9.1.4 The Mark Ring
Aside from delimiting the region, the mark is also useful for marking a
spot that you may want to go back to. To make this feature more
useful, Emacs remembers 16 previous locations of the mark in the "mark
ring". Most commands that set the mark push the old mark onto this
ring. To return to a marked location, use `C-u C-<SPC>' (or `C-u
C-@'); this is the command `set-mark-command' given a numeric argument.
The command moves point to where the mark was, and restores the mark
from the ring of former marks. Repeated use of this command moves point
to all the old marks on the ring, one by one. The marks you have seen
go to the end of the ring, so no marks are lost.
Each buffer has its own mark ring. All editing commands use the
current buffer's mark ring. In particular, `C-u C-<SPC>' always stays
in the same buffer.
Many commands that can move long distances, such as `M-<'
(`beginning-of-buffer'), start by setting the mark and saving the old
mark on the mark ring. This makes it easier for you to move back
later. Searches set the mark, unless they do not actually move point.
When a command sets the mark, `Mark Set' is printed in the echo area.
The variable `mark-ring-max' is the maximum number of entries to
keep in the mark ring. If that many entries exist and another entry is
added, the last entry in the list is discarded. Repeating `C-u
C-<SPC>' circulates through the entries that are currently in the ring.
The variable `mark-ring' holds the mark ring itself, as a list of
marker objects in the order most recent first. This variable is local
in every buffer.
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