Next: Echo Area Up: Screen
Within Emacs, the terminal's cursor shows the location at which
editing commands will take effect. This location is called "point".
Other commands move point through the text, so that you can edit at
different places in it.
While the cursor appears to point AT a character, you should think
of point as BETWEEN two characters; it points BEFORE the character that
appears under the cursor. For example, if your text looks like `frob'
with the cursor over the `b', then point is between the `o' and the
`b'. If you insert the character `!' at that position, the result is
`fro!b', with point between the `!' and the `b'. Thus, the cursor
remains over the `b', as before.
Sometimes people speak of "the cursor" when they mean "point", or
speak of commands that move point as "cursor motion" commands.
Terminals have only one cursor, and when output is in progress it
must appear where the typing is being done. This does not mean that
point is moving. It is only that Emacs has no way to show you the
location of point except when the terminal is idle.
If you are editing several files in Emacs, each in its own buffer,
each buffer has its own point location. A buffer that is not currently
displayed remembers where point is in case you display it again later.
When there are multiple windows, each window has its own point
location. The cursor shows the location of point in the selected
window. This also is how you can tell which window is selected. If the
same buffer appears in more than one window, each window has its own
position for point in that buffer.
The term `point' comes from the character `.', which was the command
in TECO (the language in which the original Emacs was written) for
accessing the value now called `point'.
automatically generated by info2www