Dired is a visual directory editor, a computer program for editing file system directories. Dired is shipped with Emacs. It can be really strange and difficult for new people. However, once you get used to it, you’ll find it a convinience and useful tool in helping you manage your files effectively.


I’m the person who is interested in terminal and command line interface. I love controlling everything in my computer using my keyboard since it’s the fastest way to interact with my computer. It helps me concentrate on what I’m working with on the screen and speed up my work because I don’t have to move my eyes out of the screen and move my hands out of the keyboard. Especially when I work at night, I usually turn off the light and I can see nothing but my screen and I don’t want to waste my time looking for the mouse.

As a result, I really hate the default file manager on my Mac, Finder (or Windows Explorer that I used to work with in the past), which decreases my speed considerably. I have been constantly looking for a better solution until I found Emacs. Like Conkeror (an Emacs based browser), I felt in love with it right at the first time when I saw my relative demonstrate how Emacs can help me in managing my files with ease. I can use the keyboard to control all the functions of Emacs Dired mode.

Dired mode in my Emacs
Two Dired windows in my Emacs

After a long time getting used to and researching Emacs Dired mode, I have collected some useful tips and developed some features to make Dired completely replace my default file manager. This post is a collection of all those useful tips as well as the functions that I developed. Also, the content in this article assumes that you already have the basic knowledge about Emacs and Dired.

Note: Most of the tips as well as the functions presented in this series are designed for MacOS and Ubuntu. However, you can apply them for many other Unix-based OS. Unfortunately, if you are using Windows, you will have to change to either Ubuntu or MacOS since Windows is never a good environment for Emacs lovers.


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