13.1.3 Other Kill Commands


Kill the region (kill-region).


Copy the region into the kill ring (kill-ring-save).


Kill the next word (kill-word). See Words.


Kill one word backwards (backward-kill-word).


Kill back to beginning of sentence (backward-kill-sentence). See Sentences.


Kill to the end of the sentence (kill-sentence).


Kill the following balanced expression (kill-sexp). See Expressions with Balanced Parentheses.

M-z char

Kill through the next occurrence of char (zap-to-char).

M-x zap-up-to-char char

Kill up to, but not including, the next occurrence of char.

One of the commonly-used kill commands is C-w (kill-region), which kills the text in the region (see The Mark and the Region). Similarly, M-w (kill-ring-save) copies the text in the region into the kill ring without removing it from the buffer. If the mark is inactive when you type C-w or M-w, the command acts on the text between point and where you last set the mark (see Operating on the Region).

Emacs also provides commands to kill specific syntactic units: words, with M-DEL and M-d (see Words); balanced expressions, with C-M-k (see Expressions with Balanced Parentheses); and sentences, with C-x DEL and M-k (see Sentences).

The command M-z (zap-to-char) combines killing with searching: it reads a character and kills from point up to (and including) the next occurrence of that character in the buffer. A numeric argument acts as a repeat count; a negative argument means to search backward and kill text before point. A history of previously used characters is maintained and can be accessed via the M-p/M-n keystrokes. This is mainly useful if the character to be used has to be entered via a complicated input method. A similar command zap-up-to-char kills from point up to, but not including the next occurrence of a character, with numeric argument acting as a repeat count.