Here are commands to get information about the size and position of parts of the buffer, and to count words and lines.
count-words-region). See Mark, for information about the region.
M-x what-line displays the current line number in the echo
area. This command is usually redundant, because the current line
number is shown in the mode line (see Mode Line). However, if you
narrow the buffer, the mode line shows the line number relative to
the accessible portion (see Narrowing). By contrast,
what-line displays both the line number relative to the
narrowed region and the line number relative to the whole buffer.
count-words-region) displays a message reporting
the number of lines, words, and characters in the region
(see Mark, for an explanation of the region). With a prefix
argument, C-u M-=, the command displays a count for the entire
The command M-x count-words does the same job, but with a different calling convention. It displays a count for the region if the region is active, and for the buffer otherwise.
The command C-x = (
information about the current cursor position and the buffer contents
at that position. It displays a line in the echo area that looks like
Char: c (99, #o143, #x63) point=28062 of 36168 (78%) column=53
After ‘Char:’, this shows the character in the buffer at point. The text inside the parenthesis shows the corresponding decimal, octal and hex character codes; for more information about how C-x = displays character information, see International Chars. After ‘point=’ is the position of point as a character count (the first character in the buffer is position 1, the second character is position 2, and so on). The number after that is the total number of characters in the buffer, and the number in parenthesis expresses the position as a percentage of the total. After ‘column=’ is the horizontal position of point, in columns counting from the left edge of the window.
If the buffer has been narrowed, making some of the text at the beginning and the end temporarily inaccessible, C-x = displays additional text describing the currently accessible range. For example, it might display this:
Char: C (67, #o103, #x43) point=252 of 889 (28%) <231-599> column=0
where the two extra numbers give the smallest and largest character position that point is allowed to assume. The characters between those two positions are the accessible ones. See Narrowing.