Tutorial screencasts for Emacs


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I’ve started “Season” 2 of the series with a screencast on dired. It’s Emacs’ “file browser” and can be used to manage files. Performing operations on a large number of them at once and also providing such facilities to other modes.

I apologise for the hiatus but I’ve been very busy in my real life. I expect more delays till the end of January but I’ll do what I can.


Other formats are available on the Archive.org page.

Comments welcome.

Keys mentioned

  1. C-x d to start dired with a directory. find-name-dired and find-dired can be used to select different files for the initial dired buffer.
  2. s to toggle sorting order (by date or normal).
  3. i to insert a directory into the current dired buffer.
  4. < and > to navigate directories in the buffer.
  5. C-M-n and C-M-p to navigate dirlines.
  6. RET to visit the current item in a new buffer. o does the same thing but does so after splitting the current window into two so that the dired buffer is still visible.
  7. ^ Goes one directory up. It’s the opposite of RET. If the parent directory has a dired buffer visiting it, it will be reused. Otherwise, a new one will be created.
  8. $ toggles the visibility of the file list under a dirline. M-$ does so for all the dirlines in the current buffer.
  9. T touches the current or all the marked files. R is to rename files. S to symblink. Z is to compress or decompress.
  10. D marks for deletion and X expunges.
  11. m marks files and u unmarks. U unmarks all files.
  12. M-s a C-s searches incrementally through all marked files.
  13. C-t C-t displays image thumbnails. C-t i displays a scaled version of the image in a new window.
  14. % g marks files based on whether they contain a provided regular expression. Other % commands are available under the Regexp menu.
  15. * / marks all directories and t toggles marked/unmarked files. The Mark menu has other such commands to make marking easy.
  16. + creates new directories and w copies marked (or current) items into the kill ring.
  17. If you’re using gnus, you can run turn-on-gnus-dired-mode and get keybindings like C-c C-m C-a to attach marked files into a new email and go to the composer.
  18. C-x C-q to enter wdired which makes the file names in the buffer editable. You can make changes and then hit C-c C-c to save them.

Further reading

  1. The Dired manual page along with Dired-X (which I might cover later in a future screencast).
  2. Xah Lee’s dired tutorial.


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