Quick Navigation in i3 Using Focus

Aug 24, 2018 00:00 · 210 words · 1 minute read software linux

This is a brief hack for quick navigation using the i3 window manager.

If you find yourself commonly using specific applications, you can bind focus to that application. Here’s an example of binding firefox, emacs, and a terminal:

bindsym $mod+Shift+f [class="Firefox"] focus
bindsym $mod+Shift+x [class="Emacs"] focus
bindsym $mod+Shift+t [class="(?i)terminal"] focus

You can also create a focused mode from which you can hard code focus keybindings. Here’s an example:

# ~/.config/i3/config
# Enter focused mode
bindsym $mod+n mode "focused"

mode "focused" {
    # hardcoded focus keybindings
    bindsym f [class="(?i)firefox"] focus
    bindsym t [class="(?i)terminal"] focus
    bindsym x [class="Emacs"] focus

    # keybindings for marking and jumping to clients
    # use this to either mark or go to a container you want by name
    bindsym a exec i3-input -F 'mark %s' -P 'Mark name: '
    bindsym g exec i3-input -F '[con_mark=%s] focus' -P 'Go to mark: '

    # Assign marks to keys 1-5
    bindsym Shift+1 mark mark1
    bindsym Shift+2 mark mark2
    bindsym Shift+3 mark mark3
    bindsym Shift+4 mark mark4
    bindsym Shift+5 mark mark5

    # Jump to clients marked 1-5
    bindsym 1 [con_mark="mark1"] focus
    bindsym 2 [con_mark="mark2"] focus
    bindsym 3 [con_mark="mark3"] focus
    bindsym 4 [con_mark="mark4"] focus
    bindsym 5 [con_mark="mark5"] focus

    # Exit to the default mode
    bindsym Return mode "default"
    bindsym Escape mode "default"