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19.9 Window Fringes

On a graphical display, each Emacs window normally has narrow fringes on the left and right edges. The fringes display indications about the text in the window.

The most common use of the fringes is to indicate a continuation line, when one line of text is split into multiple lines on the screen. The left fringe shows a curving arrow for each screen line except the first, indicating that “this is not the real beginning.” The right fringe shows a curving arrow for each screen line except the last, indicating that “this is not the real end.”

The fringes indicate line truncation with short horizontal arrows meaning “there's more text on this line which is scrolled horizontally out of view;” clicking the mouse on one of the arrows scrolls the display horizontally in the direction of the arrow. The fringes can also indicate other things, such as empty lines, or where a program you are debugging is executing (see section Running Debuggers Under Emacs).

You can enable and disable the fringes for all frames using M-x fringe-mode. To enable and disable the fringes for the selected frame, use M-x set-fringe-style.


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