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28.11 Raising and Lowering Frames

Most window systems use a desktop metaphor. Part of this metaphor is the idea that system-level windows (e.g., Emacs frames) are stacked in a notional third dimension perpendicular to the screen surface. Where two overlap, the one higher up covers the one underneath. You can raise or lower a frame using the functions raise-frame and lower-frame.

Command: raise-frame &optional frame

This function raises frame frame (default, the selected frame). If frame is invisible or iconified, this makes it visible.

Command: lower-frame &optional frame

This function lowers frame frame (default, the selected frame).

User Option: minibuffer-auto-raise

If this is non-nil, activation of the minibuffer raises the frame that the minibuffer window is in.

On window systems, you can also enable auto-raising (on frame selection) or auto-lowering (on frame deselection) using frame parameters. See Management Parameters.

The concept of raising and lowering frames also applies to text terminal frames. On each text terminal, only the top frame is displayed at any one time.

Function: tty-top-frame terminal

This function returns the top frame on terminal. terminal should be a terminal object, a frame (meaning that frame’s terminal), or nil (meaning the selected frame’s terminal). If it does not refer to a text terminal, the return value is nil.