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I totally get it. New software is a bitch to install, even tho you may be a tech wizard. Don't worry: We've made the process a simple one. Choose your OS, and let's get started.

For Windows Users

Find the Right File:

Head over to the GNU Emacs page to find what you need. Scroll a little ways down to "Windows" & click on nearby GNU mirror; the best bet from there is probably the latest version; look for an "emacs-nn" directory that shows the biggest version number. The file you want is probably going to be labeled "-installer.exe," rather than a zip or sig file.

Click to download. You can pick a different one, if your choice doesn't work on the first try.

Installation Walkthrough:

Locate the downloaded file; the download typicall lands in your Downloads folders. Double-click it, and follow the prompts.

Your First Launch:

Go to your Start Menu, find the item labeled "Emacs," and click to open it. The "splash" screen should appear, showing an ASCII take on a GNU.

Take a deep breath; you did it!

For macOS Users

The Terminal (best):

Open your Terminal (you'll find it in Applications > Utilities) and copy-paste the following:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

This installs the Homebrew app. Next, to install Emacs, type:

brew install --cask emacs

OR Drag-and-Drop:

Visit Emacs For Mac OS X. Click to download the latest version, then simply drag the downloaded app into your Apps folder.

For Linux Users (Ubuntu)

Meet the Ubuntu Terminal:

Press Ctrl+Alt+T to say "hi" to your Terminal.

Magic Package Commands:

Type and enter the following:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install emacs

When the first command asks you for a password, you should type in your user's password.

OR The Snap Method

Alternatively, you can test the snap method:

sudo snap install emacs

First Run:

When the install steps are done and the terminal returns to the "$" prompt, type "emacs" in the terminal, or find it in the app set under the "…" button.

You're In! Now What?

Once you've launched Emacs, and you see the welcome screen with the stylized "Emacs" & the huge GNU, you're golden.

Remember, Emacs is like a layer cake, so don't fuss with all of the Control-key combos you will no doubt have heard about. What you need to do is use the menus and the keyboard keys that most word processors use, like arrow keys, home, end, and page down. We're not going to start in the deep end, but have faith: quite soon you'll be swimming laps in the pool like a pro.

Congratulations, BTW. You're an emacs user now. How far you go, and how much you do, depends on your own needs & desire to know more. It's all up to you.

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