A previous comment...

In the following I'm calling mode-line to the mode-line itself or any of its variations/replacements (e.g. powerline)

Statement of the problem

In the next picture, you can see the behaviour of the mode-line in my emacs session, when there is a single window in the frame.


Except by a problem in my configuration of =diminish= package, it has the information I want.

The problems is that whenever I split the window, I lost useful information... since there is a mode-line for each window. See for example the figure below!


It gets worst as there are more windows in my frame.

What I would like

I'd like the mode-line to behave as the menu-line:

  • there is only one per frame,
  • the content depends on the active buffer


Is it possible to hack such behaviour? How? Does anyone try it? ... Or know a package?

I'm not a programmer myself, but I'd appreciate even a hint of where to start hacking!


1 Answer 1


The mode-line is a feature implemented in the C code with lots of ad-hoc special code deep in the redisplay and window-handling code for it. This code does not support "one mode-line per frame" at all.

So if you want to get a single mode-line shared among various windows, your best bet will be something like:

  • Set mode-line-format to nil so that windows don't have any mode-line any more.
  • Create a side window which will hold your mode-line. Make it display some new buffer which you could call *mode-line*.
  • Add hooks to update this *mode-line* buffer whenever necessary.

I don't know of any package which does that currently.

  • Thank you for the answer... I like your suggestion! Could you elaborate a bit more on the (possible) execution of the steps?
    – Dox
    Sep 28, 2018 at 12:46

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