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6 Movement

Movement in Emacs is more than characters in a buffer; there’s a host of supplementary skills that make up navigation, like:


Emacs has a penchant for creating windows: when you view a help file, when you compile a file, or when you open a shell. Emacs is a tiling window manager.

In Emacs, windows are transient; they come and go as you need them. You can save your window configuration (and there are several ways of doing this) but they were never meant to be immutable, like so many editors — set once and then never changed again.


Buffers are rarely killed (that is, closed) when they are no longer needed; most Emacs hackers will simply switch away to something else, only to return to it when needed. That may seem wasteful, but each buffer (aside from assorted metadata and the buffer’s particular coding system) is only slightly bigger than the byte size of the characters in it. A typical Emacs session lasts weeks between restarts and most Emacs hackers have many hundreds of buffers running without issue.

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