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Description File Manager for Emacs.
Author Sebastian Kremer
Maintainer FSF
Source http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/emacs.git/tree/lisp/dired.el
Part of Emacs yes

Dired is a inbuilt File Manager for Emacs. Its arguably the best file manager with the functionality it possesses. Unlike any other file managers the directory listing is just as an another buffer of Emacs with dired-mode as Major Mode.


Dired has countless functionality. The best way to learn it is to try it out. Open a dired buffer and look at the commands listed in the menus.

[C-x d] (or M-x dired)
ask for a directory and puts you into a buffer with direct listing of that directory.
[C-x C-j] (or M-x dired-jump)
jump to a dired buffer corresponding to the current buffer (This require loading Dired Extra).

In the minibuffer, while doing 'Find File':

jump to a dired buffer corresponding to the directory in the minibuffer.

Basic commands[edit]

[ RET]
Open the file/Directory. You can use a to open the directory without creating another buffer.
[ q]
Close the dir
[ i]
i: open directory in subtree. Use ^ to go up one level. With a prefix argument (C-u i), you can edit the ls switches used for the listing. So you can add R to expand the whole tree starting at this subdirectory.
Copy file

If you set (setq dired-dwim-target t), split your window and open another dired buffer on the other window, Dired will suggest it as the default target directory for the copy and rename commands.

Rename file
Delete file
create a new dir

Mark/unmark files[edit]


mark a file


unmark a file


unmark all marked


mark by pattern

Edit filenames and permissions[edit]

Wdired mode (writable dired) allows you to enter a mode where you can edit filenames, symbolic link target and filenames permissions as you would in a regular buffer. It is particularly great to do some editing based on search and replace.

[C-x C-q]

enter wdired mode (calls wdired-change-to-wdired-mode). Type C-c C-c to validate your changes or C-c ESC to abort.

M-x customize-group RET wdired to customize wdired behavior.

Note: in Dired, you can rename a single file or move the marked ones with R.

Sort files[edit]

By default, typing s will toggle sorting by date. You can change the listing switches (of GNU ls) with C-u s.

You can customize the variable dired-listing-switches. For example,

   (setq dired-listing-switches "-aBhl --group-directories-first")

will display directories first. You can then customize per-directory local variables.

Dired+ (see below) offers more options (sort by size, by extension,…) and will add a menu entry.

Find files recursively[edit]


With M-x find-name-dired, you'll be asked for the base directory, a file wildcard and the matching files will be displayed in a Dired buffer. It uses the find GNU utility.

Similar commands are find-grep-dired or find-dired. More information can be read in the documentation.

Interactive selection with Projectile[edit]

Projectile, coupled with M-x helm-projectile, lets you find recursively and interactively files in your project. This command does not use a Dired buffer.

View image thumbnails[edit]

Viewing images is a builtin feature of Dired (press Enter or v on an image file). On Emacs24.4, pressing n and p will show the next or previous image file. But if you want to navigate between image thumbnails, use the (builtin too) image-dired. You can directly call it with M-x image-dired, or mark the images you want to look at in the dired buffer (with m) and then type C-t d (image-dired-display-thumbs).

Tag images[edit]

More advanced features include image tags, which are metadata used to categorize image files. The tags are stored in a plain text file configured by image-dired-db-file.

To tag image files, mark them in the dired buffer and type C-t t (image-dired-tag-files). This reads the tag name in the minibuffer.

To mark files having a certain tag, type C-t f (image-dired-mark-tagged-files). After marking image files with a certain tag, you can use C-t d to view them.

You can also tag a file directly from the thumbnail buffer by typing t t and you can remove a tag by typing t r.

There is also a special “tag” called “comment” for each file (it is not a tag in the exact same sense as the other tags, it is handled slightly different). That is used to enter a comment or description about the image. You comment a file from the thumbnail buffer by typing c. You will be prompted for a comment. Type C-t c to add a comment from Dired (image-dired-dired-comment-files).

Rotate images[edit]

Image-Dired also provides simple image manipulation. In the thumbnail buffer, type L to rotate the original image 90 degrees anti clockwise, and R to rotate it 90 degrees clockwise. This rotation is lossless, and uses an external utility called JpegTRAN.

See Also[edit]

Dired+ - a package that extends the functionalities of Dired[edit]

Direx - a general purpose directory/tree explorer[edit]

Dired-details - a library to make file details hide-able[edit]

Dired-k - add colored icons depending on the git status[edit]

See here: http://wikemacs.org/wiki/Git#Colorize_Dired_output_depending_on_the_file_git_status

dired-subtree - insert the subdirectory (with the i key) directly below its line[edit]

Speed_bar - navigate files and sources in another frame[edit]

emacs-nav - a simple files and sources browser popup[edit]

dirtree - a directory tree view panel[edit]

Treemacs, a tree-style file explorer[edit]

see Treemacs.

peep-dired - file previews à la ranger[edit]

Ranger is a file browser for the terminal that has a nice navigation system composed of three panes: the current directory at the middle, the previous one to the left, and a preview of the file the cursor is on to the right. Peep-dired mimics a handy two-panes navigation with instant preview. Sorry, but what has this to do with emacs and dired? For a kick off, its key-binding are vi!

Ranger- Ranger functionalities in Dired[edit]

With ranger (formerly known as evil-ranger, even if it wasn't specific to evil-mode), we have most of ranger's functionalities in Dired: 3 panes layout, previews, etc. Very nice !