tmux select problem

My Problem

When I select text from tmux using the mouse, the block selection spans to neighbouring panes.

What Have I Tried

My Question

How can I configure tmux to allow mouse selection in multiple-pane mode?

  • Which tmux version are you using, and which terminal emulator? – JigglyNaga Oct 31 '18 at 16:34
  • tmux 2.7, iterm2 3.2.0 – Adam Matan Oct 31 '18 at 21:17

It depends on the version of tmux. When tmux mouse is on then the mouse selections will not span panes and will be copied into tmux's selection buffer. When tmux mouse is off (as it is in the description) then the mouse selection will be native X (and span panes).

I add the following to my ~/.tmux.conf. It will enable CTRL+b M (to turn tmux mouse on) and CTRL+b m (to turn tmux mouse off).

For tmux 1.x - 2.0

# Toggle mouse on
bind-key M \
  set-window-option -g mode-mouse on \;\
  set-option -g mouse-resize-pane on \;\
  set-option -g mouse-select-pane on \;\
  set-option -g mouse-select-window on \;\
  display-message 'Mouse: ON'

# Toggle mouse off
bind-key m \
  set-window-option -g mode-mouse off \;\
  set-option -g mouse-resize-pane off \;\
  set-option -g mouse-select-pane off \;\
  set-option -g mouse-select-window off \;\
  display-message 'Mouse: OFF'

For tmux 2.1+

# Toggle mouse on
bind-key M \
  set-option -g mouse on \;\
  display-message 'Mouse: ON'

# Toggle mouse off
bind-key m \
  set-option -g mouse off \;\
  display-message 'Mouse: OFF'

When tmux mouse is on, and a selection is made with the mouse, releasing the left mouse button should copy it to the tmux selection buffer and CTRL+b ] will paste it.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Simple and efficient and does what I need. – Stabledog Jun 11 at 10:48

Usually it is expected behaviour while copying with button pressed - You are escaping the tmux to underlying terminal which does not care about the vertical boundary.

Otherwise it should highlight only what you select. Also selection usually disappears as soon as you release the mouse. But it does copy the selection to its internal buffers to be available for later pastes.

You may also find this answer to related question useful:

How to copy and paste with a mouse with tmux

| improve this answer | |
  • That's a great link, thank you! – evaristegd Mar 5 at 16:26

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