Emacs: File Management (dired tutorial)

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Emacs is a excellent tool for file management. For example, list files, copy/delete, rename, moving files, create/delete directory. Once you become familiar with it, you almost never go to shell or the OS desktop for these tasks.

emacs dired
M-x dired. emacs's feature for file management.

“dired” is short for Directory Edit. It is a old term for file management.

{Copy, Delete, Rename} File

To start viewing directory, called dired.

When in dired, most commands have a single letter key.

the Operate menu in Emacs's dired mode
Emacs's dired mode's Operate menu.

Here's the most useful commands:

Enter ↵dired-find-file Open the file
qquit-window Close the directory. (bury buffer)
Cdired-do-copy Copy file
Rdired-do-rename Rename/move file
Ddired-do-delete Delete file or directory
+dired-create-directory create new dir
Zdired-do-compress compress/decompress the file by gzip

Mark/Unmark Multiple Files

Sometimes you want to copy or delete many files. You can mark the files, then apply a command on all marked files.

To mark a file, press m. Here's a list of basic marking commands:

mmark a file
Uunmark all marked
% mmark by pattern (regex)

For example, if you want to mark all HTML files, type 【% m】, then type \.html$.

Dired Navigation

Here are other common dired commands:

grefresh dir listing
^go to parent dir

dired is often used together with shell-commandAlt+!】 or shell. 〔➤ Emacs: Run Shell in Emacs

For complete list of dired commands, call describe-mode when in dired-mode.

(info "(emacs) Dired")

Renaming Many Files

See: Emacs: Rename Files Interactively.

Open File (PDF, image, …) in External App

Emacs Lisp: Open File in External App

Dired Settings

dired has many features and options.

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