Here are some commands for setting the mark:
Set the mark where point is (
Interchange mark and point (
Pushes a mark at the beginning of the buffer.
Pushes a mark at the end of the buffer.
For example, to convert part of the buffer to all
upper-case, you can use the C-x C-u (
command, which operates on the text in the region. First go to the
beginning of the text you want to capitalize and type C-SPC to
put the mark there, then move to the end, and then type C-x C-u to
capitalize the selected region. You can also set the mark at the end of the
text, move to the beginning, and then type C-x C-u. Most commands
that operate on the text in the region have the word
The most common way to set the mark is with the C-SPC
set-mark-command). This command sets the mark where
point is. You can then move point away, leaving the mark behind. It is
actually incorrect to speak of the character C-SPC; there is
no such character. When you type SPC while holding down
CTRL, you get the character C-@ on most terminals. This
character is actually bound to
set-mark-command. But unless you are
unlucky enough to have a terminal where typing C-SPC does
not produce C-@, you should think of this character as
Since terminals have only one cursor, Emacs cannot show you where the
mark is located. Most people use the mark soon after they set it, before
they forget where it is. But you can see where the mark is with the
command C-x C-x (
exchange-point-and-mark) which puts the
mark where point was and point where the mark was. The extent of the
region is unchanged, but the cursor and point are now at the previous
location of the mark.
Another way to set the mark is to push the mark to the beginning of a
buffer while leaving point at its original location. If you supply an
argument to C-< (
mark-beginning-of-buffer), the mark is pushed
n/10 of the way from the true beginning of the buffer. You can
also set the mark at the end of a buffer with C->
mark-end-of-buffer). It pushes the mark to the end of the buffer,
leaving point alone. Supplying an argument to the command pushes the mark
n/10 of the way from the true end of the buffer.
If you are using SXEmacs under the X window system, you can set
t. This makes the current
region (defined by point and mark) highlight and makes it available as
the X clipboard selection, which means you can use the menu bar items on
it. See Active Regions, for more information.
C-x C-x is also useful when you are satisfied with the location of point but want to move the mark; do C-x C-x to put point there and then you can move it. A second use of C-x C-x, if necessary, puts the mark at the new location with point back at its original location.