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27.25 Window Parameters

This section describes how window parameters can be used to associate additional information with windows.

Function: window-parameter window parameter

This function returns window’s value for parameter. The default for window is the selected window. If window has no setting for parameter, this function returns nil.

Function: window-parameters &optional window

This function returns all parameters of window and their values. The default for window is the selected window. The return value is either nil, or an association list whose elements have the form (parameter . value).

Function: set-window-parameter window parameter value

This function sets window’s value of parameter to value and returns value. The default for window is the selected window.

By default, the functions that save and restore window configurations or the states of windows (see Window Configurations) do not care about window parameters. This means that when you change the value of a parameter within the body of a save-window-excursion, the previous value is not restored when that macro exits. It also means that when you restore via window-state-put a window state saved earlier by window-state-get, all cloned windows have their parameters reset to nil. The following variable allows you to override the standard behavior:

Variable: window-persistent-parameters

This variable is an alist specifying which parameters get saved by current-window-configuration and window-state-get, and subsequently restored by set-window-configuration and window-state-put. See Window Configurations.

The CAR of each entry of this alist is a symbol specifying the parameter. The CDR should be one of the following:


This value means the parameter is saved neither by window-state-get nor by current-window-configuration.


This value specifies that the parameter is saved by current-window-configuration and (provided its writable argument is nil) by window-state-get.


This means that the parameter is saved unconditionally by both current-window-configuration and window-state-get. This value should not be used for parameters whose values do not have a read syntax. Otherwise, invoking window-state-put in another session may fail with an invalid-read-syntax error.

Some functions (notably delete-window, delete-other-windows and split-window), may behave specially when their window argument has a parameter set. You can override such special behavior by binding the following variable to a non-nil value:

Variable: ignore-window-parameters

If this variable is non-nil, some standard functions do not process window parameters. The functions currently affected by this are split-window, delete-window, delete-other-windows, and other-window.

An application can bind this variable to a non-nil value around calls to these functions. If it does so, the application is fully responsible for correctly assigning the parameters of all involved windows when exiting that function.

The following parameters are currently used by the window management code:


This parameter affects the execution of delete-window (see Deleting Windows).


This parameter affects the execution of delete-other-windows (see Deleting Windows).


This parameter affects the execution of split-window (see Splitting Windows).


This parameter affects the execution of other-window (see Cyclic Window Ordering).


This parameter marks the window as not selectable by other-window (see Cyclic Window Ordering).


This parameter specifies the window that this one has been cloned from. It is installed by window-state-get (see Window Configurations).


This parameter is installed by the buffer display functions (see Choosing Window) and consulted by quit-restore-window (see Quitting Windows). It contains four elements:

The first element is one of the symbols window, meaning that the window has been specially created by display-buffer; frame, a separate frame has been created; same, the window has displayed the same buffer before; or other, the window showed another buffer before.

The second element is either one of the symbols window or frame, or a list whose elements are the buffer shown in the window before, that buffer’s window start and window point positions, and the window’s height at that time.

The third element is the window selected at the time the parameter was created. The function quit-restore-window tries to reselect that window when it deletes the window passed to it as argument.

The fourth element is the buffer whose display caused the creation of this parameter. quit-restore-window deletes the specified window only if it still shows that buffer.

There are additional parameters window-atom and window-side; these are reserved and should not be used by applications.

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