My Problem

tmux key bindings require two separate key hits to enter a command. The first is called a prefix, and set to control+a. The second key performs the actual command, for example:

  • c create window
  • w list windows
  • n next window
  • w previous window
  • f find window
  • , name window
  • & kill window

The problem is that two consecutive key combinations are cumbersome and slow. Most other tabbed UIs - from Chrome to Vim - enable tab switching with a single combination.

What Have I Tried

  • STFW
  • Played with bind-key and send-keys, for example bind-key C-c send-keys C-a n

My Question

How can I run specific tmux commands, like "next window" or "create window", with a single key combination?

1 Answer 1



I have something like this in my ~/.tmux.conf file:

bind -n C-h select-pane -L

Maps <Ctrl>-h to select pane on the left.

Manual reference for the -n argument

bind-key [-nr] [-T key-table] key command [arguments]
    (alias: bind)
Bind key key to command.  Keys are bound in a key table.  By default (without -T), the key is
bound in the prefix key table.  This table is used for keys pressed after the prefix key (for
example, by default `c' is bound to new-window in the prefix table, so `C-b c' creates a new
window).  The root table is used for keys pressed without the prefix key: binding `c' to
new-window in the root table (not recommended) means a plain `c' will create a new window.
-n is an alias for -T root.  Keys may also be bound in custom key tables and the
switch-client -T command used to switch to them from a key binding.  The -r flag indicates
this key may repeat, see the repeat-time option.

To view the default bindings and possible commands, see the list-keys command.
  • For some strange reason, it does not work for me. Has anyone verified this in Linux/Terminator/Zsh? May 14, 2021 at 11:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.