This section describes functions that allow a Lisp program to convert any portion of the text in the buffer into a string.
This function returns a string containing a copy of the text of the
region defined by positions start and end in the current
buffer. If the arguments are not positions in the accessible portion
of the buffer,
buffer-substring signals an
Here’s an example which assumes Font-Lock mode is not enabled:
---------- Buffer: foo ---------- This is the contents of buffer foo ---------- Buffer: foo ----------
(buffer-substring 1 10) ⇒ "This is t"
(buffer-substring (point-max) 10) ⇒ "he contents of buffer foo\n"
If the text being copied has any text properties, these are copied into the string along with the characters they belong to. See Text Properties. However, overlays (see Overlays) in the buffer and their properties are ignored, not copied.
For example, if Font-Lock mode is enabled, you might get results like these:
(buffer-substring 1 10) ⇒ #("This is t" 0 1 (fontified t) 1 9 (fontified t))
This is like
buffer-substring, except that it does not copy text
properties, just the characters themselves. See Text Properties.
This function returns the contents of the entire accessible portion of the current buffer, as a string.
If you need to make sure the resulting string, when copied to a
different location, will not change its visual appearance due to
reordering of bidirectional text, use the
This function filters the buffer text between start and end
using a function specified by the variable
filter-buffer-substring-function, and returns the result.
The default filter function consults the obsolete wrapper hook
filter-buffer-substring-functions, and the obsolete variable
buffer-substring-filters. If both of these are
returns the unaltered text from the buffer, i.e., what
buffer-substring would return.
If delete is non-
nil, the function deletes the text
between start and end after copying it, like
Lisp code should use this function instead of
delete-and-extract-region when copying into user-accessible
data structures such as the kill-ring, X clipboard, and registers.
Major and minor modes can modify
to alter such text as it is copied out of the buffer.
The value of this variable is a function that
will call to do the actual work. The function receives three
arguments, the same as those of
which it should treat as per the documentation of that function. It
should return the filtered text (and optionally delete the source text).
The following two variables are obsoleted by
filter-buffer-substring-function, but are still supported for
This obsolete variable is a wrapper hook, whose members should be functions
that accept four arguments: fun, start, end, and
delete. fun is a function that takes three arguments
(start, end, and delete), and returns a string. In
both cases, the start, end, and delete arguments are
the same as those of
The first hook function is passed a fun that is equivalent to
the default operation of
filter-buffer-substring, i.e., it
returns the buffer-substring between start and end
(processed by any
buffer-substring-filters) and optionally
deletes the original text from the buffer. In most cases, the hook
function will call fun once, and then do its own processing of
the result. The next hook function receives a fun equivalent to
this, and so on. The actual return value is the result of all the
hook functions acting in sequence.
The value of this obsolete variable should be a list of functions
that accept a single string argument and return another string.
filter-buffer-substring function passes the buffer
substring to the first function in this list, and the return value of
each function is passed to the next function. The return value of the
last function is passed to
This function returns the symbol (or word) at or near point, as a string. The return value includes no text properties.
If the optional argument really-word is non-
nil, it finds a
word; otherwise, it finds a symbol (which includes both word
characters and symbol constituent characters).
If the optional argument strict is non-
nil, then point
must be in or next to the symbol or word—if no symbol or word is
there, the function returns
nil. Otherwise, a nearby symbol or
word on the same line is acceptable.
Return the thing around or next to point, as a string.
The argument thing is a symbol which specifies a kind of syntactic
entity. Possibilities include
page, and others.
When the optional argument no-properties is non-
function strips text properties from the return value.
---------- Buffer: foo ---------- Gentlemen may cry ``Pea∗ce! Peace!,'' but there is no peace. ---------- Buffer: foo ---------- (thing-at-point 'word) ⇒ "Peace" (thing-at-point 'line) ⇒ "Gentlemen may cry ``Peace! Peace!,''\n" (thing-at-point 'whitespace) ⇒ nil