Resizing splits in Emacs

workflow, emacs

Easily resize splits without your mouse

May 16, 2016

As part of my ongoing “Operation Switch to Emacs” initiative, I’ve tackled handling resizing splits without touching the mouse. Of course, to create a horizontal split you’ll press C-x 2, and to open a vertical split you’ll press C-x 3.

From there, the default Emacs functionality for resizing splits gets ugly. To enlarge the window you can press C-u 6 C-x ^, where the number 6 is the row size you’re looking to resize to. To shrink, you’ll put a negative before the number: C-u - 6 C-x ^. Pretty gnarly, to say the least. Instead of this, I’ve mapped Ctrl + Meta + hjkl (vim direction mappings) to resize accordingly. It’s a bit wonky since it resizes according to the window you opened from, but it’s a lot easier to remember than the aforementioned key combo:

(global-set-key (kbd "M-C-h") 'enlarge-window-horizontally)
(global-set-key (kbd "M-C-j") 'enlarge-window)
(global-set-key (kbd "M-C-k") 'shrink-window)
(global-set-key (kbd "M-C-l") 'shrink-window-horizontally)