The mode line is at the bottom of every Emacs Window aside from MiniBuffer windows. It has useful summary information about the buffer shown in the window, including its name and current modes.
Here is a screenshot that shows three windows with their mode lines:
For complete information on the contents of mode lines, see mode line in the EmacsManual. The information in a mode line usually includes the following:
- Whether or not the buffer has been modified:
** – modified since last save
-- – not modified since last save
%* – read-only, but modified
%% – read-only, not modified
- In the screenshot, buffers
drews-lisp-20 are read-only (unmodified); buffer
shrink-fit.el is writable and unmodified.
- Buffer name – for example, a file name.
- The name of one or more MajorModes or MinorModes of the buffer , surrounded by parentheses. In the screenshot, buffer
shrink-fit.el is in major mode
Emacs-Lisp (and in no minor mode). In Emacs 22, you can click the major-mode and minor-mode names for additional behavior.
- Note: If the modes are surrounded by square brackets – like this:
[(Emacs-Lisp)] – then you are in a recursive edit. You may want to do `
‘abort-recursive-edit’) to get out of it.
- Line number of the TextCursor (and Point), and perhaps the column number. In the screenshot, the cursor is in column 0 (
‘C0’) of line 234 (
‘L234’) of buffer
- Position in buffer:
‘Top’ – the beginning of the buffer is shown in the window
‘Bot’ – the end of the buffer is shown in the window
‘All’ – all of the buffer is shown in the window
- a percentage – percentage of the buffer above the top of the window. In the screenshot, the first
48% of buffer
shrink-fit.el is not shown.
- Coding system of the buffer: a character indicating the general conversion and possibly a string indicating the end-of-line translation
- – no code conversion, except possibly end-of-line translation
= – no code conversion or end-of-line translation
1 – ISO Latin 1 code conversion
- another character - another code conversion – see the Emacs manual
- All of the buffers in the screenshot are unconverted (
- End-of-line translation:
(Unix) – newline character separates lines
\ – carriage-return plus linefeed separates lines
/ – carriage-return separates lines
- All of the buffers in the screenshot have newline-separated lines (
See also ModeLineConfiguration.
CategoryDisplay CategoryGlossary CategoryWindows CategoryModeLine?