The i3 FAQ has migrated to All content here is read-only.
Ask Your Question

Show split mode of container (status bar?)

asked 2015-01-20 09:13:32 +0000

fnl gravatar image

updated 2015-01-20 09:14:31 +0000

A container can be in horizontal or vertical split mode. I might have changed its "initial default" mode or not (I have one horizontal and one vertical screen), so when I get back to that workspace and screen, I usually don't know which mode is currently active for all my containers there.

Therefore, I have observed myself doing the following steps rather too often:

  1. I try to open a terminal first to see what would happen,
  2. close that terminal again,
  3. possibly change the split mode, and
  4. only then open the program I want.

If, instead, i3wm were to show me the current "split mode" the container is in, I would not need to check that first by trying to open a terminal to learn the split mode the container is in.

So my questions are:

  1. Am I doing anything wrong here, maybe?
  2. If not, how can I get a [visual] indicator of the current container's split mode?
edit retag flag offensive close merge delete

2 answers

Sort by ยป oldest newest most voted

answered 2015-01-20 09:37:24 +0000

Michael Rose gravatar image

Please see

I3 shows you where the next window will be placed by coloring the border on the side where the window will be placed a different color this is referred to as an indicator. If you have no border at all or have this color set to the same as your normal border color you will not have been able to see this.

Regarding configuring colors please see.

For better usability set the indicator to a distinctive color or just press whatever hotkey you have bound to split horizontal or split vertical before opening a new window to ensure it appears in the right location.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Maybe it's just me, but I think this feature should be mentioned in the User Guide, in the "3. Tree" chapter, or even already in "2.2 Changing the container layout". With this indicator, it's much easier for me to get to the window layout I want, particularly when I come back to a workspace again.

fnl gravatar imagefnl ( 2015-01-20 10:22:45 +0000 )edit

answered 2015-01-20 09:28:11 +0000

Instead of testing by launching a container, just confirm $mod+v of $mod+h what setting you want, given this in your i3 config:

bindsym $mod+v split vertical bindsym $mod+h split horizontal

Also, if your containers have borders, and you didn't hide any of them, depending on your color settings, it will show a different color on the (right or bottom) side of the container to indicate the current split mode. I can't find any reference to this in the docs, and cannot say which setting exactly defines this, but if you try out some different colours for different types of borders, you might get to see what I mean.

edit flag offensive delete link more


to configure the color of the border indication examine the docs regarding configuring colors the focused window is client.focused the 4th hex color is the indicator color like so #class border backgr text indicator client.focused #111111 #3D0DFF #FFFFFF #900000

Michael Rose gravatar imageMichael Rose ( 2015-01-20 19:19:15 +0000 )edit

Question Tools


Asked: 2015-01-20 09:13:32 +0000

Seen: 435 times

Last updated: Jan 20