This section describes variables that control miscellaneous aspects of the appearance of the Emacs screen. Beginning users can skip it.
If the variable visible-bell is non-
nil, Emacs attempts
to make the whole screen blink when it would normally make an audible bell
sound. This variable has no effect if your terminal does not have a way
to make the screen blink.
The variable echo-keystrokes controls the echoing of multi-character keys; its value is the number of seconds of pause required to cause echoing to start, or zero, meaning don’t echo at all. The value takes effect when there is something to echo. See Echo Area.
On graphical displays, Emacs displays the mouse pointer as an
hourglass if Emacs is busy. To disable this feature, set the variable
nil. The variable
hourglass-delay determines the number of seconds of busy
time before the hourglass is shown; the default is 1.
If the mouse pointer lies inside an Emacs frame, Emacs makes it
invisible each time you type a character to insert text, to prevent it
from obscuring the text. (To be precise, the hiding occurs when you
type a self-inserting character. See Inserting Text.) Moving
the mouse pointer makes it visible again. To disable this feature,
set the variable make-pointer-invisible to
On graphical displays, the variable underline-minimum-offset
determines the minimum distance between the baseline and underline, in
pixels, for underlined text. By default, the value is 1; increasing
it may improve the legibility of underlined text for certain fonts.
(However, Emacs will never draw the underline below the current line
area.) The variable x-underline-at-descent-line determines how
to draw underlined text. The default is
nil, which means to
draw it at the baseline level of the font; if you change it to
nil, Emacs draws the underline at the same height as the font’s
The variable overline-margin specifies the vertical position of an overline above the text, including the height of the overline itself, in pixels; the default is 2.
On some text terminals, bold face and inverse video together result
in text that is hard to read. Call the function
tty-suppress-bold-inverse-default-colors with a non-
argument to suppress the effect of bold-face in this case.