Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life


Tags: emacs elscreen tools

I use ElScreen every time I open Emacs. May as well make a quick note about it.


I admit it. I’m still more of a Vim user. The workflow I’m used to is Vim with some tabs, usually sitting in a tmux session. When in Emacs I use ElScreen, which basically gives me tmux inside Emacs.

If you know what that means, great. If not, then pretend ElScreen is a weird way to make emacs a tabbed editor.

Install It

ErgoEmacs has a nice guide to using the Emacs package manager. With that as your guide, find and install the elscreen package from MELPA.

Start ElScreen in your init file.


Now the elscreen commands are available throughout your Emacs session.

Use It

ElScreen Usage shows many commands for ElScreen. I manage with just a few.

Function Keys Description
elscreen-create Ctrl+z c Create a new screen and switch to it.
elscreen-next Ctrl+z n Cycle to the next screen
elscreen-previous Ctrl+z p Cycle to the previous screen
elscreen-kill Ctrl+z k Kill the current screen
elscreen-help Ctrl+z ? Show ElScreen key bindings

I know. A tutorial or something would be nice. But every time I start to write a tutorial for something, I think of one more detail that hasn’t been covered and the cycle starts all over again on the new detail. Just needed something here so I could shut my brain up about “why don’t you mention ElScreen?”

Added to vault 2024-01-15. Updated on 2024-02-01