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4.3 Movement Commands

CC Mode contains some useful commands for moving around in C code.

C-M-a (c-beginning-of-defun)
C-M-e (c-end-of-defun)
Move to the beginning or end of the current or next function. Other constructs (such as a structs or classes) which have a brace block also count as “functions” here. To move over several functions, you can give these commands a repeat count.

The start of a function is at its header. The end of the function is after its closing brace, or after the semicolon of a construct (such as a struct) which doesn't end at the brace. These two commands try to leave point at the beginning of a line near the actual start or end of the function. This occasionally causes point not to move at all.

By default, these commands will recognize functions contained within a declaration scope such as a C++ class or namespace construct, should the point start inside it. If CC Mode fails to find function beginnings or ends inside the current declaration scope, it will search the enclosing scopes. If you want CC Mode to recognize functions only at the top level1, set c-defun-tactic to t.

These functions are analogous to the Emacs built-in commands beginning-of-defun and end-of-defun, except they eliminate the constraint that the top-level opening brace of the defun must be in column zero. See Defuns, for more information.

C-M-a (AWK Mode) (c-awk-beginning-of-defun)
C-M-e (AWK Mode) (c-awk-end-of-defun)
Move to the beginning or end of the current or next AWK defun. These commands can take prefix-arguments, their functionality being entirely equivalent to beginning-of-defun and end-of-defun.

AWK Mode defuns are either pattern/action pairs (either of which might be implicit) or user defined functions. Having the ‘{’ and ‘}’ (if there are any) in column zero, as is suggested for some modes, is neither necessary nor helpful in AWK mode.

M-a (c-beginning-of-statement)
M-e (c-end-of-statement)
Move to the beginning or end of the innermost C statement. If point is already there, move to the next beginning or end of a statement, even if that means moving into a block. (Use C-M-b or C-M-f to move over a balanced block.) A prefix argument n means move over n statements.

If point is within or next to a comment or a string which spans more than one line, these commands move by sentences instead of statements.

When called from a program, these functions take three optional arguments: the repetition count, a buffer position limit which is the farthest back to search for the syntactic context, and a flag saying whether to do sentence motion in or near comments and multiline strings.

C-c C-u (c-up-conditional)
Move back to the containing preprocessor conditional, leaving the mark behind. A prefix argument acts as a repeat count. With a negative argument, move forward to the end of the containing preprocessor conditional.

#elif’ is treated like ‘#else’ followed by ‘#if’, so the function stops at them when going backward, but not when going forward.

This key sequence is not bound in AWK Mode, which doesn't have preprocessor statements.

M-x c-up-conditional-with-else
A variety of c-up-conditional that also stops at ‘#else’ lines. Normally those lines are ignored.
M-x c-down-conditional
Move forward into the next nested preprocessor conditional, leaving the mark behind. A prefix argument acts as a repeat count. With a negative argument, move backward into the previous nested preprocessor conditional.

#elif’ is treated like ‘#else’ followed by ‘#if’, so the function stops at them when going forward, but not when going backward.

M-x c-down-conditional-with-else
A variety of c-down-conditional that also stops at ‘#else’ lines. Normally those lines are ignored.
C-c C-p (c-backward-conditional)
C-c C-n (c-forward-conditional)
Move backward or forward across a preprocessor conditional, leaving the mark behind. A prefix argument acts as a repeat count. With a negative argument, move in the opposite direction.

These key sequences are not bound in AWK Mode, which doesn't have preprocessor statements.

M-x c-backward-into-nomenclature
M-x c-forward-into-nomenclature
A popular programming style, especially for object-oriented languages such as C++ is to write symbols in a mixed case format, where the first letter of each word is capitalized, and not separated by underscores. E.g., ‘SymbolsWithMixedCaseAndNoUnderlines’.

These commands move backward or forward to the beginning of the next capitalized word. With prefix argument n, move n times. If n is negative, move in the opposite direction.

Note that these two commands have been superseded by subword-mode, which you should use instead. See Subword Movement. They might be removed from a future release of CC Mode.


Footnotes

[1] this was CC Mode's behavior prior to version 5.32.