-available Aqua-native build of the powerful Emacs text editor
( By “Aqua-native,” we
mean more than just the fact that this version of Emacs runs as a standard OS X ap-
plication. Aquamacs features extensive customization that enables it to conform better
with Apple’s standard Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) than standard versions of
the editor do.
Emacs is a text editor of legendary power and configurability, but it also has an
enormously complex interface that, while consistent across platforms, is usually at
odds with the specific interface conventions of the particular platform on which it is
being used. The original GNU version of Emacs for the Mac, called Carbon Emacs, is
no different.
Aquamacs Emacs implements the standard OS X keyboard shortcuts and other
interface conventions, integrating Emacs into the Aqua environment to a far greater
degree than other versions of Emacs. This allows Mac users who might be unfamiliar
with Emacs’ complex standard interface to harness its amazing editing power in a
familiar way.
You can always download the latest version of Aquamacs from the project home
page, Just download the disk image (DMG), move the
Aquamacs application bundle to your hard drive, and launch.
This documentation aims to introduce Aquamacs to novice users of Aquamacs
Emacs, to help them get started with this powerful text editor. The documentation also
aims to introduce Aquamacs to experienced users of Emacs, who may find aspects of
its interface inconsistent with their experience.
The Aquamacs documentation will focus on the following areas:
What’s New in this Release
Tutorial: Aquamacs for Beginners
In-Depth: The Aquamacs Interface
Aquamacs for Emacs Veterans
Our hope is that using Aquamacs will be a rewarding experience both for new
users, who come to appreciate the power of Emacs without the steep learning curve,
and for experienced Emacs users, who may find Emacs’ integration into the Aqua en-
vironment an unexpectedly pleasant surprise.
1.1 Terminology in this Manual
GNU Emacs uses a terminology that is different from what users of modern, graphical
environments are used to. Windows become frames, and documents are held in buffers.
We will concentrate on the Emacs terminology in this manual in places where this is
not confusing.
Aquamacs Emacs is an extensive distribution of GNU Emacs with modified defaults
– almost up to the point where it could be called a fork - a completely new program.
However, Aquamacs always contains the latest version of GNU Emacs. It is useful
to understand the relationship between Emacs and Aquamacs. In this manual, we
will use the term Emacs to refer to the core which is used on many different operating
systems and built and distributed by the GNU Project. We will use the term Aquamacs
Emacs (or just Aquamacs) to refer to the present implementation.
2 Tutorial: Aquamacs for Beginners
2.1 What Makes Aquamacs Like Other Text Editors
When you first launch Aquamacs, you will see that it is like many other text editors:
you can type text, cut and paste text, and save and close a file using the menubar
or standard OS X keyboard shortcuts (Command-S for save, Command-X for cut,
Command-V for paste, and so on). If you are writing one of the many text formats
that is supported by Aquamacs, such as HTML, you will also note Aquamacs’ use of
syntax coloring, which sets certain parts of the text—such as HTML markup—in a dif-
ferent color than the text content. This makes editing the text and adjusting the markup
If you are used to the way Emacs does things, you may be surprised about how
Aquamacs works: Aquamacs differs significantly from Emacs. While the useful Emacs
key bindings are supported and Emacs packages usually just work, Aquamacs is adapted
to be comparable to younger text editors (than Emacs). It also comes with a range of
packages that give you greater comfort in editing certain types of files.
2.2 What Makes Aquamacs Emacs Different from Other Text Editors
If you look at some of the menu items and keyboard shortcuts, you will see some of
the features that make Emacs different from other text editors. Although Aquamacs
OS X Term Emacs Term
Window Frame
Tab/pane Window
Document Buffer
Cursor Point
Mouse pointer Pointer
Keyboard shortcut Key (binding)
Table 1: Key Emacs terms and their Apple counterparts.
has been designed to present many of these features in an Aqua-friendly way, it does
not hide these features. Aquamacs is a complete editing environment.
Sophisticated text processing. Aquamacs features text editing capabilities that
go far beyond the average text editor. For instance, Aquamacs features several
kinds of search and replace: it can replace text incrementally, it can search and
replace text by complex patterns of characters (regular expressions) and not just
by word matching, and so on. Aquamacs also features support for virtually every
kind of text file imaginable: computer code such as C/C++, HTML, L
and other formats.
Buffers. One of the features that makes Emacs such a productive editing envi-
ronment for experienced users is the concept of buffers. A buffer is, simply said,
a document that is being edited. It can be displayed in any window, and you
can even display a buffer twice. But buffers don’t just hold text files. They can
hold messages from a program that’s running, they can be shown in a window
that you can use to actually send commands that Aquamacs executes, and other
functions. The Buffers menu in Aquamacs Emacs allows you to switch quickly
between windows, to send execute or preview the code you are writing with a
couple of keystrokes, and to monitor logs of commands you are executing.
Integration with additional tools. Aquamacs’ “Tools” menu provides access to
file comparison and version control, compiling and debugging of program code,
the ability to read e-mail and newsgroups, and more.
In addition to its large number of features, Aquamacs also defines some interface
terms differently than other OS X applications. See Table 1for more information.
This list provides just a small sample of the functionality available in Emacs. Aqua-
macs’ customizations make Emacs much easier to learn; it is possible to get started and
become productive quickly. However, harnessing all of Emacs’ power, even with as-
sistance from the familiar Aqua user interface, will take time.
3 In Depth: The Aquamacs Interface
In this section, we will walk through the Aquamacs interface step by step, and will
introduce relevant points about how Aquamacs Emacs solves particular editing prob-
lems in a distinctive way. We will specifically emphasize the functions that Aquamacs
offers as opposed to GNU Emacs, which readers might be familiar with anyways.
3.1 Tabs and Windows
Aquamacs has an optional tabbed interface for organizing multiple open buffers. A tab
is a GUI handle for a particular buffer. If you have “Show Tabs” checked in the Options
menu, then each displayed buffer and any buffers that are subsequently created will
be associated with a tab in the tab bar, just above the text area. (Note that the tab bar is
hidden whenever it would display only a single tab. You may want to turn off “Show
Buffers in New Frames” in the Options menu, in order to get full benefit from tabs.)
If the tab bar cannot display all tabs at once, scroll bars appear to allow you to choose
the displayed subset of tabs. Additional tab-related functions are available from the
Window menu and from the tab bar’s context menu.
Tabs in Aquamacs do not act like containers – one can’t open a file in an existing tab.
(This is in contrast to tab implementation in a number of popular internet browsers.)
Rather, tabs provide a convenient way to navigate existing buffers. Because Emacs
allows you to simultaneously display the same file in multiple windows or frames, it
is possible to have multiple tabs (in different windows) that are associated with the
same buffer.
To access tabs quickly, the key commands A-M-0,1,2 through 9 may be used; A-M-1
(normally: Command-Option-1) will select the first, leftmost tab in the window.1
Note that Tab functionality may be impaired in modes that use the Emacs Header
Line. This includes the Buffer List (C-x C-b) and psvn.
A related option lets Aquamacs open new buffers in their own, extra frames. The
option may be combined with Tabs, when you want to create tabs manually (Command-
T), but visit new files in separate windows. Normally, we would not recommend to
combine the two options.
Note that when tabs are switched on, or when buffers are shown in new frames,
then closing a window has a different implication: it will remove the buffer from mem-
ory (in Emacs terminology, it will kill the buffer). In case there are unsaved modifica-
tions, you will be asked whether you’d like to save them. If neither tabs nor “Show
Buffers in New Frames” is on, then closing a window using Command-W, or closing a
whole frame with the red closer button has no such implication. The buffer remains in
memory and is available from the Window menu. It is not automatically saved.
3.2 Configuring the Toolbars
The easiest way to set up icons in the toolbars is to right click on the toolbar that you’d
like to customize and select Customize Toolbar.... This will show a panel with all avail-
able icons. Drag and drop those into the toolbar.
Note that if a mode provides its own set of icons or additional icons, Aquamacs
will store a separate configuration for that toolbar. This way, you can set up toolbars
for different tasks. (Note that if modes, perhaps after an upgrade, add or remove icons,
Aquamacs will adopt a new customization set for the toolbar.)
Click on the button in the top right corner of the frame to remove the toolbar com-
pletely. Use the menu items Options / Appearance / Adopt Face and Frame Parameters as
Default and Options / Save Options to make this change stick.
1Use the function ‘tabbar-define-access-keys’ to configure the keys in your Preferences.el file.
3.3 File
The File menu includes basic operations for opening, closing, and printing files. Open-
ing and saving files uses standard Mac keyboard shortcuts (Command-O, Command-
S), and uses standard Aqua dialog boxes.
You can create a new buffer: Aquamacs allows you to choose from a list of recently
and commonly used editing modes. A similar function lets you change the current
editing mode.
You can also open a directory. When called by mouse from the menubar, this brings
up a standard Aqua dialog box. When called up with a keyboard command (C-x d),
it brings up a directory name in the “minibuffer” (small space for commands at the
bottom of the main window, or frame).
Printing is fully supported, although no “Page Setup” option is available at this
point. You will see a print screen (in the system’s from where you can
select a printer and the usual options. This may take a few seconds to appear with very
large buffers. (Printing of embedded images such in LaTeX Preview mode is currently
not supported.)
You may export your buffer to PDF or to HTML format. This operation preserves
all the formatting, including any word-wrapping - so you may want to choose a font
and resize the frame so that the lines are wrapped in the intended way (if Soft Wrap-
ping is used).
The paper size for printing and PDF export can be configured by customizing the
variable ‘ps-paper-type’ (use Options / Customize Aquamacs / Specific Option).
3.4 Edit
The Edit menu is the heart of Aquamacs’ textual wizardry. Aquamacs supports all
customary editing functions, such as cut, copy, paste, and simple search and replace.
In Aquamacs these basic functions are supported by standard Aqua keyboard short-
cuts. There is a great deal more functionality, however, than the average text editor.
For instance, Aquamacs Emacs allows you to go to a specific line number in the file
you are editing, to the top or bottom of the buffer, and so on. It also supports searches
with regular expressions, which are sophisticated text patterns that go beyond simply
matching a specific set of characters (or “string”). Aquamacs Emacs also stores more
than twenty of the most recently-copied items on the clipboard, and these are acces-
sible from the menu in case you need to paste these items again. The Edit menu also
supports “bookmarks,” a feature that allows you to save your place in a specific file.
Aquamacs lets you spell-check your texts, either while typing (‘flyspell-mode’) or
for the whole buffer with an interactive interface (‘ispell’).
3.5 Options
The Options menu is where you can easily customize your settings. The options that
you can configure include syntax coloring, matching of parentheses (useful for text
markup that depends on open and close brackets), how to display buffers and frames,
fonts, and other settings. For more information on fonts, please see Section 3.5.4.
If you want to delve deeply into customizing Aquamacs, select “Customize Emacs:Top-
Level Customization Group” in the Options menu. A new frame titled “Customize
Group: Emacs” will open. Scroll down and find the “Aquamacs Group” listing, and
push the “Go to Group” button. This will open a new frame with all of the configu-
ration options for Aquamacs —power users can customize Aquamacs this way, or via
the Emacs Lisp programming language, elisp—and each option is documented there.
Table 4displays a complete list of the options.
3.5.1 Line wrapping
Text is usually shown and read line by line. Several lines commonly form a paragraph.
However, text is not necessarily stored this way in a file: sometimes, a line stored in a
file is much wider than what would fit on a computer screen, and is really a paragraph.
This makes sense: authors of documents do not know how wide the reader’s computer
screen is, or how wide the window is going to be that is used to read and edit the text.
Aquamacs supports this mode of editing with word wrapping: lines are wrapped at
word boundaries. This way, a buffer line is displayed as a paragraph (several visual
lines) on the screen. In Aquamacs, this mode of operation is called word wrap and
is available from the Options menu. Internally, word wrapping enables Visual Line
What’s the alternative? Hard line breaking means that one line shown on the
screen corresponds to one line in the buffer and file. This means that even if a window
is resized, the lines still stay the same, and word wrap will occur in the same place on
every machine that displays the file. Line Breaking, called Auto Fill in classical Emacs,
changes the actual buffer and file contents, unlike all the other options discussed here.
Long lines can also be truncated (cut off) or be continued (wrap) on the next line.
Line wrapping can be set to Truncate, Wrap, Word Wrap and Line Breaking (auto
fill) under Options / Line Wrapping for the current buffer. A Set as Default will set it as
default for all buffers that have no explicit line wrap setting.
Note that Word Wrapping (‘visual-line-mode’) affects the function of the cursor
movement keys (arrows, and C-a, C-e, C-p and C-n). In Aquamacs, this can be easily
customized. The default is as such:
In Word Wrapping (visual-line-mode), C-aenp and arrow keys move according
to visual lines.
Without Word Wrapping (visual-line-mode off), arrow keys move visually, but C-
aenp move non-visually according to buffer lines as in Emacs 22 and Aquamacs
You may configure this behavior via the ‘line-move-visual’ customization variable. Set
it to tfor unconditional visual movement of all keys, and nil for unconditional logical
(buffer) movement of all keys.
Aquamacs allows you to automatically set the right type of line wrapping for text
files using the “Detect Line Wrap in Text Files” function. (You can control the default,
e.g., for new files, by setting ‘auto-word-wrap-default-function’ to ‘set-word-wrap’ us-
ing Options / Customize Aquamacs / Specific Option.)
A useful function to convert hard wrapped text into soft wrapped text can be found
in the Edit menu: Remove Hard Line Breaks will turn (non-indented!) paragraphs into
soft-wrapped lines (turn on soft wrapping to see).
2Earlier Emacs versions provided ‘longlines-mode’, which is similar, but is unreliable and deprecated.
Similarly, to manually reformat text that is laid out line by line, using hard line
wraps, use Wrap and Re-Format. Emacs terminology calls this process filling.
3.5.2 Using the Options key and more...
The keyboard has always been the essential user interface to Emacs - it’s what makes
Emacs so efficient as an editor for daily tasks. There are keyboard bindings for pretty
much every task. Many bindings involve pressing the “Meta” modifier key - it’s a
key just like Control or Shift, which all go together with another (normal) key. “Meta”
has only really existed on Unix keyboards long time ago – nowadays, computers have
other keys instead. Therefore, you will need to press another key on your Macintosh
keyboard. By default, this is the Option key, but you can use the ESC key instead (in this
case, you may press ESC first, then the rest of the keys).
Inputting characters with the Option key on non-English keyboards. In most non-
English keyboard layouts, the Option key also serves to input characters such as {or
\or @. Using Option as Meta would inhibit you from inputting those characters. You
have three options to get around this. Either, you deselect “Option Key for Meta” in
the Options menu (under “Option Key”), in which case you will have to use ESC for
Meta, or you toggle back and forth between the modes using Command-;, or you use
Option for Meta, but enable one of the emulation modes provided in the same menu
under “Option Key”. For those keyboard layouts supported, this option is the most
convenient. The emulation will allow you to input all common characters with the
Option key, while using Option for Meta in general.
Alternatively, Aquamacs allows you to use another modifier key – such as the Func-
tion key on laptops. The customization group “Aquamacs” contains appropriate set-
tings, reachable via the menu items in Options / Customize Emacs.
3.5.3 Languages of the World - Dealing with Different Character Sets
Computer keyboards were designed to input text in languages with a small character
set. Aquamacs Emacs lets you use your keyboard with a variety of input methods in
order to input text in languages with many characters, among them Asian languages.
By default, Aquamacs uses the standard Mac user interface to input characters,
called “System Input Method”.
The Multilingual Environment, present in GNU Emacs, provides a number of pre-
defined input methods. Aquamacs Emacs extends this: On Mac OS X, because of the
particular ways of user interface and unicode handling, these standard Emacs lan-
guage environments are not enough to read and write some international languages.
One needs to set additional parameters, especially, the language specific coding sys-
You can find these new language environments (Korean, Japanese, Chinese-GB and
Chinese-BIG5) – among other ones – under ”Aquamacs Multilingual Environment”.
3.5.4 The Right Look: Colors and Fonts for Frames and Modes
Aquamacs allows you to alter specific features of the current frame via functions in the
Options menu. “Font for *-mode...” lets you choose from the installed system fonts.
You can also choose foreground and background colors. These settings only apply
to buffers in the current major mode, provided Autofaces is turned on (as is by default).
Without Autofaces, the settings apply to all frames and set the frame default.
With Autofaces, Aquamacs Emacs lets you pick a style specific to the current mode.
For example, you can use different font settings when you are editing C or LaTeX, then
when you are editing a text file. Note that all settings not sepcified for the mode are
taken over from the default. Specifically, color and font choices are prioritized in this
order: 1. Mode-specific face, 2. Autoface Default Face, 3. Frame default.
You can use “Adopt Frame Parameters as Frame Default” to accept the appearance
of the current frame for future frames; this includes the visibility of the tool bar, fringes,
and more (but not position and size).
If you’re more of an Emacs expert and you’d like to configure things manually by
means of elisp or the customization buffer, configure the following faces. With Auto-
faces, you can customize the faces directly (via M-x customize-face). The face name for
a major mode is always named after the major mode, e.g. “latex-mode-default” is the
autoface face for ‘latex-mode’. The Autoface default face is named ‘autoface-default’.
The default for all frames is the ‘default’ face.
You can also customize the variables for the frame default: “default-frame-alist”
and “initial-frame-alist”, as documented in the Emacs manual. You can, alternatively,
use “Adopt Frame Parameters as Frame Default” to accept the appearance of the cur-
rent frame for future frames; this includes the visibility of the tool bar.
3.6 Window
The Window menu allows you to navigate through the windows and frames that you
may have open. Note that a “buffer” is not synonymous with a window or frame, in
that you can split a frame and have more than one buffer contained within. (Multiple
windows/frames is a feature of Aquamacs; standard Emacs does not support this.) In
addition to standard frames that display open files, there are a few other important
buffer types. One is the “scratch” buffer, which is simply a buffer to type notes into;
this can also be the starting point for a file to save, and a buffer to type configuration
commands for Aquamacs (an advanced feature). Another is the “Messages” buffer,
which displays a log of output from Emacs commands and operations. Finally, there is
the “info” buffer, in which Aquamacs Emacs displays built-in user help, tutorials and
other documentation in Emacs’ “info” format.
From the Window menu, you can also open a new “frame,”, or split the open win-
dow into two separate ones. There are keyboard shortcuts for all of these commands.
3.7 Tools
The Tools menu provides access to a variety of functions, including integration with
version control systems, running shell commands, searching external files for text,
and compiling and debugging software code. The Tools menu also provides access
to newsgroups and e-mail.3
3The functionality provided in the Tools menu is, to say the least, diverse, and is part of the attraction
of Emacs for a large number of users—particularly advanced users. It is not necessary to use Aquamacs
as an e-mail client to appreciate its considerable power and utility, however.
3.8 Help
The Help menu contains a wealth of information about Aquamacs Emacs and GNU
Emacs. Except for the help provided in this document, Aquamacs’ Help menu also
provides documentation of the Mac-specific customizations with the present User Man-
ual. The general Emacs user help is comprehensive and detailed to the point of pos-
sibly overwhelming the inexperienced user. The beginner should definitely start with
the Emacs tutorial contained in the Help menu. While geared toward the traditional
Emacs interface instead of the OS X Aquamacs version, the tutorial is a good intro-
duction to Emacs’ unique capabilities. And, as you gain more experience, you will
appreciate the depth of the Emacs documentation.
4 Aquamacs for Emacs Veterans
While experienced users of Emacs on other platforms can continue to use all the key
combinations to which they are accustomed, we recommend that they use the Aquamacs-
specific conventions to get the most benefit from the applications. Many of the stan-
dard Emacs behaviors and interface conventions have been modified in Aquamacs in
the interest of providing a more Aqua-native experience. In this section, we discuss
some of the ways that Emacs conventions are mapped to Aqua conventions, and out-
line some advanced ways that users can modify Aquamacs to their specific preferences.
4.1 Bringing some Emacs 24 behavior back
Expert users who find themselves confused by some changes to the Emacs behavior
that they are used to, either due to the upgrade to Emacs 24, or to Aquamacs, may undo
configuration changes quickly by using the Emacs Lisp code shown at http://www. in their Pref-
erences.el file.
4.2 Key Bindings
Emacs has a well-defined set of keyboard shortcuts, to which Aquamacs adds its own
to accomodate OS X conventions. See Table 2and Table 3for details. Note that the
descriptions of keys in Aquamacs conform to the Mac standards.
Almost all key bindings are provided by a minor mode, osx-key-mode. This mode
can be turned off. Bindings may also be removed or overriden in its key map, osx-key-
mode-map (note: Emacs minor mode key bindings have priority compared to global
Modifier keys may be adjusted using the ‘ns-...-modifier’ customization variables,
such as ‘ns-alternate-modifier’, or ‘ns-right-command-modifier’.
4.3 Customizing Aquamacs
One of the distinguishing features of Emacs is the degree to which it can be customized
by the end user. Emacs includes its own internal scripting language, elisp, which al-
lows the user to customize such things as keyboard shortcuts, window settings, fonts,
Shortcut Elisp Command Function
Command-N new-frame-with Create new buffer
Command-O find-file Open a file
Command-W close-window Close selected window
deleting buffer
Command-Shift-S write-file Save as
Command-A mark-whole-buffer Select all text
Command-V cua-paste (yank) Paste text
Command-C clipboard-kill-ring-save Copy text
Command-Option-C aquamacs-clipboard-kill- Copy text from secondary selection
Command-X clipboard-kill-region Cut text
Command-Option-X aquamacs-clipboard- Cut text from secondary selection
Command-S save-buffer Save file
Command-L goto-line Go to specified line
Command-F isearch-forward Search
Command-G isearch-repeat-forward Repeat search
Command-E aquamacs-use-selection-for-find Use selected text for next search
Command-; spellcheck-now Jump to next spelling error
Command-M iconify-or-deiconify- Minimize window
frame to the Dock
Command-. keyboard-quit) Keyboard quit
Command-, customize Show Customization Buffer
Control-; toggle-mac-option- Change Option key function
Command- / / ’ (un)comment-region-or-line Comment out or in the
current line or region if marked
Command-Backspace kill-whole-visual-line Deletes the current line
Command-Delete kill-visual-line Deletes the remainder of the
current line
Command-Q aquamacs-save-buffers-kill-emacs Save file, exit program
Command-Z undo Undo
Command-Shift-Z redo Redo
Mouse-drag select text
Option-Mouse-drag select text as secondary selection
Table 2: Mac-specific keyboard shortcuts implemented in Aquamacs. This assumes
that the “Option Key is Meta” (Options menu). Commands named here are usually
the traditional Emacs commands rather than direct bindings.
Emacs Command Key Aquamacs / Mac Command Key
C-* Control-*
A-* Command-*
M-* Option-*4(or Esc)
Table 3: Aqua-specific command keys implemented in Aquamacs.
and more. The Aquamacs customizations themselves are implemented in elisp.5
We recommend that user customizations be placed in Preferences.el in the
Library folder (see Section 6.2). The usual /.emacs file is still loaded for compati-
Note that Emacs Lisp settings in a Preference.el file take priority over any other
defined customizations such as those chosen in the Options menu, in customization
buffers (Aquamacs / Preferences and elsewhere), or /.emacs.
Below are some specific customization options and groups that may be of interest:
Frame. Aquamacs opens new files (and other buffers) in new frames. That is
usually more convenient and allows you to use the graphical user interface of
today’s computers, which did not exist when Emacs was conceived almost three
decades ago. If you do not like this behavior, perhaps because you are used
to traditional Emacs, just deselect “Display Buffers in Separate Frames” in the
Options menu and save your choice with “Save Options.” (The associated global
minor mode is called “one-buffer-one-frame-mode”.)
Autofaces. These styles provide a convenient way to tie default faces to specific
major modes so that every frame showing a buffer in a particular major mode
is styled that way. Such faces can determine background and foreground color
as well as font settings. Such settings always override any global choices made
with, for instance, ‘default-frame-alist’ or the ‘default’ face. The autofaces may
be customized (‘customize-face’) directly or set through the GUI. Note that these
faces apply per buffer.
ns-alternate-modifier. This is the modifier to use for the Mac alt/option key. The
value can be alt, hyper, or super for the respective modifier. If the value is nil
then the key will act as the normal Mac option modifier, and the option key can
be used to compose characters depending on the chosen Mac keyboard setting.
Additional customization. Of course, Aquamacs Emacs offers you almost all
the customization possibilities that Emacs has. Under “Customize Emacs,” you
will find a sub-menu that allows you to browse the vast space of customization
settings. Beware: some of them are complex and not easy to understand. If
you would like to tinker with some general Aquamacs-specific behavior, you can
customize the group “Aquamacs.”
The Scratch Buffer
5The Aquamacs customizations are stored in elisp files in the application bundle. It is possible to
modify these files directly, but we discourage this practice and provide no support for it.
Aquamacs Set Creator Codes After Writing Files
Aquamacs Quick Yes Or No Prompt
Aquamacs Ring Bell On Error
Aquamacs Known Major Mode
Aquamacs Default Styles
Aquamacs Buffer Specific Frame Styles
Aquamacs Auto Frame Parameters Flag
One Buffer One Frame Mode
Tabbar Mode
Smart Frame Positioning Mode
Mac Option Modifier
Mac Control Modifier
Mac Command Modifier
Mac Function Modifier
Aquamacs Known Buffer Modes
OS X Key Mode
OS X Key Mode Mouse-3 Behavior
Visual Scroll Margin
Emulate Mac ... Keyboard Mode
Table 4: Selection of Aquamacs-specific variables that can be customized in the Aqua-
macs customization group.
As mentioned above, the Aquamacs scratch buffer is simply a buffer into which
notes can be typed. For this reason, the scratch buffer is opened in text mode, as
opposed to lisp interaction mode (the default mode for the plain GNU Emacs).
Customize ‘initial-major-mode’ (and restart) to change this. In Aquamacs, the
scratch buffer is automatically retained between sessions. It can also be saved
using the normal save commands; you are free to save its contents to another
Want some GNU Emacs 24 behavior back? In most cases that represents no
problem. Aquamacs provides a customization group called “Aquamacs-is-more-
than-Emacs” which contains all the settings whose default values differ from
the ones in GNU Emacs (24) or the appropriate package. We recommend that
you tinker with these one at a time and check their (often wider-than-you-think-
reaching, sometimes detrimental) effects.
Also, see Table 4for a partial list of such settings.
The range of possible customizations—including restoring some of Emacs’ tradi-
tional interface conventions—is beyond the scope of this help document. However, we
provide a wiki for users to share their modifications. See http://www.emacswiki.
org/emacs/AquamacsEmacs for more details.
Figure 2: Aquamacs offers extensive support for L
EX documents and can be combined
with viewer applications such as Skim and bibliographic databases such as BibDesk.
4.4 L
X Support
One special feature of Aquamacs is its extensive support for the editing of L
especially Emacs’ AUCT
EX mode.
AUCTeX comes with its own manual, accessible via the LaTeX menu (when in latex
mode after loading a .tex file), “Read the AUCTeX manual”. If you have a question,
please consult the manual. If that doesn’t work, or you suspect you’ve found a bug
in AUCTeX, please turn to the AUCTeX mailing lists, accessible here: http://www.
To access the enhanced L
EX functionality that Aquamacs offers, you will need
to install a LaTeX system. We recommend to install the MacTeX distribution, avail-
able at Alternatively, you can install a smaller
distribution provided by Gerben Wierda ( Both in-
stall packages are complete and user-friendly. (While you can obtain T
EX from other
sources, the binary distributions are particularly well supported in Aquamacs.)
Note that AUCTeX, as it comes with Aquamacs, is configured to compile docu-
ments directly to PDF, a standard on the Mac. If you prefer to produce DVI and
Postscript documents with LaTeX, switch off PDF Mode in Command / TeXing Op-
4.4.1 Skim: A L
X Previewer
When editing L
EXfiles, you will often need to view the compiled results. Apple’s can view PDF files. But for regular use you may prefer a program like
Skim which has features specifically supporting L
EXediting. Skim is available here: . Skim can automatically reload PDFs ev-
ery time they are recompiled. It also includes a configuration preset to allow it to
jump back and forth between Aquamacs and Skim, showing the documents at the
corrsponding locations. An up-to-date LaTeX distribution such as MacTeX 2009 is re-
quired to use the “SyncTeX” feature.
Clicking on a position in the PDF file in Skim while holding the Command and
Shift keys causes Aquamacs to move your cursor to the corresponding point in the
underlying source file, opening it if necessary. To enable Skim with SyncTeX, enable
Aquamacs in Skim’s Preferences dialog. Aquamacs does not need to be configured
further – it should recognize Skim when it is running (you need to start it yourself).
If you want to be able to start Skim from inside Aquamacs, do the following.
Having opened a Latex buffer in Aquamacs, go “Menu>Latex>Customize Auc-
tex” and then click on ”Extend this Menu.” Then, once more, go “Menu>Latex>Cust-
omize Auctex.” In the list of items you see now, drag the mouse to ”Tex Command,” in
the list you see then, drag it to ”Tex View”, and in the list which finally opens, click on
”Tex View Program Selection.” You now have a customization buffer opened. There,
you see a line which contains the words ”output-pdf.” In the line below that line, you
see the word ”Viewer.” To the right of it, there is a button ”Value Menu.” Click on it,
and choose ”Skim” in the list that pops up.
Finally, before you close the customization buffer, do not forget to click on the but-
ton ”State” and, in the list then popping up, to click on ”Save for Further Sessions”.
That’s all.
Now you can use the view icon in the toolbar, or the key combination C-c C-v, or
“Menu>Command>View” to open Skim with your pdf-output file.
Furthermore, things are configured so that these three ways to call Skim also yield
syncing from source to pdf-output. Syncing from source to pdf-output can also be
obtained by clicking on a position in your source-file while holding the Command and
Shift keys.
(If you had not rejected Apple’s default in the installation of Leopard or Snow Leop-
ard to put X11 on your system, you may also consider to choose xdvi for ”output-dvi.”)
4.5 Command Line Tools
Aquamacs can install command line tools. Run M-x aquamacs-install-command-line-
tool, or choose Install Command Line Tools from the Tools menu. The following com-
mands will be made available from a terminal running the system’s default login shell:
aquamacs: This tool will start up a new Aquamacs or run an existing one. (If
multiple application bundles are present in the system, unex-
pected behavior may occur. This is a OSX limitation.) You may give arguments
to the tool and use it as EDITOR setting.
emacsclient: This is a tool standard to every GNU Emacs distribution. It will
open a file or execute arbitrary commands in a running Emacs/Aquamacs in-
stance. (Aquamacs automatically starts the associated server so that you do not
need to call M-x server-start.)
emacs: This tool is installed only if direct install is possible by Aquamacs into
/usr/local/bin, on Mac OSX 10.11 or later. Emacs will start up vanilla mode
Aquamacs directly in the text terminal, with no Aquamacs customizations, em-
ulating GNU Emacs. This allows you to run a late-version Emacs with your
system, without the need for installing another package.
4.6 Vanilla Emacs Mode
Aquamacs may be run in vanilla Emacs mode. This will disable most Aquamacs cus-
tomizations and prevent loading of included packages. Aquamacs will be most similar
to GNU Emacs. The mode is intended primarily for terminal use.
To enable the mode, start the Aquamacs process from a terminal, with the --no-site-file
The mode is also enabled by the command line tool emacs.
5 Requirements
Aquamacs requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later. The downloadable Aquamacs runs on all
modern Macs with 64-bit capable Intel processors. Versions for older Macs (32-bit Intel,
PPC) may be compiled by the end user.
6 Extending Aquamacs
Aquamacs supports Plugins that can be packaged to provide point-and-click installers
(via Apple’s PackageMaker). The interface is simple. Adding standard Emacs pack-
ages is easy as well.
6.1 Plug-in Interface
All files named site-start.el anywhere in the load-path are loaded at startup, before the
user’s init files are loaded. For example, such a file may be placed in the user’s Library
folder, that is in
/Library/Application Support/Aquamacs Emacs/myPlugin.
The load-path is automatically extended to cover all subdirectories in standard
paths (see Section 6.2).
If a plug-in needs to execute code earlier in the initialization phase, that is, before
any Aquamacs- specific code is executed (but after Emacs initilization code has been
executed), this code can be provided in a file site-prestart.el anywhere in the load-path.
Info files (M-x info) can be provided in a directory called info inside the plugin
directory. Aquamacs will automatically add this path to ‘Info-default-directory-list’.
Plugins should provide a dir file inside the info directory containing an overview
(see the Emacs documentation for ‘info’).
Note that plug-ins should not make any assumptions about whether a frame exists
or is visible.
6.2 Load path
Aquamacs is able to find configuration files and Emacs packages from any of the fol-
lowing standard locations (load-path) in Library folders.
/Library/Application Support/Aquamacs Emacs/
/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/
The following paths are available in the load-path for individual preference settings.
They should not be used if you distribute a point-and-click installer package.
/Library/Application Support/Aquamacs Emacs/
/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/
All subsequent directories are added recursively, so Aquamacs will find any path
that starts below. Type C-h v load-path for more information.6
6.3 Disabling a plug-in or a load-path
If an (emtpy) file named .nosearch exists in a specific path, Aquamacs does not load any
site-start and site-prestart source files in this or descending paths and does not add that
or subsequent paths to the load-path.
6.4 Startup files
In short, most settings are stored in these files:
/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/Preferences.el
/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/customizations.el
[Automatically written when you ”Save Options”]
There are further source files that will be loaded. So, the complete answer is as
At startup, Aquamacs will load this file:
At startup, by default it will load the following files at startup:
/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/customizations.el
/Library/Application Support/Emacs/Preferences.el
[deprecated: don’t use!]
6The following paths are loaded for backward compatibility reasons:
/Library/Application Support/Emacs/
. Do not use these paths.
/Library/Application Support/Aquamacs Emacs/Preferences.el
/Library/Application Support/Emacs/Preferences.el
[deprecated: don’t use!]
/Library/Application Support/Aquamacs Emacs/Preferences.el
The location of the first customizations file is given by the ‘custom-file’ variable.
Aquamacs will also automatically load all files names site-start.el in the load
path list, which includes the above paths.
Note that Emacs (including Aquamacs) will preferentially load a foo.elc file if
present, in lieu of a foo.el file, even if the .el file is newer.
To trouble-shoot your own customizations, first start Aquamacs ”without customiza-
tions”, which you can do via a function found in the menu ”Help/Diagnose and Re-
port Bug”.
6.5 Changing Aquamacs source files
If you’d like to tinker with the Emacs lisp source files that come with Aquamacs, you
can do so quite easily. When defining a new function or, more generally, to evaluate an
expression, C-x C-e is your friend.
However, you may notice that some of your changes aren’t active after you’ve
saved your work (into the Aquamacs application bundle) and restart. That is because
some of the code is precompiled into the Aquamacs binary and not loaded from the
source (or .elc / .el.gz) files. To alleviate that problem, create a file
/Library/Application Support/Aquamacs Emacs/site-prestart.el
with the following content:
(setq aquamacs-reload-preloaded-files t)
This will cause to re-read the otherwise preloaded files from disk.
7 Getting Help
There are many options for getting help with Aquamacs.
From within Aquamacs, you can access user documentation from the menu or from
specific key combinations. This manual is available from the Help menu, as is a very
complete Emacs documentation, the Emacs Manual. To extend Emacs using the built-
in programming language Emacs Lisp, refer to the Emacs Lisp Reference, which is also
available from the Help menu. (The latter can be used via the Mac’s convenient Help
Books, or via Emacs’ powerful Info interface.)
Emacs is self-documenting. The Help menu (under Describe) contains documenta-
tion for every function available to the user. You can reach these functions easily: C-h
k(plus key/menu entry) brings up help for any key or menu binding; C-h f (plus
function name) gives help for an elisp function; autocompletion support is available
with (tab); and C-h a brings up apropos, a search function.
For help from other Aquamacs/Emacs users, the best place to begin is the OS X
Emacs mailing list. The searchable list archives are located at http://dir.gmane.
org/gmane.emacs.macintosh.osx. For more information on subscribing to the
list, see An-
other option for general Emacs help is the newsgroup.
Remember: almost every question has been asked before. Google will give you an
instant answer, provided you know the right keywords.
Apart from answering questions at the OS X Emacs mailing list, you can also file
bug reports on Aquamacs. Use the “Send Bug Report” function in the Help / Diagnose
and Report Bug menu. The same menu has a function to restart Aquamacs without
any of your customizations – please use this function to ensure that it is really a bug in
Aquamacs that you are seeing. (Your settings may be flawless, but even so we’d like
to know which ones will cause the bug to show up!)
In addition to requesting help, you can also offer it in these mailing lists. Please
note that in case we have helped you with a configuration problem on the mailing list, we may
ask you to write a little note in the Aquamacs Wiki so others can benefit, too. Remember:
Aquamacs is an Open Source community project!
8 Aquamacs lives from your donations
Aquamacs Emacs is a project that depends on your support. The project has no other
source of substantial income: the application is free, the downloads are free.
Free software is developed because programmers love their work. Donations will
never remunerate them financially as a job in the software industry would. But every
donation is a recognition of the programmer’s hard work, and the bigger ones actually
help paying some bills.
If you would like to say “thank you”, or if you would like to see the project devel-
oped further, please make a donation.
9 Contribute to Aquamacs – Join the Fun!
If you’d like to join us in working on Aquamacs, download the source code from Git
and take a look. Do ask if you have questions! When you have a patch or a less specific
suggestion for improvements, send it to the development mailing list.
We’re a very open team. Everyone is allowed to suggest modifications to every
piece of code. There is no “ownership” of code, so please join us to make Aquamacs
even better!
10 Acknowledgments
Who’s behind Aquamacs?
It’s a free software project, and naturally, Aquamacs could not exist without the
help of developers, designers, writers and users. The following people have con-
tributed code, bug reports and ideas to the Aquamacs project at one point of the other.7
7We apologize for not being able to list everyone. If you feel that someone should be mentioned, please
e-mail us.
Part of the development team of Aquamacs 3.0 are: David Reitter (co-founder, lead
developer). Many contributions in bug reports and fixes came from Konrad Podczeck,
Nathaniel Cunningham, and other regular users.
Kevin Walzer (co-founder) wrote the first manual. Aquamacs contains icon art-
work by Adrian Chromenko, Jessica Walker (Aquamacs 2.0/3.0 application icon) and
David Reitter, Jasper Hauser, and the Nuovext Project. The Aquamacs website was
designed by Ted Roden.
We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the many authors whose
source code and hints on public forums have already been integrated into the build.
They are too numerous to mention here.
Aquamacs is based on GNU Emacs, which is the work of Richard Stallman and
many other developers, in particular Andrew Choi (original GNU Emacs-to-MacOS
and OSX ports), Steven Tamm, Mitsuharu Yamamoto, Adrian Robert. Aquamacs also
could not exist without the latest code contribtions to GNU Emacs (now lead by Stefan
Monnier) and to its Mac/OSX/Nextstep ports ( Jan dj¨
arv, Yamamoto Mitsuharu, and
others). We also would like to acknowledge the work of the many authors of the major
modes included.
Last but not least, Aquamacs exists because of the dedication of its users, who
donate money, report bugs and help us fix them.
11 Nightly Development Builds
Ready to install, the Aquamacs project offers nightly built binary packages that contain
the latest in Aquamacs development. These builds are not considered “stable”, but
See for downloads.
12 Obtaining the Source Code
You may download the source code for each release of Aquamacs, or download the
source of the current development version from
shtml. You need Git ( in order to download it.
The author offers to provide you with the source code for a time period of at least
three years from the date of release. Source code should be obtained from the afore-
mentioned Git repository or, if this is impossible, by written request from the author.
13 Licenses
Aquamacs: the Emacs distribution, (c) 2005,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010 by Free Software
Foundation, Inc., and by David Reitter. Aquamacs is licensed under the terms of the
GNU General Public License, either Version 3, or (at your option) any later version.
For details of this license, type C-h C-c in Aquamacs (Help: Copying Conditions) or
visit The Aquamacs doc-
umentation is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. For
details of this license, please see
The license does not apply to the toolbar icons contained in the Aquamacs .app
bundle. They may be used and redistributed within Aquamacs, but not separately or in
another application. Some of the icons may be redistributed, however - see the COPY-
ING file in the etc/images directory in the Aquamacs .app bundle or in the source
14 Aquamacs Emacs: What’s New in This Release
14.1 Changes— 3.4
Thank you to all supporters. To donate to the project, go to: http://aquamacs.
Aquamacs no longer sets colors in ‘default-frame-alist’ as a default to make cus-
tomization with themes easier.
‘aquamacs-styles’ has been removed. (Deprecated in version 1.6.)
Printing at 100% uses a reasonable font size. Also, printing respects scaled font
size again. Reported by Matthew Cornell.
Scrolling with the mouse has been adjusted (less jerky, but progressive). Re-
ported by Sam Coskey and David Poole; code contribution by Jamie Taylor.
Bugs in version checking fixed (redirecting Wifi landing pages; menu item use).
AUCTeX has been updated to version 12.1 (from version 11.89). This improves
command completion and fixes bugs. See here for further changes: http://
ESS has been updated to version 17.11. See here for all new features: http:
OneOnOne package (by Drew Adams) updated.
14.2 Changes— 3.3
Aquamacs is now based on Emacs 25.1. A selection of new, user-visible features
Improved undo (for deletion of characters).
Improved Unicode support (see NEWS for details)
Search functions (Command-F / C-s) are now more flexible in matching
characters. Configure ‘search-default-mode’ to turn this off.
Tramp supports afp for Apple File Servers.
The new command ’vc-region-history’ shows the log+diff of the active re-
’compare-windows’ now compares text with the most recently selected win-
dow instead of the next window.
C-h k KEY will now tell you not only what this key command does, but also
in which keymap it is bound to the command. This is useful especially in
Aquamacs if you would like to override a key binding.
’setq’ and ’setf’ must now be called with an even number of arguments.
(Multicolor fonts remain supported on Aquamacs.)
For further details, and a list of all changes in Emacs 25.1, please refert
to etc/NEWS at
(once released).
MELPA is now available as a source of packages to install. The Options menu
has a Manage Emacs Packages command.
The Copy Formatted function (formerly Copy Styled as HTML) is now compatible
with any Mac application that can insert formatted documents, including Ap-
ple’s Keynote and Pages, as well as MS Word. The Copy as PDF function exports
a small PDF clipping with the region that is widely usable, including in MS Pow-
The color for printing text is now always black unless fontification chooses a
different color. If a dark background is used, colors for black-on-white printing
are always darkened. (Configure with ‘htmlize-white-background’.)
Aquamacs is again usable from a text terminal (start with -nw), with backspace
and C-h being recognized properly.
The commandline tools installation function has been updated for Mac OSX “El
Capitan”. Reported by Steve Ward.
A script called emacs is provided that will start Aquamacs on the command line
(in a text terminal) in a mode that starts up rapidly and provides UI compatibility
with GNU Emacs (rather than Aquamacs). This is installed by the command
Install Command Line Tools (Tools menu, or M-x aquamacs-install-command-line-
tool). The emacs script is non-relocatable and needs to remain in the Aquamacs
bundle. You may link to it.
filladapt mode is no longer automatically activated, as it hinders compatibility
with some modes. Emacs now provides improved filling on its own, see https:
html. Requested by Win Treese. Filladapt continues to be available to users who
need it. It can be loaded by adding (require ’filladapt) to the Preferences.el
Apple Emoji symbols can now be displayed.
Cc-mode is about 30% faster in displaying code and scrolling.
Swift-mode (version 0.5.0-snapshot) provided for editing Swift files.
Python-mode updated to version 6.2.2 (was: 6.1.3). For what’s new, see https:
Emacs Speaks Statistics (ESS) has been upgraded to 16.04 (was: 14.09). The
change brings automatic code formatting and improved indentation, among other
features. See here for all new features:
AUCTeX has been updated to version 11.89 (from version 11.88). Notably, there
is now a “Compile and View” function (bound to C-c C-A). See here for further
Prevent a hang condition or crash during automatic startup after reboot or login.
Patch by Anders Lindgren.
Errors in default frame settings are caught and properly reported at startup now.
Reported by Pete Siemsen.
Prevent a crash when viewing a LaTeX PDF file in Skim.
Prevent crashes when, after display of save or print panels, certain keys (enter)
were pressed.
Improve maximization behavior of frames (Option-click into green window but-
ton). Reported by Idar Tollefsen.
14.3 Changes— 3.2
On OS X 10.10 “Yosemite”, clicks on toolbar icons could cause Aquamacs (as well
as GNU Emacs 24.4) to become unresponsive. Until Apple releases an improved
version of the operating system, Aquamacs provides a workaround.
Color dragging out of the color palette (and other drag&drop actions) right after
startup now works reliably.
Color dragging to set colors of the fringes in a window works again.
The size of LaTeX previews on Retina displays has been corrected. For conve-
nience, Aquamacs will no longer ask whether to “cache the preamble” (who
knows what that entails anyway?).
AUCTeX has been updated to version 11.88 (from version 11.87). See here for
what’s new:
14.4 Changes— 3.1a
Command-Shift-Left/Right now select the text from point to the left or right side
of the line, as they did in Aquamacs 2. Reported by Daniel Stegm ¨
The order of menu items in the Options/Line Wrapping submenu has been re-
stored. Reported by Gracjan Polak.
Isearch using the Mac key bindings (A-f, A-g) has seen some improvements. A-g
will now highlight all other search results (just like regular isearch), and it will
continue a regexp isearch (started with C-u A-f). Because you remain in ‘isearch-
mode’ after a A-g, additional simple keys will just extend the search string. (You
may, as before, do other things like insert text clippings with A-v.)
During Isearch started with A-f or A-g, you may now use the Enter (RET) key
to advance to the next location, and S-RET to go back to the previous one (same
bindings as A-g and A-S-g). This is in accordance with search functions in other
Mac applications. Traditional Emacs behavior of isearch when started with C-s
is not affected. Suggested by Jeremy Cole.
Cursor motion with arrow keys will follow the visual order of characters on the
screen: left always moves to the left, right always moves to the right, disregard-
ing the surrounding bidirectional context. You may change this setting with the
customization variable ‘visual-order-cursor-movement’.
Aquamacs is now based on Emacs 24.4. Please see etc/NEWS for detailed infor-
mation. Some more important, user-visible changes are:
Frames and windows now resize smoothly, pixel by pixel.
In keymaps where SPC scrolls forward, S-SPC now scrolls backward. This
affects View mode, etc.
The cursor stops blinking after 10 blinks (by default) on X and Nextstep.
You can change the default by customizing ‘blink-cursor-blinks’.
‘electric-indent-mode’ is now enabled by default. Typing RET reindents the
current line and indents the new line. C-j inserts a newline but does not
indent. In some programming modes, additional characters are electric (eg
The behavior of C-x TAB (‘indent-rigidly’) has changed. When invoked
without a prefix argument, it now activates a transient mode in which typ-
ing left, right, S-left, and S-right adjusts the text indentation in the region.
Typing any other key resumes normal editing behavior.
New command C-x SPC (‘rectangle-mark-mode’) makes a rectangular re-
gion. Most commands are still unaware of it, but kill/yank do work on the
Package-specific information is now stored in /Library/Preferences/Aquamacs
Emacs/Packages. Files are automatically moved to the new location so that cor-
rectly implemented packages should not be affected. (Switching to a previous
Aquamacs version, however, will cause some settings to be lost.)
Tramp reliability improved. Reported by Steve Bellan.
‘ams-tex-mode’ is functional again. Reported by Albert Fisher.
Switching buffers when tabbar-mode (“Show Tabs”) is off and one-buffer-one-
frame-mode (“Show Buffers in New Frames”) no longer produces an error mes-
sage in certain situations. Reported by Bob Berwick.
Dragging and dropping colors from the color selection panel now works more
reliably. Reported by Konrad Podczeck.
ESS mode was updated to version 14.09. See here for new features: http://
Markdown-mode 2.0 is now provided with a default configuration of its faces,
which no longer hides markup.
Version 3.1a only: an incompatibility with older OS X versions (pre-10.9) and the
use of secondary displays was resolved. Reported by Erik Marklund.
Version 3.1a only: a warning indicating a failure to create a file in the Library
folder (in new installations) has been resolved. Reported by ‘xenzo’ and Torsten
14.5 Changes— 3.0
This Aquamacs is based on Emacs 24. Highlights:
A major addition to Emacs 24 is its package managing system. (Start with
M-x list-packages. Re-installing included packages is not recommended.)
There is a new word count function (see Aquamacs Edit menu).
Right-to-left text (Arabic, Persian, Hebrew) is well supported now even
when mixed with left-to-right text.
Completion has been improved (e.g., it is connected to the CEDET Semantic
library. When enabled, you can use M-Tab to complete symbols in C mode,
for instance.)
Please refer to for a list
of changes in GNU Emacs 24.
Aquamacs 3.x is distributed as a binary for 64-bit Intel Macs only. If you would
like to run Aquamacs on a 32-bit Mac, or a PowerPC based Mac, you may still
build it yourself from source, or use Aquamacs 2.5.
High-resolution retina screens are better supported by the ‘preview’ function in
LaTeX mode. Previews are rendered in a size adjusted to the font used to edit the
New, high-resolution icons appear in the toolbar (for LaTeX); standard visual
effects and animations are used for new frames.
‘mouse-drag-copy-region’ is enabled (non-nil), which maintain behavior similar
to that of the previous Aquamacs and Emacs versions. Selecting some text with
the mouse will add it to the kill-ring, so that users may insert it with C-y.
The region is no longer extended when dragging the mouse while holding the
Shift key, because the ‘mouse-sel’ package is now obsolete in Emacs 24. Users
can, for the time being, bring back the functionality by adding the following to
their Preferences.el file:
(require ’mouse-sel)
(global-set-key (vector ’(shift down-mouse-1)) ’mouse-extend)
Smart spacing no longer affects text yanked with mouse-2 (Command-mouse
click), for the the time being. To get this added convenience, (global-set-key
(vector ‘(mouse-2)) ’mouse-yank-at-click) may be used. These hints
suggested by Konrad Podczeck.
Abbreviations are, by default, persistant: they are saved upon quitting Aqua-
macs. Configure ‘save-abbrevs’ to change this default.
paredit-mode is included (version 23), which provides operations that, in Lisp,
preserve the integrity of the syntax trees (i.e., keep/delete s-expressions as a
whole). See here for more information:
ParEdit, and here for an informative screencast:
e14.html. Written by Taylor R. Campbell.
dart-mode (version 0.9) included. Written by Nathan Weizenbaum. File endings:
markdown-mode (version 2.0) included. Written by Jason R. Blevins. File end-
ings: .md.
python-mode updated to version 6.1.3 (pre-release 2014-01-19). Comes with a
streamlined menu and many detailed improvements, but drops Pymacs integra-
tion. Aquamacs will bring back Ropemacs and Pymacs in a future version. See
here for changes:
Emacs Speaks Statistics (ESS) updated to version 13.09-1. See here for changes:
14.6 Changes— 2.x
The default directory for buffers is the home directory in OS X 10.9 “Mavericks”
as in previous OS X versions. Reported by Christopher Stacy.
Isearch no longer aborts a search at seemingly random (but rare) times. Reported
by Bill Sacks.
Clicking on the Aquamacs dock icon will again create a new buffer or de-minimize
a window, as is standard on OS X. Reported by Guy Gascoigne-Piggford.
A certain rare crash when viewing a compiled LaTeX file (and in other situations)
has been addressed. Thanks to all who reported it.
14.7 Changes— 2.5
Aquamacs is now signed and will now execute with the default GateKeeper set-
tings in OS X 10.8.
Full-screen now supports the standard Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” full-screen mode:
The frame takes up the full (main) display and uses its own screen. Users may
switch between screens as usual (mouse swipe or C-left/right, for instance). The
old-style fullscreen mode is still available, however. To maximize a frame on
the current space, allowing other frames on this space, type C-u A-S-Return, or
prepend any of the commands that enter fullscreen mode with C-u. Thanks for
research: Sandy Patterson and Daisuke Murase.
Retina displays are now supported (high-resolution artwork is included in most
cases). LaTeX Preview mode (AUCTeX) has been modified to show high-resolution
previews. (Technical note: other packages can be updated by providing TIFFs
with multiple resolutions, or by generating high-DPI images, setting their DPI
meta information correctly, and setting the new ‘ns-true-dpi-images-filename-
string’ variable while loading images.)
S-tab no longer mapped to C-y (ASCII 25, end of medium). Now properly han-
dled as backtab. Patch by Gracjan Polak.
Aquamacs now provides experimental session persistency: you can load and
save sessions. Use the new Load Session, Save Session As menu entries in the File
menu to use these new functions. Note: Unlike the formerly available functions
from the ‘desktop’ package, all frames, windows, tabs, buffers and some cus-
tomizations are saved. Buffers not linked to a file, such as those showing pro-
cesses, will not be restored, and frames may not end up on the same space at this
time. Aquamacs now includes an adapted version of the revive.el package
by Hirose Yuuji. We recommend that you do not load a different version of this
package yourself.
Colors are now displayed in the “color space” that is set by the user for the spe-
cific display. A slight change in color shades may be noticed. Suggested by Juan
Jose Garcia Ripoll.
Text search (isearch) now works better when using one of the Emulate-Mac-
Keyboard-Modes. Reported by Thomas Strathmann.
Frames are now reliably moved inside the current display again when entering
the minibuffer (and at other times).
Switching applications while Aquamacs is in full-screen mode no longer creates
unwanted empty frames. Reported by Christian H¨
oltje, Rory Kirchner and Milan
ESS upgraded to 13.05. (Previous version was 5.13 - no joke. The ESS version
numbering changed.) See here for changes:
AUCTeX upgraded to 11.87. (Previous version was 11.86.) See here for changes:
Python-mode upgraded to 6.0.8. (Previous version was 6.0.2.) See here for changes:
Prolog-mode upgraded to 1.23. (Previous version was 1.22.) (Added support for
14.8 Changes— 2.4
Added visual-basic-mode. Code by Fred White, Dave Love, Randolph Fritz and
Vincent Belaiche.
Fix crash that could occur during start of Aquamacs (in x set frame parameters)
Reported by Will Morton, Barbara Shirtcliff, Enrico Rinaldi.
Support for fullscreen button in windows, available in Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”. As
additional keyboard shortcut, Command-Control-F, is available.
Improved support for resizing frames in Mac OS X 10.7.
Load calculator (M-x calc) correctly even after saving calculator settings. Re-
ported by Stefan Vollmar.
When deleting (killing) a whole line, the beginning space of a following line was
deleted in ‘smart-spacing-mode’. This is no longer the case. Reported by James
Thurgood and Robert Morelli.
When deleting several words in a row (killing them to append them to the kill
ring), they are no longer added as run-in words in smart spacing mode. Spaces
are addes where appropriate.
Switching to Aquamacs or between spaces has been revised.
Drag&drop into windows showing eshell, shell and other comint-based buffers
now inserts the full file name. Suggested by Jan Marius Hofert.
When expanding the load path (e.g., for library files) in directories such as Li-
brary/Application Support/Aquamacs Emacs, a file called .nosearch now pre-
vents Aquamacs from adding the present and subordinate directories. (The pre-
vious .ignore file only worked at the topmost level.) Reported by Nathaniel
Fixed issue that could lead to a crash when using Aquamacs as an editor (ODB
standard) from certain other applications. Reported by Kevin Kirkup.
Fixed issue where the toolbar could not be permanently hidden or shown using
the toolbar context menu. Reported by Richard Spence.
Python-Mode has been updated to version 6.0.2. Suggested by Gilles Lenfant.
Matlab-Mode has been updated to version 3.3.1. Suggested by Dennis Rosset.
14.9 Changes— 2.3
Correct substantial display problems that occured when the cursor type was set
to ‘box’ shape. Reported by many people (thanks).
Display text behind a filled box cursor in the background color.
Allow ‘cursor-type’ to be set to (bar . WIDTH) with an arbitrarily large width.
Reported by Konrad Podczeck.
Fix insertion of the Euro sign with Option-e under emulate-mac-*-keyboard-
mode. Reported by Viktor Rosenfeld.
Updated ESS (Emacs Speaks Statistics) to version 5.13.
14.10 Changes— 2.2
Improved fullscreen mode: addresses rare display issues (related to scrollbars),
crashes after switching back from fullscreen mode, and empty menus during
fullscreen mode. Note that multiple frames may be shown in fullscreen mode
(switch with, e.g., A-‘). Code by Daisuke Murase and David Reitter. Suggested
by many.
Improvements to working with Frames and Spaces:
Repeated cycling between frames (forwards with A-‘) now cycles through
all frames rather than just the two most recent ones. Suggested by many
Aquamacs users.
When deleting a frame in one space, Aquamacs no longer switches to an-
other space if there is one (10.6 only).
When opening a frame via drag&drop or the terminal command-line, Aqua-
macs now shows the frame in the currently active space if ‘one-buffer-one-
frame’ or ‘tabbar-mode’ are on (10.6 only).
No more unnecessarily space switches away from a new frame created after
drag&drop, Finder or terminal-based opening of files in certain situations.
Patch by Ted Middleton.
The menu bar works again after switching away to a space without an
Aquamacs frame on it.
Spell-checking improvements:
Ability to ignore misspellings on a per-buffer basis, using buffer comments,
has been added to the spelling context menu: “Ignore Spelling & Comment
Buffer”. Suggested by Konrad Podczeck.
“Check Spelling While Typing” (‘flyspell-mode’) is now automatically acti-
vated when “Spellcheck Now” (‘flyspell-buffer’ or ‘flyspell-region’) is run
with the default OS X spellchecker. Customize via variable ‘flyspell-mode-
Aquamacs starts up faster.
New, untitled buffers are now auto-saved regularly, just like buffers visiting files.
Suggested by Andrew Sullivan.
Aquamacs can now be used as external editor to ODB-enabled applications such
as most FTP clients, Apple XCode 3.x, and other programs in need of an editor.
(Some applications may require changes to recognize Aquamacs–contact their
makers to ask for support.)
There is a function in the Help / Diagnose menu now to debug one’s preferences
(init) files such as Preferences.el or .emacs. This starts a new Aquamacs
process, which, as the one started without customizations using its own menu
entry, is no longer dependent on the primary one. Code by Ze’ev Celementson.
The manuals have been unified in order to provide cross-manual keyword search
(Help menu). Also (reported by Joseph van Andel), links to separate manuals
(such as Tramp, CC Mode and many others) now work: those manuals are now
included as Apple Help variants.
Users can now edit all existing user-editable preferences files (Preferences.el
in various places, and .emacs) using a new menu entry in the Help/Diagnose
In case Aquamacs crashes, a detailed bug report can usually be sent upon the
next program start.
The Copy as HTML function (Edit menu) now copies the region with all format-
ting such that the formatting is preserved in other (Cocoa) applications.
Aquamacs can now be configured to not kill a buffer when its last window is
deleted through commands such as ‘close-window’ (Command-W). Set the new
customization open ‘delete-window-preserve-buffer’ to tto retain buffers. Sug-
gested by Jos Ac
M. Figueroa-O’Farrill.
When using emacsclient -t to connect to a running Aquamacs session from
the terminal, entering the minibuffer no longer produces an error. Reported by
Stephen T.
When hollow cursors are used, ensure that the glyph underneath the cursor re-
mains visible. Reported by Marcin Koziej.
A rare issue where the wrong images (e.g., a “redo” toolbar button in place of a
tabbar tab-close button) where displayed, has been addressed.
Find-file (C-x C-f) with a file that is already visible in another window now
switches to that window again (‘one-buffer-one-frame-mode’ being on). Reported
by Dan Coe.
Cursor movement (up/down) is more precise in terms of horizontal placement.
Reported by Matt Crawford.
Improved compatibility of the language-layout specific keyboard emulation modes.
Reported by Santiago Gaviria.
Html Helper Mode: Improve recognition/update of time stamps in files. Patch
by Dave Mason.
nXhtml Mode is now included (to use, type M-x nxhtml-mode. Version 2.08
(04/2010). This also provides Multiple Major Modes.
Compatibility with Emacs Code Browser has been improved (menus appear cor-
rectly, cursor blinks and windows retain selection). Reported by Martin Sivak.
Exporting to a temporary buffer in ‘org-mode’ no longer fails, nor does calling
‘normal-mode’. Reported by Jeff Horn and Lawrence Mitchell.
AUCTeX now supports Ghostscript 9.01. Fixed by Denis Rosset.
14.11 Changes— 2.1
Aquamacs is now optimized further for speed on machines with Intel processors:
It starts up faster and also executes lisp faster (up to 50% in some situations).
The “Line Numbers” item in the Options/View menu now turns on ‘global-
linum-mode’, displaying line numbers to the left of each buffer line. Suggested
by Konrad Podczeck.
Copying bug reports and other mail to the pasteboard in order to send them with
GMail or another mail program now works reliably. Reported by Matt Mollison.
C-x s (‘save-some-buffers’) and other functions that ask questions applying to a
series of items accept the !command again to apply the action to all items (e.g.,
save all buffers). Reported by Michael Kohlhase.
Users should now experience no more trouble binding the new Aquamacs ver-
sion to file types with the Finder’s “Open With” and “Change all” functions
when earlier versions of Aquamacs are present. In case of persistent issues,
we advise to reset the LaunchServices database with the ‘lsregister’ command
as described here:
20071102084155353 Reported by Arthur Ogus
The Spellchecking context menu (flyspell-mode / Check Spelling While Typing)
now shows suggested alternatives in the right order.
The LaTeX icon in the toolbar changes again when toggling PDF mode. Reported
by Gabriel Cardona and Konrad Podczeck.
Jumping to the exact source/PDF position with Skim now works even in multi-
file LaTeX projects where files are in different locations. Reported by Brad Miller
and Jeffery Kline.
Setting frame position and size in ‘default-frame-alist’ (and elsewhere) now works
again. Reported by Konrad Podczeck.
Fixed “Join Windows” menu item (was: “Remove Splits”).
PHP-mode has been updated to version 1.5.0.
Files opened from the command line or via the Finder will be shown if they are
already visible in a tab or in any other window; unless ‘Show Buffers in New
Frames’ (one-buffer-one-frame-mode) is enabled, Aquamacs no longer creates
a new frame for those files. The customization variable ‘dnd-open-file-other-
window’ can be used to control the behavior. Reported by Mike Pelican.
With all frames closed, minimized or on other spaces, Aquamacs now recognizes
key commands again. If the minibuffer is needed, a frame showing an empty
buffer will appear. This buffer is always read-only and, unsurprisingly, rather
Frames are now cycled in order of their last selection, rather than their creation.
Selecting a frame and deleting it will, for instance, select the previously selected
frame. Cycling with A-‘ (‘next-frame’) will cycle accordingly. Reported by Kon-
rad Podczeck and David Eyk.
Haskell-mode has been updated to version 2.7.0. Suggested by Johannes Krause.
Menu-bar-mode, not supported in Aquamacs, will no longer cause problems for
people who try to switch the menu bar off in their customizations.
The cursor is now drawn correctly when ‘line-spacing’ is set.
Aquamacs no longer hangs in some situations when using ‘ispell’.
14.12 Changes— 2.0
Aquamacs is now based on Emacs 23 and the Cocoa NextStep port. There are many changes
under the hood associated with this, but also a plethora of visible improvements. Major ones,
and those pertaining to Aquamacs specifically, are listed here. Further changes can be found in
the NEWS file for Emacs 23.
Major User Interface Improvements
Spell-checking now uses the system-wide dictionaries in all the languages sup-
ported on OS X. The standard spelling user interface is available as well as the tra-
ditional Emacs ‘ispell’ interface (which also uses the system-wide spelling mech-
anism). Configure the use of GNU ‘aspell’ through the ‘ispell-program-name’
variable if desired.
Code by Nathaniel Cunningham.
Aquamacs has a new icon in the Dock, designed by graphic designer Jessica
Walker (
The Aquamacs application has been renamed to (from Aquamacs
Dialogs have been vastly improved: they appear as sheets over the frames where
they belong, contain better UI elements (as in the case of the dialog displayed
before quitting Aquamacs, which was once called “dialog from hell” before re-
ceiving a makeover). The standard Enter, Space and Esc keys (and more) are
supported. “File Save” panels also appear as sheets.
Toolbars can now be configured through the normal customization panel. Right-
click on the toolbar, use the Options/View menu item (or use M-x ns-tool-bar-
customize). The chosen icons are persistent; toolbar customizations are, however,
tied to the toolbars set by modes. That means that users can chose a different set
of icons to display in latex-mode, for instance. The ‘ns-tool-bar-display-mode’
variable now supports label-only toolbars. Right-click on the toolbar to change;
or use M-x customize or Preferences.el to set it to ‘labels’ in order to only
show labels. The former meaning of this value (showing labels and icons) is now
‘both’ (or, usually, nil, the default).
Fonts and colors of all (mode-specific) faces can now be configured using the
standard font and color panels. The Options / Appearance menu provides a
function to show the font panel, which leads to buttons for foreground and back-
ground colors. We also have a menu item for the color panel separately, from
where colors can be dragged&dropped directly onto any piece of text to cus-
tomize its face. Holding down the Option key will, instead, set the face’s back-
ground color.
The printing system has been revised; the standard print and page setup dialogs
are used inside the application. The print dialog now appears more quickly.
(Note: over-long lines will always be wrapped at word boundaries when print-
ing. Clipping or horizontal pagination are not supported at this time.)
Line wrapping is now set to Truncate, Wrap, Word Wrap and Line Breaking (auto
fill) under Options / Line Wrapping for the current buffer. A Set as Default will set it
as default for all buffers that have no explicit line wrap setting. As before, there is
also a setting to detect word wrap in text files. When it is on, Aquamacs detects
the wrapping style of text-mode buffers automatically, but prefers word wrap-
ping (see the customization variable ‘auto-word-wrap-default-function’). Word
Wrapping translates to ‘visual-line-mode’ internally now, and the former Aquamacs 1.x
mode of the same name now corresponds to a customization variable called ‘line-move-
visual’, which is enabled by default. ‘Longlines-mode’ is obsolete. Users with manual
customizations should adjust their settings. Fine control can be achieved by customizing
‘visual-line-mode’, ‘word-wrap’, ‘truncate-lines’, and ‘auto-fill-mode’.
Key Bindings
It is now possible to customize behavior of right Option/Alternate, Command
and Control modifiers independently of the left ones using new entries in the
(renamed) “Option, Command, Meta keys” menu (in Options) or the new cus-
tomization variables named ‘ns-right-alternate-modifier’ (etc). Patch by Marcin
Even when the Option modifier keys are set up to be handled by the system
(rather than being Meta - see Options - Option Key menu), Option-Arrow and
Option-Delete key combinations lead to wordwise operations (they are recog-
nized as Meta). (Set the new ‘ns-alternate-meta-special-codes’ to nil to disable.)
Note that Word Wrapping (‘visual-line-mode’) affects the function of the cursor
movement keys (arrows, and C-a, C-e, C-p and C-n). In Aquamacs, this can be
easily customized. The default is as such:
In Word Wrapping (visual-line-mode), C-aenp and arrow keys move ac-
cording to visual lines.
Without Word Wrapping (visual-line-mode off), arrow keys move visually,
but C-aenp move non-visually according to buffer lines as in Emacs 22 and
Aquamacs 1.x.
Users may configure this behavior via the (new) ‘line-move-visual’ customiza-
tion variable. Set it to tfor unconditional visual movement of all keys, and nil for
unconditional logical (buffer) movement of all keys.
Keyboard bindings are displayed more consistently in the menus now. Through-
out Aquamacs, Mac standard key descriptions are used (this may be configured
using the variable ‘ns-use-mac-modifier-symbols’). Users should be aware that
manuals and tutorials will often refer to keys such as C-x (ˆ
Xor Control X), and
that keys like M-q correspond to the chosen Meta key modifier, normally the
Option key.
Tabs are now available via the A-1..9 (Command-1..9) keybindings. ‘Split-window-
vertically’ is now bound to A-M-2 (Command Option 2), ‘split-window-horizontally’
is A-M-3 (Command Option 3).
Command- now cycles backward to the previously selected frame (‘raise-
previous-frame’). Patch by Matthew Dempsky.
Command-Meta-; now runs ‘flyspell-buffer’, which marks all misspellings in the
current buffer. Patch by Nathaniel Cunningham.
Command-PageUp/PageDown now jump to the beginning or end of the buffer,
respectively (‘beginning-of-buffer’, ‘end-of-buffer’).
When ‘osx-key-mode’ is switched off, ‘x-select-enable-clipboard’ is restored to its
(new) default value, t. That means that kill and yank operations (C-w, C-y, mouse
text selection and more) are integrated with the Mac pasteboard. When ‘osx-key-
mode’ is on (as is default), everything is as in previous Aquamacs versions: the
standard copy&paste operations (A-c, A-v) use the system pasteboard, while the
killring operations from traditional Emacs do not. Suggested by Jos Ac
Editing and Major Modes
Internally, Emacs is based on a superset of Unicode now. Emacs also uses Cocoa,
a modern technology that facilitates program development and maintenance,
supports 64-bit computing on Macs and allows for better integration of appli-
cations with the operating system and other applications.
Semantic features and Project Support (EDE) are now included in Emacs and
available from the Tools menu. Note that the JDEE plugin distributed with ear-
lier versions of Aquamacs is not compatible (and prevents functioning of the new
functionality. You should remove it (from /Library/Application Support/Aquamacs
Emacs/JDEE) or update to a new version of the plugin.
AUCTeX has ben updated to version 11.86 (was: 11.85). LaTeX editing has be-
come more comfortable with this version. For the details, please see http://
37 The new ver-
sion improves synchronization with viewer programs. Internally, in-
tegration has changed: Skim is always used for all View commands (like C-c
C-v) if it is already running (customize variable ‘TeX-view-program-selection’ to
control this). ‘TeX-source-correlate-mode’ is on by default in Aquamacs (disable
by customizing ‘TeX-mode-hook’: remove ‘aquamacs-latex-viewer-support’). To
manually change the Viewer used for various kinds of files (DVI, PDF, PS), se-
lect “LaTeX” / “Customize” and navigate to “TeX Command”, “TeX View”, “TeX
View Program Selection”. There, choose, for instance, Xdvi for the viewer in DVI
mode, Skim or Preview for PDF mode.
Patch by Konrad Podczeck and David Reitter.
TeX / LaTeX macros are now found more reliably when using TeXLive (‘TeX-
macro-global’ is configured differently). Reported by Wolfgang Meiners.
LaTeX master files in different directories are now found reliably when calling
‘Jump to PDF’. Reported buy Mac Pigman.
Aquamacs uses “Python-mode” by default now for Python source files. Users
who prefer the original Emacs python package can switch by including (require
’python) in their Preferences.el file. Code by Barry Warsaw.
Emacs Speaks Statistics (ESS) has been updated to version 5.8 (was: 5.3.10). Refer
to the ESS website for changes (
Ruby mode has been revised to match and track the latest version included with
GNU Emacs.
Many more improvements between Emacs 22 and Emacs 23. See etc/NEWS
at NB, many of the
items listed there do not apply to Mac OS X.
DocView mode is no longer used to display PDF and other files (it didn’t work
.wiki files now open in wikipedia-mode.
Aquamacs 2.x requires Mac OS X 10.6, or 10.5.8 or later. (OS X 10.4 users may
compile from source at their own risk.)
When printing, double spaces are formatted as such and can be used to align
text. Reported by George Nurser.
HTML and PDF export functions have changed: PDF export can be achieved as
in any Mac application via the Print dialog. Use the new Copy as HTML function
in the Edit menu to copy formatted text including all the coloring into the clip-
board in HTML format. Many other applications, including presentation soft-
ware, can then display the formatted text and keep it editable.
Fullscreen mode works largely as before in Mac OS X 10.6; in older versions
of OS X, it will unconditionally take over the full screen (Dock and menu are
not visible). Note: there are known issues related to scrollbars when returning from
fullscreen mode. These will be addressed in the next version of Aquamacs.
‘aquamacs-find-file’ (C-x C-f) will ask for confirmation if you first complete par-
tial filename input in the minibuffer, but then attempt to create a new file.
Completion is, in many cases, more powerful by completing to the left and the
right of the input string. Customize the option ‘completion-styles’ to control this.
As per Emacs 23, Aquamacs now supports multi-file commits in distributed
version-control systems through the VC-dir package.
Users who have included ‘turn-on-auto-fill’ or ‘turn-on-word-wrap’ in their cus-
tomization of ‘text-mode-hook’ or other hooks are advised to change this to ‘set-
auto-fill’, or ‘set-word-wrap’, respectively. These functions are more comprehen-
sive and disable (usually) nonsensical alternatives.
A new customization variable ‘aquamacs-default-major-mode’ is provided to set
the default major mode of newly opened, empty buffers. (We recommend keep-
ing ‘default-major-mode’ at ‘fundamental-mode’.)
The appearance of the echo area (at the bottom of each frame) can now be config-
ured via M-x customize-face RET echo-area RET. Besides the echo area in general,
note the more specific faces ‘minibuffer-prompt’ and the new ‘minibuffer’ face.
The Aquamacs Help books (Apple Help) are now displayed more reliably when
multiple versions of Aquamacs are present on the system. The Emacs Lisp Ref-
erence as well as the Emacs Manual are up to date.
Auto Save files are now stored in /Library/Caches/Aquamacs Emacs. This
way, they survive reboots such as after system crashes (kernel panics, etc.). Re-
ported by Neil Best, Justin Pitts and Richard Busby.
Auto Save files and Session files are purged after 31 days.
In some circumstances, point position was changed when switching back and
forth between tabs directly and also via other buffer-switching mechanisms such
as opening new files.
14.13 Changes— 1.9
Copy (Command-c) works again reliably for text selected by mouse. However,
the previous improvement avoiding duplicate entries in the kill ring has been
reverted. Reported by Tom van Vleck.
Jumping to a LaTeX error after compilation works more reliably now. The LaTeX-
command setting has been changed to include ‘file-line-error’ style. Suggested
by Enrico Franconi.
Recognize Objective C files (extensions .m and .h) by their content. Patch by
Kendall Gelner and D.R.
Automatic word wrapping works better in large hard-wrapped (auto-fill-mode)
documents with occasional (6+) over-long lines.
The Apple Help books (for Aquamacs, Emacs and the Emacs Lisp Reference)
now work on 10.6 “Snow Leopard”. Reported by Philippe Sismondi.
Aquamacs now by default enables synctex when compiling latex documents.
CSS-Mode has been revised to match the GNU Emacs 22/23 CSS mode.
14.14 Changes— 1.8c
Tabs are now directly accessible using keys A-M-1,2,3...9,0 (normally: Command-
Option-1,2,3...9,0). The number of each tabs is marked. For configuration, see the
new customization variable ‘tabbar-show-key-bindings’ and the function ‘tabbar-
define-access-keys’. For instance, use (tabbar-define-access-keys ’(alt))
in your Preferences.el file to use Command-1,2,3.. bindings.
Aquamacs now asks for confirmation when printing is requested via A-p. This
helps avoid long waits for rendering with large buffers when A-p is pressed by
On systems with faulty LaTeX installations, Aquamacs will now do a better job
at choosing the right TeXLive (or legacy teTeX) binaries.
When scrolling back and forth page-wise, the point will now end up in its previ-
ous position.
Command-, can now be re-bound via the normal Aquamacs key maps (‘osx-key-
mode-map’) . (Note that even if rebound, the application menu will still show the
A-q and A-, key bindings for Quit and Preferences, respectively). A-h remains
unmappable for now. Reported by Chris Bernard.
The mark is now deactivated when point is restored while switching tabs (in
transient-mark-mode, which is on by default).
Command-C (clipboard-kill-ring-save) will take care not to create duplicate en-
tries in the kill ring. Reported by Konrad Podczeck.
Fixed a rare failure of dired to view directories. Reported by Uwe Pieczynski.
Fixed a startup failure when environment variables with values where used that
could no be encoded with the coding system assigned to the system’s “input
source” language. (‘locale-coding-system’ is now set according to the locale in
the default login shell.) Reported by Andr Ac
Fixed an error when deleting the whole buffer contents while smart-spacing-
mode was on. Patch by Jon Shea.
Fixed a potential security hole in smtpmail. Code by Simon Josefsson.
‘LaTex-mode-hook’ can now be customized and saved through the customiza-
tion interface. Reported by Bruno Cadonna.
ESS (R-mode) will now retain an active mark (and region) after evaluating code,
e.g. with C-c C-r.
In the keyboard emulation modes that allow the mac-native use of Option on
various keyboard layouts, while retaining Option as Meta key for Emacs, ESC
key sequences always act as Meta sequences. For instance, with the German
layout, ESC-l acts as ‘downcase-word’ (the original M-l binding), while Option-l
inserts the @ sign.
Adopting fonts as default fonts for frames: keep frames inside screen. Reported
by Stefan Vollmar.
The Aquamacs application bundle has shrunk by about 17 MB thanks to com-
Version 1.8b: Show more buffers in Window menu.
Version 1.8b: Avoid slow-down of editing when Tramp is used to access a remote
file. Reported by Alison Lister.
Version 1.8b: Avoid hang during startup when remote, now inaccessible files
were edited during a previous session. Reported by Christopher Menzel.
Version 1.8b: org-mode is now used automatically for all .org files.
Version 1.8c: AUCTeX is used again as latex-mode Reported by Herbert Kort
14.15 Changes— 1.7
Aquamacs now makes it easier for users to copy, cut and paste (and kill and yank)
whole words, phrases or sentences by managing the spaces between words for
them. Spaces are removed and automatically inserted where needed, whenever
the new ‘smart-spacing-mode’ is turned on. The Options menu provides a set-
ting to turn it on automatically for all text-mode and related buffers. To set a
default for all buffers, configure the option ‘global-smart-spacing-mode’ using
the customization interface.
A problem that caused error messages upon startup and, sometimes, a failure
to quit for some users (and only if Aquamacs was installed for the first time)
was fixed. Reported by William Triplett, Kevin Brubeck Unhammer and Jean-
Christophe Helary.
Aquamacs now quits faster in some situations.
JDEE, the Java Development Environment for Emacs is no longer included in
Aquamacs but provided as a point-and-click installer plugin, which can be down-
loaded from the Aquamacs website. This reduces the size of the Aquamacs dis-
tribution, while maintaining an easy way for Java programmers to install the
package. Note that JDEE also includes CEDET.
Tabs showing a buffer that is mirrored in other windows will retain their position
of point.
With soft wrapping on (Options menu), M-q now calls ‘unfill-paragraph-or-region’,
which has the same semantics as ‘fill-paragraph-or-region’ for hard wrapped
C-z is no longer bound to minimize the frame. Users who require this fea-
ture can add the key binding in their Preferences.el file: (define-key
osx-key-mode-map ‘[(control z)] ’iconify-or-deiconify-frame)
(If you have bound C-z to something else using ‘global-set-key’, note that the
new ‘ignore’ binding in ‘osx-key-mode-map’ will shadow this. You need to use
‘define-key’ as above.)
Cursor movement is no longer sluggish when multiple windows are visible.
Generally, Aquamacs should feel faster. Reported by Drew Hess.
When clicking into an (unselected) window, Aquamacs no longer sets the mark
and marks a region in the buffer in certain circumstances. Reported by Konrad
Resolved a problem where clicking in the fringe to set a breakpoint when using
C-mode in conjunction with ‘gdb’ (in the Emacs debugger) caused Aquamacs to
crash. Reported by Eric Martin.
‘gdb’ and possibly other packages no longer fail to open certain additional ‘spe-
cial display’ windows. Reported by Eric Martin.
Aquamacs no longer opens additional windows when it opens files per drag&drop
or as directed by another application (such as Finder), if these files are already
shown in a buffer. Reported by Tim Hsu.
Aquamacs no longer de-minimizes frames (from the Dock) when opening new
files while all its frames are hidden. Reported by Tim Hsu.
Documents printed or exported to HTML with soft word wrapping turned on
will now also exhibit soft wrapping in HTML, and wrap as expected at the page
boundary on printed pages. Reported by Enrico Indiogine.
OS X will now more reliably recognize the latest installed Aquamacs version in
order to open documents.
Aquamacs now remembers more and longer undo steps (maximum undo mem-
ory and number of steps increased four-fold).
The “dialog from hell”, asking users whether they want to save a file, or all, or
none, or view the file or the differences, is now less ridiculous and has a Cancel
button. Whether the dialog is shown or the minibuffer is used, Aquamacs always
shows the buffer that is up for saving.
The command line tool (installed with the Tools menu) will now find Aquamacs
whereever it is installed in the system. It will always use the latest Aquamacs
Emacs that is known to the system. (As a side-effect, you cannot use the com-
mand in connection with “sudo” any longer. We recommend using Tramp.) Re-
ported by Jean-Christophe Helary.
Bug reporting, and generally, sending e-mail, works now for users whose de-
fault Email client is Gmail. Gmail receives special treatment because of a bug on
Google’s server.
Charsets are given in HTML generated with “Export to HTML”. Documents now
validate as HTML 4.01 Strict.
A rare display problem was fixed in cases of vertically split windows, with fringes
and scroll bars turned off. Reported by Rolf Hanson.
Autoface mode works better with major modes derived from other ones.
More key bindings are now shown correctly in the menus (e.g., Undo/Redo).
Python-mode updated to version 5.1.0. See also:
Haskell Mode updated to version 2.4. We also provide better integration of the
mode (recognition of various file types). Maintained by Stefan Monnier.
Prolog Mode 1.18 included with vast improvements (and some pre-configuration
for Aquamacs). Suggested by Kevin Brubeck Unhammer. Code by Stefan Bruda
et al.
ACT-R major mode improved: it inherits ‘lisp-mode’ key bindings now. .actr
files are recognized automatically.
The Enhanced Carbon Emacs plugin is no longer loaded from ec-emacs direc-
tories, because it is incompatible with the latest Aquamacs versions.
14.16 Changes— 1.6
Tabs are now on by default in new installations. “Show buffers in new frames”
( one-buffer-one-frame-mode) is off by default. Use the Options menu if you’d
like to configure different settings. (That users who had previously installed and
configured Aquamacs will retain their chosen settings.) Tab code by Nathaniel
Cunningham, David Ponce and David Reitter.
Aquamacs Styles have seen a major overhaul and are now called Aquamacs Auto-
faces. To recap, these autofaces apply settings such as fonts, background and fore-
ground colors to buffers and the frames as they show the buffers. The settings are
chosen according to the major mode used in the buffer. This makes is possibly to
automatically edit prose texts (such as LaTeX) in a variable-width (proportional)
font, but do one’s programming (e.g., Python or C) in a fixed-width font. Refer
below for a technical explanation of the change.
The use of color themes is being phased out. While still included in Aquamacs,
they are not available any longer from the Options menu. We recommend the
new light-weight functions to set fore/background colors using the Options /
Appearance menu.
Fontsets are no longer defined on startup (with a few exceptions to ease the tran-
sition). If your frame settings (‘default-frame-alist’ and ‘special-display-frame-
alist’) contain references to fontsets like fontset-monaco12, we recommend to
remove them, e.g., via M-x customize-option.
The font used for text in the echo area (the ‘default’ face) is now Lucida 13pt,
as is customary on the Mac. Note that the size of this font is used to express
frame geometry settings, so this may need manual adjustment. The font used
for major modes that do not have a special setting (the ‘autoface-default’ face) is
Monaco, so that buffers are generally shown in a monospaced font. The default
for certain other modes such as ‘text-mode’ (face: ‘text-mode-default’) and ‘latex-
mode’ (face: ‘latex-mode-default’) is Lucida 13pt. You may change these settings
using the font settings in the Options / Appearance menu, and also using M-x
There is a new function (in Options / Appearance) that will “Adopt the frame
parameters as default” for all new frames. Note that this will set ‘default-frame-
alist’ (or ‘special-display-frame-alist’). These settings will be saved in the cus-
tomizations file with “Save Options”. Emacs hackers need to be aware that such
customization settings override any settings in .emacs files (but not those in
Zoom: press Command-+ (or Command-=) to zoom in, and Command-{}- to
zoom out, changing the font size of the text shown. You can also use your Meta
key (normally Option) and the mouse wheel. This zoom applies just to a buffer
and frame.
The line where the point (cursor) is can be highlighted with ‘highline-mode’,
available via Option / Show/Hide / Highlight Lines (‘global-highline-mode’).
Code by Vinicius Jose Latorre.
Fringes now blend with the rest of the window (background color). Customize
the ‘fringe’ face if you’d like more pronounced fringes.
Configuring and Extending Aquamacs
New (text-mode) buffers will have soft word wrap enabled (rather than hard
auto-fill mode), in line with the standard way of text editing on the Mac. Soft
word wrap is also used for opened files as a default, when the wrapping mode
cannot be determined automatically. (Customize ‘auto-word-wrap-default-function’
to nil to change this back.)
More user-installed files (in the /Library and /Users/.../Library fold-
ers now take precedence over Aquamacs-supplied packages. Specifically, user-
supplied packages contained in subdirectories, including an AUCTeX distribu-
tion (must be compiled) are loaded when present. Thus, almost all packages
that come with Aquamacs can now be replaced. Warning: supplying your own
packages may cause errors.
A new function in the Tools menu will install a small tool that allows users to
open files in Aquamacs from a shell (command-line / Terminal). The command
format is aquamacs filename.txt.
The Options menu has been restructured. You can now find the functions “Enter
Debugger on Error” and “Enter Debugger on Quit” in the “Help / Diagnose and
Report Bug” sub-menu.
When started from a shell (e.g. in a terminal), ‘default-directory’ will be the in-
herited from the shell. Reported by Robert Goldman.
Aquamacs can now automatically select the frame and window over which you
move your mouse cursor, as provided by Apple’s and by many
X11-based window managers under Unix and GNU/Linux. We now include the
‘follow-mouse’ package with a few extensions to make it work on the Mac. You
can turn it on with a simple
(turn-on-follow-mouse) in your Preferences.el file.
The “vl” indicator in the mode-line has been removed. ‘global-visual-line-mode’
is on by default in Aquamacs.
The mode-line now shows “Wrap” to indicate that soft word wrapping (‘word-
wrap’) is on in the buffer. Word wrapping can be toggled with C-x w now.
There is a new menu item to customize Aquamacs-specific options (as compared
to GNU Emacs defaults) in the Options / Customize Aquamacs menu.
To see only labels (and not icons or icons and labels) in the tool-bar, use this
setting in your Preferences.el file:
(setq mac-tool-bar-display-mode ’labels)
Note that this used to cause labels and icons to be displayed. The variable value
for labels and icons is now both.
Note that the ‘cl’ library is no longer loaded by any of the default packages that
come with Aquamacs. As a result, you may need to insert (require ’cl) into
your Preferences.el file to load this package manually if you use any of the
Lisp style functions or macros provided therein.
Major Modes
SLIME, the Superior Lisp Interaction Mode is no longer included in Aquamacs
but provided as a point-and-click installer plugin, which can be downloaded
from the Aquamacs website. The SLIME developers do not release validated ver-
sions; the SLIME plugins available from the Aquamacs website are development
builds that are updated regularly.
Wikipedia mode (version 1.5 plus Aquamacs modification) included. This can
be used to edit text for Wikipedia and other Mediawiki wikis. Start with M-x
wikipedia-mode. Code by Chong Yidong, Uwe Brauer.
Python mode has been updated to use ‘python-mode’ (as found on Launchpad).
Reported by Jin Choi. Python-mode Code maintained by Barry Warsaw. Re-
search by Skip Montanaro.
Emacs Speaks Statistics (ESS) has been updated to version 5.3.10 (was: 5.3.6).
Refer to the ESS website for changes (
Bugfixes and Miscellany
Aquamacs has a smaller footprint; The download is about 7 MBytes smaller; the
installed program about 4 MBytes.
Aquamacs will now start up again for use in a terminal (-nw argument). Re-
ported by Ian Soboroff.
The “Check for Updates” menu item in the Aquamacs menu should work in all
circumstances now.
Fullscreen mode (A-S-Return, or Window menu) works again on all secondary
Dragging and dropping more than one file or opening several files from a termi-
nal with Aquamacs with tabbar-mode will now lead to all files being shown in
tabs, not just the last one.
Command-1 (‘aquamacs-delete-other-windows’) no longer hides the tabbar in
certain circumstances.
Re-opening files already shown in a buffer or switching to buffers will bring up
their tab, even if the tab is shown in another frame.
An issue was addressed that could lead to the wrong tab being selected after
killing or renaming a buffer. The problem was evident with ‘find-alternate-file’.
Reported by Tao Peng.
C-e (end-of-visual-line) will now work correctly in the last line of a buffer that
does not end with a newline. Reported by Raymond Namyst.
Command/Control-left/right will jump to the beginning or end of the visual
line, respectively, rather than to the beginning or end of the buffer line. Reported
by Jean-Christophe Helary.
When soft word wrap (‘word-wrap’) is off (see Options menu), then C-k (kill-
visual-line) and Command-Backspace (kill-whole-visual-line) now behave like
their non-visual counter-parts, i.e. they delete the whole (rest of the) buffer line,
rather than the visual line. This is in line with the extant behavior of C-a and C-e.
Reported by Tom van Vleck.
When Aquamacs is given files from the command line or by some drag’n’drop
event while no frames are shown, it now only shows a new or pre-existing frame
with the new file(s) rather than two frames. Reporter unknown (thanks for letting
us know though).
Page-wise scrolling (PgUp, M-up, aquamacs-page-up and friends) now works
correctly when faces with different sizes are used in buffers, such as in LaTeX-
mode. (Note that the ‘pager’ package is not used any longer. While the screen po-
sition of the cursor should be preserved in most cases, this is not perfect. ‘pager
can still be activated using (require ’pager) in Preferences.el.
C-a (beginning-of-visual-line in ‘visual-line-mode’ which is the default) will now
always skip a prompt (e.g., in shell-mode) at the beginning of the line.
Moving the cursor up and down failed in certain situations involving side-by-
side windows in a frame. Reported by Jin Choi.
Beginning/End-of-line movement commands don’t signal an error any longer in
visual line mode (so there is also no echo area message).
Functions like ‘enlarge-frame’ are bound to A-C-left/right/up/down (Command-
Control) in all cases (and depend on osx-key-mode).
The mouse cursor changes its shape when over buffer text.
The Options / Show/Hide menu is now called View. Suggested by Jean-Christophe
Changed fringe mode is now recongized when options are saved. The fringe
menu was revised.
Options -¿ Save Options will always save the options now (whether considered
needed or not).
Scrolling with the mouse wheel now works without first selecting the frame – just
move the mouse cursor over the window. (N.B., ‘mouse-wheel-follow-mouse’
only applies to windows, not to frames.)
Maintaining full-screen frames across sessions works again; as does opening ad-
ditional frames when the current frame is in full-screen mode.
‘ediff’ (Tools menu, under “Compare”) no longer brings up additional controller
frames. This fix may also improve the function of other modes that use a complex
set of frames. (By popular demand.)
Info-mode is now compatible with the tabbar.
Desktop-save-mode does not open additional scratch buffers any longer. Re-
ported by Ivan Werning.
Auto-save files (usually named #filename#) are now saved in a temporary di-
rectory, out of sight of the user.
We forgot to offer to save newly created buffers when removing them (Command-
W (close-buffer) or killing) after their major mode was changed.
Showing a dired buffer with “Show Buffers in New Frames” (one-buffer-one-
frame-mode, OBOF) enabled could lead to the minor mode (OBOF) being turned
off unexceptedly.
What’s behind the change from Aquamacs Styles to Aquamacs Autofaces? Technical expla-
nation: the core functionality of changing fonts and fore/background colors (in short: faces) is
now provided by the new ‘aquamacs-autoface-mode’.
How does the new autoface mode differ from the styles mode? Font and color settings now
apply primarily to the default “face” used in the buffer. For each major mode, a new face is
defined. For instance, the default face for LaTeX buffers is called ‘latex-mode-default’. These
faces can be edited directly via the Options menu (to choose a font and some new entries to
choose fore- and background colors) or even with M-x customize-face. These changes apply
automatically and immediately to all buffers in the given major mode. In contrast, the styles
mode used to set frame-wide parameters, including the font, fore- and background colors, and
change these parameters in a frame according to the buffer shown in the first window within
the frame. Frame parameters also included the presence of a toolbar, cursor color, fringes, and
the like. These are not available in the new mode. Previously, colors of a whole plethora of faces
for various occasions could be chosen via the ‘color-theme’ package. These were needlessly tied
to major modes using ‘aquamacs-styles’.
One advantage of the new, lightweight implementation of ‘autofaces’ is that switching be-
tween buffers (e.g., with tabs) is smooth and does not lead to ugly frame resizing effects. Mul-
tiple windows in the same frame can now display their buffers in the correct fonts.
Transition: relevant mode-specific settings from ‘aquamacs-styles-mode’ are automatically
imported. The now deprecated functionality of ‘aquamacs-styles-mode’ (changing frame pa-
rameters including the visibility of the toolbar) is still available to users by inserting
(require ’aquamacs-styles)
(aquamacs-autoface-mode 0)
(aquamacs-styles-mode 1)
into their Preferences.el file. Users can also access color themes with M-x color-theme-
select, but note that faces set using ‘aquamacs-autoface-mode’ will override foreground and
background colors.
14.17 Changes—1.5
Aquamacs now handles paragraphs better that are stored as single lines in the
buffer: these very long “lines” are shown as paragraphs, with words wrapped
were appropriate. The wrap functions in the Options menu will use the new
technique. As a result, line numbers shown in Aquamacs correspond to line
numbers in the file. Also, word wrap will work better now with variable-width
fonts. Syntax highlighting is now correct in all situations, because it is based on
the line separation in the underlying file and not on what’s displayed (‘longlines-
mode’ is not used any longer; a new variable ‘word-wrap’ controls the display-
time word wrapping.) Code by Kim F. Storm, Chong Yidong, David Reitter.
The end of file lines (newlines) or paragraph endings in soft word wrapping
can be visualized via Option / Show/Hide / Show Newlines (‘global-show-
Symbols in the fringes have been adapted to look less conspicuous. (These are
the indicators to the left and right of text lines.) Code by Kim F. Storm.
The “small left fringe” setting in the Show/Hide menu works again as intended.
Automatic wrapping detection (hard word wrap = auto-fill, vs. soft word wrap)
improved. A new customization option ‘auto-word-wrap-default-function’ may
be used to configure the default, which is hard word wrapping.
Navigation in buffers (up/down) optimized and improved. This is also a new
buffer-local mode (‘visual-line-mode’), which is enabled globally (‘global-visual-
line-mode’). That’s also what the “vl” mode line indicator stands for.
Command-Backspace will remove the whole visual line now (‘kill-whole-visual-
line’), while Command-Shift-Backspace will remove the entire buffer line (which
may be a paragraph, when soft wrap is on).
Environment variables are imported again in most situations despite bugs in OS
X / Emacs. This issue could cause LaTeX calls to fail. The *Messages* buffer
contains helpful notices. Reported by Thomas S. Dye and others.
An issue where pressing M-Backspace (especially in the minibuffer) could lead
to an error message has been resolved.
An issue where the Mac (system) input method would automatically switch to
US or Romaji (in Japanese modes) has been resolved.
An issue where a “buffer is read-only” message appeared when quitting Aqua-
macs after some buffer was printed has been resolved.
The frame size, which is retained across sessions, is not limited to what is avail-
able on the screen: frames cannot be bigger any longer.
A toolbar item to revert the buffer (M-x revert-buffer) is now available (configure
with Options / Show/Hide / Toolbar items)
isearch, when entered with C-s or C-r, will not cause the region to be set to the
search match any longer; the region is, however, set when isearch is entered with
A-f, A-g or A-G. The behavior can be controlled with the new customization
variable ‘set-region-to-isearch-match’.
The Help menu (in “Diagnose and Report Bug”) provides a way to start another
Aquamacs Emacs instance without any personal customizations. This should be
used to reproduce any potential bugs before reporting them.
LaTeX configuration (standard paths) simplified.
Auto Frame Styles are turned on automatically when the user chooses to retain
frame settings (colors, fonts) for a mode or as a default.
After deleting a tab, the previously selected buffer in a window is selected when
possible, rather than the rightmost tab. This resembles tabs in Firefox rather than
tabs in Safari. It is more consistent with Emacs and makes life easier for users of
packages that expect the previous buffer on the stack to be selected rather than
what’s in the tab that happens to be at the right edge.
Tabs and Windows can now be removed without killing the buffer shown (Win-
dow or tab context menu: Hide Tab, Emacs function ‘tabbar-delete-current-tab’).
Command-W (‘close-window’) will now delete the selected window and, if there
is only one window in the frame, the frame. When ‘one-buffer-one-frame-mode’
and ’tabbar-mode’ are off, it will not kill the buffer (or even ask to save it). The
frame’s red “close” button will close all windows in the frame. This should be
convenient for traditional Emacs users. Note that C-x k can still be used to just kill a
buffer without affecting its window.
Clicking the red ‘close’ button will now attempt to kill all buffers shown and
remove the frame when ‘one-buffer-one-frame-mode’ or ’tabbar-mode’ are on.
Because the mouse was used to start the action, dialog boxes are now shown in
this situation to ask about saving the buffers, rather than minibuffer prompts.
When ‘one-buffer-one-frame-mode’ is off and tabs are on, killing the buffer (e.g.,
with C-x k) will now not remove the window and frame any longer (unless
Command-W (‘close-window’) is used. Reported by Ian Eure.
Burying buffers does not always lead to deleting a window any longer when
‘one-buffer-one-frame-mode’ is turned on.
‘find-alternate-file’ (C-x C-v) now works correctly when tabs are used. Reported
by Ian Eure.
Command-Backspace (‘kill-whole-visual-line’) will not work in Comint and re-
lated modes that display a read-only prompt at the beginning of the line.
When applied to a region, ‘unfill’ (Edit menu, ‘unfill-paragraph-or-region’) will
be more flexible in recognizing paragraph boundaries. Specifically, paragraphs
with indented lines will be correctly recognized. Just mark the paragraph before
pressing M-Q!
Searching for keywords in the Help menu now includes the Emacs Manual and
the Emacs Lisp Reference.
Improvements for Aquamacs calls from the command line: files to be opened
do not need to exist, and they are now shown in the most appropriate window
available (or in a new one).
The “Text properties” submenu has been remove from the Edit menu. (Among
the issues: its entries were misleading; text properties aren’t saved in files.)
Structure of Help menu revised.
in SLIME (Lisp mode) and ERC, the Aquamacs tabs work again. (‘slime-header-
line-p’ and ‘erc-header-line-format’ now default to nil. ‘erc-mode-line-format’
has a new default value. Customize these variables to revert to the old behavior.)
Incompatibility with VM (an optional install) removed. Reported by Jos Ac
Internal change: Full-screen editing is now handled via the frame parameter
Page-wise scrolling where a single line filled more than a screen page has been
fixed. Reported by Mac Pigman.
Command-Shift-S (A-S) now leads to a file selector dialog that shows the file
name associated with the current buffer, as the menu item has done all along.
Reported by Nathaniel Cunningham.
Further minor bug fixes.
Many thanks for your donations since the last version was published. Specif-
ically, we would like to thank William Ziemer for donating a Mac Mini as our
project server.
If you haven’t done so lately, please consider making a donation to the project at Your donations are essential in keeping the
project going–we have no other source of income from Aquamacs. We’d like to
do great things with Aquamacs, but that’ll only happen with your support.
14.18 Changes—1.4
Aquamacs has tabs. Press Apple-T to create one. You can switch the general use
of tabs on in the Options menu. (Note that while the ‘tabbar’ package is provided
and used internally, the actual functionality is different.) Concept and Code by
Nathaniel Cunningham, David Ponce and David Reitter.
“Frame Styles” are turned off by default now. This means that there are no
major mode specific settings (fonts, colors) unless the styles are turned back on
(Options menu). There is a new “Clear All Styles” menu item, and the wording
has been improved. There should be less flicker when switching buffers. The
frame size and position are not changed, even if the frame leaves the screen.
Revised word wrapping: Soft and hard wrapping can now be recognized auto-
matically (Options / Auto Word Wrap for Text Modes). Also, Soft and Hard wrap
modes are now enabled just for the current buffer. (The former option to auto-
matically enable this is still available via customization of the ‘text-mode-hook’
Full screen editing: Press Apple-Shift-Return to get into full screen mode. (There
are some known problems with this in conjunction with changing the frame’s
fonts. These will be addressed in the future.) Code by Joel Stanley and David
Aquamacs does not create backup files ( ) any longer by default. This
way, no unnecessary files won’t get in your way any longer. (No Mac applica-
tion creates these. Use Time Machine or a dedicated backup solution for backup
needs.) There is an Option in the “Options” menu which will turn backups on
The *scratch* buffer is now persistent across sessions. It is saved to an internal
file, but File / Save As (or Apple-Shift-S or C-x C-w) still allow users to save the
file elsewhere. (To switch this off, customize the ‘aquamacs-scratch-file’ variable
to nil.)
The position (and height and width) of the (main) frame is now persistent across
sessions. (Customize ‘initial-frame-alist’ as documented to open the first frame
somewhere else.) ‘default-frame-alist’ settings for the frame position and extent
of subsequent frames are now respected by default. Aquamacs will not, however,
open frames off the screen.
The tool bar looks like other toolbars on OS X now. Code by Yamamoto Mit-
We’ve got better-looking icons (“alpha channel”) for the tool bar, and labels un-
der the icons like in other OS X programs. (You can save the space for that by
customizing ‘mac-tool-bar-display-mode’ to ‘icons’.)
Toolbar items of other modes (such as for LaTeX editing) can be configured via
Options / Show/Hide / Toolbar items.
Multi-lingual CocoAspell support: installed dictionaries can now be changed
from within Aquamacs. Code by Nathaniel Cunningham
“Check Spelling as You Type” can now be set as the default for all text modes, in
the Edit / Spelling menu.
Aquamacs generally will not show graphical dialog boxes for confirmation ques-
tions (unless the mouse has been used last) any longer. This ensures greater con-
sistency on multi-screen setups and when the frame was off the visible area of
the screen.
Before any minibuffer interaction takes place, Aquamacs will attempt to ensure
that the minibuffer is actually visible: this may involve moving frames into a visi-
ble area of the screen. (To turn this behavior off, try M-x smart-frame-positioning-
mode RET, or customize the variable of the same name.)
Aquamacs now knows more about multi-screen setups (when it comes to frame
Preferences and other code defined in Preferences.el now override any customiza-
tions: the customization file (‘custom-file’, i.e. customizations.el) is now loaded
before the Emacs Lisp code in Preferences.el. This may have consequences for
individual configurations, but it ultimately allows users to override any semi-
automatic customizations in their Emacs Lisp code. (Note that /.emacs is still
loaded before the customization file in order to maintain compatibility with GNU
Improved LaTeX support: AUCTeX 11.85 included. This brings a number of
advantages for LaTeX users, in particular:
Better analysis of errors reported by the LaTeX compiler.
Improved syntax highlighting when editing .tex documents.
Code by Ralf Angeli, David Kastrup and others.
Searching with Apple-F and Apple-G (isearch) is now more comfortable: it will
not normally extend a region (unless started with C-Space). Apple-G (repeat
the search) will always set the mark to the beginning of the match so that the
region captures the match. This allows users to replace the text of the match with
something else easily.
When the mark is set with C-Space, it is more persistent than before: clicking
somewhere will not disable it, but extend the region, just like moving the point
with arrow keys (and other movement keys) would do.
LaTeX mode comes with more appropriate icons now.
Color Themes updated to version 6.6.0. Code by Xavier Maillard and Jonadab
the Unsightly One.
The “Buffers” menu can now be found on the right hand side of the menu bar. It
is called “Window”.
The mode line (at the bottom of each frame) now uses the system’s standard font.
Control-left and Control-right will now move to the beginning or end of the line,
respectively, as is standard in OS X. Similarly, Meta-left and Meta-right will now
move forward or back by single words (this is usually Option-left or Option-
right). (‘forward-’ and ‘backward-sexp-nomark’ can now be invoked via C-M-
right or -left.) Suggested by Jean-Christophe Helary.
Apple-[ and Apple-] switch between Emacs windows (i.e., within a frame). Sug-
gested by Jean-Christophe Helary.
C-backspace deletes a whole file name (i.e., one part of a path) instead of just
a word in the minibuffer when a file is selected. M-backspace (usually Option-
backspace) deletes the portion of the word to the left, as is standard, while M-
delete (usually Option-delete) the one to the right. If a region is marked, that is
M-e (forward-sentence) and M-a (backward-sentence) do the right thing now
even if the text does not have two spaces after each sentence. (New customiza-
tion variable ‘sentence-end-double-space-for-recognition’.)
Apple-F and Apple-G (search, repeat the search) will now mark the found text as
region as is standard.
Apple-V can now me used immediately after entering isearch (Apple-F) in order
to look for the text stored in the pasteboard. Suggested by Nathaniel Cunning-
Apple-2 (split window) will now select the newly created window.
Improved usability in the Options menu: Wrap options greyed out when not in
a text mode, and no more “save places” option.
There’s a new “Check for Updates” menu item in the Aquamacs menu. If a new
version is available, it can be downloaded using a key binding (C-h u).
Undo/Redo toolbar and menu items are disabled/enabled at the right times (i.e.,
when there is something to undo/redo).
“Search” toolbar item is not shown by default. “History” and “Redo” items are
shown by default. (Use the Options / Show/Hide / Toolbar menu to configure.)
The context menu now allows to “search on this Mac” with Spotlight (on OS X
10.4 or newer).
Font settings for a frame do not affect the mode-line any longer. You can M-
x customize-face mode-line, specifying a standard OS X font as “Font family”
(such as Monaco).
Files are loaded (visited) a little faster now. ‘default-major-mode’ now defaults
to ‘fundamental-mode’ rather than ‘text-mode’, which should have no practical
consequences apart from the speed-up.
Worked around a bug in OS X that caused occasional, very slow program start
on some systems.
User-supplied settings of ‘fill-column’ should now be respected (used for hard
word wrapping as enabled in the Options menu). Reported by Ivan Werning.
Some commands (such as M-x shell) will use the current window rather than
showing a new one, unless ‘one-buffer-one-frame-mode’ (Options / Show Buffers
in New Frames) is enabled. Suggested by Jean-Christophe Helary.
14.19 Changes—1.3b
Bug fix: On OS X 10.5 “Leopard”, Aquamacs consumed a lot of CPU power in
certain rare circumstances.
The minibuffer history is now retained between Aquamacs sessions.
LaTeX editing: better support for jumping from and to the PDF if is
installed and used. No configuration is necessary. You can jump from Aquamacs
to Skim with Shift-Command-Click, or with the AUCTeX command “Jump to
PDF” (enter C-c C-c J RET) and back. You will need to \usepackage{pdfsync}
in your document preamble and re-compile before you can use the feature.
Press Command-E to use the region (selected text) for the next search operation
(Command-F). Suggested by Mathieu Godart.
When using Frame Styles (especially with One Buffer One Frame Mode switched
off), frames should (mostly) retain their original sizes now. Less jumping around!
Aquamacs now remembers the positions of frames containing *Help*, *Mes-
sages* and other buffers.
Improved frame positioning and sizing. In particular, *Help* frames should not
come up too small any longer.
Frames can now be tiled (horizontally/vertically) and scattered (automatic place-
ment) with functions in the Buffers menu. Tiling code by Drew Adams.
Speedier cursor movements (up/down) in outline-minor-mode and (similar sit-
uations with hidden text).
The red “close” button will now delete all windows of the frame and kill associ-
ated buffers (after checking back) where sensible.
Setting of ‘mac-function-modifier’ now works in conjunction with arrow keys on
Leopard. Reported by Claude Flener. Patch by Yamamoto Mitsuharu.
Spanish keyboards are now better supported, e.g., Emulate Spanish Keyboard
Mode now supports typing backslashes. Patches by Arcadio Rubio Garc Aa
and Elias Baixas.
Swiss German and Swiss French keyboard emulations added (Emulate Spanish
Keyboard Mode. See Options / Option Key menu.) Patch by Claude Fenner.
File names with non-ASCII characters such as German Umlauts or accented char-
acters will be displayed and dealt with correctly. Reported by Ted Roden.
Existing files that are edited with Aquamacs are not automatically turned into
“Aquamacs” files, i.e. will not always be opened in Aquamacs with a double click
from the Finder. This behavior can be controlled with the ‘aquamacs-set-creator-
codes-after-writing-files’ customization variable. Suggested by Joshua Smith and
Nathaniel Cunningham.
Longlines mode (Soft wrap) has been improved: it works better with variable-
width fonts and with LaTeX mode
ESS Info file updated from 5.3.0 to 5.3.6
Cedet was missing a file and produced errors (JDE Mode). Reported by Nick
ACT-R support fixed.
Loading of preferences files revised once more. Preferences.el and customiza-
tions.el are now loaded along with the user’s .emacs, and changes to ‘after-init-
hook’ should work (e.g. to use the ‘desktop’ package) just fine. Based on an issue
reported by Phil Kime.
The Aquamacs application icon has been revised to look better in Leopard’s
1.3b: Aquamacs now checks for new versions again.
14.20 Changes—1.2
Aquamacs failed to start up correctly on some systems with a Japanese (or other)
locale. Reported by Carson Reynolds.
Printing through htmlize now has a monochrome option that removes all face
foreground and background colors and simply prints black on white.
Apple-<and Apple->now raise the next or previous frame (respectively).
To bring up the *Messages* buffer, a double click into the echo area is now needed
instead of a single click.
Aquamacs now includes the Emacs Lisp Reference as convenient Apple Help
document, available from the Help menu (“More Manuals”).
Files created with Aquamacs can now have their default associations changed
in Finder more reliable. Aquamacs now sets the file type of newly created files
to TEXT. Icons associated with such files should now bear the Aquamacs logo.
Reported by Frank J.R. Hanstick.
Ediff does not bring up errors any longer when called repeatedly. Reported by
various users.
In LaTeX-mode, references such as
cite{...}are not highlighted any longer when hovering with the mouse over them.
This was confusing. Use ‘bib-highlight-mouse-t’ to turn it back on.
Ruby on Rails mode updated to emacs-rails This fixes a the startup
problem (missing “snippet”) with rails. Reported by Marc Siegel.
Emacs Speaks Statistic (ESS, R-mode etc.) updated to version 5.3.6.
Fitting frame sizes to the content displayed with M-x fit-frame works now, be-
cause ‘inhibit-fit-frame’ is nil by default. Frames will still be at least 68 characters
wide (‘create-frame-min-width’) to ensure that *Help* frames are wide enough
(if Frame Appearance Styles are active, as by default).
The menu entry ‘Paste’ works for material copied from other applications now
just like Apple-V always did. Reported by Matthew Hoyles.
Aquamacs has always imported the environment from the login shell, e.g. any
environment variable you might have set in your /.bash profile. The elements
of a PATH known to the login shell now take priority over elements in the PATH
defined by the system. That means that if newer versions of system-supplied
utilities are installed with Fink or Darwinports, these will be used from within
Aquamacs should run even without the font Monaco available on the system.
The location of the Abbreviations file was changed. If you have any personal
customizations there, move them:
mv /.abbrev defs “ /Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/Abbreviations”
Revised message in echo area upon startup. Suggested by Richard Stallman.
Based on the latest GNU Emacs 22 code, including improvements to the 22.1
Our sincere appreciation goes you to all users who have donated (http:// If you haven’t had the chance to support the Aqua-
macs project yet, please consider a contribution now. Only with your support
can we continue to work on Aquamacs.
14.21 Changes—1.1
Based on GNU Emacs 22.1.
Aquamacs is now much faster when opening new frames (windows).
The Aquamacs binary now starts fine from the command-line on certain Intel
Preference file loading has been revised. Aquamacs now displays helpful error
messages if one of the Preferences files causes problems. M-x aquamacs-load-
preferences allows users to test their preference files. Starting from a Terminal
window by calling the “Aquamacs Emacs” binary with a “-q” argument will
prevent Aquamacs from loading any preference files, not just .emacs. (Note that
customizations.el is not meant to be edited by users.)
Aquamacs now starts up faster.
Aquamacs does not define a number of fontsets any longer on startup. Since
the font selection dialog can be used (Apple-T), fonts can be chosen freely and
fontsets only need to be defined to combine fonts, which is rarely needed. Users
may define their fontsets as before - Aquamacs just doesn’t do it for them (un-
less such fontsets are used in customizations). Call (aquamacs-create-standard-
fontsets) from Preferences.el should any problem occur.
Emacs 22 Manuals (man / info, available from the Help menu) are now displayed
on all systems. Reported by Eric Martin.
Customization groups are not shown in separate windows any longer.
Plugins may now contain ‘info’ files, which will automatically be found by Aqua-
macs (and M-x info). Reported by Wei Tang.
An issue with the font size on some pages of the Aquamacs manual (as available
from the Help menu) has been addressed. Reported by David Romano.
The “Emulate Some Italian Option key combinations” mode (emulate-mac-italian-
keyboard-mode) allows users to type “m” again. Reported by Domenico Prat-
X Resources specified via the OS X defaults system (plist) are not supported any
Thank you to all users who have donated (
Those who haven’t had the chance to support the Aquamacs project, please con-
sider a contribution now!
14.22 Changes—1.0b
Based on GNU Emacs 22.1.
Java support has just gotten a lot better. JDEE is a complete, integrated develop-
ment environment for Java in Emacs. It supports building, source-level debug-
ging, code generation and much more. Aquamacs now contains the latest version
of JDEE, configured to work with the Java SDK installed via Apple’s Developer
Tools. Visit for more information.
Toolbar: The icons have been completely redesigned. The colors make them easy
to distinguish. The functions available from the standard toolbar have been care-
fully selected. Using the Options - Show/Hide - Toolbar items menu, icons may
be shown or hidden to fit the user’s needs.
Available functions:
New, open, save/save as, revert buffer
Undo, redo
Find (isearch)
Spell-check buffer (ispell-buffer)
Make a new frame
We’d like to acknowledge the artists:
Preferences, Revert Buffer, Kill Buffer: Jasper Hauser
New Frame, Recent Files, Spell-check: Nuovext Project
all other icons: Adrian Chromenko and David Reitter
Spell-Checking can now be found in the Edit menu, not in Tools. The ”Check As
You Type” function (flyspell-mode) will automatically check the buffer contents
(unless it’s a big buffer) when first enabled.
Spell-Checking now supports the popular cocoAspell package, which includes
English language dictionaries and the GNU Aspell spell-checking library. Addi-
tional dictionaries may be installed.
Formatting (filling) text with M-q (Option-q) is a bit more convenient now: when
a region is selected, the command applies to the whole region and not just to
a paragraph. We also provide M-Q (Option-Shift-q) to ”unfill” a paragraph or
a region, which comes in handy when wrapped text needs to be converted to
soft-wrapped text, or to copy&paste it into other applications.
one-buffer-one-frame-mode is more compatible to the normal Emacs paradigm
of one-frame-many-buffers for internal technical reasons, but also with respect
to whether newly opened frames (windows) are actually selected and receive the
following user inputs. In many situations, classical Emacs shows a buffer in an
extra window, but doesn’t select it - so the user can keep working on the original
document. Aquamacs will now do the same - it will raise the appropriate frame,
but not select it. If you would like to make it select at all newly opened frames,
use this in your Preferences.el:
(setq display-buffer-reuse-frames ’select)
Also (the technical change): Function ‘switch-to-buffer’ will set the current buffer
immediately without waiting for the next top-level event loop.) Thanks to Lowell
Vaughn for pointing out a seemingly unimportant bug in one of Emacs’ on-board
games, which led to the discovery of this issue.
Undo as in the original Emacs is available again via ‘undo’. Apple-Z and Apple-
Shift-Z are bound to Aquamacs undo/redo functions (now called ‘aquamacs-
undo/redo’ as they used to be, but seasoned Emacs users may now use Control-
underscore to access the classical undo. The difference is that the old-school undo
will undo it’s own undo steps. Suggested by Rudi Schlatte
Undo (aquamacs-undo, Apple-Z) will now restore point and mark as appropri-
Left/Right keys will now behave more Mac-like, whenever text is marked (i.e.
the mark is active / text has been selected). They now move to the beginning
or the end of that region, respectively. To turn off this behavior, turn off CUA
mode or rebind left/right keys in osx-key-low-priority-key-map by adding this
to your Preferences.el or .emacs file: ] (define-key osx-key-low-priority-key-map
[left] ’backward-char)
(define-key osx-key-low-priority-key-map [right] ’forward-char)
(osx-key-mode 1)
Apple-2 can now be used to split the window into two (like C-x 2), Apple-1 will
undo that split (like C-x 1).
Cut/Copy/Paste with the secondary selection (use Option + mouse) are now
bound to Option-Apple-X, Option-Apple-C, respectively (unless Option is not
Meta, in which case you’d use ESC Apple C, or whatever M-A-c is for you.)
(This is to avoid problems in cases when Caps Lock is on, which is recognized as
Shift modifier.)
The current major mode may be changed in the context menu
Emulate-Mac-German—Italian—...-Keyboard-Modes now allow you to call the
commands bound to the original Meta key combinations using the ”Esc” key. For
example, in the German keyboard emulation, pressing Option-l will give you @,
while Esc l will do ‘downcase-word’. Also, this mode now supports searching
(Apple-F) with ‘isearch’. Reported by Thomas K Aufl. Additionally, an emu-
lation mode for the Finnish keyboard layout is available now. Patch by Lauri
Default colors in help and *Messages* frames/buffers revised. Suggested by
Charles Bailey
Recently opened files that were opened from the ”Recent Files” menu, or from an
external shell with the ’open’ command or something similar are now available
in the minibuffer history that one gets with C-x C-f ‘up’.
Clicking into raised frames (windows) that are not the selected frame (i.e. have
grey instead of red-yellow-green buttons) will now activate that frame. Patch by
Yamamoto Mitsuharu
Creator codes for loaded files are maintained and not always reset to the Aqua-
macs / Emacs code. This way, users may use the Finder to open specific files
with another application by default, but still edit the file in Aquamacs.
Updated AUCTeX (11.84). [M-x latex-mode]. XeTeX users: please customize
‘TeX-command-list’ to call XeTeX directly.
Haskell mode included (2.3). [M-x haskell-mode]
RubyOnRails support via emacs-rails included (0.5.3) [M-x rails-minor-mode,
with M-x ruby-mode]
ACT-R support. [M-x actr-mode]
Menu Bar fixes. (Disabled menu bar entries when frames invisible.)
Aquamacs menu name shortened. Suggested by Enrico Franconi
Accessibility in OS X fixes (simulated clicks on Window elements) Suggested by
Alexis Gallagher Patch by Yamamoto Mitsuharu
HTML files (and others) can be opened in the system’s default browser again.
This applies to C-c C-z v in html-helper-mode and other modes using ‘browse-
Tramp files (i.e. remote files loaded with /uid@host:/path/to/file syntax) are
noted in the ”recent files” history list and not discarded any longer when Aqua-
macs is restarted.
1.0a: Some documentation of Emacs functions (C-h f setq RET, e.g.) was not
available on PPC Macs. Reported by David Sagan and Bill Rising.
1.0a: Some additional executables like movemail did not work on PPC Macs.
Reported by Barbara Shirtcliff.
1.0b: Ruby-mode included in new-buffer/change major mode menu
1.0b: The underlying source code is now fixed to be GNU Emacs 22.1 plus Aqua-
macs extensions.
1.0b: On older PPC Macs, text input was only updated slowly whenever the tool
bar (icons at the top of the frame) was turned on.
1.0b: Gnus did not work correctly. Reported by Martin J A¸rgensen.
1.0b: M-x tile-frames-horizontally/vertically fixed. Patch by Ben Hyde. Updated
to new ‘oneonone’ library version, code by Drew Adams.
1.0b: Moving the point left or right with the arrow keys could cause an error
message “Mark inactive” to appear in certain circumstances. Reported by Michel
Thanks for supplying build machines: Toby Blake (U Edinburgh), James Pringle (U
New Hampshire) and Carlo Gandolfi (Milan).
14.23 Changes—0.9.9d
Frames (windows) now have a little icon in the title bar for the selected buffer,
and you can drag&drop this to other applications. Patch by Mitsuharu Yamamoto
Clicking the Dock icon of Aquamacs will now bring up a minimized frame, if
there is no other frame to be shown - just like in any OS X application. Suggested
by Frank Atanassow
Fonts can now be selected comfortably with the OS X standard font selector, ac-
cessible via ”Options - Show Fonts”. Remember - to make a setting stick, use the
”Frame Appearance Styles”. Set the new style either for the given major mode,
or as a default. Patch by Mitsuharu Yamamoto
C-n and C-p are now mapped to ‘next-line’ / ‘previous-line’ again, so they may
be used to jump full lines (as defined by carriage returns) - even if the lines are
wrapped around. The arrow keys move the cursor visually as before. Suggested
by Tom van Vleck
Apple-‘ now cycles through all the frames, not just the topmost two. Reported
by William Henney
Apple-: now spell-checks the buffer, provided ispell is installed. Suggested by
Jean-Christophe Helary
Apple-Shift-S will now bring up a file selector rather than prompting for a file
name in the minibuffer. If you prefer the Emacs-style prompt, you should use
the Emacs-style key binding: C-x C-w. Suggested by Jean-Christophe Helary
Emulate-Mac-Keyboard-Mode: improved support for French keyboard layouts
ESS 5.3.0 included
SLIME - the Superior Lisp Interaction Mode is now available with Aquamacs.
It’s pre-configured for you. Use ‘lisp-mode’ for your Lisp editing, and run M-x
slime to start a lisp inferior process. You may need to set the variable ‘inferior-
lisp-program’ via customization or in your Preferences.el as follows:
(setq inferior-lisp-program "path to lisp")
C++ Mode is used automatically for .cp files.
Keyboard bug-fix: certain keys could not be successfully input on certain key-
board layouts, most notably the key combination C-c ‘ as used in LaTeX mode
(AUCTeX) was not available on German keyboards. Patch by Taiichi Hashimoto
Ispell/LaTeX bug-fix: ispell will now ignore TeX commands in such buffers.
Patch by Bill Rising
14.24 Changes—0.9.9c
Bugfix: Emacs-internal Input methods work again.
System-wide input methods (via the “International” preference panel) can now
be used instead of the Emacs-specific ones. Use Options - Aquamacs Multilin-
gual Environment - Use System Input Method to turn it on or off - it’s switched
on by default. Patch by Taiichi Hashimoto
14.25 Changes—0.9.9b
‘mac-pass-option-to-system’ didn’t work as intended. There may have been other
input problems.
Switching to another buffer did not change the input focus (i.e. where things you
type go), even though the frame displaying the buffer was raised. Reported by
Rick Taube
tool-bar-mode calls in Preferences.el / .emacs could bring up errors under certain
circumstances Reported by William Henney
‘bury-buffer’ didn’t work correctly, causing situations where a frame was shown
and was removed immediately, for example when SLIME started up or, in LaTeX
(AUCTeX) mode, C-c C-l was used to display compiler output.
Crash in ‘show mouse face’ fixed Reported by Phil
Russian as first application language (System Preference) does not cause startup
problems any more. Reported by Vladimir Lech
14.26 Changes—0.9.9a
SUMMARY: More bugs and other annoyances have been removed. Opening new
frames (for new buffers) is more useful now, and frame themes aren’t applied
when a frame is split up. Options are automatically saved across sessions. A new
customization groups for Emacs-die-hards makes it easier to change Aquamacs-
specific customization defaults.
Intel: Aquamacs is now available as native version for Mac computers with Intel
CPU. Thanks to Jonathan Shea, Mike Bennett and Richard Koch for providing
compile machines.
Dired in one-buffer-one-frame-mode will show new directories and open files in
the same frame.
Customize will show new groups etc. in the same frame and window.
One-Buffer-One-Frame-Mode (”Display Buffers in Separate Frames”) will now
show buffers such as *mail*, *grep*, *shell* in their own frames. This also applies
if other modes open *...* buffers, such as ESS opening an inferior R shell, which
previously didn’t even show in a separate window. One-Buffer-One-Frame-Mode
is also better documented now and has customization options so you can decide
which buffers are shown in new frames.
Frame-Appearance-Themes reconfigure a frame only if just one window is present
(or all windows show buffers in the same major mode). This should more effec-
tively prevent appearance switching when a second window is shown temporar-
Frame-Appearance-Themes now allow the user to delete all mode-specific themes
when a default is defined. Hints to select ”Save Options” are more prominent.
Options are saved automatically upon quitting Aquamacs (it’ll ask you.) - cus-
tomize ‘aquamacs-save-options-on-quit’ to configure.
Quitting Aquamacs: you won’t be asked any more whether to quit if modified
buffers exist, because at that point you’ve always already been asked to save each
modified buffer.
Aquamacs-is-more-than-Emacs is a new customization group containing all cus-
tomization variables whose defaults are changed in Aquamacs compared to GNU
Emacs or the relevant package. This is useful for Emacs veterans who want cer-
tain behaviors to be more similar to GNU Emacs.
Bug Reporting is handled fully in the system’s default mail client again (unless
you’ve set up a different ‘send-mail-function’) Suggested by Robert Sloan
Mail composed with the Message package will now be routed through the mail
client by default (‘message-send-mail-function’) and there is no ”From” line. If
you run postfix locally, you may want to do something like the following in your
.emacs or Preferences.el:
(setq send-mail-function ’sendmail-send-it)
(setq message-send-mail-function ’sendmail-send-it)
(setq mail-setup-with-from t)
Alternatively do the same in customization buffers.
Toolbar looks prettier now. Patch by Kim F. Storm
‘Frame-Appearance-Styles’ is the new name for the former ‘Frame Appearance
Themes, so they won’t be confused with GNU Emacs new customization themes.
A global minor mode called ‘aquamacs-styles-mode’ is now used to switch them
Some configuration variables have been renamed: ‘aquamacs-default-styles’ (was:
‘aquamacs-mode-specific-default-themes’) ‘aquamacs-styles-mode’ (was: ‘aquamacs-
auto-frame-parameters-flag’) ‘aquamacs-buffer-default-styles’ (was: ‘aquamacs-
A-Backspace deletes the whole logical line again, not just the visual line. A-Shift-
Backspace deletes the visual line now.
Tilde can now be input on German keyboards with the German emulation
mode via Option-N.
Frame-positions for individual files are now saved to/loaded from a file called
frame-positions.el (in /Library/Preferences...)
Help buffers (C-h f, C-h v) for certain Aquamacs functions could have links to
source code at nonexistant paths.
site-start.el files in the load path (plug-ins!) aren’t loaded any longer if there is a
file named .ignore in the same path.
Bugfix in version 0.9.9: customizations weren’t read if aquamacs-styles (the for-
mer ”Frame Appearance Themes” were switched off.) Reported by Brendan
Bugfix: Typing C-x C-f, then A-w made the newly opened frame go away, but
not the ”Find file” prompt, which was quite persistent, especially if you didn’t
know about C-g and the minibuffer. That is fixed now. Reported by a number of
Bugfix: Setting tool-bar-mode or changing the fringes via the Options menu will
now affect the default frame style as well, so the setting will affect new frames
(even if frame appearance styles are active). Note that if fringes or tool bar are
set in .emacs, the customized and saved styles will override your settings.
Bugfix: Aquamacs will not ask the user any longer whether to save dired buffers
and other non-file-buffers upon deleting the frame (killing the buffer). Reported
by Carsten Bormann
Bugfix: desktop-mode should be able to restore the desktop on startup appropri-
ately. Reported by Rudi Schlatte
Bugfix: page-wise scrolling (PgUp/PgDown) with long lines scrolls exactly one
screen now
Bugfix: page-wise scrolling (PgUp/PgDown) will remove the region as expected
when the cursor moves. Shift-PgUp/PgDown will extend the region (and set the
mark if neccessary).
Bugfix: completing-read-multiple didn’t work (icomplete+ library updated)
Bugfix: frames sometimes didn’t open in one-buffer-one-frame-mode when the
buffer shown was empty.
Bugfix: In one-buffer-one-frame-mode, Apple-W deletes a window or kills a
buffer and returns to the next buffer in the buffer list (i.e. the previously shown
buffer) when the frame wasn’t created for the particular window / buffer being
killed. Think of it as a stack of buffers that are shown. Previously, Aquamacs
always switched to *scratch*.
Bugfix: Preview & Print now works with buffers in Tramp Mode, too. Reported
by Tim Hodgson
Bugfix: Fonts (not fontsets) set in default-frame-alist and similar variables are
not filtered out any more after startup if they haven’t been explicitly loaded (or
applied to a frame, and thus, loaded). Reported by Konstantinos Efstathiou
Bugfix: display copyright message at startup.
Bugfix: Javascript-mode exchanged for the one borrowed from XEmacs. This one
will hopefully work better now. Suggested by Tom Van Vleck
Bugfix: ediff-directories interferes less with one-buffer-one-frame-mode.
Compiling: Those who build Aquamacs themselves, note that the make-aquamacs
script will now produce a complete app bundle located in (emacs-path)/mac/Aquamacs.
The install-aquamacs script only moves the bundle to /Applications. If you
make any changes to the Aquamacs source code (except for pre-loaded code in
site-load.el), it is usually sufficient to run ”copy-to-app -n”. Remember to set
the AQUAMACS ROOT and EMACS ROOT environment variables before us-
ing any of these scripts.
A BIG THANKYOU goes to all users who have donated (http://aquamacs.
org/donate) in the past months. I’d also like to thank all those who tested the
beta versions, reported bugs and contributed ideas and server space: Nathaniel
Cunningham, Peter Dyballa, Terry Jones, Jos Ac
Figuera O’Farrill, Konrad
Podczeck, Robert Sloan and many others.
14.27 Changes—0.9.8
Meta/Option key: New minor modes allow users of various keyboard layouts
(German, French, Italian, GB/US) to use the Option key as Meta modifier under
Emacs (as it is the default), but still be able to input characters such as [ ]
and @. This works for common characters (not all). Some rarely used Emacs
key bindings such as M-4 on Italian keyboards are overridden by these modes.
Activate them via the Options menu (”Option Key”), or with M-x emulate-mac-
french-keyboard-mode (substitute ’french’ with a keyboard layout in lower case).
The following keyboard layouts are known:
German, Italian, Italian-Pro, French, US, British
You may define your own mappings. (Please publish them.)
Bug reporting: Use standard GNU Emacs bug reporting facility (but go through
the mail client when necessary.)
One-Buffer-One-Frame: Change in the decision-making process about when to
show a buffer in a new frame. Generally, all buffers with names in *’s (such as
*vc*) will be shown in the same frame (as directed by ‘obof-same-frame-regexps’),
with the exception of Messages, Help and Customize buffers (as listed in ‘obof-
other-frame-regexps’). This means that more buffers will open as a ”small” win-
dow inside the current frame. Please report back to us in case you have any
unwanted results with this.
Special-Display-Frames such as the one with the *Help* buffer can now show
*Completions* buffers and other ones in a second window inside the frame, just
like other frames can. (‘unsplittable’ property in ‘special-display-frame-alist’).
Drag&Drop of files in buffers with HTML/LaTeX/C modes results in the ap-
propriate code (such as <IMG SRC=...>or \includegraphics{...}) being inserted.
Patches by Seiji Zenitani
AUCTeX/PDF: TeX-PDF-mode is now the default via the default of its mode
variable ‘TeX-PDF-mode’ rather than an entry in ‘LaTeX-mode-hook’, making
configuring the default in the customization buffer (or in .emacs) easier. Updated
to AUCTeX 11.82.
DONATE: If you like the new version, please donate so we can keep the devel-
opment efforts going throughout 2006. Have a great new year!
Browsing a URL (as in Help menu functions, mouse clicks in Gnus etc. could fail
in rare circumstances. Reported by Count L A¡szl A3deAlmA!‘sy
Tcsh environments will be correctly imported into Aquamacs now. Reported by
Michael Kohlhase
AUCTeX and RSS documentation (info) are now included. Reported by Arthur
Ogus and Jos Ac
Avoid the Dock when opening or automatically resizing frames in most situa-
Up/down movements of the cursor: subtle tweak (jumping to temporary goal
column only in series of up/down movements.)
‘mouse-save-then-kill’ for ‘osx-key-mode-mouse-3-behavior’ set to now works
fine for double clicks (deleting the selected region) Reported by Konrad Podczeck
Tcl-mode back in the ”New Buffer” menu. Patch by Kevin Walzer
CPerl mode is still the default for perl files, but perl-mode is not an alias any
more for cperl-mode.
Environment import (from the default login shell) works better now for users of
tcsh, zsh and ksh.
14.28 Changes—0.9.7
Summary: New functions: Mac-style printing, Export to PDF and HTML, Spelling
suggestions, New buffer in mode / change major mode menus, a context menu
(right mouse click), speed improvements, nXML and AUCTeX included text dis-
play improved (international characters and proportional fonts), ”wrong command-
p” bug fixed and much more.
Printing: Aquamacs now supports full What-you-see-is-what- you-get printing.
Choose ’Preview and Print’ from the File menu, and the current buffer (or the
current region, if one is marked) is typeset using the color theme and the syntax
coloring that is active. You can then preview or print it with the standard Mac OS
X printing dialogs, selecting a standard Mac printer. (Output to US Letter format
only at this point. Sorry!)
Export to PDF and HTML: The current buffer (or a region if selected) can now
be exported to a PDF or HTML file. Syntax coloring (and the chosen color theme
except for the background color) are respected.
LaTeX: Aquamacs now comes with the latest version of AUCTeX, which will
allow you to most comfortably edit LaTeX source code and even preview some
of the results (e.g. formulas) directly in your document. No need to install an
additional AUCTeX package. AUCTeX already works out-of-the box.
It is recommended that you remove any previous installations of AUCTeX.
nXML: Edit XML code more comfortably with the included nxml-mode. It val-
idates the document as you type. If you don’t like the mode, the following in
your Preferences.el file will bring the old XML mode back:
(assq-set-equal "<\\?xml " ’xml-mode
Suggestion from Tim Bray.
Speed: Aquamacs is a little faster now when opening new frames, when frame
appearance styles have been defined.
Right-Mouse-clicks in text now bring up a context menu which allows you to
copy/paste, search the word under the mouse in Google or look it up in the
system dictionary and switch the buffer.
Control-Mouse-click is always mapped to mouse-3 (right mouse button) now so
Apple mouse and laptop users will consistently get the same functionality. To do
mouse-2, just hold down the Command key while clicking. (This does mouse-
yank-at-click, a useful functionality that you might be used to from Linux / X11
Alt-Mouse-click&drag allows you to select a secondary selection. (This used to
be on Command-mouse-1-drag.)
Spelling correction (flyspell) will make suggestions upon right-clicking on a mis-
spelled word.
Fonts/Display: Aquamacs Emacs can now display an even wider range of char-
acters with any font available on OS X. Some characters will look nicer. Patches
by Yamamoto Mitsuharu
Text Display: Aquamacs now displays text in variable-width fonts with much
better letter-spacing. It’ll look like in other OS X apps, and reading and editing
long texts is much more fun now. Patches by Yamamoto Mitsuharu
Navigation in wrapped lines (not word wrap) is easier now: arrow keys will
jump to the next visual line, not to the next buffer/file line. Also, navigation is
visual now for variable width fonts like Lucida: jumping up or down moves to
roughly the same place in the adjacent line going after what’s displayed on the
screen rather than counting characters (jumping to the same row number in the
next line). If you don’t like the behavior, you can turn it off with this code in your
Preferences.el / .emacs file:
(define-key osx-key-mode-map [remap previous-line]
(define-key osx-key-mode-map [remap next-line]
Scrolling and setting the point with the mouse has improved: ‘scroll-margin’
defaults to 0 now, so scrolling won’t happen until you’ve reached the first or last
line in the window - except when you use the cursor up/down keys (and osx-
key-mode is on). Then, scrolling takes place a few lines before you reach the
boundary. You can configure this via Aquamacs’ customization variable ‘visual-
Command-{comments the line or the region (in programming modes)
Command-}uncomments the line or the region (in programming modes)
Command-’ comments or uncomments (toggling) the line or the region (in pro-
gramming modes)
Command-Delete kills (erases) the rest of the current line. (Command-Backspace
kills the whole line.)
Filenames with spaces can now be entered without hassle.
Modifier-Key configuration: Several previously deprecated variables have been
removed: ‘mac-reverse-ctrl-meta’ and ’mac-command-key-is-meta’. Use the much
simpler, yet equally powerful variables ‘mac-command-modifier’, ‘mac-option-
modifier’, ‘mac-control-modifier’ and ‘mac-function-modifier’ (experimental) in-
stead. Additionally, ‘mac-pass-option-to-system’ is deprecated now: instead, set
‘mac-option-modifier’ to nil to reach the same effect. The use of the Option menu
is recommended.
To set the Apple key to Meta (not recommended), add this to your Preferences.el
tt (setq mac-command-modifier ’meta)
Fn-key can act as Meta. If you have an Fn key on your laptop, you can use it as
Meta key now. Add this to your Preferences.el file:
(setq mac-function-modifier ’meta)
Note that support of the Fn key is experimental. Rare combinations may fail on
non-English keyboard layouts, and some keys will not work correctly in combi-
nation with Fn and Shift.
Modifier keys such as Command or Shift show up correctly in the shortcuts
New-Buffer menu contains many more modes now, such as modes for Fortran,
ObjectiveC, C++, PHP, CSS, JavaScript... You can add your own in the customiza-
tion variable ‘aquamacs-known-major-modes’. The menu is updated automati-
Change-Buffer-Mode menu (in File menu) allows to change the mode of the cur-
rent buffer to something hopefully more useful.
Recently used major modes are now displayed in New-Buffer and Change-Buffer-
Mode menus .
M-w (kill-ring-save) will now deactivate the mark after saving the region, that is
deselect the region, just like on standard Emacs. Apple-C will not deselect the
region, just like it’s done on the Mac.
Run executables from within Emacs that lie in your PATH as set in shell init files.
Aquamacs will set ‘exec-path’ automatically from PATH. We don’t add paths to
exec-path any more (except one default tetex path for AUCTeX).
Questions like ”Save to file before closing?” will be asked with a proper dialog
and not with a menu appearing out of nothing - if the last action was carried out
with the mouse.
Thanks to CarbonEmacsJP project for part of this.
Info mode: C-h i will bring up not only up-to-date info nodes for Emacs, but
also info on installed packages on the system. (unless you have an INFOPATH
environment variable set)
Mode-specific styles: With a new menu function, you can now apply the style
assigned to some other mode, effectively copying it over.
Mode-specific styles are not applied any more for the major-mode of buffers
shown in temporary windows inside frames such as the
Completions* buffer. This prevents ugly font-switching etc. for the whole frame
when just a small window is opened inside the frame.
New Packages: findr, htmlize, ruby’s friends, auctex (latex-mode), nxml-mode,
matlab-mode, javascript-mode,
Notable Updated external packages: ruby-mode, ruby-*, carbon-font
Apple/Command key is now called ’A-’ internally because it looks like ”Apple-”
(while it’s really the otherwise unused ”Alt” key). It used to be ”H-” (or: hyper),
so change your configuration code in case you’ve defined your own shortcuts.
One-Buffer-One-Frame is a minor mode now (called one-buffer-one-frame-mode).
Use the Options menu (and Save Options) to turn it on/off, as before. In this mi-
nor mode, you have some additional key bindings now:
C-x B, C-x C-B, C-x S-left, C-x S-right they all do the same as their correspond-
ing functions without the Shift key, but they will show the buffer that they are
switching to in the same window, even though one-buffer-one-frame-mode is on.
The mode has been revised to open fewer extra windows when their content is
related to a specific frame - for example version control checkin comments.
Manual: The Emacs Manual that comes with Aquamacs (as an Apple Help doc-
ument) has been updated to reflect the basis of Aquamacs, namely the upcoming
Emacs 22.
Command-p-Bugfix: For some users, Emacs locked up at random times, show-
ing a message like (wrong command-p ...) in the echo area of a frame on every
input. This bug in the underlying GNU Emacs should be fixed now. Patches by
Yamamoto Mitsuharu, Richard Stallman, et al.
Bugfix: Aquamacs now correctly remembers the positions of frames with specific
files, so they open again on the same screen position if the file is re-loaded (in the
same session, or after ”Save Options” in the next session).
Bugfix: Bookmarks did not work with ‘one-buffer-one-frame’ turned on.
Bugfix: Some Show/Hide options weren’t saved by ”Save Options”.
Bugfix: links from describe-variable/function help buffers to the source files are
correct now for the Aquamacs-specific objects
Bugfix: Aquamacs works fine now on systems where, in the default shell (e.g.
via .bash profile), functions have been defined and exported. Reported by Terry
Bugfix: RefTeX mode does’t give constant audio signals (errors) any more in cer-
tain situations
Bugfix: Allout mode should work again (saving files) Reported by Gerry Brush
Patch by Ken Mannheimer
14.29 Changes—0.9.6
Aquamacs now provides extended input methods for Korean, Japanese and Chi-
nese (GB/BIG5). You can select them in the Options menu, under ”Aquamacs
Multilingual Environment” / ”Set Language Environment” - everything is inte-
grated with Mule.
In order to load more fixed-width fonts suitable for use with Asian languages,
you may want to load the carbon-font package, which is included (but not acti-
vated) in Aquamacs. Just add the following to the file /Library/Preferences/Aquamacs
(require ’carbon-font)
(maintained by Mahn-Soo Choi.)
CSS-Mode fixed. (First reported by Kris Khaira and Michael Jakl.)
Dual-head setups (two screens) with one screen on the left, the system menu on
the right and Aquamacs frames on the left caused problems. (reported by Otto
Karl Florian Diesenbacher)
osx-key-mode-map can now be changed to modify key assignments, in particular
those of Apple Command keys (implemented in Emacs as Hyper = H- keys.)
(reported by William Ziemer)
”font-lock-keywords ... void” message used to appear when attempting to load
a new file. This bug in the underlying GNU Emacs has been fixed.
Apple-Q and iconized frames: When all frames where iconized and one attempted
to quit Aquamacs, the application seemed to hang (because it was showing a
minibuffer prompt in an iconized frame.)
14.30 Interface/Usability Improvements—0.9.5
The application is now called Aquamacs Emacs.
The menu of Recent Files will abbreviate long paths now.
Renamed “Option key produces only special characters” to “Option key for Meta
(not for extra characters).”
C-x C-f (find-file) will bring up a window first before asking for the name of the
file to be loaded.
Files saved with Aquamacs have a nice file icon now.
Text is now nicely shown a little to the right in windows. In the left ”fringe”, you
can see small dots indicating the end of the buffer, and a small triangle indicating
continued lines. If you cannot see them, your Frame / default style overwrites
it. Select ”Options / Frame Appearance Styles / Reset all styles” to make the
fringes appear.
The ”frame appearance styles” system has been revised. *Messages* now has
a distinctive colored background. To change this background (or the one for
*Help* buffers), customize the variable ‘aquamacs-buffer-specific-frame-styles.
Also, you can turn Frame Appearance Styles on and off with a menu item.
Setting the frame font gives a warning now (that the font is only set for the cur-
rent frame), or sets it as default if Frame Appearance Styles are off.
Frame-related functions from File menu are now in Buffers menu.
1on1-* customization variables are gone—most of them were not in working or-
der (in Aquamacs) anyways due to the way we were using the Oneonone pack-
age. This gets rid of quite a bit of doubly implemented functionality.
You can switch the Option key from its Emacs-specific Meta meaning to its Mac
typical use (composing keys such as ¨
u (Engl. keyboard) or the backslash (Ger-
man keyboard) by typing Apple-; – this is equivalent to the Options menu entry
“Option key for Meta.”
The customization variable aquamacs-auto-frame-parameters allows you to turn
off mode-specific styles—your frames stay the same, no matter what major mode
you switch to.
Frame Appearance Styles have a better menu structure now in the Options menu.
Also, there is a new function “Delete all mode-specific styles”.
Many menu items are now greyed out (cannot be selected) when no frame is
Help (Aquamacs Manual) has been revised.
(Even) speedier startup.
Every Aquamacs frame has a toolbar-button now. Use it to turn the toolbar in
the given frame on and off.
Improvement when working with multiple frames: when no frame is visible,
Aquamacs no longer raises some other frame as soon as a file is loaded.
Mode-specific styles revised: the full set of parameters coming from color themes
is now supported, in addition to the font and toolbar setting.
Menu item to delete the mode-specific style for the current major mode.
14.31 New and Updated Major Modes—0.9.5
Better support for editing HTML: HTML-Helper-Mode is included.
Emacs Speaks Statistics is included. (Minor glitches with toolbar and info files
are known and will be addressed.)
Auctex configuration now turns on abbrev-mode and flyspell-mode when latex-
mode is started (instead of toggling them). (reported by Robert Sloan)
Page-wise scrolling is more reliable–that is, it is really page-wise and you can
always return to the same line. (Pager package)
14.32 Bug Fixes—0.9.5
Font “Bitstream Vera Sans” works again.
Exiting view mode (e.g. help) with ’q’ deletes the frame instead of iconifying it.
The (Apple Help) manuals work now on systems where tcsh is the default shell.
(Reported by Arthur Ogus)
Startup with arguments -nw (tty / in terminal) revised.
You can now redefine Aquamacs keys like this:
(define-key osx-key-mode-map [end] ’end-of-line)
(Thanks for reporting: Andreas Hess.)
If the user changes mac-command-modifier, it may be advisable to call
This will ensure that the keymap is updated and Aquamacs installs its Mac-like
keyboard commands (provided you want this).
New frames will not open behind the Dock any more.
An error message (harmless) when clicking on ”Finish” in customize is gone.
Error message during version check on startup removed (occurred in certain
cases where users had upgraded their system.)
In particular in TeX mode, Aquamacs tended to give audio signals all the time
when there were internal exceptions (internal errors signaled) with parsing the
TeX code. Therefore, we do not ring the bell any more, i.e. aquamacs-ring-bell-
on-error-flag is nil by default. (Reported by Ken Bloom and Andreas Hess)
Speedbar works when one-buffer-one-frame (“Open Buffers in Separate Frames”)
is turned off.
Option-up/down (if Option is meta) now scrolls page-wise.
Other bug-fixes.
14.33 Bug Fixes—0.9.4
Bug reports contain the subject line that the user entered.
No more (delay due to) tramp mode on startup in cases where tramp mode had
been used before (recentf).
Files on externally mounted volumes are not checked for readability any more
for exclusion from recent files list. (Reported by Bill Clementson)
No more warnings when fonts are missing (on startup).
Drag and Drop while in minibuffer works again.
Mouse-2 works again.
default-major-mode and initial-major-mode are respected now. initial-frame-
alist is not modified any more. Note that other than in any standard Emacs,
mode-specific settings always take precedence over default-frame-alist (but not
over initial-frame-alist). (Reported by Rick Zaccone, Joe Davison and Peter Dy-
No more warnings in customization buffers that the values have been changed
outside customize (for certain variables).
Gnus articles (newsreader) open in same frame now.
Gnus has a useful (free) nntp server set so you can start right away.
Send Email with Sendmail is gone from menu (doesn’t usually work on OS X).
Fonts corrected: Some glyphs in some fonts turned out wrong when in bold or
italic. Also, font sizes are correct again (Lucida 14 is Lucida Grande 14, not 12 or
so). The default font size for text-mode (and similar ones) is set to Lucida 13 to
make up for the change. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause with
your default settings. (Reported by William Henney)
Better customization for aquamacs-mode-specific-default-themes
The customizations file (customizations.el) doesn’t grow any more. (Reported by
Alastair Rankine.)
Various corrections in the Aquamacs Manual.
Plugin support: All files named site-start.el anywhere in the load-path are loaded
at startup, before the user’s init files are loaded. For example, such a file may
be placed in /Library/Application Support/Aquamacs Emacs/myPlugin. This
feature enables support for easily installable plugins.
We anticipate shorter startup times in the next release. Stay tuned.
14.34 Bug Fixes—0.9.3a and 0.9.3b
Fixed “wrong argument type” problem (version check), which could occur in
new installations or those updated from 0.9.1.
Monaco 18 font present (suggestion: David M. Cook).
Emacs Manual available again.
Save mac-pass-option-to-system when saving options.
14.35 Bug Fixes, Features and Changes—0.9.3
Initial-frame-alist is respected. (Reported by Alastair Rankine)
When saving a buffer and the Finder is not running, the Finder is not opened any
more. (Reported by George W. Gilchrist.)
Using dead-keys (like Option-u or Option-n on most keyboards) works again.
(Reported by Howard Melman and Pierre Albarede
When modified files existed, but no frame was visible and one tried to quit Aqua-
macs, the application seemed to hang while prompting for keyboard input (Save
file? y/n) in an invisible window. This has been fixed.
If no frame is visible and you input text, the frame is made visible so you can see
what you are doing.
Closing windows consistently with the mouse now works properly.
Clicking on links to source files in help buffers properly opens a new frame (if
“open buffers in separate frames” is on).
When the buffer shown in a frame changes, sometimes the color theme and font
were not set correctly; this has been addressed. This could happen when “Show
Buffers in Separate Frames” was off, and one killed a buffer. (Reported by Peter
When “Show Buffers in Separate Frames” was off, and one killed a buffer (kill-
buffer, C-x k), the frame was deleted.
You have the option to save newly created buffers (Command-N) that have not
been saved yet when you quit Aquamacs.
Less frame-dancing (resizing) on startup.
EX uses the standard commands again. The menu is unstructured for this
reason. (Reported by Robert Sloan.)
No frames could be opened when using a two-screen setup with the menu bar
on the right screen, and a currently selected frame on the left screen. This has
been addressed. (Reported by George W. Gilchrist.)
Customizing a style for a special display frame (e.g. help or customization)
works now.
Recent Files/Clear Menu works again.
Paths and other environment variables are now derived from the shell when you
start Aquamacs.
Your settings for highlight parens,“Blinking Cursor,” etc. are now persistent.
The function Options/Save Options (menu-bar-option-save) now correctly saves
such settings. This should include most customization settings except some that
Aquamacs relies on for proper clipboard copy/paste functionality.
The font menu (Options) no longer includes non-existent fonts.
Option/Show-Hide/Menu Bar is gone because you cannot turn off the menu bar
on OS X.
“Send Emacs Bug Report” now uses the OS X default mail program to compose
a message. This ensures that bug reports actually go through. Before, they did
not, unless you were running a local SMTP server (sendmail/postfix), which is
not enabled by default.
Fixed loading of files when file names contain certain Kanji characters, due to a
bug in AppleScript.
The menu shortcut entries were corrected.
Characters that require the use of the option key work again. For example, Alt-3
produces the pound sign ( ˆ
A£) on a US keyboard, Alt-L the ‘at’ sign @ and Alt-
Shift-7 the backslash \on a German one. Inputting the Euro sign works, too.
However, that means that the option key is not used to emulate the ‘meta’ modifier; you
will have to use Esc to do that. Alternatively, you can map the option key to meta
in your .emacs file:
(setq mac-option-modifier ’meta)
Improvements in the fontset selection allow you to display the Euro sign with
the default font.
We have moved Aquamacs to
The Aquamacs wiki is now at
The Aquamacs bug reporting address is now mailto:aquamacs-bugs@aquamacs.
org. This can be accessed from directly within the Aquamacs Help menu.
The general Aquamacs mailing list is still mailto:macosx-emacs@email.; e-mail to
Slightly faster startup.
Runs on OS X 10.3.9, 10.4.0 and 10.4.—tested.
Aquamacs automatically checks for updates and notifies the user if there is some-
thing new. This function communicates with an internet server; it does not trans-
mit any information identifying the user. If you would like to know more about
what is transmitted, use M-x aquamacs-check-version-information. If you like to
turn this check off, add this to your file /Users/yourname/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs
(setq aquamacs-version-check-url nil)
Adding Emacs packages is easier now: Emacs automatically finds packages in
subdirectories within the /Library/Preferences— Application Support/Emacs—Aquamacs
Emacs/ paths.
Aquamacs now sets the file creator information of files it writes. This helps
to open the file from Finder with Aquamacs when you double-click it. Fea-
ture can be turned off via customization option “aquamacs-set-creator-codes-
after-writing-files.” Also, Emacs will appear in the Finder’s context menu under
“Open With” for a lot of files that it is commonly used to edit.
You can start Aquamacs in a terminal (by running /Applications/
/Contents/ MacOS/ Emacs) with parameter -nw and will show up in the ter-
minal rather than as a Carbon application. Basic file editing and all traditional
commands work. However, Aquamacs-specific keyboard commands (with the
Command key) will not work and other functionality may be limited, too. Warn-
ing: This mode of use, which may break in future versions, is not supported by
the Aquamacs team.
We make sure that the *Completions* buffer (and similar things) open as a win-
dow inside the frame directly above the Minibuffer, and not in a new frame.
All newly opened frames open in a somewhat useful position, so they are not in
the way. (If you do not like this, we suggest you set your own static frame posi-
tions via “set current style as default” and also add this to your file /Users/yourname/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs
(setq smart-frame-positioning-enforce nil)
Or, if you would like to go with the default position all the time, turn the global
minor mode off:
(smart-frame-positioning-mode nil)
Aquamacs should not complain about missing fonts any more when you have
upgraded from earlier versions and set scalable fonts as default fonts for modes
or all frames. They get filtered automatically.
Users with certain setups (cyrillic Lucida Grande) should not get a “default font
not found” error any more.
“Recursive Minibuffers” are enabled.
“Subscribe to mailing list” in Help menu.
PHP-Mode included (M-x php-mode).
Ruby-Mode included (M-x ruby-mode)
yes-or-no-p is customizable now. Use the new customization variable aquamacs-
quick-yes-or-no-prompt. (Thanks: Pavel Hlavnicka.)
Soft word wrap (longlines-mode) is available from the Options menu. To make it
the default, add this to your preferences file: (set-default ’longlines-mode
Case-insensitive search option has gone into “search” submenu (in “Edit”).
If you are in an empty frame (i.e. a frame with an empty buffer) and you load
(find) a file, Aquamacs will not open an additional frame. This is useful also for
drag and drops, when a scratch frame is open.
The secondary selection is back: use the Command (Apple) key together with
clicking/dragging the mouse cursor over text in order to select text that is not
related to the point (cursor). This way, you can select text and then scroll some-
where else. Extend your selection with shift-command-mouse1. To copy/cut the
text in the secondary selection to the clipboard, use Shift-Command-C/X, respec-
Some key-bindings are more like the original Emacs ones–in particular M-w,
which does kill-ring-save again. (Idea: Joe Davison) Also, Home and End keys
work as expected.
No more annoying system “ding” (bell ringing) all the time. The bell is turned off
completely, until Emacs developers eliminate the use of the bell on user-initiated
abort actions (such as ESC ESC ESC when in minibuffer, of pressing Cancel in
the file selection dialog).
The toolbar is only displayed in normal frames, but not in frames that show
help/info buffers. (tool-bar+ and aquamacs-tool-bar packages). Turn such tool-
bars on/off in Options/Show/Hide menu.
The “About Emacs” dialogue has been improved.
Key combinations with the option key that involve another modifier (that is, ctrl
or command) will now work, even though simple option combinations are han-
dled by the system to produce special characters.
The Speedbar is back. Activate in Options/ Show/Hide.
The redo function is in the Edit menu now.
New buffers (File / New) open in Text Adapt Fill mode now.
.save-places and customizations.el do not show up in the recent files list any
auto-save-files (in / Users / yourname /.emacs.d) are now saved to / Users /
“Save Place in Files in between sessions” will not generate files in the user’s home
folder any more. Instead, the file goes into / Users / yourname/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs
Emacs/ where it belongs.
Command-’ now cycles between different windows (suggested by Joseph Kiniry.)
Option is mapped to Meta by default, allowing you to enter key combinations
such as C-M- easily. If you’d like to map it to alt instead, just add this to your
(setq mac-option-modifier ’alt)
Color Themes: The color-themes package has been integrated in Aquamacs. Use
the Option/Color Theme... menu command to choose a set of predefined colors
for editing source code or writing texts. This applies to the current frame only,
but you can make it the default for all new frames or for all frames in a specific
mode with the according menu commands.
There is a new customization group called “Aquamacs” that allows you to mod-
ify the customizations introduced by Aquamacs. This is fairly untested - un-
expected results may occur. If so, try to locate and fix the bug and send us a
patch. If you couldn’t find the problem, please report via Help/Send Bug Re-
port... PLEASE NOTE that a lot of customization variables have changed their
names—usually, you just need to prepend 1on1 to them.
Aquamacs will load your configuration files not just from / Users / yourname/.emacs,
but also from the location that is appropriate for a Mac OS X installation:
/ Library/ Preferences /Aquamacs Emacs / Preferences.el
/ Users / yourname/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs Emacs/Preferences.el
/Library/Preferences / Emacs / Preferences.el
/ Users / yourname / Library/Preferences/Emacs/Preferences.el
It is recommended to use these instead of / Users / yourname/.emacs on OS
X-only installations. The first two files should be used for the host-wide and
user-specific Aquamacs configs, the latter two for general Emacs configurations.
There is a new configuration option that gives you more fine-grained control over
how the option modifier key is handled.
If mac-pass-option-to system is nil, your Aquamacs will get all key combinations.
If you press option-3, Aquamacs will see “M-3” (or, depending on mac-option-
modifier “A-3”). If it is non-nil, you will simply get the pound sign on a US
TeXniScope support in LaTeX mode (if installed in /Applications).
We have two great manuals available comfortably via Apple Help now, directly
from within Aquamacs Emacs (Help menu). There is a brand-new Aquamacs
manual, and there is Richard Stallman’s original Emacs manual. They can be
searched (e.g. via Spotlight on OS X 10.4). We also provide direct access to the
online configuration Wiki, which has been filling up with content nicely. Please
contribute; everybody has write access.

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