I often use Emacs' help buffers, via e.g. C-h k.

Buffer *Help* is displayed in another window, and that window is not selected. In order to close the *Help* buffer, I need to switch windows via C-x o and then press q to close the *Help* buffer.

The solution of always opening the *Help* buffer in the current window, described here, almost works. But I would rather open the help in a different window.

Is it possible to close the *Help* buffer without moving to it, or to set it so that the cursor appears in the help buffer (which would mean I would just need to type q to exit)?


You can automatically have the *Help* window be selected when it is displayed, by customizing option help-window-select.

help-window-select is a variable defined in help.el. Its value is t

Original value was nil


Non-nil means select help window for viewing.

Choices are:

  • never (nil) -- Select help window only if there is no other window on its frame.

  • other -- Select help window if and only if it appears on the previously selected frame, that frame contains at least two other windows and the help window is either new or showed a different buffer before.

  • always (t) -- Always select the help window.

If this option is non-nil and the help window appears on another frame, then give that frame input focus too. Note also that if the help window appears on another frame, it may get selected and its frame get input focus even if this option is nil.

This option has effect if and only if the help window was created by with-help-window.

You can customize this variable.

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