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2.2 Representation of Characters

This section briefly discusses how characters are represented in Emacs buffers. See Key Sequences, for information on representing key sequences to create key bindings.

ASCII graphic characters in Emacs buffers are displayed with their graphics. LFD is the same as a newline character; it is displayed by starting a new line. TAB is displayed by moving to the next tab stop column (usually every 8 spaces). Other control characters are displayed as a caret (‘^’) followed by the non-control version of the character; thus, C-a is displayed as ‘^A’. Non-ASCII characters 128 and up are displayed with octal escape sequences; thus, character code 243 (octal), also called M-# when used as an input character, is displayed as ‘\243’.

The variable ctl-arrow may be used to alter this behavior. See Display Vars.