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Setting Variables for One Session

My copy of Emacs version 19.23 has 392 options that you can set with the  edit-options command. These `options' are no more than variables such as we have seen earlier and defined using  defvar .

Emacs determines whether a variable is intended to be easily settable by looking at the first character in its documentation string; if the first character is an asterisk, `*', the variable is a user-settable option. (See section Initializing a Variable with  defvar command lists all the variables in Emacs that the people who wrote the Emacs Lisp libraries think ought to be readily settable. It provides an easy-to-use interface for resetting these variables.

On the other hand, options set using  edit-options are set only for the duration of your editing session. The new values are not saved between sessions. Each time Emacs starts, it reads the original  defvar value in its source code. To carry a changed setting from one session to the next, you need to use a  setq expression within a `.emacs' file or other file that you load every time you start a session.

For me, the major use of the  edit-options command is to suggest variables I might want to set in my `.emacs' file. I urge you to look through the list.

See section 'Editing Variable Values' in The GNU Emacs Manual, for more information.

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