I managed to replace the audible bell by a visual clue in the active window, but for background windows, can I get an audible bell instead of a visual notification ?

1 Answer 1


Redefine "bell_msg" to include a literal "^G". (That is, the two characters carat and Capital-G.)

From the screen manpage:

   bell_msg [message]

   When a bell character is  sent  to  a  background  window,
   screen  displays  a notification in the message line.  The
   notification message can be re-defined  by  this  command.
   Each  occurrence of `%' in message is replaced by the num­
   ber of the window to which a bell has been sent, and  each
   occurrence  of `^G' is replaced by the definition for bell
   in your termcap (usually an audible  bell).
  • Thanks, this works. In my first read, I stopped at "displays". That's how dumb internet makes me. If someone is interested by this question anyway: yes it's a litteral "^G" you have to use (2 characters), and you have to also put some text in the message if you want the exclamation mark notification to appear next to the window title.
    – Gnurfos
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 12:56
  • @Gnurfos: Cool. Updated the answer to remove the incorrect alternative.
    – wfaulk
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 13:02

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