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GNU Emacs Manual

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M. File Handling

The operating system stores data permanently in named files, so most of the text you edit with Emacs comes from a file and is ultimately stored in a file.

To edit a file, you must tell Emacs to read the file and prepare a buffer containing a copy of the file's text. This is called visiting the file. Editing commands apply directly to text in the buffer; that is, to the copy inside Emacs. Your changes appear in the file itself only when you save the buffer back into the file.

In addition to visiting and saving files, Emacs can delete, copy, rename, and append to files, keep multiple versions of them, and operate on file directories.

M.1 File Names  How to type and edit file-name arguments.
M.2 Visiting Files  Visiting a file prepares Emacs to edit the file.
M.3 Saving Files  Saving makes your changes permanent.
M.4 Reverting a Buffer  Reverting cancels all the changes not saved.
M.5 Auto-Saving: Protection Against Disasters  Auto Save periodically protects against loss of data.
M.6 File Name Aliases  Handling multiple names for one file.
M.7 Version Control  Version control systems (RCS, CVS and SCCS).
M.8 File Directories  Creating, deleting, and listing file directories.
M.9 Comparing Files  Finding where two files differ.
M.10 Miscellaneous File Operations  Other things you can do on files.
M.11 Accessing Compressed Files  Accessing compressed files.
M.12 File Archives  Operating on tar, zip, jar etc. archive files.
M.13 Remote Files  Accessing files on other sites.
M.14 Quoted File Names  Quoting special characters in file names.
M.15 File Name Cache  Completion against a list of files you often use.
M.16 Convenience Features for Finding Files  


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