I'm switching over from Vim to Emacs and have one requirement that I haven't been able to find a solution for. In Vim I used Nerdtree to display a view of the file system in a different window to the left that was there all the time.

I know dired in Emacs offers all of these features (and probably more) but I'm not sure how to configure Emacs (I'm still new to it!) to always display the dired window on the left with one or more windows on the right for source code editing.

Can anyone offer any solutions to this particular problem please?


One package that does what you describe (file browser capability) is emacs code browser, which you can get from here: http://ecb.sourceforge.net/

  • That looks awesome. The screenshots are pretty much exactly like I used to have Vim configured. – Cromulent Dec 31 '13 at 10:16

Speedbar comes with Emacs (at least I know it is in 23.3.1 with X-Windows). Here is a screenshot of it on Ubuntu. Just use M-x and type speedbar and there you go. Speedbar Example

  • Thanks. That also looks good. Plus with it being built-in it simplifies configuration somewhat. – Cromulent Dec 31 '13 at 12:43
  • (Speedbar is what ECB uses, FWIW.) – Drew Dec 31 '13 at 22:00

Another alternative to Speedbar (which is used by ECB, BTW) is to use Dired in a separate frame (e.g. positioned at the left), and hide the details using dired-hide-details-mode (or library dired-details[+].el if you do not have Emacs 24).

This looks similar to what you see with Speedbar, but it gives you all of the power of Dired, which Speedbar lacks. Whenever you want to show/hide details, just hit (.

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