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Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition by Bill Rosenblatt, Eric S. Raymond, Marc Loy, James Elliott, Debra Cameron

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Editing Tricks and Shortcuts

Now that you've learned the basics of editing—moving the cursor to the right position, deleting, copying, and moving text—you can learn some tricks that make editing easier.

Fixing Transpositions

The most common typo involves the transposition of two letters, and most typos are noticed immediately after you make them. Pressing C-t transposes two letters, to put them in the right order:

Before C-t

After C-t

the best of timse, it
                              the best of times  
                              it

To transpose two letters, put the cursor on the second of the two letters to be transposed. Press C-t. (If you often transpose letters, word abbreviation mode, discussed in Chapter 3, cleans up typos automatically.)

You can also transpose two words, lines, paragraphs, or sentences. To transpose two words, put the cursor between the two words and press M-t. After Emacs has finished, the cursor follows the second of the two (transposed) words:

Before M-t

After M-t

one three two
                              one two three

Interestingly, Emacs moves words, but not punctuation. Let's say that two names are reversed:

                              Before M-t
                              After M-t
Charles, Dickens
                              Dickens, Charles

To transpose two lines, put the cursor anywhere on the second of the two and press C-x C-t. Emacs moves the second before the first:

Before C-x C-t

After C-x C-t

second line
                              first line
                              f
                              irst line
                              second line
third line
                              t
                              hird line

Table 2-9 summarizes the transposition commands.

Table 2-9. Transposition commands

Keystrokes

Command name ...

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