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Aquamacs is an Aqua-native build of the powerful Emacs text editor. By "Aqua-native," we mean more than just the fact that this version of Emacs runs as a standard OS X application. Aquamacs features extensive customization: it will feel and behave mostly like an Aqua program - while still being a real GNU Emacs with all the ergonomy and extensibility you've come to expect from this world-class editor. It's beeen adapted by David Reitter, based on GNU Emacs by Richard Stallman and many others. Aquamacs has been downloaded more than 200,000 times since we started keeping track.
Emacs is a text editor of legendary power and configurability, but it also has an enormously complex user interface. One advantage of it is: no matter what operating system you run Emacs on, you'll always get the same interface. The big problem: if you use a number of applications on your Mac, one of them is Emacs, you'll have to switch gears when you switch to Emacs.
Aquamacs is better. We support the standard Mac user interface that you've come to love. For instance, in addition to traditional Emacs shortcuts like C-x C-f (open a new file), Aquamacs understands Command-O. Aquamacs behaves like a modern application on Mac (or Windows) when it comes to selecting, copying, pasting texts within Aquamacs or in between applications. Aquamacs offers nice, smooth fonts. Asian input methods work. It's easy to install and runs out-of-the box with no configuration. And all is built on GNU Emacs, so you can use your favorite Emacs packages! Check the Features section if you want to know more.
Authors: Aquamacs has been adapted from GNU Emacs by David Reitter, aided by enthusiastic users and Emacs experts. Collaborator Nathaniel Cunningham has contributed features such as native spell-checking and window tabs. Project co-founder Kevin Walzer has contributed easy-to-understand manuals. There is a long list of contributors, including those who wrote included packages and, of course, Emacs. GNU Emacs has a long history that began some thirty years ago, primarily driven by the efforts of GNU founder Richard M. Stallman. GNU Emacs has first been ported to the Mac by Andrew Choi; the Cocoa port was written by Adrian Robert and colleagues; much Mac development of Emacs was done by Yamamoto Mitsuharu.