As written in A Package in a league of its own: Helm there's a way to

  1. search for a file using Helm
  2. decide after searching whether open it in same or other window

My question is: How?

  • 6
    If you keep reading the guide, you will see that it tells you use RET to open file in current window and C-c o to open file in other window.
    – Tu Do
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 14:43
  • Use TAB (helm-select-action) to open action menu and choose one you want, in your example: "Find file other window" or "Goto line other window" etc, you can also just use shortcuts (usually bind to C-c o) like Tu Do said.
    – xuchunyang
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 11:48
  • @xuchunyang I don't know what you mean or how to do it. Here is what I tried: found file using helm-find-files (that's C-x C-f for me) after this pressing TAB creates buffer with that file. Pressing TAB again kills it. How should i do helm-select-action?
    – Empty_Mind
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 7:07
  • @Empty_Mind In helm, TAB is binded to helm-select-action by default, if you change it by yourself you should know that.
    – xuchunyang
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 7:11

1 Answer 1


I'm using Spacemacs (on Windows 10 if that matters) with the default keybindings. This may differ from your configuration, but I found the following ways to open files via Helm-Find-Files:

  • Open Helm-Find-Files - SPCff
  • Type in filename (via tab completion etc.). Once file has been selected, there are 3 options I use for opening the file:
    • Option 1. Tab to preview file and Tab again to close the preview (stays in Helm-Find-Files)
    • Option 2. Return/Enter opens the file in the same window that I was in before calling Helm-Find-Files
    • Option 3. Ctrl+co opens the file in another window.
  • 1
    How would you open in a vertical window?
    – fraxture
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 17:36
  • I'm not sure @fraxture. I don't have spacemacs installed anymore either (switched jobs a while back and never got around to setting it up again).
    – Jason Down
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 18:22
  • The Ctrl + c o is actually working for me as I set the default for emacs to open in a vertical split. Funnily, the tab option doesn't work I get a message saying "Cannot split side side window or parent of side window."
    – fraxture
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 17:52

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