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GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual

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33.10 Coding Systems

When Emacs reads or writes a file, and when Emacs sends text to a subprocess or receives text from a subprocess, it normally performs character code conversion and end-of-line conversion as specified by a particular coding system.

How to define a coding system is an arcane matter, and is not documented here.

33.10.1 Basic Concepts of Coding Systems  Basic concepts.
33.10.2 Encoding and I/O  How file I/O functions handle coding systems.
33.10.3 Coding Systems in Lisp  Functions to operate on coding system names.
33.10.4 User-Chosen Coding Systems  Asking the user to choose a coding system.
33.10.5 Default Coding Systems  Controlling the default choices.
33.10.6 Specifying a Coding System for One Operation  Requesting a particular coding system for a single file operation.
33.10.7 Explicit Encoding and Decoding  Encoding or decoding text without doing I/O.
33.10.8 Terminal I/O Encoding  Use of encoding for terminal I/O.
33.10.9 MS-DOS File Types  How DOS "text" and "binary" files relate to coding systems.

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