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30 Dired, the Directory Editor

Dired makes an Emacs buffer containing a listing of a directory, and optionally some of its subdirectories as well. You can use the normal Emacs commands to move around in this buffer, and special Dired commands to operate on the listed files. Dired works with both local and remote directories.

The Dired buffer is normally read-only, and inserting text in it is not allowed (however, the Wdired mode allows that, see Wdired). Ordinary printing characters such as d and x are redefined for special Dired commands. Some Dired commands mark or flag the current file (that is, the file on the current line); other commands operate on the marked files or on the flagged files. You first mark certain files in order to operate on all of them with one command.

The Dired-X package provides various extra features for Dired mode. See Dired-X in Dired Extra User’s Manual.

You can also view a list of files in a directory with C-x C-d (list-directory). Unlike Dired, this command does not allow you to operate on the listed files. See Directories.

Enter  How to invoke Dired.
Navigation  Special motion commands in the Dired buffer.
Deletion  Deleting files with Dired.
Flagging Many Files  Flagging files based on their names.
Visit  Other file operations through Dired.
Marks vs Flags  Flagging for deletion vs marking.
Operating on Files  How to copy, rename, print, compress, etc. either one file or several files.
Shell Commands in Dired  Running a shell command on the marked files.
Transforming File Names  Using patterns to rename multiple files.
Comparison in Dired  Running diff by way of Dired.
Subdirectories in Dired  Adding subdirectories to the Dired buffer.
Subdir Switches  Subdirectory switches in Dired.
Subdirectory Motion  Moving across subdirectories, and up and down.
Hiding Subdirectories  Making subdirectories visible or invisible.
Updating  Discarding lines for files of no interest.
Find  Using find to choose the files for Dired.
Wdired  Operating on files by editing the Dired buffer.
Image-Dired  Viewing image thumbnails in Dired.
Misc  Various other features.