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19.2 Automatic Scrolling

Redisplay scrolls the buffer automatically when point moves out of the visible portion of the text. The purpose of automatic scrolling is to make point visible, but you can customize many aspects of how this is done.

Normally, automatic scrolling centers point vertically within the window. However, if you set scroll-conservatively to a small number n, then if you move point just a little off the screen—less than n lines—then Emacs scrolls the text just far enough to bring point back on screen. By default, scroll-conservatively is 0.

When the window does scroll by a longer distance, you can control how aggressively it scrolls, by setting the variables scroll-up-aggressively and scroll-down-aggressively. The value of scroll-up-aggressively should be either nil, or a fraction f between 0 and 1. A fraction specifies where on the screen to put point when scrolling upward. More precisely, when a window scrolls up because point is above the window start, the new start position is chosen to put point f part of the window height from the top. The larger f, the more aggressive the scrolling.

nil, which is the default, scrolls to put point at the center. So it is equivalent to .5.

Likewise, scroll-down-aggressively is used for scrolling down. The value, f, specifies how far point should be placed from the bottom of the window; thus, as with scroll-up-aggressively, a larger value is more aggressive.

The variable scroll-margin restricts how close point can come to the top or bottom of a window. Its value is a number of screen lines; if point comes within that many lines of the top or bottom of the window, Emacs recenters the window. By default, scroll-margin is 0.

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