31.5 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).


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.