Since only part of a large buffer fits in the window, Emacs tries to show the part that is likely to be interesting. The display control commands allow you to specify which part of the text you want to see.
The names of all scroll commands are based on the direction that the text
moves in the window. Thus, the command to scrolling forward is called
scroll-up, since the text moves up.
If a buffer contains text that is too large to fit entirely within a window that is displaying the buffer, Emacs shows a contiguous portion of the text. The portion shown always contains point.
Scrolling means moving text up or down in the window so that different parts of the text are visible. Scrolling forward means that text moves up, and new text appears at the bottom. Scrolling backward moves text down and new text appears at the top.
Scrolling happens automatically if you move point past the bottom or top of the window. You can also explicitly request scrolling with the commands in this section.
The most basic scrolling command is C-l (
no argument. It clears the entire screen and redisplays all windows.
In addition, it scrolls the selected window so that point is halfway
down from the top of the window.
The scrolling commands C-v and M-v let you move all the text
in the window up or down a few lines. C-v (
scroll-up) with an
argument shows you that many more lines at the bottom of the window, moving
the text and point up together as C-l might. C-v with a
negative argument shows you more lines at the top of the window.
scroll-down) is like C-v, but moves in the
opposite direction. The function keys NEXT and PRIOR are
equivalent to C-v and M-v.
To read the buffer a windowful at a time, use C-v with no argument.
It takes the last two lines at the bottom of the window and puts them at
the top, followed by nearly a whole windowful of lines not previously
visible. If point was in the text scrolled off the top, it moves to the
new top of the window. M-v with no argument moves backward with
overlap similarly. The number of lines of overlap across a C-v or
M-v is controlled by the variable
default, it is two.
Another way to do scrolling is with C-l with a numeric argument. C-l does not clear the screen when given an argument; it only scrolls the selected window. With a positive argument n, it repositions text to put point n lines down from the top. An argument of zero puts point on the very top line. Point does not move with respect to the text; rather, the text and point move rigidly on the screen. C-l with a negative argument puts point that many lines from the bottom of the window. For example, C-u - 1 C-l puts point on the bottom line, and C-u - 5 C-l puts it five lines from the bottom. Just C-u as argument, as in C-u C-l, scrolls point to the center of the screen.
The C-M-l command (
reposition-window) scrolls the current
window heuristically in a way designed to get useful information onto
the screen. For example, in a Lisp file, this command tries to get the
entire current defun onto the screen if possible.
Scrolling happens automatically if point has moved out of the visible
portion of the text when it is time to display. Usually the scrolling is
done so as to put point vertically centered within the window. However, if
scroll-step has a nonzero value, an attempt is made to
scroll the buffer by that many lines; if that is enough to bring point back
into visibility, that is what is done.
The text in a window can also be scrolled horizontally. This means that each line of text is shifted sideways in the window, and one or more characters at the beginning of each line are not displayed at all. When a window has been scrolled horizontally in this way, text lines are truncated rather than continued (see section Continuation Lines), with a `$' appearing in the first column when there is text truncated to the left, and in the last column when there is text truncated to the right.
The command C-x < (
scroll-left) scrolls the selected
window to the left by n columns with argument n. This moves
part of the beginning of each line off the left edge of the window.
With no argument, it scrolls by almost the full width of the window (two
columns less, to be precise).
C-x > (
scroll-right) scrolls similarly to the right. The
window cannot be scrolled any farther to the right once it is displayed
normally (with each line starting at the window's left margin);
attempting to do so has no effect. This means that you don't have to
calculate the argument precisely for C-x >; any sufficiently large
argument will restore normally display.
Emacs has the ability to hide lines indented more than a certain number of columns (you specify how many columns). You can use this to get an overview of a part of a program.
To hide lines, type C-x $ (
set-selective-display) with a
numeric argument n. Then lines with at least n columns of
indentation disappear from the screen. The only indication of their
presence is that three dots (`...') appear at the end of each
visible line that is followed by one or more hidden ones.
The commands C-n and C-p move across the hidden lines as if they were not there.
The hidden lines are still present in the buffer, and most editing commands see them as usual, so you may find point in the middle of the hidden text. When this happens, the cursor appears at the end of the previous line, after the three dots. If point is at the end of the visible line, before the newline that ends it, the cursor appears before the three dots.
To make all lines visible again, type C-x $ with no argument.
If you set the variable
nil, the three dots do not appear at the end of a line that
precedes hidden lines. Then there is no visible indication of the
hidden lines. This variable becomes local automatically when set.
Some European languages use accented letters and other special symbols. The ISO 8859 Latin-1 character set defines character codes for many European languages in the range 160 to 255.
Emacs can display those characters according to Latin-1, provided the
terminal or font in use supports them. The M-x
standard-display-european command toggles European character display
mode. With a numeric argument, M-x standard-display-european
enables European character display if and only if the argument is
positive. Load the library
iso-syntax to specify the correct
syntactic properties and case conversion table for the Latin-1 character
If your terminal does not support display of the Latin-1 character
set, Emacs can display these characters as ASCII sequences which at
least give you a clear idea of what the characters are. To do this,
load the library
Some operating systems let you specify the language you are using by setting a locale. Emacs handles one common special case of this: if your locale name for character types contains the string `8859-1' or `88591', Emacs automatically enables European character display mode and its syntax.
There are three different ways you can enter Latin-1 characters:
(set-input-mode (car (current-input-mode)) (nth 1 (current-input-mode)) 0)
iso-translto turn the key C-x 8 into a "compose character" prefix for entry of the extra ISO Latin-1 printing characters. C-x 8 is good for insertion (in the minibuffer as well as other buffers), for searching, and in any other context where a key sequence is allowed. The ALT modifier key, if you have one, serves the same purpose as C-x 8; use ALT together with an accent character to modify the following letter.
Follow mode is a minor mode which makes two windows showing the same buffer scroll as one tall "virtual window." To use Follow mode, go to a frame with just one window, split it into two side-by-side windows using C-x 3, and then type M-x follow-mode. From then on, you can edit the buffer in either of the two windows, or scroll either one; the other window follows it.
To turn off Follow mode, type M-x follow-mode a second time.
The current line number of point appears in the mode line when Line Number mode is enabled. Use the command M-x line-number-mode to turn this mode on and off; normally it is on. The line number appears before the buffer percentage pos, with the letter `L' to indicate what it is. See section Minor Modes, for more information about minor modes and about how to use this command.
If the buffer is very large (larger than the value of
line-number-display-limit), then the line number doesn't appear.
Emacs doesn't compute the line number when the buffer is large, because
that would be too slow. If you have narrowed the buffer
(see section Narrowing), the displayed line number is relative to the
accessible portion of the buffer.
You can also display the current column number by turning on Column Number mode. It displays the current column number preceded by the letter `C'. Type M-x column-number-mode to toggle this mode.
Emacs can optionally display the time and system load in all mode lines. To enable this feature, type M-x display-time. The information added to the mode line usually appears after the buffer name, before the mode names and their parentheses. It looks like this:
Here hh and mm are the hour and minute, followed always by `am' or `pm'. l.ll is the average number of running processes in the whole system recently. (Some fields may be missing if your operating system cannot support them.)
The word `Mail' appears after the load level if there is mail for you that you have not read yet.
This section contains information for customization only. Beginning users should skip it.
mode-line-inverse-video controls whether the mode
line is displayed in inverse video (assuming the terminal supports it);
nil means don't do so. See section The Mode Line. If you specify the
foreground color for the
modeline face, and
mode-line-inverse-video is non-
nil, then the default
background color for that face is the usual foreground color.
See section Using Multiple Typefaces.
If the variable
inverse-video is non-
nil, Emacs attempts
to invert all the lines of the display from what they normally are.
If the variable
visible-bell is non-
nil, Emacs attempts
to make the whole screen blink when it would normally make an audible bell
sound. This variable has no effect if your terminal does not have a way
to make the screen blink.
When you reenter Emacs after suspending, Emacs normally clears the
screen and redraws the entire display. On some terminals with more than
one page of memory, it is possible to arrange the termcap entry so that
the `ti' and `te' strings (output to the terminal when Emacs
is entered and exited, respectively) switch between pages of memory so
as to use one page for Emacs and another page for other output. Then
you might want to set the variable
nil; this tells Emacs to assume, when resumed, that the
screen page it is using still contains what Emacs last wrote there.
echo-keystrokes controls the echoing of multi-character
keys; its value is the number of seconds of pause required to cause echoing
to start, or zero meaning don't echo at all. See section The Echo Area.
If the variable
nil, control characters in
the buffer are displayed with octal escape sequences, all except newline
and tab. Altering the value of
ctl-arrow makes it local to the
current buffer; until that time, the default value is in effect. The
default is initially
t. See section `Display Tables' in The Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.
Normally, a tab character in the buffer is displayed as whitespace which
extends to the next display tab stop position, and display tab stops come
at intervals equal to eight spaces. The number of spaces per tab is
controlled by the variable
tab-width, which is made local by
changing it, just like
ctl-arrow. Note that how the tab character
in the buffer is displayed has nothing to do with the definition of
TAB as a command. The variable
tab-width must have an
integer value between 1 and 1000, inclusive.
If the variable
truncate-lines is non-
nil, then each
line of text gets just one screen line for display; if the text line is
too long, display shows only the part that fits. If
nil, then long text lines display as
more than one screen line, enough to show the whole text of the line.
See section Continuation Lines. Altering the value of
makes it local to the current buffer; until that time, the default value
is in effect. The default is initially
If the variable
nil, it forces truncation rather than continuation in any
window less than the full width of the screen or frame, regardless of
the value of
truncate-lines. For information about side-by-side
windows, see section Splitting Windows. See also section `Display' in The Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.
baud-rate holds the the output speed of the
terminal, as far as Emacs knows. Setting this variable does not change
the speed of actual data transmission, but the value is used for
calculations such as padding. It also affects decisions about whether
to scroll part of the screen or redraw it instead--even when using a
window system. (We designed it this way, despite the fact that a window
system has no true "output speed", to give you a way to tune these
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