I edit C in two windows side-by-side, source on left, compilation results on right. I have F5 bound to recompile.

Currently I have to do:

  • F5 to run make,

  • Move to *compilation* buffer in right window,

  • Scroll down to end of buffer,

  • Move back to left window to continue to edit.

I would prefer to have all the above happen automatically by pressing [F5], without leaving the left window, so I can see the results, and continue to work.

I write C, not Lisp! ;^)

  • 7
    C-h v compilation-scroll-output
    – rpluim
    Feb 28, 2019 at 17:05
  • Thanks. Was not aware of that option.
    – Scotsgeek
    Feb 28, 2019 at 19:26
  • @Drew -- I could be mistaken, but the recent edits providing for a top/bottom window split do not appear to reflect the intentions of the O.P., who apparently prefers a left/right window split and simply wants the output to be automatically scrolled without visiting the compilation window (and manually going to the end of the buffer).
    – lawlist
    Mar 1, 2019 at 2:34
  • @lawlist: Wasn't clear to me. Retitled and tagged. Feel free to edit to make clearer. Thx.
    – Drew
    Mar 1, 2019 at 4:51
  • @rpluim: Please consider posting your comment as an answer.
    – Drew
    Mar 1, 2019 at 4:51

1 Answer 1


This behaviour can be controlled by compilation-scroll-output.

compilation-scroll-output is a variable defined in `compile.el'.
Its value is `first-error'
Original value was nil

Non-nil to scroll the *compilation* buffer window as output appears.

Setting it causes the Compilation mode commands to put point at the
end of their output window so that the end of the output is always
visible rather than the beginning.

See Compilation for more info.

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