I use emacs for latex, with pdf-tools. My layout is always a window with PDFView buffer on the right, any other buffer on the left.

I always want the right window that cannot be touched by anything, so I have a command anchor-buffer

;; custom function 'anchor-buffer'
(defun anchor-buffer ()
   "Anchor the current buffer to the current window."
   (set-window-dedicated-p (selected-window) t))

that doesn't allow to modify a window. Consider the following case

  • I have two windows (vertical split): Left window: tex source file, Right window: pdf file, pdf-view-mode (using pdf-tools)

  • I select the pdf buffer (on the right), and I do M-x anchor-buffer. According to the function above this should "glue" the buffer in the right window. At least my anchor-buffer function works like this in all situations I tried.

  • Now suppose I want to search for a reference using RefTex on the tex source (left window), and I do C-c ). A selection buffer opens in the right window which replaces the pdf viewer.

The latter should not happen because I invoked set-window-dedicated-p on right window.

Any idea on how to solve this?

  • 2
    Could you add a recipe for reproducing the problem?
    – phils
    May 19, 2020 at 9:36
  • Dear phils, I edited my question, I hope it is now clearer. May 19, 2020 at 18:09
  • If pdf is in the left window, and you select it, how would that "fix" the right window? The question seems unclear to me.
    – Drew
    May 19, 2020 at 23:45
  • @phils: C-c C-) is a RefTex command which is an example about how my anchor-function breaks. that breaks. @Drew: sorry I edited my question, you are right, thanks. May 20, 2020 at 7:04
  • yes, C-c ), I fixed it May 20, 2020 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


Solved. I replaced my anchor-buffer function with the toggle-current-window-dedication function shared here. Basically this toggle-current-window-dedication, that I report for clarity here

;; A toggle switch for set-window-dedicated-p
;; see: https://stackoverflow.com/a/2903358/2720781
 (defun toggle-current-window-dedication ()
   (let* ((window    (selected-window))
          (dedicated (window-dedicated-p window)))
     (set-window-dedicated-p window (not dedicated))
     (message "Window %sdedicated to %s"
              (if dedicated "no longer " "")
  (global-set-key [pause] 'toggle-current-window-dedication)

is supposed to do exactly what I wanted, it worked under all conditions included the nasty case described above.

Problem solved! Thanks for helping.

  • 1
    That's actually confusing, because it's exactly the same arguments to set-window-dedicated-p as you were using previously (when dedicating). I wouldn't expect this to deal with any edge cases that your old function couldn't cope with, so I would guess that the problem was caused by something else.
    – phils
    Feb 16, 2021 at 19:57

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