[OS X Emacs] set-frame-width confusion.

Ken McGlothlen mcglk at artlogix.net
Sun Sep 4 07:17:55 EDT 2022

Recently, I've developed some eye issues (surgical consult this month 
about that), which means I've been adjusting my Aquamacs font sizes a 
great deal more than I used to (along with every other application, it 

However, my clever idea to set up a key sequence to use set-frame-width 
to set a window's width to 80 characters has revealed that I don't 
really know what units this function is using.

For example, I have a frame here that's 60 columns wide and 19 lines 
high (above the info and minibuffer rows), and if I run

(set-frame-width (selected-frame) 80)

in it, the frame does get wider, but only to 70 columns.

If I use ⌘= to increase the size of the font, the width is now 56 
columns, but trying to execute the function again doesn't change the 
window width. Nor does it seem to matter if I change the font for the 
mode; 80-whatever-units is independent of the font size.

If I use a value of 91, I /can/ get 79 columns (which I'm used to), but 
if I use ⌘= again, then I'm at 63 columns, and set-frame-width has no 

The help for the function clearly says “columns,” but that doesn't 
appear to be true.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong here?


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