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GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual

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4.9 The Case Table

You can customize case conversion by installing a special case table. A case table specifies the mapping between upper case and lower case letters. It affects both the case conversion functions for Lisp objects (see the previous section) and those that apply to text in the buffer (see section 32.18 Case Changes). Each buffer has a case table; there is also a standard case table which is used to initialize the case table of new buffers.

A case table is a char-table (see section 6.6 Char-Tables) whose subtype is case-table. This char-table maps each character into the corresponding lower case character. It has three extra slots, which hold related tables:

The upcase table maps each character into the corresponding upper case character.
The canonicalize table maps all of a set of case-related characters into a particular member of that set.
The equivalences table maps each one of a set of case-related characters into the next character in that set.

In simple cases, all you need to specify is the mapping to lower-case; the three related tables will be calculated automatically from that one.

For some languages, upper and lower case letters are not in one-to-one correspondence. There may be two different lower case letters with the same upper case equivalent. In these cases, you need to specify the maps for both lower case and upper case.

The extra table canonicalize maps each character to a canonical equivalent; any two characters that are related by case-conversion have the same canonical equivalent character. For example, since `a' and `A' are related by case-conversion, they should have the same canonical equivalent character (which should be either `a' for both of them, or `A' for both of them).

The extra table equivalences is a map that cyclicly permutes each equivalence class (of characters with the same canonical equivalent). (For ordinary ASCII, this would map `a' into `A' and `A' into `a', and likewise for each set of equivalent characters.)

When you construct a case table, you can provide nil for canonicalize; then Emacs fills in this slot from the lower case and upper case mappings. You can also provide nil for equivalences; then Emacs fills in this slot from canonicalize. In a case table that is actually in use, those components are non-nil. Do not try to specify equivalences without also specifying canonicalize.

Here are the functions for working with case tables:

Function: case-table-p object
This predicate returns non-nil if object is a valid case table.

Function: set-standard-case-table table
This function makes table the standard case table, so that it will be used in any buffers created subsequently.

Function: standard-case-table
This returns the standard case table.

Function: current-case-table
This function returns the current buffer's case table.

Function: set-case-table table
This sets the current buffer's case table to table.

The following three functions are convenient subroutines for packages that define non-ASCII character sets. They modify the specified case table case-table; they also modify the standard syntax table. See section 35. Syntax Tables. Normally you would use these functions to change the standard case table.

Function: set-case-syntax-pair uc lc case-table
This function specifies a pair of corresponding letters, one upper case and one lower case.

Function: set-case-syntax-delims l r case-table
This function makes characters l and r a matching pair of case-invariant delimiters.

Function: set-case-syntax char syntax case-table
This function makes char case-invariant, with syntax syntax.

Command: describe-buffer-case-table
This command displays a description of the contents of the current buffer's case table.

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