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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 or drag a word across other words
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 `M-f' (`forward-word') and `M-b' (`backward-word') move
forward and backward over words. These Meta characters are thus
analogous to the corresponding control characters, `C-f' and `C-b',
which move over single characters in the text. The analogy extends to
numeric arguments, which serve as repeat counts. `M-f' with a negative
argument moves backward, and `M-b' with a negative argument moves
forward. Forward motion stops right after the last letter of the word,
while backward motion stops right before the first letter.
`M-d' (`kill-word') kills the word after point. To be precise, it
kills everything from point to the place `M-f' would move to. Thus, if
point is in the middle of a word, `M-d' kills just the part after
point. If some punctuation comes between point and the next word, it
is killed along with the word. (If you wish to kill only the next word
but not the punctuation before it, simply do `M-f' to get the end, and
kill the word backwards with `M-DEL'.) `M-d' takes arguments just like
`M-DEL' (`backward-kill-word') kills the word before point. It
kills everything from point back to where `M-b' would move to. If
point is after the space in `FOO, BAR', then `FOO, ' is killed. (If
you wish to kill just `FOO', do `M-b M-d' instead of `M-DEL'.)
`M-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, `FOO, BAR' transposes into `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 `M-@' (`mark-word')
which does not move point, but sets the mark where `M-f' would move to.
`M-@' accepts a numeric argument that says how many words to scan for
the place to put the mark.
The word commands' understanding of syntax is completely controlled
by the syntax table. Any character can, for example, be declared to be
a word delimiter. Note: Syntax.
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