24.6 Indirect Buffers
An indirect buffer shares the text of some other buffer, which
is called the base buffer of the indirect buffer. In some ways it
is the analogue, for buffers, of a symbolic link between files.
- M-x make-indirect-buffer <RET> base-buffer <RET> indirect-name <RET>
- Create an indirect buffer named indirect-name whose base buffer
- M-x clone-indirect-buffer <RET>
- Create an indirect buffer that is a twin copy of the current buffer.
- C-x 4 c
- Create an indirect buffer that is a twin copy of the current buffer, and
select it in another window (
The text of the indirect buffer is always identical to the text of its
base buffer; changes made by editing either one are visible immediately
in the other. But in all other respects, the indirect buffer and its
base buffer are completely separate. They have different names,
different values of point, different narrowing, different markers,
different major modes, and different local variables.
An indirect buffer cannot visit a file, but its base buffer can. If
you try to save the indirect buffer, that actually works by saving the
base buffer. Killing the base buffer effectively kills the indirect
buffer, but killing an indirect buffer has no effect on its base buffer.
One way to use indirect buffers is to display multiple views of an
outline. See Outline Views.
A quick and handy way to make an indirect buffer is with the command
M-x clone-indirect-buffer. It creates and selects an indirect
buffer whose base buffer is the current buffer. With a numeric
argument, it prompts for the name of the indirect buffer; otherwise it
uses the name of the current buffer, with a ‘<n>’ suffix
added. C-x 4 c (
works like M-x clone-indirect-buffer, but it selects the new
buffer in another window.
The more general way to make an indirect buffer is with the command
M-x make-indirect-buffer. It creates an indirect buffer from
buffer base-buffer, under the name indirect-name. It
prompts for both base-buffer and indirect-name using the