I am opening emacs in --no-window-system mode and I switched xterm-mouse-mode on. Mouse clicks within a buffer work. However, I want the menu at the top of the window to open when I click on it.

I.e., when I click on File, I want the dropdown menu to show up the list with the options to open a file or to save the current buffer and so on.

What happens actually instead is that on the right half of the shell window a new buffer opens, showing a message like the one visible here: like the one visible here.

How can I get the menu bar at the top of emacs to work as I expect it? I want the ordinary behaviour from all other "normal" GUI editors, which do not operate on the command line. Thanks in advance!


I want the ordinary behaviour from all other "normal" GUI editors

But you're not running it as a GUI editor, you're running in a terminal.

When menu-bar-mode is enabled (as it is for you), you can type <f10> to open the menus, and then navigate with the keyboard.

Or you can use the menus regardless by typing M-`

You may be able to get some mouse interaction by enabling xterm-mouse-mode in Emacs, but that won't necessarily do what you want for the menus. (In my case clicking on the menu names triggers the M-` behaviour for that menu.)

  • So there is no way to use the top menu completely by the mouse? May 1 '17 at 7:17
  • I don't know. The fact that xterm-mouse-mode exists and is able to detect clicks on the specific menu toolbar items, combined with the fact that the menu UI opened by <f10> is otherwise what you're after, does make me think that it may be possible to combine those two things to get the result you're looking for. I haven't looked into that myself, though.
    – phils
    May 1 '17 at 9:49

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