When the Emacs
editor is started without an initial file to load, it creates a buffer called
in a special mode called Lisp Interaction Mode
. This mode allows you to communicate directly with the lisp interpreter
that is at the heart of Emacs.
To evaluate a lisp expression, enter it into the Lisp Interaction buffer and press
C-j (control-J). Emacs will evaluate the expression and print out the results in the buffer. M-TAB (Esc then tab) will auto-complete lisp variables, or, if prefixed by an open-paranthesis, lisp functions.
This mode is useful for playing around with Emacs lisp. You can whip up quick lisp functions on the fly or do some quick math.