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When Emacs is running, the cursor shows the location at which editing
commands will take effect. This location is called "point". You can
use keystrokes or the mouse cursor to move point through the text and
edit the text at different places.
While the cursor appears to point AT a character, you should think
of point as BETWEEN two characters: it points BEFORE the character on
which the cursor appears. Sometimes people speak of "the cursor" when
they mean "point," or speak of commands that move point as "cursor
Each Emacs screen has only one cursor. When output is in progress,
the cursor 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 file has its own
point location. A file that is not being displayed remembers where
point is. Point becomes visible at the correct location when you look
at the file again.
When there are multiple text windows, each window has its own point
location. The cursor shows the location of point in the selected
window. The visible cursor also shows you which window is selected. If
the same buffer appears in more than one window, point can be moved in
each window independently.
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'.
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