: Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition

4.7 Holding Your Place with Bookmarks

Once you start working with multiple files, remembering just where you were in each one becomes harder. Bookmarks provide a convenient way of marking your place in a file, a place you can easily return to. You might, for example, be working with a file that has a long pathname. Rather than retype the pathname each time you start Emacs, you could just jump to a bookmark you've named current project by having Emacs find the file and put the cursor wherever you set the bookmark.

Bookmarks make the process of finding your place in any file easier. Particularly if you are working on a project several directories down from your home directory or in a totally different filesystem, putting bookmarks in the file makes it easy to get back there.

When you create a bookmark, Emacs creates a bookmark file in your home directory, called .emacs.bmk. It saves any new bookmarks in this file automatically when you exit Emacs.

Bookmarks are stored by user. If you and others access the same online documentation set, you can hold your place with your bookmark and they can hold their places with theirs, never interfering with each other's reading.

From the Edit menu, you can access the Bookmarks menu, which lists all the bookmark commands you'll probably ever need. We feel the menu interface for bookmarks is particularly well developed; even if you don't normally use menus, you might want to make an exception in this case. (At least until you learn the commands. Bookmarks are addictive, and when you use them frequently, the commands are easier to type than to reach by menu.)


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