windows.texi   [plain text]

@c This is part of the Emacs manual.
@c Copyright (C) 1985, 86, 87, 93, 94, 95, 1997 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
@c See file emacs.texi for copying conditions.
@node Windows, Frames, Buffers, Top
@chapter Multiple Windows
@cindex windows in Emacs
@cindex multiple windows in Emacs

  Emacs can split a frame into two or many windows.  Multiple windows
can display parts of different buffers, or different parts of one
buffer.  Multiple frames always imply multiple windows, because each
frame has its own set of windows.  Each window belongs to one and only
one frame.

* Basic Window::        Introduction to Emacs windows.
* Split Window::        New windows are made by splitting existing windows.
* Other Window::        Moving to another window or doing something to it.
* Pop Up Window::       Finding a file or buffer in another window.
* Force Same Window::   Forcing certain buffers to appear in the selected
                          window rather than in another window.
* Change Window::       Deleting windows and changing their sizes.
@end menu

@node Basic Window
@section Concepts of Emacs Windows

  Each Emacs window displays one Emacs buffer at any time.  A single
buffer may appear in more than one window; if it does, any changes in
its text are displayed in all the windows where it appears.  But the
windows showing the same buffer can show different parts of it, because
each window has its own value of point.

@cindex selected window
  At any time, one of the windows is the @dfn{selected window}; the
buffer this window is displaying is the current buffer.  The terminal's
cursor shows the location of point in this window.  Each other window
has a location of point as well, but since the terminal has only one
cursor there is no way to show where those locations are.  When multiple
frames are visible in X Windows, each frame has a cursor which appears
in the frame's selected window.  The cursor in the selected frame is
solid; the cursor in other frames is a hollow box.

  Commands to move point affect the value of point for the selected Emacs
window only.  They do not change the value of point in any other Emacs
window, even one showing the same buffer.  The same is true for commands
such as @kbd{C-x b} to change the selected buffer in the selected window;
they do not affect other windows at all.  However, there are other commands
such as @kbd{C-x 4 b} that select a different window and switch buffers in
it.  Also, all commands that display information in a window, including
(for example) @kbd{C-h f} (@code{describe-function}) and @kbd{C-x C-b}
(@code{list-buffers}), work by switching buffers in a nonselected window
without affecting the selected window.

  When multiple windows show the same buffer, they can have different
regions, because they can have different values of point.  However,
they all have the same value for the mark, because each buffer has
only one mark position.

  Each window has its own mode line, which displays the buffer name,
modification status and major and minor modes of the buffer that is
displayed in the window.  @xref{Mode Line}, for full details on the mode

@end iftex

@node Split Window
@section Splitting Windows

@table @kbd
@item C-x 2
Split the selected window into two windows, one above the other
@item C-x 3
Split the selected window into two windows positioned side by side
@item C-Mouse-2
In the mode line or scroll bar of a window, split that window.
@end table

@kindex C-x 2
@findex split-window-vertically
  The command @kbd{C-x 2} (@code{split-window-vertically}) breaks the
selected window into two windows, one above the other.  Both windows start
out displaying the same buffer, with the same value of point.  By default
the two windows each get half the height of the window that was split; a
numeric argument specifies how many lines to give to the top window.

@kindex C-x 3
@findex split-window-horizontally
  @kbd{C-x 3} (@code{split-window-horizontally}) breaks the selected
window into two side-by-side windows.  A numeric argument specifies how
many columns to give the one on the left.  A line of vertical bars
separates the two windows.  Windows that are not the full width of the
screen have mode lines, but they are truncated.  On terminals where
Emacs does not support highlighting, truncated mode lines sometimes do
not appear in inverse video.

@kindex C-Mouse-2 @r{(scroll bar)}
  You can split a window horizontally or vertically by clicking
@kbd{C-Mouse-2} in the mode line or the scroll bar.  The line of
splitting goes through the place where you click: if you click on the
mode line, the new scroll bar goes above the spot; if you click in the
scroll bar, the mode line of the split window is side by side with your

@vindex truncate-partial-width-windows
  When a window is less than the full width, text lines too long to fit are
frequent.  Continuing all those lines might be confusing.  The variable
@code{truncate-partial-width-windows} can be set non-@code{nil} to force
truncation in all windows less than the full width of the screen,
independent of the buffer being displayed and its value for
@code{truncate-lines}.  @xref{Continuation Lines}.@refill

  Horizontal scrolling is often used in side-by-side windows.

@vindex split-window-keep-point
  If @code{split-window-keep-point} is non-@code{nil}, the default, both
of the windows resulting from @kbd{C-x 2} inherit the value of point
from the window that was split.  This means that scrolling is
inevitable.  If this variable is @code{nil}, then @kbd{C-x 2} tries to
avoid shifting any text the screen, by putting point in each window at a
position already visible in the window.  It also selects whichever
window contain the screen line that the cursor was previously on.  Some
users prefer the latter mode on slow terminals.

@node Other Window
@section Using Other Windows

@table @kbd
@item C-x o
Select another window (@code{other-window}).  That is @kbd{o}, not zero.
@item C-M-v
Scroll the next window (@code{scroll-other-window}).
@item M-x compare-windows
Find next place where the text in the selected window does not match
the text in the next window.
@item Mouse-1
@kbd{Mouse-1}, in a window's mode line, selects that window
but does not move point in it (@code{mouse-select-window}).
@end table

@kindex C-x o
@findex other-window
  To select a different window, click with @kbd{Mouse-1} on its mode
line.  With the keyboard, you can switch windows by typing @kbd{C-x o}
(@code{other-window}).  That is an @kbd{o}, for `other', not a zero.
When there are more than two windows, this command moves through all the
windows in a cyclic order, generally top to bottom and left to right.
After the rightmost and bottommost window, it goes back to the one at
the upper left corner.  A numeric argument means to move several steps
in the cyclic order of windows.  A negative argument moves around the
cycle in the opposite order.  When the minibuffer is active, the
minibuffer is the last window in the cycle; you can switch from the
minibuffer window to one of the other windows, and later switch back and
finish supplying the minibuffer argument that is requested.
@xref{Minibuffer Edit}.

@kindex C-M-v
@findex scroll-other-window
  The usual scrolling commands (@pxref{Display}) apply to the selected
window only, but there is one command to scroll the next window.
@kbd{C-M-v} (@code{scroll-other-window}) scrolls the window that
@kbd{C-x o} would select.  It takes arguments, positive and negative,
like @kbd{C-v}.  (In the minibuffer, @kbd{C-M-v} scrolls the window
that contains the minibuffer help display, if any, rather than the
next window in the standard cyclic order.)

  The command @kbd{M-x compare-windows} lets you compare two files or
buffers visible in two windows, by moving through them to the next
mismatch.  @xref{Comparing Files}, for details.

@node Pop Up Window
@section Displaying in Another Window

@cindex selecting buffers in other windows
@kindex C-x 4
  @kbd{C-x 4} is a prefix key for commands that select another window
(splitting the window if there is only one) and select a buffer in that
window.  Different @kbd{C-x 4} commands have different ways of finding the
buffer to select.

@table @kbd
@item C-x 4 b @var{bufname} @key{RET}
Select buffer @var{bufname} in another window.  This runs
@item C-x 4 C-o @var{bufname} @key{RET}
Display buffer @var{bufname} in another window, but
don't select that buffer or that window.  This runs
@item C-x 4 f @var{filename} @key{RET}
Visit file @var{filename} and select its buffer in another window.  This
runs @code{find-file-other-window}.  @xref{Visiting}.
@item C-x 4 d @var{directory} @key{RET}
Select a Dired buffer for directory @var{directory} in another window.
This runs @code{dired-other-window}.  @xref{Dired}.
@item C-x 4 m
Start composing a mail message in another window.  This runs
@code{mail-other-window}; its same-window analogue is @kbd{C-x m}
(@pxref{Sending Mail}).
@item C-x 4 .
Find a tag in the current tags table, in another window.  This runs
@code{find-tag-other-window}, the multiple-window variant of @kbd{M-.}
@item C-x 4 r @var{filename} @key{RET}
Visit file @var{filename} read-only, and select its buffer in another
window.  This runs @code{find-file-read-only-other-window}.
@end table

@node Force Same Window
@section Forcing Display in the Same Window

  Certain Emacs commands switch to a specific buffer with special
contents.  For example, @kbd{M-x shell} switches to a buffer named
@samp{*Shell*}.  By convention, all these commands are written to pop up
the buffer in a separate window.  But you can specify that certain of
these buffers should appear in the selected window.

@vindex same-window-buffer-names
  If you add a buffer name to the list @code{same-window-buffer-names},
the effect is that such commands display that particular buffer by
switching to it in the selected window.  For example, if you add the
element @code{"*grep*"} to the list, the @code{grep} command will
display its output buffer in the selected window.

  The default value of @code{same-window-buffer-names} is not
@code{nil}: it specifies buffer names @samp{*info*}, @samp{*mail*} and
@samp{*shell*} (as well as others used by more obscure Emacs packages).
This is why @kbd{M-x shell} normally switches to the @samp{*shell*}
buffer in the selected window.  If you delete this element from the
value of @code{same-window-buffer-names}, the behavior of @kbd{M-x
shell} will change---it will pop up the buffer in another window

@vindex same-window-regexps
  You can specify these buffers more generally with the variable
@code{same-window-regexps}.  Set it to a list of regular expressions;
then any buffer whose name matches one of those regular expressions is
displayed by switching to it in the selected window.  (Once again, this
applies only to buffers that normally get displayed for you in a
separate window.)  The default value of this variable specifies Telnet
and rlogin buffers.

  An analogous feature lets you specify buffers which should be
displayed in their own individual frames.  @xref{Special Buffer Frames}.

@node Change Window
@section Deleting and Rearranging Windows

@table @kbd
@item C-x 0
Delete the selected window (@code{delete-window}).  The last character
in this key sequence is a zero.
@item C-x 1
Delete all windows in the selected frame except the selected window
@item C-x 4 0
Delete the selected window and kill the buffer that was showing in it
(@code{kill-buffer-and-window}).  The last character in this key
sequence is a zero.
@item C-x ^
Make selected window taller (@code{enlarge-window}).
@item C-x @}
Make selected window wider (@code{enlarge-window-horizontally}).
@item C-x @{
Make selected window narrower (@code{shrink-window-horizontally}).
@item C-x -
Shrink this window if its buffer doesn't need so many lines
@item C-x +
Make all windows the same height (@code{balance-windows}).
@item Drag-Mouse-1
Dragging a window's mode line up or down with @kbd{Mouse-1} changes
window heights.
@item Mouse-2
@kbd{Mouse-2} in a window's mode line deletes all other windows in the frame
@item Mouse-3
@kbd{Mouse-3} in a window's mode line deletes that window
@end table

@kindex C-x 0
@findex delete-window
  To delete a window, type @kbd{C-x 0} (@code{delete-window}).  (That is
a zero.)  The space occupied by the deleted window is given to an
adjacent window (but not the minibuffer window, even if that is active
at the time).  Once a window is deleted, its attributes are forgotten;
only restoring a window configuration can bring it back.  Deleting the
window has no effect on the buffer it used to display; the buffer
continues to exist, and you can select it in any window with @kbd{C-x

@findex kill-buffer-and-window
@kindex C-x 4 0
  @kbd{C-x 4 0} (@code{kill-buffer-and-window}) is a stronger command
than @kbd{C-x 0}; it kills the current buffer and then deletes the
selected window.

@kindex C-x 1
@findex delete-other-windows
  @kbd{C-x 1} (@code{delete-other-windows}) is more powerful in a
different way; it deletes all the windows except the selected one (and
the minibuffer); the selected window expands to use the whole frame
except for the echo area.

  You can also delete a window by clicking on its mode line with
@kbd{Mouse-2}, and delete all the windows in a frame except one window
by clicking on that window's mode line with @kbd{Mouse-3}.

  The easiest way to adjust window heights is with a mouse.  If you
press @kbd{Mouse-1} on a mode line, you can drag that mode line up or
down, changing the heights of the windows above and below it.

@kindex C-x ^
@findex enlarge-window
@kindex C-x @}
@findex enlarge-window-horizontally
@vindex window-min-height
@vindex window-min-width
  To readjust the division of space among vertically adjacent windows,
use @kbd{C-x ^} (@code{enlarge-window}).  It makes the currently
selected window get one line bigger, or as many lines as is specified
with a numeric argument.  With a negative argument, it makes the
selected window smaller.  @kbd{C-x @}}
(@code{enlarge-window-horizontally}) makes the selected window wider by
the specified number of columns.  @kbd{C-x @{}
(@code{shrink-window-horizontally}) makes the selected window narrower
by the specified number of columns.

  When you make a window bigger, the space comes from one of its
neighbors.  If this makes any window too small, it is deleted and its
space is given to an adjacent window.  The minimum size is specified by
the variables @code{window-min-height} and @code{window-min-width}.

@kindex C-x -
@findex shrink-window-if-larger-than-buffer
  The command @kbd{C-x -} (@code{shrink-window-if-larger-than-buffer})
reduces the height of the selected window, if it is taller than
necessary to show the whole text of the buffer it is displaying.  It
gives the extra lines to other windows in the frame.

@kindex C-x +
@findex balance-windows
  You can also use @kbd{C-x +} (@code{balance-windows}) to even out the
heights of all the windows in the selected frame.

  @xref{Minibuffer Edit}, for information about the Resize-Minibuffer
mode, which automatically changes the size of the minibuffer window to
fit the text in the minibuffer.