Say I have two frames open. Frame A is visiting a file foo.org. Calling (pop-to-buffer "foo.org") in the other frame (B) opens foo.org in frame B instead of moving the focus to frame A where that buffer is already open. Can this be configured (and how) to "jump" to frame A?

I appreciate that there are other functions that allow me to jump "across frames" but I'd like to adapt the behaviour of pop-to-buffer specifically.

1 Answer 1


pop-to-buffer is essentially display-buffer with selecting the chosen window afterwards.

You can influence the behavior of display-buffer with display actions specified in several variables. See the corresponding info page for a complete list of actions and variables.

I think you should configure display-buffer-base-action with your preferred display behavior.

display-buffer-reuse-window with the alist (reusable-frames . 0) avoids popping up the buffer in the already selected frame if it is shown on another frame.

Configure it with the following Elisp snippet in your config files or use M-x customize-option RET display-buffer-base-action RET.

(setq display-buffer-base-action '(display-buffer-reuse-window (reusable-frames . 0)))

The list of available options for the reusable-frames entry of the alist is:

  • nil: the selected frame (actually the last non-minibuffer frame)
  • A frame : just that frame
  • ‘visible’: all visible frames
  • 0 : all frames on the current terminal
  • t : all frames.

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