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Emacs is a powerful editor which is easy to use in graphical mode but has a steep initial learning curve in text mode.

To start emacs in graphical mode, open a terminal window and type

emacs filename &

or select Applications -> Accessories -> GNU Emacs 24 (GUI) from the GNOME menus.

If no graphical display is available (for example because emacs is being run in a PuTTy session), emacs will detect this and launch itself in text mode instead. You can also specify that emacs should run in text mode with the -nw (No Window) option.

emacs -nw filename

Emacs comes with a tutorial. Open Emacs and select Help (from the top right hand side) -> Emacs Tutorial (first menu item).

You can use google to search for emacs tutorials.

There is more information at