Instead of flagging a file with ‘D’, you can mark the file with some other character (usually ‘*’). Most Dired commands to operate on files use the files marked with ‘*’. The only command that operates on flagged files is x, which deletes them.
Here are some commands for marking with ‘*’, for unmarking, and for operating on marks. (See Deleting Files with Dired, for commands to flag and unflag files.)
Mark the current file with ‘*’ (
dired-mark). If the
region is active, mark all files in the region instead; otherwise, if
a numeric argument n is supplied, mark the next n files
instead, starting with the current file (if n is negative, mark
the previous -n files). If invoked on a subdirectory
header line (see Subdirectories in Dired), this command marks all
the files in that subdirectory.
Report what the number and size of the marked files are
Mark all executable files with ‘*’
dired-mark-executables). With a numeric argument, unmark all
Mark all symbolic links with ‘*’ (
With a numeric argument, unmark all those files.
Mark with ‘*’ all files which are directories, except for
. and .. (
dired-mark-directories). With a numeric
argument, unmark all those files.
Mark all the files in the current subdirectory, aside from .
and .. (
Remove any mark on this line (
dired-unmark). If the region is
active, unmark all files in the region instead; otherwise, if a
numeric argument n is supplied, unmark the next n files
instead, starting with the current file (if n is negative,
unmark the previous -n files).
Move point to previous line and remove any mark on that line
dired-unmark-backward). If the region is active, unmark all
files in the region instead; otherwise, if a numeric argument n
is supplied, unmark the n preceding files instead, starting with
the current file (if n is negative, unmark the next
Remove all marks from all the files in this Dired buffer
Remove all marks that use the character markchar
dired-unmark-all-files). If invoked with M-DEL,
the command prompts for markchar. That markchar is a
single character—do not use RET to terminate it. See the
description of the * c command below, which lets you replace one
mark character with another.
With a numeric argument, this command queries about each marked file, asking whether to remove its mark. You can answer y meaning yes, n meaning no, or ! to remove the marks from the remaining files without asking about them.
Move down to the next marked file (
A file is “marked” if it has any kind of mark.
Move up to the previous marked file (
Toggle all marks (
dired-toggle-marks): files marked with ‘*’
become unmarked, and unmarked files are marked with ‘*’. Files
marked in any other way are not affected.
Replace all marks that use the character old-markchar with marks
that use the character new-markchar (
This command is the primary way to create or use marks other than
‘*’ or ‘D’. The arguments are single characters—do not use
RET to terminate them.
You can use almost any character as a mark character by means of this command, to distinguish various classes of files. If old-markchar is a space (‘ ’), then the command operates on all unmarked files; if new-markchar is a space, then the command unmarks the files it acts on.
To illustrate the power of this command, here is how to put ‘D’ flags on all the files that have no marks, while unflagging all those that already have ‘D’ flags:
* c D t * c SPC D * c t SPC
This assumes that no files were already marked with ‘t’.
Mark (with ‘*’) all files whose names match the regular expression
dired-mark-files-regexp). This command is like
% d, except that it marks files with ‘*’ instead of flagging
Only the non-directory part of the file name is used in matching. Use ‘^’ and ‘$’ to anchor matches. You can exclude subdirectories by temporarily hiding them (see Hiding Subdirectories).
Mark (with ‘*’) all files whose contents contain a match for
the regular expression regexp
dired-mark-files-containing-regexp). This command is like
% m, except that it searches the file contents instead of the file
name. Note that if a file is visited in an Emacs buffer,
nil (the default), this
command will look in the buffer without revisiting the file, so the results
might be inconsistent with the file on disk if its contents have changed
since it was last visited. If you don’t want this, you may wish to
revert the files you have visited in your buffers, or to turn on
Auto-Revert mode in those buffers, before invoking this command.
See Reverting a Buffer. If you prefer that this command should always
revisit the file, without you having to revert the file or enable
Auto-Revert mode, you might want to set
dired-always-read-filesystem to non-
Undo changes in the Dired buffer, such as adding or removing
dired-undo). This command does not revert the
actual file operations, nor recover lost files! It just undoes
changes in the buffer itself.
In some cases, using this after commands that operate on files can
cause trouble. For example, after renaming one or more files,
dired-undo restores the original names in the Dired buffer,
which gets the Dired buffer out of sync with the actual contents of