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38.4.4 Echo Area Customization

These variables control details of how the echo area works.

— Variable: cursor-in-echo-area

This variable controls where the cursor appears when a message is displayed in the echo area. If it is non-nil, then the cursor appears at the end of the message. Otherwise, the cursor appears at point—not in the echo area at all.

The value is normally nil; Lisp programs bind it to t for brief periods of time.

— Variable: echo-area-clear-hook

This normal hook is run whenever the echo area is cleared—either by (message nil) or for any other reason.

— User Option: echo-keystrokes

This variable determines how much time should elapse before command characters echo. Its value must be an integer or floating point number, which specifies the number of seconds to wait before echoing. If the user types a prefix key (such as C-x) and then delays this many seconds before continuing, the prefix key is echoed in the echo area. (Once echoing begins in a key sequence, all subsequent characters in the same key sequence are echoed immediately.)

If the value is zero, then command input is not echoed.

— Variable: message-truncate-lines

Normally, displaying a long message resizes the echo area to display the entire message. But if the variable message-truncate-lines is non-nil, the echo area does not resize, and the message is truncated to fit it.

The variable max-mini-window-height, which specifies the maximum height for resizing minibuffer windows, also applies to the echo area (which is really a special use of the minibuffer window; see Minibuffer Misc).