I'm starting to feel a bit frustrated: this should be as simple as setting some variable or other, but I'm unable to find which one.

Say I'm editing file foo.c and I find something like

void foo(int n) {
  bar(2 * n);

I put the cursor on bar and hit s-l g g. The resulting call to lsp-find-function correctly finds the file bar.c, containing the definition of bar, and displays it. But it does it in the window previously holding foo.c.

I suppose there is some configuration option allowing one to say: "please, open the file you find in another window" but I'm unable to find it and I run out of queries to throw at google for that :)

Note that I did find this question, but the answer there doesn't help me, because introducing rules matching *.c in display-buffer-alist doesn't strike me as a smart thing to do.

Help is worth at least a coffe or a beer next time you happen to be in Rome

  • Does lsp-mode use xref under the bonnet for this stuff? Maybe there is a variable or a hook for xref? xref--show-xrefs is this what creates the actual display?
    – Arktik
    Mar 1 at 16:08
  • As far as I can understand the code, yes. I followed the call starting from lsp-find-definition and I end up with xref--show-xrefs. The display-action parameter to the latter comes from the :display-action argument given to lsp-find-definition (which I suppose should be nil, because lsp-find-function is called interactively and interactive in its definition has no argument)
    – TheHobbit
    Mar 1 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


You’ve already found the solution in the comments, but I’ll go ahead and spell out how you can use it:

(defun thehobbit-lsp-find-definition ()
  (lsp-find-definition :display-action 'window))
(keymap-global-set "C-c ." 'thehobbit-lsp-find-definition)

This just adds a different key binding, one which calls lsp-find-definition with a different :display-action argument.

You could also do something similar with advice if you prefer not to change the key bindings.

You should also consider the xref-show-definitions-function variable, which controls what happens when there are multiple definitions to choose from.

  • Yea, needed to check the args for xref-show-xrefs-function, I stopped one short of that :).
    – Arktik
    Mar 1 at 17:53
  • 1
    I'll look into the advice idea, as there are a lot of lsp-find-* functions, all of them built using lsp-find-locations with different parameters. Thank you
    – TheHobbit
    Mar 1 at 20:35
  • Yes, that’s another good reason to use advice.
    – db48x
    Mar 2 at 3:02

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