When you edit files of text in a human language, it's more convenient
to use Text mode rather than Fundamental mode. Invoke M-x
text-mode to enter Text mode. In Text mode, TAB runs the
tab-to-tab-stop, which allows you to use arbitrary tab
stops set with M-x edit-tab-stops (see section Tab Stops). Features
concerned with comments in programs are turned off in Text mode except
when explicitly invoked. The syntax table is changed so that periods
are not considered part of a word, while apostrophes, backspaces and
underlines are part of words.
A similar variant mode is Indented Text mode, intended for editing
text in which most lines are indented. This mode defines TAB to
indent-relative (see section Indentation), and makes Auto Fill
indent the lines it creates. The result is that normally a line made by
Auto Filling, or by LFD, is indented just like the previous line.
In Indented Text mode, only blank lines separate paragraphs--indented
lines continue the current paragraph. Use M-x indented-text-mode
to select this mode.
Text mode, and all the modes based on it, define M-TAB as
ispell-complete-word, which performs completion of
the partial word in the buffer before point, using the spelling
dictionary as the space of possible words. See section Checking and Correcting Spelling.
Entering Text mode or Indented Text mode runs the hook
text-mode-hook. Other major modes related to Text mode also run
this hook, followed by hooks of their own; this includes Nroff mode,
TeX mode, Outline mode and Mail mode. Hook functions on
text-mode-hook can look at the value of
major-mode to see
which of these modes is actually being entered. See section Hooks.