When you open a file in Emacs, the file is put into a buffer so you can edit it. If you open another file, that file goes into another buffer. The view of the buffer contents that you have at any point in time is called a window. For a small file, the window might show the entire file; for a large file, it shows only a portion of a file. Emacs allows multiple windows to be open at the same time, to display the contents of different buffers or different portions of a single buffer.