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Description Interactive Do MiniBuffer Enhancement
Author Kim F. Storm
Maintainer FSF
Part of Emacs yes

Ido - Interactively do things is a very convenient way to find files and switch buffers.

Basic setup

(ido-everywhere 1)

Helpful keybindings

Move to next ido suggestion.
Move to previous ido suggestion.
Temporarily revert to the default find-file behavior. Handy if ido won't behave as you'd like.
Accept the provided text as is, instead of selecting the currently proposed completion.

Common Customization

Enable Fuzzy Matching

(setq ido-enable-flex-matching t)

Ignore Case

(setq ido-case-fold t)

Virtual Buffers

If Recentf is enabled, you can use [C-x b] (or M-x ido-switch-buffer) to visit recently closed files by enabling virtual buffers:

(setq ido-use-virtual-buffers t)

Prevent Auto-Merge

Ido's default behavior when there is no matching file in the current directory is to look in recent working directories. If you prefer to limit [C-x C-f] (or M-x ido-find-file) to the current directory you can disable this auto-merge behavior:

(setq ido-auto-merge-work-directories-length -1) ;; disable auto-merge

You can still look in other working directories explicitly with [M-s].

Directory Caching on Windows

On Windows operating systems it can be unreliable to cache directory listings: the directory may not appear to be modified even though files have been added or removed. Ido caches directory listings by default, which may cause confusion on Windows. You can disable caching:

(when (equal system-type 'windows-nt)
  (setq ido-max-dir-file-cache 0)) ; caching unreliable

Specifying sort-order

If you'd like to tweak the default file sorting, like making Org-files appear first, tell ido which files to give a higher sort priority:

(setq ido-file-extensions-order '(".org" ".txt" ".py" ".emacs" ".xml" ".el"
				  ".ini" ".cfg" ".conf"))

Sort by mtime instead of alphabetically

If you prefer to sort ido filelist by mtime instead of alphabetically use the package ido-sort-mtime (available in MELPA), which is more reliable than the script below. Which breaks on TRAMP files or if you enter //, etc:

(add-hook 'ido-make-file-list-hook 'ido-sort-mtime)
(add-hook 'ido-make-dir-list-hook 'ido-sort-mtime)
(defun ido-sort-mtime ()
  (setq ido-temp-list
        (sort ido-temp-list
              (lambda (a b)
                 (sixth (file-attributes (concat ido-current-directory b)))
                 (sixth (file-attributes (concat ido-current-directory a)))))))
  (ido-to-end  ;; move . files to end (again)
   (delq nil (mapcar
              (lambda (x) (and (char-equal (string-to-char x) ?.) x))

See Also


Smex, a M-x enhancement

External Links

Introduction to Ido Mode