I use, and love, tabs, using the following in my .emacs:

(require 'tabbar) (tabbar-mode 1) (global-set-key [(control shift iso-lefttab)] 'tabbar-backward-tab) (global-set-key [(control tab)] 'tabbar-forward-tab)

Since upgrading my distro a few months back (i'm sure it wasn't true before that), i've found that if i load several files with different extensions, then the tabs appear in different groups; e.g.,

emacs junk1.txt junk4.txx junk2.txt junk3.ttx junk9.txt

gives me one "screen" (if you see what i mean) that has tabs for junk1.txt, junk2.txt, and junk9.txt; and another with tabs for both junk4.txx and junk3.ttx (and yes, those two do have different extensions).

I can, of course, switch buffers to move between "screens" (and, err, between buffers); but what i want is to have tabs for ALL my files visible in a single "screen", so i can tab through all of them. Any ideas how to achieve that (or for that matter, why i don't currently get that behaviour)?

GNU Emacs 26.2 (build 1, x86_64-mageia-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.24.7) of 2019-04-12

Thanks, ian

  • How about trying out (setq tabbar-buffer-groups-function (lambda () (list "All"))) from the Emacs tabbar wiki page? emacswiki.org/emacs/TabBarMode To try it out, just type: M-x eval-expression RET ... copy and then paste the code into the minibuffer and then press the RET key. If it works for you, then you can add that to your .emacs file underneath the (require 'tabbar) statement. The following link contains some additional tabbar configuration ideas you may want to check out: emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/10081/…
    – lawlist
    May 1, 2020 at 21:31
  • Oo, yes, that's pointed me in the right direction -- in my ignorance, i hadn't known of the "groups" function, which is clearly at the root of this issue. Thanks!
    – ionh
    May 1, 2020 at 21:41
  • Umm, so how do i mark this is "solved"?
    – ionh
    May 1, 2020 at 21:42
  • Inasmuch as my comment "pointed [you] in the right direction ...", it would appear that you had something slightly different in mind as the ultimate solution to your issue. Therefore, it may behoove you to write-up your own answer; and, if needed, revise the question to make your issue more clear for future people who visit this thread. I believe there is a 24 or 36 hour waiting period (or something like that) to accept your own answer, so check back when the waiting period has lapsed and then you can place a checkmark next to your answer to mark the issue as being solved.
    – lawlist
    May 1, 2020 at 21:56
  • It was a pretty strong pointer! And thanks for the additional suggestions....
    – ionh
    May 1, 2020 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


Thanks to lawlist's enlightening suggestions, and a bit of subsequent googling, i was able to figure out the fix, defining my tabbing groups as needed by adding this into my .emacs:

(defun my-tabbar-buffer-groups ()
  (list (cond ((string-equal "*" (substring (buffer-name) 0 1)) "emacs")
              ((eq major-mode 'dired-mode) "emacs")
              (t "user"))))
(setq tabbar-buffer-groups-function 'my-tabbar-buffer-groups)

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