kill-ring holds the kill ring contents, in the
form of a list of strings. The most recent kill is always at the front
of the list.
kill-ring-yank-pointer variable points to a link in the
kill ring list, whose CAR is the text to yank next. We say it
identifies the “front” of the ring. Moving
kill-ring-yank-pointer to a different link is called
rotating the kill ring. We call the kill ring a “ring” because
the functions that move the yank pointer wrap around from the end of the
list to the beginning, or vice-versa. Rotation of the kill ring is
virtual; it does not change the value of
kill-ring-yank-pointer are Lisp
variables whose values are normally lists. The word “pointer” in the
name of the
kill-ring-yank-pointer indicates that the variable’s
purpose is to identify one element of the list for use by the next yank
The value of
kill-ring-yank-pointer is always
eq to one
of the links in the kill ring list. The element it identifies is the
CAR of that link. Kill commands, which change the kill ring, also
set this variable to the value of
kill-ring. The effect is to
rotate the ring so that the newly killed text is at the front.
Here is a diagram that shows the variable
pointing to the second entry in the kill ring
("some text" "a
different piece of text" "yet older text").
kill-ring ---- kill-ring-yank-pointer | | | v | --- --- --- --- --- --- --> | | |------> | | |--> | | |--> nil --- --- --- --- --- --- | | | | | | | | -->"yet older text" | | | --> "a different piece of text" | --> "some text"
This state of affairs might occur after C-y (
immediately followed by M-y (
This variable holds the list of killed text sequences, most recently killed first.
This variable’s value indicates which element of the kill ring is at the
“front” of the ring for yanking. More precisely, the value is a tail
of the value of
kill-ring, and its CAR is the kill string
that C-y should yank.
The value of this variable is the maximum length to which the kill
ring can grow, before elements are thrown away at the end. The default
kill-ring-max is 60.