15 Using Multiple Buffers
Text you are editing in Emacs resides in an object called a "buffer".
Each time you visit a file, Emacs creates a buffer to hold the file's
text. Each time you invoke Dired, Emacs creates a buffer to hold the
directory listing. If you send a message with `C-x m', a buffer named
`*mail*' is used to hold the text of the message. When you ask for a
command's documentation, it appears in a buffer called `*Help*'.
At any time, one and only one buffer is "selected". It is also
called the "current buffer". Saying a command operates on "the buffer"
really means that the command operates on the selected buffer, as most
When Emacs creates multiple windows, each window has a chosen buffer
which is displayed there, but at any time only one of the windows is
selected and its chosen buffer is the selected buffer. Each window's
mode line displays the name of the buffer the window is displaying
Each buffer has a name which can be of any length but is
case-sensitive. You can select a buffer using its name. Most buffers
are created when you visit files; their names are derived from the
files' names. You can also create an empty buffer with any name you
want. A newly started Emacs has a buffer named `*scratch*' which you
can use for evaluating Lisp expressions in Emacs.
Each buffer records what file it is visiting, whether it is
modified, and what major mode and minor modes are in effect in it
(Note: Major Modes). Any Emacs variable can be made "local to" a
particular buffer, meaning its value in that buffer can be different
from the value in other buffers. Note: Locals.
- Select Buffer
- Creating a new buffer or reselecting an old one.
- List Buffers
- Getting a list of buffers that exist.
- Misc Buffer
- Renaming; changing read-onliness; copying text.
- Kill Buffer
- Killing buffers you no longer need.
- Several Buffers
- How to go through the list of all buffers
and operate variously on several of them.
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