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GNU Emacs
GNU Emacs 26.2 screenshot.png
GNU Emacs 26.2 running on GNOME 3
Original author(s) Richard Stallman
Developer(s) GNU Project
Initial release 20 March 1985; 37 years ago (1985-03-20)
Stable release
26.3 / 28 August 2019; 3 years ago (2019-08-28)
Preview release
27.0.91 / 19 April 2020; 2 years ago (2020-04-19)
Written in Emacs Lisp, C
Operating system Unix-like (GNU, Linux, macOS, BSDs, Solaris), Windows, MS-DOS
Platform Cross-platform
Available in English
Type Text editor
License GPLv3+

GNU Emacs (short for Editing Macros) is a text editor that is common on many UNIX-based operating systems.

Emacs is primarily used by programmers.

Emacs is made powerful by Emacs Lisp, a built-in programming language that lets the user extend the capabilities of the editor.

A common Emacs joke is that all of the functions of the editor are crazy weird keystrokes (such as "control-meta-4 shift-left-P-semicolon-F1" to do something simple like cut and paste text). In reality, though, these keystrokes are relatively simple, though they can take some getting used to.

There is an Internet turf war between programmers that prefer Emacs and programmers that prefer Vim (or Vi), another common text editor.

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