Emacs has commands for moving over or operating on words. By
convention, the keys for them are all `Meta-' characters.
Move forward over a word (`forward-word').
Move backward over a word (`backward-word').
Kill up to the end of a word (`kill-word').
Kill back to the beginning of a word (`backward-kill-word').
Mark the end of the next word (`mark-word').
Transpose two words; drag a word forward or backward across other
Notice how these keys form a series that parallels the
character-based `C-f', `C-b', `C-d', `C-t' and <DEL>. `M-@' is related
to `C-@', which is an alias for `C-<SPC>'.
The commands `Meta-f' (`forward-word') and `Meta-b'
(`backward-word') move forward and backward over words. They are
analogous to `Control-f' and `Control-b', which move over single
characters. Like their `Control-' analogues, `Meta-f' and `Meta-b'
move several words if given an argument. `Meta-f' with a negative
argument moves backward, and `Meta-b' with a negative argument moves
forward. Forward motion stops after the last letter of the word, while
backward motion stops before the first letter.
`Meta-d' (`kill-word') kills the word after point. To be precise,
it kills everything from point to the place `Meta-f' would move to.
Thus, if point is in the middle of a word, `Meta-d' kills just the part
after point. If some punctuation comes between point and the next
word, it is killed along with the word. (To kill only the next word
but not the punctuation before it, simply type `Meta-f' to get to the
end and kill the word backwards with `Meta-<DEL>'.) `Meta-d' takes
arguments just like `Meta-f'.
`Meta-<DEL>' (`backward-kill-word') kills the word before point. It
kills everything from point back to where `Meta-b' would move to. If
point is after the space in `FOO, BAR', then `FOO, ' is killed. To
kill just `FOO', type `Meta-b Meta-d' instead of `Meta-<DEL>'.
`Meta-t' (`transpose-words') exchanges the word before or containing
point with the following word. The delimiter characters between the
words do not move. For example, transposing `FOO, BAR' results in
`BAR, FOO' rather than `BAR FOO,'. Note: Transpose, for more on
transposition and on arguments to transposition commands.
To operate on the next N words with an operation which applies
between point and mark, you can either set the mark at point and then
move over the words, or you can use the command `Meta-@' (`mark-word')
which does not move point but sets the mark where `Meta-f' would move
to. It can be given arguments just like `Meta-f'.
The word commands' understanding of syntax is completely controlled
by the syntax table. For example, any character can be declared to be
a word delimiter. Note: Syntax.
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