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7.3 Erasing Text

DEL
BACKSPACE

Delete the character before point, or the region if it is active (delete-backward-char).

Delete

Delete the character after point, or the region if it is active (delete-forward-char).

C-d

Delete the character after point (delete-char).

C-k

Kill to the end of the line (kill-line).

M-d

Kill forward to the end of the next word (kill-word).

M-DEL
M-BACKSPACE

Kill back to the beginning of the previous word (backward-kill-word).

The DEL (delete-backward-char) command removes the character before point, moving the cursor and the characters after it backwards. If point was at the beginning of a line, this deletes the preceding newline, joining this line to the previous one.

If, however, the region is active, DEL instead deletes the text in the region. See The Mark and the Region, for a description of the region.

On most keyboards, DEL is labeled BACKSPACE, but we refer to it as DEL in this manual. (Do not confuse DEL with the Delete key; we will discuss Delete momentarily.) On some text terminals, Emacs may not recognize the DEL key properly. See If DEL Fails to Delete, if you encounter this problem.

The Delete (delete-forward-char) command deletes in the opposite direction: it deletes the character after point, i.e., the character under the cursor. If point was at the end of a line, this joins the following line onto this one. Like DEL, it deletes the text in the region if the region is active (see The Mark and the Region).

C-d (delete-char) deletes the character after point, similar to Delete, but regardless of whether the region is active.

See Deletion, for more detailed information about the above deletion commands.

C-k (kill-line) erases (kills) a line at a time. If you type C-k at the beginning or middle of a line, it kills all the text up to the end of the line. If you type C-k at the end of a line, it joins that line with the following line.

See Killing and Moving Text, for more information about C-k and related commands.

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