Lawrence Technological University
College of Arts and Science
Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences


Emacs setup for an LTU Laptop

As of August, 2004 the current stable version of Emacs is 21.3 and the newer "aspell" spell-checker is a little easier to use than the venerable ispell. Some directions

  1. Go to and look in the "windows" subdirectory to download emacs-21.3-fullbin-i386.tar.gz (18,732 Kb) and extract it to c:\ with WinZip.
  2. As in README.W32, you will want to run the program addpm.exe in the bin subdirectory in order to make a shortcut to runemacs.exe.
  3. Go to and download and run Aspell-0-50-3-3-Setup.exe. Try installing it in c:\emacs-21.3. Avoid installing it in c:\Program Files\. If you put the Aspell folder in c:\emacs-21.3, you would then add c:\emacs-21.3\Aspell\bin to your PATH environment variable.
  4. Use the Start Menu entry for "Download dictionaries" under Aspell and then go up one level to download and run Aspell-en-0.50-2-3.exe
  5. Finally, tell Emacs to use aspell instead of ispell. Use the Start Menu to start Emacs. Use Ctrl-x, Ctrl-f to find and load the /.emacs file. Use Esc, > to go to the end of this file and then add the line
    (setq-default ispell-program-name "aspell") 
    Save the file (Ctrl-x, Ctrl-s) and then exit Emacs (Ctrl-x, Ctrl-c).
  6. Restart Emacs and just type something in the "Scratch Buffer"
    and then use Esc, $ to see your options.

Revised August 22, 2004