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I am using Emacs+auctex+evince on Debian. Suppose I have a latex document main.tex which includessections/sec1.tex. When compiling with C-c C-a from within main.tex and using backwards search in Section 1, Emacs opens sections/sec1.tex within a new Emacs window (Ew) (but within the same window in the sense of the window manager, aka frame in Emacs speak, see https://emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/13583/whats-the-difference-between-a-buffer-a-file-a-window-and-a-frame). That is, the Ew showing main.tex is halved in size, a new Ew is created in the spare space, and I am seeing both main.tex and sec1.tex.

I would like to avoid that, instead having the file opened in the Ew that showed main.tex before.

I am using Emacs on Debian stable:

GNU Emacs 26.1 (build 2, x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.24.5)
 of 2019-09-22, modified by Debian 

The undesired behaviour is shown with a virgin configuration, hence does not seem to be caused by any customization I am using.

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As noted in a comment, the answer

(setq same-window-regexps '("\\.tex$"))

has the unintended consequence of breaking the AucTeX commands C-c C-l and C-c C-` . One way to fix this is to restrict the new value of same-window-regexps to TeX-mode buffers, i.e. replace the above line with

(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook
           '(lambda () (set (make-local-variable 'same-window-regexps) '("\\.tex$"))))

However, this restricts it as a solution to the original problem so that it only works when Emacs is currently viewing some TeX file; if the current buffer is a different mode, then reverse-search opens in a separate Emacs-window.

A different solution that seems to work in all cases is to keep the original global (setq same-window-regexps '("\\.tex$")), but trick C-c C-l and C-c C-` into telling TeX-pop-to-buffer to always open in another window:

(defun TeX-force-pop-to-buffer-other-window (orig-fun buffer &optional other-window norecord)
  (funcall orig-fun buffer t norecord))
(defun TeX-force-pop-in-other-window (orig-fun &rest rest)
  "Don't depend on `pop-to-buffer' using a different window."
  (advice-add 'TeX-pop-to-buffer :around 'TeX-force-pop-to-buffer-other-window)
  (apply orig-fun rest)
  (advice-remove 'TeX-pop-to-buffer 'TeX-force-pop-to-buffer-other-window))  
(advice-add 'TeX-help-error :around 'TeX-force-pop-in-other-window)
(advice-add 'TeX-recenter-output-buffer :around 'TeX-force-pop-in-other-window)
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A solution to this question, provided by Mike Shulman, is to use

(setq same-window-regexps '("\\.tex$"))
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  • Unfortunately, it seems that this solution has the unintended consequence of breaking the AucTeX commands C-c C-l and C-c C-` , which expect pop-to-buffer to always choose a different window: they first pop to the buffer they want to display and then pop back to the original window, assuming that this will leave the new buffer displayed in a separate window. I will post a solution to this as a separate answer. – Mike Shulman Sep 29 '20 at 17:33

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