windows 10, emacs 26.1

I open 4 frames. How I can quick switch between them?

I need smt like this:

C-1 -> switch to frame#1

C-2 -> switch to frame#2

and so on.

I use ace-window but it not very compfortable because:

1. Create frame#1 
 2. split it to 2 windows
 3. create frame#2
 4. split it to 3 windows
 5. create frame#3
 6. On screen visible only one frame (e.g. frame#2)

And now try to quick switch between frames. It very hard. Ace-windows show me 6 numbers (1,2,3,3,4,5,6). And how I select quick desire frames? It's hard.

  • ace-window might be what you want. See github.com/abo-abo/ace-window
    – andrej
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 9:59
  • No. I use it but when many frames it's not comfortable. Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 10:00
  • 1
    I am using a combination of ace-window and eybrowse. It allows you to have several workspaces in one frame. See for instance here for the description of eybrowse manuel-uberti.github.io/emacs/2017/08/06/eyebrowse
    – andrej
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 10:09
  • 3
    Does other-frame work under Windows? I have that bound to C-`, it allows cycling between frames.
    – rpluim
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 10:53
  • Work. but it's not comfortable. Suppose I open 5 frames.I need to use at least "other-frame" any times to select desire frame. It's to hard. Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 11:02

2 Answers 2


I use switch-window. When switching windows, it labels each window with a key and then prompts for which one you want. There are several options, but I prefer to use the home row for the labels.


You can use (setq switch-window-multiple-frames t) to have it span multiple frames.

My init.el looks like:

(use-package switch-window
  :ensure t
  ;; default C-x o is other-window
  ;; default C-x C-o is delete-blank-lines
  (("C-x o" . switch-window)
   ("C-x C-o" . switch-window))
  (setq switch-window-multiple-frames t)
  (setq switch-window-shortcut-style 'qwerty)
  ;; when Emacs is run as client, the first shortcut does not appear
  ;; "x" acts as a dummy; remove first entry if not running server
  (setq switch-window-qwerty-shortcuts '("x" "a" "s" "d" "f" "j" "k" "l" ";" "w" "e" "r" "u" "i" "o" "q" "t" "y" "p"))
  (setq switch-window-increase 3))

A minimal setup would look like:

(require 'switch-window)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-x o") 'switch-window)
(setq switch-window-multiple-frames t)

Minimal setup with multiple frames


If you use Icicles then you can quickly select a frame by its name, with completion, using multi-command icicle-select-frame:

icicle-select-frame is an interactive compiled Lisp function in icicles-cmd1.el.

It is bound to C-x 5 o.


Select frame by its name and raise it.

A frame name in this context is suffixed as needed by [NUMBER], to make it unique. For example, in a context where frames are named for their buffers and you have two frames showing buffer *Help*, one of the frames will be called *Help*[2] for use with this command.

Read input, then call icicle-select-frame-by-name to act on it.

As always for an Icicles multi-command:

Input-candidate completion and cycling are available. While cycling, these keys with prefix C- are active:

C-mouse-2, C-return - Act on current completion candidate only

C-down, C-wheel-down - Move to next completion candidate and act

C-up, C-wheel-up - Move to previous completion candidate and act

C-next - Move to next apropos-completion candidate and act

C-prior - Move to previous apropos-completion candidate and act

C-end - Move to next prefix-completion candidate and act

C-home - Move to previous prefix-completion candidate and act

C-! - Act on all candidates, successively (careful!)

When candidate action and cycling are combined (e.g. C-next), user option icicle-act-before-cycle-flag determines which occurs first.

With prefix C-M- instead of C-, the same keys (C-M-mouse-2, C-M-RET, C-M-down, and so on) provide help about candidates.

Use mouse-2, RET, or S-RET to finally choose a candidate, or C-g to quit.

This is an Icicles command - see command icicle-mode.

An even handier command is icicle-other-window-or-frame, bound to C-x o by default. It combines several commands for selecting windows or frames.

icicle-other-window-or-frame is an interactive compiled Lisp function in icicles-cmd1.el.

It is bound to C-x o.

(icicle-other-window-or-frame ARG)

Select a window or frame, by name or by order.

This command combines Emacs commands other-window and other-frame, together with Icicles commands icicle-select-window, icicle-select-frame, and icicle-choose-window-for-buffer-display.

Use the prefix argument to choose the behavior, as follows:

  • With no prefix arg or a non-zero numeric prefix arg: If the selected frame has multiple windows, then this is other-window. Otherwise, it is other-frame.

  • With a zero prefix arg (e.g. C-0): If the selected frame has multiple windows, then this is icicle-select-window with windows in the frame as candidates. Otherwise (single-window frame), this is icicle-select-frame.

  • With plain C-u: If the selected frame has multiple windows, then this is icicle-select-window with windows from all visible frames as candidates. Otherwise, this is icicle-select-frame.

  • With plain C-u C-u: Same as icicle-select-window with a negative prefix arg: Select a window from any frame, including iconified and invisible frames.

  • With plain C-u C-u C-u: This is icicle-choose-window-for-buffer-display, with windows from all frames (i.e., iconified and invisible) frames as candidates.

If you use library oneonone.el with a standalone minibuffer frame, and if option 1on1-remap-other-frame-command-flag is non-nil, then frame selection can include the standalone minibuffer frame.

By default, Icicle mode remaps all key sequences that are normally bound to other-window to icicle-other-window-or-frame. If you do not want this remapping, then customize option icicle-top-level-key-bindings.

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