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ASCII printing characters (octal codes 040 through 0176) in Emacs buffers are displayed with their graphics, as are non-ASCII multibyte printing characters (octal codes above 0400).
Some ASCII control characters are displayed in special ways. The newline character (octal code 012) is displayed by starting a new line. The tab character (octal code 011) is displayed by moving to the next tab stop column (normally every 8 columns).
Other ASCII control characters are normally displayed as a caret (`^') followed by the non-control version of the character; thus, control-A is displayed as `^A'.
Non-ASCII characters 0200 through 0237 (octal) are displayed with octal escape sequences; thus, character code 0230 (octal) is displayed as `\230'. The display of character codes 0240 through 0377 (octal) may be either as escape sequences or as graphics. They do not normally occur in multibyte buffers, but if they do, they are displayed as Latin-1 graphics. In unibyte mode, if you enable European display they are displayed using their graphics (assuming your terminal supports them), otherwise as escape sequences. See section Q.13 Single-byte Character Set Support.
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