Screen Magie: Split Windows

If you are using Linux and have to open a ssh connection to some other machine, you might already have used an awesome tool: GNU Screen. This handy window manager makes troubles with lost ssh connections dissappear. Magic.
You will find a lot of tutorials on the internets on how to use it, for example this one.
If you are kind of used to it, you will find yourself having a lot of windows beeing open pretty quick. But this is, when trouble sometimes start: You are doing this code editing in one window, on the other window you want to compile and check the results. For example, running a python interpreter like bpython. Switching between windows is tiredsome, also open a second terminal, connecting via ssh again, do a screen -x, having your screen open twice – terrible.

Today I discovered a new method: It’s called split windows.
If you press* ^a S (split) you can split the window you are currently in (horizontally. Depending on your screen version the pipe character „|“ does open a vertical split). The new part of the window is still blank. Now switch in it, using ^a ^i (focus). Having selected it, you can fill it with a already open window of your choice by pressing f.e. ^a 1 to show window #1 or creating a new window ^a c and so on and so forth.

To close a split window, don’t do a ^a d (except you have created a new window and/or you really want to close the window), but do a ^a :remove which closes the split but leaves the window open. A ^a TAB lets you cycle through your split screen windows.

I found a couple of the shortcuts here (there are more, too).

Enjoy working split-screen :)

*: The ^-character stands for your CTRL-key. But keybindings may differ :)


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