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Indentation Commands and Techniques
If you just want to insert a tab character in the buffer, you can
type `C-q TAB'.
To move over the indentation on a line, type `Meta-m'
(`back-to-indentation'). This command, given anywhere on a line,
positions point at the first non-blank character on the line.
To insert an indented line before the current line, type `C-a C-o
TAB'. To make an indented line after the current line, use `C-e LFD'.
`C-M-o' (`split-line') moves the text from point to the end of the
line vertically down, so that the current line becomes two lines.
`C-M-o' first moves point forward over any spaces and tabs. Then it
inserts after point a newline and enough indentation to reach the same
column point is on. Point remains before the inserted newline; in this
regard, `C-M-o' resembles `C-o'.
To join two lines cleanly, use the `Meta-^' (`delete-indentation')
command to delete the indentation at the front of the current line, and
the line boundary as well. Empty spaces are replaced by a single
space, or by no space if at the beginning of a line, before a close
parenthesis, or after an open parenthesis. To delete just the
indentation of a line, go to the beginning of the line and use `Meta-\'
(`delete-horizontal-space'), which deletes all spaces and tabs around
There are also commands for changing the indentation of several
lines at once. `Control-Meta-\' (`indent-region') gives each line which
begins in the region the "usual" indentation by invoking TAB at the
beginning of the line. A numeric argument specifies the column to
indent to. Each line is shifted left or right so that its first
non-blank character appears in that column. `C-x TAB'
(`indent-rigidly') moves all the lines in the region right by its
argument (left, for negative arguments). The whole group of lines moves
rigidly sideways, which is how the command gets its name.
`M-x indent-relative' indents at point based on the previous line
(actually, the last non-empty line.) It inserts whitespace at point,
moving point, until it is underneath an indentation point in the
previous line. An indentation point is the end of a sequence of
whitespace or the end of the line. If point is farther right than any
indentation point in the previous line, the whitespace before point is
deleted and the first indentation point then applicable is used. If no
indentation point is applicable even then, `tab-to-tab-stop' is run
(see next section).
`indent-relative' is the definition of TAB in Indented Text mode.
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