Bear with me as I am a neophyte to Emacs. I followed http://pragmaticemacs.com/emacs/visualise-and-copy-differences-between-files/ to fire up Ediff in Emacs.

  • It opened two buffers in two windows side-by-side.
  • I then used p and n to move to the hunks and used b to copy from B to A file.
  • I then used C-x o to move to the edited buffer and used C-x C-s to save it and then I am lost..

I want to go back to ediff-mode and want to use special keys p, n, etc. Now when I am trying to hit these keys it starts editing the buffers even the ediff help key ? is not working.

How can I get back to ediff-mode from this edit kind of mode?

  • @Kaushal: Thank you for editing and converting it in a much professional question format.
    – Black_Zero
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 18:00
  • You are welcome :) I just added a touch of markdown and kbd tags. Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


Can you get to a buffer named *Ediff Control Panel*? If you cannot get to that buffer then either you have quit Ediff or you have deleted one of its "vital" buffers, and you will need to start Ediff again from the beginning.

If you can get to buffer *Ediff Control Panel* then do so. You must be in that buffer to use Ediff keys to use Ediff to get to and act on the buffers you are comparing. Buffer *Ediff Control Panel* is typically displayed in a separate Emacs frame, which by default is quite tiny.

Consult the Ediff doc, starting with the Ediff manual (C-h i, scroll down and choose Ediff) or the doc strings, to learn about Ediff. The web page you pointed to is not so helpful (IMHO), but I guess it can get someone started.

  • Thanks for the pointer. In my case Emacs opened a whole new window for Ediff Control Panel which was not visible at first sight.
    – Black_Zero
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 18:02
  • By default, Emacs puts the Ediff control panel in a separate frame. Customise allows you to put it in a window in the same frame, which I much prefer.
    – mikado
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 18:14
  • OP: What you are calling a separate "window" is what Emacs calls a (separate) "frame". Just so you know. Knowing the jargon can help you understand the doc/help a bit better. What Emacs calls a "window" is a (possibly full-frame) pane of a frame. That is, an Emacs frame (which corresponds to a window-manager window) contains at least one window.
    – Drew
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 20:24

This has bugged me for long time.

There's a solution for it

find the ediff control pannel and recenter


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