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32.8.2 Functions for Killing

kill-region is the usual subroutine for killing text. Any command that calls this function is a “kill command” (and should probably have ‘kill’ in its name). kill-region puts the newly killed text in a new element at the beginning of the kill ring or adds it to the most recent element. It determines automatically (using last-command) whether the previous command was a kill command, and if so appends the killed text to the most recent entry.

— Command: kill-region start end

This function kills the text in the region defined by start and end. The text is deleted but saved in the kill ring, along with its text properties. The value is always nil.

In an interactive call, start and end are point and the mark.

If the buffer or text is read-only, kill-region modifies the kill ring just the same, then signals an error without modifying the buffer. This is convenient because it lets the user use a series of kill commands to copy text from a read-only buffer into the kill ring.

— User Option: kill-read-only-ok

If this option is non-nil, kill-region does not signal an error if the buffer or text is read-only. Instead, it simply returns, updating the kill ring but not changing the buffer.

— Command: copy-region-as-kill start end

This command saves the region defined by start and end on the kill ring (including text properties), but does not delete the text from the buffer. It returns nil.

The command does not set this-command to kill-region, so a subsequent kill command does not append to the same kill ring entry.

In Lisp programs, it is better to use kill-new or kill-append instead of this command. See Low-Level Kill Ring.