To display a list of existing buffers, type C-x C-b. This pops up a buffer menu in a buffer named *Buffer List*. Each line in the list shows one buffer's name, size, major mode and visited file. The buffers are listed in the order that they were current; the buffers that were current most recently come first. This section describes how the list of buffers is displayed and how to interpret the various indications in the list; see Several Buffers, for description of the special mode in the *Buffer List* buffer and the commands available there.
‘.’ in the first field of a line indicates that the buffer is current. ‘%’ indicates a read-only buffer. ‘*’ indicates that the buffer is modified. If several buffers are modified, it may be time to save some with C-x s (see Save Commands). Here is an example of a buffer list:
CRM Buffer Size Mode File . * .emacs 3294 Emacs-Lisp ~/.emacs % *Help* 101 Help search.c 86055 C ~/cvs/emacs/src/search.c % src 20959 Dired by name ~/cvs/emacs/src/ * *mail* 42 Mail % HELLO 1607 Fundamental ~/cvs/emacs/etc/HELLO % NEWS 481184 Outline ~/cvs/emacs/etc/NEWS *scratch* 191 Lisp Interaction * *Messages* 1554 Messages
The buffer *Help* was made by a help request (see Help); it
is not visiting any file. The buffer
src was made by Dired on
the directory ~/cvs/emacs/src/. You can list only buffers that
are visiting files by giving the command a prefix argument, as in
C-u C-x C-b.
list-buffers omits buffers whose names begin with a space,
unless they visit files: such buffers are used internally by Emacs.