Harry R. Schwartz

Code writer, sometime Internet enthusiast, attractive nuisance.

The author at the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, November 2022. hacker news gitlab sourcehut pinboard librarything 1B41 8F2C 23DE DD9C 807E A74F 841B 3DAE 25AE 721B


British Columbia



Exploring Dired (plus a cheatsheet!)


Published .
Tags: emacs.

I’ve been using Emacs for years, but I’ve never really delved into Dired, the built-in directory editor and file browser. I finally put in some time with it this morning, and it’s really great!

I’ve usually only used it to perform interactive bulk file renaming, since it’s amazing for that, but there’s a lot of other neat stuff in Dired, too. For example:

  • It can quickly compress and decompress files with gzip using Z.
  • It’ll encrypt and decrypt files, and create and verify GPG signatures with :e/:d/:s/:e.
  • It can select files by their content using regexps with % g.
  • You can create symlinks through it with S (I can never remember the order of arguments for ln -s, so this is a big win for me).

The official GNU documentation is terrific but intimidatingly comprehensive. I couldn’t find a great summary, so I wrote up a Dired cheatsheet.

If you’d like to modify it and make your own cheatsheet, here’s the org-mode source code I used to build mine.

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