Dired is the main mode for Emacs file-manager operations. The name “Dired” stands for “directory editor”.

A single Dired buffer can display the contents of a single directory, or it can include listings of one or more sub-directories. A Dired buffer can alternatively display an arbitrary set of files and directories, from any file systems.

A Dired buffer can display a filtered subset of directory contents, and it can show either just file names or additional file details.

All the operations you expect from a typical file-manager application are available in Dired, plus some that are specific to Emacs.

You can use ‘C-x C-q’ to make a Dired buffer editable. This enters WDired mode (writable Dired). For example, you can use this to bulk-rename files, or to change file ownerships and privileges.

You can operate on multiple files after marking them. The usual mark is ‘*’, but the mark used for deletion is ‘D’. ‘D’ marks are also called flags, and the operation of marking with ‘D’ is also called flagging.

You visit a directory in Dired mode using key bindings ‘C-x d’, ‘C-x 4 d’, and ‘C-x 5 d’.

The menu bar is helpful for learning operations and key bindings. As always, ‘C-h m’ provides information on the mode. Consult the Emacs manual (‘C-h r’) for more info – choose Dired under Advanced Features. You can also read about Dired online.)

Dired as Distributed with Gnu Emacs

Some Tips and Features

3rd-Party Packages That Provide Dired Features

MS Windows Tips and Features For Dired

See also

CategoryDirectories CategoryModes CategoryProgrammerUtils