I am using AucTeX with GNU Emacs 30.0.50. It has a shortcut C-c C-l for viewing the processing of the TeX file. It seems to be using split-window-below command for opening the new buffer. Is there any way with which I can change this behavior and always open the new buffer with split-window-right command? What should I put in my .emacs for this?

2 Answers 2


Make split-window-below behave like split-window-right each time you call TeX-recenter-output-buffer which is bound to C-c C-l:

(advice-add 'TeX-recenter-output-buffer :around
            (lambda (fn &rest args)
              (let ((old-def (symbol-function 'split-window-below)))
                (fset 'split-window-below #'split-window-right)
                    (apply fn args)
                  (fset 'split-window-below old-def)))))

You could put it in your .emacs.

See 13.11 Advising Emacs Lisp Functions.

Since C-c C-l is bound to the function TeX-recenter-output-buffer, the main job is to modify the behavior of that function.

What advice-add does is like a piece of advice: it adds some code to the definition of the function (by wrapping it in this case);
the :around keyword indicates that: when you invoke TeX-recenter-output-buffer, it will be executed in the body of advice-add's 3rd argument.

You can think of what (advice-add FUNCTION-A :around FUNCTION-B) does as:

You call FUNCTION-A with some arguments> (FUNCTION-A args...)
What Emacs Lisp actually does> (FUNCTION-B FUNCTION-A args...)

The original behavior is split-window-below, so FUNCTION-B's job is to make the symbol split-window-below represent another function, i.e., split-window-right:

;; Bind "split-window-below" to another function -- "split-window-right"
(fset 'split-window-below #'split-window-right)

But don't forget to restore split-window-below's original binding after executing TeX-recenter-output-buffer:

(fset 'split-window-below old-def)

where old-def means what split-window-below represented originally.
The unwind-protect form makes sure that the above piece of code will always be executed whatever happens (e.g., an error is signaled).

For more details, use C-h f.

  • Thanks, this works correctly, can you please explain briefly what we did with this code? I would like to understand how this worked out.
    – Niranjan
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 14:12
  • @Niranjan: No problem. I'm washing up now, and I'll come back later to refine my answer by adding some comments to explain it.
    – shynur
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 14:18
  • Great! Please take your time and thanks again :-)
    – Niranjan
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 14:18
  • @Niranjan: Updated
    – shynur
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 14:59
  • Amazing! Thanks for explaining all the details.
    – Niranjan
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 15:04

C-h v split-window-preferred-function - it is probably set to split-window-sensibly but you can change it to e.g. split-window-right:

(setq split-window-preferred-function #'split-window-right)

but that will always split to the right (given a choice), so it may or may not work for your purposes.

You can always advise the function that is bound to C-c C-l (I guess that's TeX-recenter-output-buffer) to let-bind split-window-preferred-function around it, so that only this function will be affected:

(defun TeX-recenter-output-buffer-right (orig-fun &rest args)
  (let ((split-window-preferred-function #'split-window-right))
    (apply orig-fun args)))

(advice-add 'TeX-recenter-output-buffer :around #'TeX-recenter-output-buffer-right)

This will limit the effect to just this function. BTW, I think this is right but I have not tested it. If it causes problems, you can always remove the advice to get back to the previous state:

(advice-remove 'TeX-recenter-output-buffer #'TeX-recenter-output-buffer-right)

See Advising Emacs Lisp Functions in the Emacs Lisp Reference manual.

  • Hello, thanks for the response, but your first code (the global one) opens the new buffer in a new window altogether, it doesn't create a buffer in the same window.
    – Niranjan
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 14:08
  • Second one too :(
    – Niranjan
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 14:09
  • The other answer seems to work well though...
    – Niranjan
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 14:12
  • I thought you wanted a new window: "... I can change this behavior and always open the new buffer with split-window-right command?" But in any case, you choose which answer to accept, so if the other answer works for you, accept that one!
    – NickD
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 14:21
  • 1
    If I understood what you mean I would, but I don't currently. So I'll take a look at the behavior and test it a bit as well (it is untested :-) ) and maybe add some explanations. But the important thing is that you got an answer that you are happy with!
    – NickD
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 15:21

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