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I've tinkered with tmux and have seen settings that would highlight the border of the active pane. This works fine for three or more panes.

However, my most common usage would be two panes side by side, and none of the border highlighting I've seen helps me tell which is active if there are only two.

What setting can I give tmux to make it clear which of two panes is focused?

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I'm running tmux 1.8. In this version, with a single vertical split, it appears that when the leftmost pane is selected, only the top half of the vertical split line is highlighted, and when the rightmost pane is selected, only the bottom half of the vertical split line is highlighted. I believe this is a relatively new change; didn't notice it in older builds. –  Trevor Powell May 14 '13 at 2:13
    
@TrevorPowell - you're right, it's new in 1.8. I couldn't find it documented in a changelog, but I upgraded from 1.6 to 1.7 to 1.8, and got the feature with 1.8. –  Nathan Long Jun 28 '13 at 15:15
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Use Tmux 1.8

Starting in tmux 1.8, tmux distinguishes between a left/right active pane by only highlighting the top/bottom half of the split line.

Screenshot (iTerm2 + tmux 1.8): iTerm2 + tmux 1.8

If you must use an earlier version, none of the tmux settings appear to help in your exact case. As an alternative, you could look for the blinking shell cursor, which only appears in the active pane.

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I noticed the split highlighting being half recently and thought it was a bug. Now that I think of it, it's great. However, I think the best solution would be change the background of active/inactive panes. –  scicalculator May 23 '13 at 0:19
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This may be partially a feature of my terminal emulator (iterm2), but my cursor is only visible in the active split.

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