Moving Between Emacs Windows

As I mentioned in my winner-mode post, I recently configured Emacs to start with a frame-width of 162 columns. I've also added a call to split-window-right in my init.el to get the two columns of windows that I prefer. This introduces the problem of how to navigate between windows easily. If there's only two windows, the usual 【Ctrl+x o】 works nicely but it quickly becomes cumbersome when there are 3 or more windows in the selected frame.

It turns out that there is a really nice solution to this although it's a bit hard to find. If you add


to your .emacs or init.el file, you can move between windows with the 【Shift+】/ 【Shift+】/ 【Shift+】 / 【Shift+】 key sequences. You can change the modifier by specifying a different one as the argument to windmove-default-keybindings.

If, like me, you're a heavy org-mode user, you'll find that these key bindings won't work in org-mode buffers because org-mode takes them over. Happily you can solve this by adding the line

(setq org-replace-disputed-keys t)

to your .emacs or init.el. This will cause org-mode to replace the shift-arrow keys with others for its operations. You can also tell org-mode to replace the windmove keys only when the point is not at a place when org-mode would want to use them as explained in the Org Mode Manual.

All this may not sound like much but they are a huge win for me. I can have several windows open in a frame and still move among them easily. Another demonstration of the power and configurability of Emacs.

Update: windmove-default-bindingswindmove-default-keybindings

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