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Setting the Mark
Here are some commands for setting the mark:
Set the mark where point is (`set-mark-command').
Interchange mark and point (`exchange-point-and-mark').
Pushes a mark at the beginning of the buffer.
Pushes a mark at the end of the buffer.
For example, to convert part of the buffer to all upper-case, you
can use the `C-x C-u' (`upcase-region') command, which operates on the
text in the region. First go to the beginning of the text you want to
capitalize and type `C-SPC' to put the mark there, then move to the
end, and then type `C-x C-u' to capitalize the selected region. You
can also set the mark at the end of the text, move to the beginning,
and then type `C-x C-u'. Most commands that operate on the text in the
region have the word `region' in their names.
The most common way to set the mark is with the `C-SPC' command
(`set-mark-command'). This command sets the mark where point is. You
can then move point away, leaving the mark behind. It is actually
incorrect to speak of the character `C-SPC'; there is no such
character. When you type SPC while holding down CTRL, you get the
character `C-@' on most terminals. This character is actually bound to
`set-mark-command'. But unless you are unlucky enough to have a
terminal where typing `C-SPC' does not produce `C-@', you should think
of this character as `C-SPC'.
Since terminals have only one cursor, Emacs cannot show you where the
mark is located. Most people use the mark soon after they set it, before
they forget where it is. But you can see where the mark is with the
command `C-x C-x' (`exchange-point-and-mark') which puts the mark where
point was and point where the mark was. The extent of the region is
unchanged, but the cursor and point are now at the previous location of
Another way to set the mark is to push the mark to the beginning of a
buffer while leaving point at its original location. If you supply an
argument to `C-<' (`mark-beginning-of-buffer'), the mark is pushed N/10
of the way from the true beginning of the buffer. You can also set the
mark at the end of a buffer with `C->' (`mark-end-of-buffer'). It
pushes the mark to the end of the buffer, leaving point alone.
Supplying an argument to the command pushes the mark N/10 of the way
from the true end of the buffer.
If you are using Lucid Emacs under the X window system, you can set
the variable `zmacs-regions' to `t'. This makes the current region
(defined by point and mark) highlight and makes it available as the X
clipboard selection, which means you can use the menu bar items on it.
Note: Active Regions for more information.
`C-x C-x' is also useful when you are satisfied with the location of
point but want to move the mark; do `C-x C-x' to put point there and
then you can move it. A second use of `C-x C-x', if necessary, puts
the mark at the new location with point back at its original location.
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