What the manual fails to mention is that you can change the sorting with
‘M-2 M-x Buffer-menu-sort’
‘M-3 M-x Buffer-menu-sort’
‘M-4 M-x Buffer-menu-sort’
‘M-5 M-x Buffer-menu-sort’
If you hit the S key (bound to tabulated-list-sort) in the Buffer Menu, the Buffer Menu is sorted by column. Unfortunately, there’s no command I found for returning tabulated-list-sort-key variable to its default nil value – except to kill-buffer then buffer-menu to bring it back.
If your buffer list becomes too disorganized, you can sort it using this function:
(defun sort-buffers () "Put the buffer list in alphabetical order." (interactive) (dolist (buff (buffer-list-sorted)) (bury-buffer buff)) (when (interactive-p) (list-buffers)) ) (defun buffer-list-sorted () (sort (buffer-list) (function (lambda (a b) (string< (downcase (buffer-name a)) (downcase (buffer-name b)) )))))
and bind it with
(global-set-key "\M-b" 'sort-buffers)
An extension like this became obsolete with Emacs 22.
To permanently customize the default listing order of buffer menu, set
‘Buffer-menu-sort-column’. For example, use the following to automatically sort by column Mode.
(setq Buffer-menu-sort-column 4)