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Several beginner-questions

From: Marko Vojinovic
Subject: Several beginner-questions
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 08:13:51 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.13.7 (Linux/; KDE/4.6.3; x86_64; ; )

Hello everyone! :-)

I am a new member on this list, sorry if I break any posting guidelines.

After some number of years (cca 20) of using various editors under various 
OSes, I decided to go pro and migrate to emacs. The main point being that 
emacs seems to be the only editor configurable enough for my taste. The role-
model editor from my youth was the CygnusEditor for the Amiga back in the day, 
so my idea was/is to recreate some (but not all) aspects of that environment 
that I particularly like.

Anyway, I devoted some time and googling to learn some basics about emacs and 
customize my ~/.emacs to some point. For various reasons, I always start emacs 
in an xterm with the -nw switch (or in a text console if there is no X 
around), and never ever use the X version. Therefore the questions I have 
relate exclusively to that environment.

The main questions that google failed to answer for me are the following:

1) Is there a package to recreate the old MS-DOS pull-down menu display, 
instead of the default "open new buffer to display menu items" behavior 
(invoked by F10)? I have found the dropdown-list.el, but it seems it was 
written for the X version and does not work for emacs -nw. Or I don't know how 
to use it properly.

2) I have set (line-number-mode 1) and (column-number-mode 1) in order to see 
the cursor coordinates, and this works. However, column numbering begins with 
zero --- the top-left corner of the buffer has coordinates (1,0). How do I get 
rid of the 0-th column? I want the columns to be counted from 1 (so that the 
corner has coordinates (1,1), which is more natural from my POV)?

3) When I do a M-x list-colors-display, emacs displays all 256 colors 
properly, but with wrong names. Instead of giving the colors names as per the 
rgb.txt file, it lists names like color-16, color-17, etc. Those names are not 
recognized in the .emacs (while rgb.txt names are). How do I make it use color 
names from the rgb.txt file, when invoking list-colors-display? I want to 
customize my syntax-highlighting, and this is somewhat hard if I have to guess 
the names of the colors displayed by that function.

4) I'd like to use the TAB key to type four SPC characters in the buffer when I 
press it. However, I don't want to disturb its auto-completion functionality 
when doing anything other than just typing text in the buffer. What is the 
"safest" way to create a keybinding for this?

5) My main use-case is typesetting LaTeX documents, so I have installed the 
auctex package, and it seems to work well. However, I have just begun to 
explore its capabilities, and would appreciate any advice on what to pay 
attention and what are its most useful features. For example, is there a 
label-autocomplete feature for easy filling in \ref{} and \cite{} commands?

I hope these questions are not too stupid. I have been using emacs for only a 
week now, so sorry for my ignorance.

Also, if important, my environment is:

address@hidden ~]$ emacs -nw --version
GNU Emacs 23.2.1
address@hidden ~]$ cat /etc/redhat-release 
Fedora release 14 (Laughlin)
address@hidden ~]$ uname -a
Linux Yoda #1 SMP Sat May 21 17:26:25 UTC 2011 x86_64 
x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

TIA, :-)

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