I'd like to be able to see visually whether a window is dedicated. Is there a way that I could add this information to the mode line?

  • 1
    The question is too broad or is unclear, or else you need to accept a simple answer such as @lawlist offered. There are many ways one might want to show that - or any other bit of information - in the mode line. Unless you specify exactly what you're looking for, any answer that puts the info in the mode line is acceptable. Suggestion: read the Elisp manual about the mode-line, in particular mode-line variables. That will tell you how you can use one of the variables to add the info you want.
    – Drew
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


Answering a mode-line question is like opening a Pandora's Box because there are a zillion ways to customize it and people use libraries such as Powerline, etc., and others use the built-in format. That being said, here is a minimal working example that will affect all windows without a subsequently defined mode-line-format. To affect only one buffer, use setq in the target buffer instead of setq-default. To test this, first evaluate the code below, and then evaluate (set-window-dedicated-p (selected-window) t) to turn dedication on and (set-window-dedicated-p (selected-window) nil) to turn dedication off.

(setq-default mode-line-format
      (if (window-dedicated-p)
  • This command removes all other information from the mode-line on my emacs, and I don't think I'm doing anything very special. I would like to insert this without overwriting the rest of the mode-line configuration.
    – Zorgoth
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 21:39
  • Oddly, it doesn't work if I try to let it be only one part of mode-line-format by naively pasting it in. (setq-default mode-line-format '(default stuff custom code default stuff)). If I do that, it always says DEDICATED. If I do exactly what you said, it works, but it overwrites the rest of the mode-line, so it isn't exactly useful.
    – Zorgoth
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 21:51
  • I will edit the question to ask something somewhat more specific.
    – Zorgoth
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 15:25
  • I figured out how to do what I wanted. I'll accept the answer, but I'll mention that what was useful to me was "(setq mode-line-misc-info (cons '(:eval (if (window-dedicated-p) "DEDICATED" "NOT-DEDICATED")) mode-line-misc-info))"
    – Zorgoth
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 15:40

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