14.9.2 Editing in Dired
Once the Dired buffer exists, you can switch freely between it and other
Emacs buffers. Whenever the Dired buffer is selected, certain special
commands are provided that operate on files that are listed. The Dired
buffer is "read-only", and inserting text in it is not useful, so
ordinary printing characters such as `d' and `x' are used for Dired
commands. Most Dired commands operate on the file described by the line
that point is on. Some commands perform operations immediately; others
"flag" a file to be operated on later.
Most Dired commands that operate on the current line's file also
treat a numeric argument as a repeat count, meaning to act on the files
of the next few lines. A negative argument means to operate on the
files of the preceding lines, and leave point on the first of those
All the usual Emacs cursor motion commands are available in Dired
buffers. Some special purpose commands are also provided. The keys
`C-n' and `C-p' are redefined so that they try to position the cursor
at the beginning of the filename on the line, rather than at the
beginning of the line.
For extra convenience, <SPC> and `n' in Dired are equivalent to
`C-n'. `p' is equivalent to `C-p'. Moving by lines is done so often
in Dired that it deserves to be easy to type. <DEL> (move up and
unflag) is often useful simply for moving up.
The `g' command in Dired runs `revert-buffer' to reinitialize the
buffer from the actual disk directory and show any changes made in the
directory by programs other than Dired. All deletion flags in the Dired
buffer are lost when this is done.
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