24.1 Creating and Selecting Buffers
- C-x b buffer <RET>
- Select or create a buffer named buffer (
- C-x 4 b buffer <RET>
- Similar, but select buffer in another window
- C-x 5 b buffer <RET>
- Similar, but select buffer in a separate frame
- C-x <LEFT>
- Select the previous buffer in the list of existing buffers.
- C-x <RIGHT>
- Select the next buffer in the list of existing buffers.
- C-u M-g M-g
- C-u M-g g
- Read a number n and move to line n in the most recently
selected buffer other than the current buffer.
To select the buffer named bufname, type C-x b bufname
<RET>. This runs the command
switch-to-buffer with argument
bufname. You can use completion on an abbreviation for the buffer
name you want (see Completion). An empty argument to C-x b
specifies the buffer that was current most recently among those not
now displayed in any window.
For conveniently switching between a few buffers, use the commands
C-x <LEFT> and C-x <RIGHT>. C-x <RIGHT>
previous-buffer) selects the previous buffer (following the order
of most recent selection in the current frame), while C-x <LEFT>
next-buffer) moves through buffers in the reverse direction.
To select a buffer in a window other than the current one, type
C-x 4 b bufname <RET>. This runs the command
switch-to-buffer-other-window which displays the buffer
bufname in another window. By default, if displaying the buffer
causes two vertically adjacent windows to be displayed, the heights of
those windows are evened out; to countermand that and preserve the
window configuration, set the variable
Similarly, C-x 5 b buffer <RET> runs the command
switch-to-buffer-other-frame which selects a buffer in another
You can control how certain buffers are handled by these commands by
customizing the variables
same-window-regexps. See Force Same Window, and
Special Buffer Frames, for more about these variables. In
addition, if the value of
nil, and the buffer you want to switch to is already
displayed in some frame, Emacs will raise that frame.
Most buffers are created by visiting files, or by Emacs commands that
want to display some text, but you can also create a buffer explicitly
by typing C-x b bufname <RET>. This makes a new, empty
buffer that is not visiting any file, and selects it for editing. Such
buffers are used for making notes to yourself. If you try to save one,
you are asked for the file name to use. The new buffer's major mode is
determined by the value of
default-major-mode (see Major Modes).
Note that C-x C-f, and any other command for visiting a file,
can also be used to switch to an existing file-visiting buffer.
C-u M-g M-g, that is
goto-line with a prefix argument
of just C-u, reads a number n using the minibuffer,
selects the most recently selected buffer other than the current
buffer in another window, and then moves point to the beginning of
line number n in that buffer. This is mainly useful in a buffer
that refers to line numbers in another buffer: if point is on or just
after a number,
goto-line uses that number as the default for
n. Note that prefix arguments other than just C-u behave
differently. C-u 4 M-g M-g goes to line 4 in the current
buffer, without reading a number from the minibuffer. (Remember that
M-g M-g without prefix argument reads a number n and then
moves to line number n in the current buffer.)
Emacs uses buffer names that start with a space for internal purposes.
It treats these buffers specially in minor ways—for example, by
default they do not record undo information. It is best to avoid using
such buffer names yourself.