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GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual

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27.7 Read-Only Buffers

If a buffer is read-only, then you cannot change its contents, although you may change your view of the contents by scrolling and narrowing.

Read-only buffers are used in two kinds of situations:

Variable: buffer-read-only
This buffer-local variable specifies whether the buffer is read-only. The buffer is read-only if this variable is non-nil.

Variable: inhibit-read-only
If this variable is non-nil, then read-only buffers and read-only characters may be modified. Read-only characters in a buffer are those that have non-nil read-only properties (either text properties or overlay properties). See section 32.19.4 Properties with Special Meanings, for more information about text properties. See section 38.9 Overlays, for more information about overlays and their properties.

If inhibit-read-only is t, all read-only character properties have no effect. If inhibit-read-only is a list, then read-only character properties have no effect if they are members of the list (comparison is done with eq).

Command: toggle-read-only
This command changes whether the current buffer is read-only. It is intended for interactive use; do not use it in programs. At any given point in a program, you should know whether you want the read-only flag on or off; so you can set buffer-read-only explicitly to the proper value, t or nil.

Function: barf-if-buffer-read-only
This function signals a buffer-read-only error if the current buffer is read-only. See section 21.3 Interactive Call, for another way to signal an error if the current buffer is read-only.


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