The buffer list is a list of all live buffers. The order of the
buffers in this list is based primarily on how recently each buffer has
been displayed in a window. Several functions, notably
other-buffer, use this ordering. A buffer list displayed for the
user also follows this order.
Creating a buffer adds it to the end of the buffer list, and killing
a buffer removes it from that list. A buffer moves to the front of
this list whenever it is chosen for display in a window
(see Switching Buffers) or a window displaying it is selected
(see Selecting Windows). A buffer moves to the end of the list
when it is buried (see
bury-buffer, below). There are no
functions available to the Lisp programmer which directly manipulate
the buffer list.
In addition to the fundamental buffer list just described, Emacs
maintains a local buffer list for each frame, in which the buffers that
have been displayed (or had their windows selected) in that frame come
first. (This order is recorded in the frame’s
parameter; see Buffer Parameters.) Buffers never displayed in
that frame come afterward, ordered according to the fundamental buffer
This function returns the buffer list, including all buffers, even those whose names begin with a space. The elements are actual buffers, not their names.
If frame is a frame, this returns frame’s local buffer list.
If frame is
nil or omitted, the fundamental buffer list is
used: the buffers appear in order of most recent display or selection,
regardless of which frames they were displayed on.
(buffer-list) ⇒ (#<buffer buffers.texi> #<buffer *Minibuf-1*> #<buffer buffer.c> #<buffer *Help*> #<buffer TAGS>)
;; Note that the name of the minibuffer ;; begins with a space! (mapcar (function buffer-name) (buffer-list)) ⇒ ("buffers.texi" " *Minibuf-1*" "buffer.c" "*Help*" "TAGS")
The list returned by
buffer-list is constructed specifically;
it is not an internal Emacs data structure, and modifying it has no
effect on the order of buffers. If you want to change the order of
buffers in the fundamental buffer list, here is an easy way:
(defun reorder-buffer-list (new-list) (while new-list (bury-buffer (car new-list)) (setq new-list (cdr new-list))))
With this method, you can specify any order for the list, but there is no danger of losing a buffer or adding something that is not a valid live buffer.
To change the order or value of a specific frame’s buffer list, set
buffer-list parameter with
modify-frame-parameters (see Parameter Access).
other-buffer&optional buffer visible-ok frame
This function returns the first buffer in the buffer list other than buffer. Usually, this is the buffer appearing in the most recently selected window (in frame frame or else the selected frame, see Input Focus), aside from buffer. Buffers whose names start with a space are not considered at all.
If buffer is not supplied (or if it is not a live buffer), then
other-buffer returns the first buffer in the selected frame’s
local buffer list. (If frame is non-
nil, it returns the
first buffer in frame’s local buffer list instead.)
If frame has a non-
other-buffer uses that predicate to decide which buffers to
consider. It calls the predicate once for each buffer, and if the value
nil, that buffer is ignored. See Buffer Parameters.
If visible-ok is
other-buffer avoids returning
a buffer visible in any window on any visible frame, except as a last
resort. If visible-ok is non-
nil, then it does not matter
whether a buffer is displayed somewhere or not.
If no suitable buffer exists, the buffer *scratch* is returned (and created, if necessary).
last-buffer&optional buffer visible-ok frame
This function returns the last buffer in frame’s buffer list other
than buffer. If frame is omitted or
nil, it uses the
selected frame’s buffer list.
The argument visible-ok is handled as with
see above. If no suitable buffer can be found, the buffer
*scratch* is returned.
This command puts buffer-or-name at the end of the buffer list,
without changing the order of any of the other buffers on the list.
This buffer therefore becomes the least desirable candidate for
other-buffer to return. The argument can be either a buffer
itself or the name of one.
This function operates on each frame’s
buffer-list parameter as
well as the fundamental buffer list; therefore, the buffer that you bury
will come last in the value of
(buffer-list frame) and in
the value of
(buffer-list). In addition, it also puts the buffer
at the end of the list of buffer of the selected window (see Window History) provided it is shown in that window.
If buffer-or-name is
nil or omitted, this means to bury the
current buffer. In addition, if the current buffer is displayed in the
selected window, this makes sure that the window is either deleted or
another buffer is shown in it. More precisely, if the selected window
is dedicated (see Dedicated Windows) and there are other windows on
its frame, the window is deleted. If it is the only window on its frame
and that frame is not the only frame on its terminal, the frame is
dismissed by calling the function specified by
frame-auto-hide-function (see Quitting Windows). Otherwise,
switch-to-prev-buffer (see Window History) to show
another buffer in that window. If buffer-or-name is displayed in
some other window, it remains displayed there.
To replace a buffer in all the windows that display it, use
replace-buffer-in-windows, See Buffers and Windows.
This command switches to the last buffer in the local buffer list of
the selected frame. More precisely, it calls the function
switch-to-buffer (see Switching Buffers), to display the
buffer returned by
last-buffer (see above), in the selected
This is a normal hook run whenever the buffer list changes. Functions
(implicitly) running this hook are
(see Creating Buffers),
rename-buffer (see Buffer Names),
kill-buffer (see Killing Buffers),
select-window (see Selecting Windows).