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GNU Emacs Manual

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J.7 Horizontal Scrolling

Horizontal scrolling means shifting all the lines sideways within a window--so that some of the text near the left margin is not displayed at all. Emacs does this automatically in any window that uses line truncation rather than continuation: whenever point moves off the left or right edge of the screen, Emacs scrolls the buffer horizontally to make point visible.

When a window has been scrolled horizontally, text lines are truncated rather than continued (see section D.8 Continuation Lines), with a `$' appearing in the first column when there is text truncated to the left, and in the last column when there is text truncated to the right.

You can use these commands to do explicit horizontal scrolling.

C-x <
Scroll text in current window to the left (scroll-left).
C-x >
Scroll to the right (scroll-right).

The command C-x < (scroll-left) scrolls the selected window to the left by n columns with argument n. This moves part of the beginning of each line off the left edge of the window. With no argument, it scrolls by almost the full width of the window (two columns less, to be precise).

C-x > (scroll-right) scrolls similarly to the right. The window cannot be scrolled any farther to the right once it is displayed normally (with each line starting at the window's left margin); attempting to do so has no effect. This means that you don't have to calculate the argument precisely for C-x >; any sufficiently large argument will restore the normal display.

If you scroll a window horizontally by hand, that sets a lower bound for automatic horizontal scrolling. Automatic scrolling will continue to scroll the window, but never farther to the right than the amount you previously set by scroll-left.

To disable automatic horizontal scrolling, set the variable automatic-hscrolling to nil.

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