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Usually you copy or move text by killing it and yanking it, but
there are other ways that are useful for copying one block of text in
many places, or for copying many scattered blocks of text into one
If you like, you can accumulate blocks of text from scattered
locations either into a buffer or into a file. The relevant commands
are described here. You can also use Emacs registers for storing and
accumulating text. Note: Registers.
Append region to contents of specified buffer (`append-to-buffer').
Prepend region to contents of specified buffer.
Copy region into specified buffer, deleting that buffer's old
Insert contents of specified buffer into current buffer at point.
Append region to the end of the contents of specified file.
To accumulate text into a buffer, use the command `M-x
append-to-buffer', which inserts a copy of the region into the buffer
BUFFERNAME, at the location of point in that buffer. If there is no
buffer with the given name, one is created.
If you append text to a buffer that has been used for editing, the
copied text goes to the place where point is. Point in that buffer is
left at the end of the copied text, so successive uses of
`append-to-buffer' accumulate the text in the specified buffer in the
same order as they were copied. Strictly speaking, this command does
not always append to the text already in the buffer; but if this command
is the only command used to alter a buffer, it does always append to the
existing text because point is always at the end.
`M-x prepend-to-buffer' is similar to `append-to-buffer', but point
in the other buffer is left before the copied text, so successive
prependings add text in reverse order. `M-x copy-to-buffer' is
similar, except that any existing text in the other buffer is deleted,
so the buffer is left containing just the text newly copied into it.
You can retrieve the accumulated text from that buffer with `M-x
insert-buffer', which takes BUFFERNAME as an argument. It inserts a
copy of the text in buffer BUFFERNAME into the selected buffer. You
could alternatively select the other buffer for editing, perhaps moving
text from it by killing or with `append-to-buffer'. Note: Buffers,
for background information on buffers.
Instead of accumulating text within Emacs in a buffer, you can append
text directly into a file with `M-x append-to-file', which takes
FILE-NAME as an argument. It adds the text of the region to the end of
the specified file. The file is changed immediately on disk. This
command is normally used with files that are not being visited in
Emacs. Using it on a file that Emacs is visiting can produce confusing
results, because the file's text inside Emacs does not change while the
file itself changes.
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