Emacs for Writers : Part 1

Youtube Video of Jay Dixit's presentation.


I came across this video (I think) from Sacha Chua's weekly Emacs news (But I am not certain, may be it was a tweet.) Personally, I prefer to refer to the presentation (PPT/PDF) that goes with such video, assuming it contains written notes that viewer can refer to later.

But I could not find the notes/presentation that go along with this. Since the video contains a lot of gems, I decided to make my own notes (and in process help some other emacs-noobs like myself)

Please note that there are lot of "visuals", so it is useful to watch the video. At least the second half hour is "demo" mode, so there couldn't be any notes.

Comment your articles

The way programmers write code comments, which are meant for themselves (or other developers) Similarly, writers also need to comment their articles (Who knew) These are Notes-for-self, but do not show up in the exported format. Trick is simple, start a line with a #, and the line is considered as as comment. Check the source org file of this article and see a comment right below this sentence.

Off course for multi-line comment, one can use well known #+BEGIN_COMMENT and #+END_COMMENT blocks.

If you want to comment out an entire subtree, use C-c ;. Such subtree is not exported.

workflowy meets scrivener

Jay opens up with how he liked both these products separately, but wanted combination of these

Outline to the left, contents on the right controlled by keyboard as much as possible without using mouse a lot

He showed two "tricks" (I couldn't hear them properly, but here is how I was able to get such a functionality)

Split the window

Split the window to the right (assuming you started with single window) In spacemacs you can do this by SPC w V

Now you have the same buffer in two windows. You edit in one windows, but the changes are visible in other window immediately.

That is not exactly what you (or Jay) want. He wanted outline in one (left) window and contents in the right. So we ..

Separate the buffers

Go the window on your left, and clone-indirect-buffer-other-window Now you can see the outline in the left pane, and edit in the right pane. The left pane can remain "folded". It doesn't update unless you add a node.

Continue to Part 2 (Coming soon)


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