I'm using multiple screen windows and am wondering if it's possible to add a tabbed interface to it, with tab names and keyboard shortcuts for moving between the tabs.

1 Answer 1


Add this to your .screenrc file:

caption always "%{= kw}%-w%{= BW}%n %t%{-}%+w %-= @%H - %LD %d %LM - %c"

After you restart your screen, there's a status bar below showing the current tab name, and as a bonus your current host name and time -- modify them away at will if you so wish.

To rename a tab, press ctrl+a A and give it a new name.

You can move between tabs (well, windows but think of them as tabs) with ctrl+a tabnumber or ctrl+a n (go to next tab) / ctrl+a p (go to previous tab).

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    I have something like this but use hardstatus instead of caption. The man page is vague about what the difference is. Anybody know? Aug 26, 2010 at 18:32
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    @Doug: Hardstatus is usually for the messages thrown by screen for alerting you about different events. Caption is usually used if there are more than one window open. That's all I know -- both really seem to accomplish the same thing. Aug 26, 2010 at 18:36
  • I had hardstatus alwayslastline and a format string similar to your caption string so that it always shows interesting info. I've added caption string so that when I split the window, it's slightly different from what I show in the hardstatus line on the bottom. Aug 26, 2010 at 19:04

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