To do more than insert characters, you have to know how to move point (see Point). The keyboard commands C-f, C-b, C-n, and C-p move point to the right, left, down, and up, respectively. You can also move point using the arrow keys present on most keyboards: <RIGHT>, <LEFT>, <DOWN>, and <UP>; however, many Emacs users find that it is slower to use the arrow keys than the control keys, because you need to move your hand to the area of the keyboard where those keys are located.
You can also click the left mouse button to move point to the position clicked. Emacs also provides a variety of additional keyboard commands that move point in more sophisticated ways.
right-char) behaves like C-f, with one exception: when editing right-to-left scripts such as Arabic, it instead moves backward if the current paragraph is a right-to-left paragraph. See Bidirectional Editing. If
nil, this command moves to the character that is to the right of the current screen position, moving to the next or previous screen line as appropriate. Note that this might potentially move point many buffer positions away, depending on the surrounding bidirectional context.
left-char) behaves like C-b, except it moves forward if the current paragraph is right-to-left. See Bidirectional Editing. If
nil, this command moves to the character that is to the left of the current screen position, moving to the previous or next screen line as appropriate.
next-line). This command attempts to keep the horizontal position unchanged, so if you start in the middle of one line, you move to the middle of the next.
previous-line). This command preserves position within the line, like C-n.
right-word) behaves like M-f, except it moves backward by one word if the current paragraph is right-to-left. See Bidirectional Editing.
left-word) behaves like M-b, except it moves forward by one word if the current paragraph is right-to-left. See Bidirectional Editing.
A numeric argument says which screen line to place point on, counting
downward from the top of the window (zero means the top line). A
negative argument counts lines up from the bottom (−1 means the
bottom line). See Arguments, for more information on numeric
beginning-of-buffer). With numeric argument n, move to n/10 of the way from the top.
scroll-up-command). See Scrolling.
scroll-down-command). See Scrolling.
goto-line). Line 1 is the beginning of the buffer. If point is on or just after a number in the buffer, that is the default for n. Just type <RET> in the minibuffer to use it. You can also specify n by giving M-g M-g a numeric prefix argument. See Select Buffer, for the behavior of M-g M-g when you give it a plain prefix argument.
set-goal-column). When a semipermanent goal column is in effect, those commands always try to move to this column, or as close as possible to it, after moving vertically. The goal column remains in effect until canceled.
When a line of text in the buffer is longer than the width of the
window, Emacs usually displays it on two or more screen lines.
For convenience, C-n and C-p move point by screen lines,
as do the equivalent keys <down> and <up>. You
can force these commands to move according to logical lines
(i.e., according to the text lines in the buffer) by setting the
nil; if a logical line
occupies multiple screen lines, the cursor then skips over the
additional screen lines. For details, see Continuation Lines.
See Variables, for how to set variables such as
Unlike C-n and C-p, most of the Emacs commands that work
on lines work on logical lines. For instance, C-a
move-beginning-of-line) and C-e
move-end-of-line) respectively move to the beginning and end
of the logical line. Whenever we encounter commands that work on
screen lines, such as C-n and C-p, we will point these
nil, you can also set the
track-eol to a non-
nil value. Then C-n
and C-p, when starting at the end of the logical line, move to
the end of the next logical line. Normally,
C-n normally stops at the end of the buffer when you use it on
the last line in the buffer. However, if you set the variable
next-line-add-newlines to a non-
nil value, C-n on
the last line of a buffer creates an additional line at the end and
moves down into it.