Dired: Emacs as a file browser

Emacs has a powerful file browser built in. I’ll introduce some of the things it can do here, and come back to this topic in future tips.

Use C-x d to enter dired mode (emacs’ file browser), and give the path of a directory to open.

To move the cursor around you can use the arrow keys. Of course you can use emacs’ usual tricks for moving around the buffer – e.g. C-s to search for a file name, or to jump to a particular file in dired, use j and then enter the name of the file or directory, and the cursor will jump to that point. You can also use > and < to move to the next or previous sub directory. Hitting ^ moves you up a level in the directory tree.

To open a file, move the cursor to the line containing a file and hit enter.

To create a new subdirectory, hit +, and to create a new file in the directory, just use C-x C-f as normal.

Hitting s will change the sorting of the directory listing between name and date.

g refreshes the view.