If you install the package
dired-narrow (one of several neat packages described on the dired-hacks github page), then you can type filter strings to dynamically filter down a dired listing to match the filter.
For example, in the animation below I have a dired buffer containing lots of files. I invoke
dired-narrow by hitting
/ and then type “png” to narrow to filenames matching “png”. I then hit
RET to complete the filtering. At that point I can operate on the filtered dired list as I would for any dired buffer. I can even narrow further by simply invoking
dired-narrow again and typing a new filter (I use “mirror” in the example below). Once I have finished with the filter, I hit
g to revert back to the full directory listing.
As an aside, I have started using
use-package to install and configure packages (see the update on this page). Here is the code I use to install and set up
;;narrow dired to match filter (use-package dired-narrow :ensure t :bind (:map dired-mode-map ("/" . dired-narrow)))