To refill a paragraph, use the command M-q
fill-paragraph). This operates on the paragraph that point is
inside, or the one after point if point is between paragraphs.
Refilling works by removing all the line-breaks, then inserting new ones
To refill many paragraphs, use M-x fill-region, which divides the region into paragraphs and fills each of them.
fill-region use the same criteria as M-h
for finding paragraph boundaries (see section Paragraphs). For more
control, you can use M-x fill-region-as-paragraph, which refills
everything between point and mark. This command deletes any blank lines
within the region, so separate blocks of text end up combined into one
A numeric argument to M-q causes it to justify the text as
well as filling it. This means that extra spaces are inserted to make
the right margin line up exactly at the fill column. To remove the
extra spaces, use M-q with no argument. (Likewise for
fill-region.) Another way to control justification, and choose
other styles of filling, is with the
justification text property;
see section Justification in Formatted Text.
adaptive-fill-mode is non-
nil (which is normally
the case), if you use
fill-region-as-paragraph on an indented
paragraph and you don't have a fill prefix, it uses the indentation of
the second line of the paragraph as the fill prefix. The effect of
adaptive filling is not noticeable in Text mode, because an indented
line counts as a paragraph starter and thus each line of an indented
paragraph is considered a paragraph of its own. But you do notice the
effect in Indented Text mode and some other major modes.
The command M-s (
center-line) centers the current line
within the current fill column. With an argument n, it centers
n lines individually and moves past them.
The maximum line width for filling is in the variable
fill-column. Altering the value of
fill-column makes it
local to the current buffer; until that time, the default value is in
effect. The default is initially 70. See section Local Variables. The easiest way
fill-column is to use the command C-x f
set-fill-column). With no argument, it sets
to the current horizontal position of point. With a numeric argument,
it uses that as the new fill column.
Emacs commands normally consider a period followed by two spaces or by a newline as the end of a sentence; a period followed by just one space indicates an abbreviation and not the end of a sentence. To preserve the distinction between these two ways of using a period, the fill commands do not break a line after a period followed by just one space.
If the variable
fill commands expect and leave just one space at the end of a sentence.
Ordinarily this variable is
t, so the fill commands insist on
two spaces for the end of a sentence, as explained above. See section Sentences.