GNU Emacs

30.5 Visiting Files in Dired

There are several Dired commands for visiting or examining the files listed in the Dired buffer. All of them apply to the current line’s file; if that file is really a directory, these commands invoke Dired on that subdirectory (making a separate Dired buffer).


Visit the file described on the current line, like typing C-x C-f and supplying that file name ( dired-find-file). See Visiting Files.


Equivalent to f.


Like f, but uses another window to display the file’s buffer ( dired-find-file-other-window). The Dired buffer remains visible in the first window. This is like using C-x 4 C-f to visit the file. See Multiple Windows.


Visit the file described on the current line, and display the buffer in another window, but do not select that window ( dired-display-file).

mouse-1 mouse-2

Visit the file whose name you clicked on ( dired-mouse-find-file-other-window). This uses another window to display the file, like the o command.


View the file described on the current line, with View mode ( dired-view-file). View mode provides convenient commands to navigate the buffer but forbids changing it; See View Mode.


Visit the parent directory of the current directory ( dired-up-directory). This is equivalent to moving to the line for .. and typing f there.

User Option: dired-kill-when-opening-new-dired-buffer

When visiting a new sub-directory in Dired, Emacs will (by default) open a new buffer to display this new directory, and leave the old Dired buffer as is. If this user option is non- nil, the old Dired buffer will be killed after selecting the new directory. This means that if you’re traversing a directory structure in Dired, you won’t end up with more than a single Dired buffer.