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3 Moving the Cursor

Many people find that reading screens of text page by page is made easier when one is able to indicate particular pieces of text with some kind of pointing device. Since this is the case, GNU Info (both the Emacs and stand-alone versions) have several commands which allow you to move the cursor about the screen. The notation used in this manual to describe keystrokes is identical to the notation used within the Emacs manual, and the GNU Readline manual. See User Input in The GNU Emacs Manual, if you are unfamiliar with the notation.1

The following table lists the basic cursor movement commands in Info. Each entry consists of the key sequence you should type to execute the cursor movement, the M-x2 command name (displayed in parentheses), and a short description of what the command does. All of the cursor motion commands can take a numeric argument (see to find out how to supply them. With a numeric argument, the motion commands are simply executed that many times; for example, a numeric argument of 4 given to next-line causes the cursor to move down 4 lines. With a negative numeric argument, the motion is reversed; an argument of -4 given to the next-line command would cause the cursor to move up 4 lines.

C-n (next-line)
DOWN (an arrow key)

Move the cursor down to the next line.

C-p (prev-line)
UP (an arrow key)

Move the cursor up to the previous line.

C-a (beginning-of-line)
Home (on DOS/Windows only)

Move the cursor to the start of the current line.

C-e (end-of-line)
End (on DOS/Windows only)

Move the cursor to the end of the current line.

C-f (forward-char)
RIGHT (an arrow key)

Move the cursor forward a character.

C-b (backward-char)
LEFT (an arrow key)

Move the cursor backward a character.

M-f (forward-word)
C-RIGHT (on DOS/Windows only)

Move the cursor forward a word.

M-b (backward-word)
C-LEFT (on DOS/Windows only)

Move the cursor backward a word.

M-< (beginning-of-node)
C-Home (on DOS/Windows only)
b
M-b, vi-like operation

Move the cursor to the start of the current node.

M-> (end-of-node)
C-End (on DOS/Windows only)
e

Move the cursor to the end of the current node.

M-r (move-to-window-line)

Move the cursor to a specific line of the window. Without a numeric argument, M-r moves the cursor to the start of the line in the center of the window. With a numeric argument of n, M-r moves the cursor to the start of the nth line in the window.


Footnotes

(1)

Here’s a short summary. C-x means press the CTRL key and the key x. M-x means press the META key and the key x. On many terminals th META key is known as the ALT key. SPC is the space bar. The other keys are usually called by the names imprinted on them.

(2)

M-x is also a command; it invokes execute-extended-command, letting you run a command by name. See Executing an extended command in The GNU Emacs Manual, for more detailed information.


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