dired-dd / aka Dired-DragDrop (

A mouse interface minor mode for dired / dired-x

Seiichi Namba (C) 1997,1998,1999 S.Namba <sn@asahi-net.email.ne.jp>


Dired-dd (aka Dired-DragDrop) is a minor mode enabling mouse interface for dired / dired-x.

It provides facilities in dired:


locate-dired can be located in `spinout' directory of dired-dd distribution. The `spinout' directory contains other assorted stuffs including a patch for `archie.el', elisp codes for URL-to-ange-ftp conversion, Netscape bookmark stealer, and others that work well with dired-dd.

Now dired-dd is distributed under GPL (version 2). See section COPYING.


System Requirement

dired-dd was written and tested on mule-2.3 (both of official emacs-19.28, and unofficial emacs-19.34 based versions) and emacs-20.2 and 20.3. It works fine on the 19.x and 20.x emacsen, but some behaviours (eg. menu appearance) are not exactly the same. Emacs-18 (Nemacs) is not supported at all. Perhaps dired-dd won't work in XEmacs, in which dired is totally different from FSF emacsen. It has not been tested on Windows version of emacs / mule.

dired-dd uses dired-x features intensively and extensively. See section Installing dired-dd for minimum setup of dired-x just for dired-dd, or further refer to dired-x info file (M-x info RET and search for `Dired-X') for datailed information on setup and customization of dired-x. dired-x is included in a standard emacs distribution, so you shouldn't have to FTP it.

Installing dired-dd

Copying files

Currently, dired-dd is composed of `dired-dd.el' and `dired-dd-b3-menu.el'. Byte-compile these two files and copy derived `dired-dd.elc' and
`dired-dd-b3-menu.elc' into your emacs's load path
(`/usr/local/share/emacs/site-lisp/', `~/elisp' or wherever appropriate). Byte-compiling of `dired-dd.el' and `dired-dd-b3-menu.el' is strongly recommended.

This two-step file installation can be done by attached `Makefile'.

In this `Makefile', the default emacs and elispdir are defined as:


Thus, if your emacs is `/gnu/bin/emacs' and your lisp directory is `/gnu/lib/emacs/site-lisp', invoke `make' with overriding the defaults above:

$ make emacs=/gnu/bin/emacs compile
$ make emacs=/gnu/bin/emacs install elispdir=/gnu/lib/emacs/site-lisp

Modifying your `~/.emacs'

Include add-hook codes below in your `~/.emacs':

  ;;(setq dired-dd-mode-as-default nil)
    (lambda ()
      (load "dired-x")
      ;; Set dired-x variables here.
      ;; To and flo...
      (if window-system (require 'dired-dd)))))

In dired-load-hook, you can customize various features including dired-x (see section `Installation' in dired-x info).

dired-dd-mode is implemented as a minor mode for dired-mode. If you do not want to turn on dired-dd-mode automatically upon entering dired-mode, remove ";;" before (setq dired-dd-mode-as-default nil) in the example above.

If you set dired-dd-mode-as-default to nil, you have to turn on dired-dd-mode with manual operation (see section Dired-dd minor mode).

Printing Info (optional)

PostScript formatted version of this info is included under the distribution directory. If you want hardcopy, issue shell command such as lpr -Pps dired-dd.ps.

Of course, `dired-dd.info', and perhaps `dired-dd_toc.html' and `dired-dd.html' can be found in the same directory. Use your favorite WWW browser to read the html version. For `dired-dd.info', use dired `I' command, or dired-dd menu raised by mouse-3 (or install it in your info directory).

The `dired-dd.ps' was formatted with `dvi2ps' as can be seen in the `Makefile', with PostScript version of `cm' fonts. If you do not have PostScript `cm' fonts, or want to print it with genuine `pk' fonts for some reason, run `texi2dvi' locally. Texinfo version used for drafting this info seems to be 2.145, according to `texi2dvi' output (maybe it is old ?).


Since version, dired-dd is distributed under GPL (version 2).

The older versions might include different copying notice (even if I believe they were also `Free Software' as well), but forget all about those obsolete versions.

I take GPL because I think it is the best way to distribute my work on elisp for `free', and express my respect to all the emacs related works ever been achieved.

The files under `spinout' directory may not all have the GPL copying notice in order to save storage space, but consider them protected under GPL as well.

I cite the copying notice at the top of this texi/info file hereunder, for it may not be seen via info browser.

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307  USA

Dired-dd minor mode

dired-dd-mode is implemented as a normal minor mode for dired-mode. M-x dired-dd-mode RET toggles on / off state dired-dd-mode. While dired-dd-mode is turned on, string "DragDrop" appears in modeline.

Further, issuing command C-u M-x dired-dd-mode RET (with positive numeric argument) forces to turn on dired-dd-mode, while M- - M-x dired-dd-mode RET (with negative numeric argument) turns it off.

You will notice that some of the mouse commands, for example M-drag-mouse-1 (mouse-drag-secondary), are totally disabled in dired-dd-mode. Turn off dired-dd-mode manually, if you want to use such commands on dired buffer.

Variable dired-dd-mode-as-default controls whether dired-dd-mode is automatically enabled or not (see section Turning on / off dired-dd-mode as default minor mode) upon entering dired-mode.

It is possible to turn on dired-dd-mode within a non-dired buffer, but that is totally useless.

Mouse Button 1

Dragging Mouse button 1 marks files or directories with *. This mouse command is almost compatible to ordinary dired command m.

Double click of mouse Button 1 opens file(s) or directory(s) objects by an external application (shell command) or emacs. The opening method is automatically selected. The criteria for the opening method selection is whether any shell command is registered for the extension part of the file name of the objects.

The core part of the dragging is handled by function dired-dd-drag-region, which is bound to down-mouse-1. double-mouse-1 eventually executes dired-dd-find-file-or-exec.

In dired-dd, a single function may have multiple mouse bindings for some technical reason. So, hereafter in this document, the convention of normal emacs info, in which user command is often designated such as

M-down-mouse-1 (mouse-drag-secondary)

may not be followed in relevant sections below.


Dragging region by mouse button 1 marks or unmarks file(s) or directory(s) with a mark * (toggles marking status). Moving the mouse horizontally a bit marks or unmarks a single file. Dragged region is copied to the kill ring as a side effect. Secondary selection handling with M-mouse-1 and M-mouse-2 is totally disabled.

The mark * put by dragging of mouse button 1 is identical to the normal mark * put by normal dired keyboard command (e.g. m (dired-mark)). All of the normal dired keyboard commands, and menu bar or popup menu (in emacs-20.xx) commands can properly interpret the mark * put by Mouse Button 1. All of the commands invoked by mouse buttons 2 and 3 work on files and/or directories marked with this mark * (if any marked file exists).

Pressing Meta key while dragging with mouse button 1 flags files or directories with D (delete) flag instead of mark *. You can delete the files flagged with D by hitting x (dired-do-flagged-delete). The only menu entry that works on D flagged files is `Delete Flagged' entry found in the menu raised by mouse button 3, which is equivalent to x (dired-do-flagged-delete). The other commands invoked from mouse buttons 2 and 3 do not affect D flagged files, but * marked files.

Double click

Double clicking mouse button 1 provides a generic file opening facility. The file is opend with an external application (shell command) predefined in association with the extension part of the file name, or if no such application is defined, double-mouse-1 falls back to a mere file opening operation using emacs buffer.

The opening target is marked with *, or the double- clicked file (or directory) if no file (or directory) is marked in the dired-dd buffer.

Double-mouse-1 eventually calls a function dired-dd-find-file-or-exec. This function first tries to invoke a shell command (application) relevant to the extension of the file name asynchronously. If it can't find such a shell command, the function dired-dd-find-file-or-exec just opens marked (or clicked) file or directory using the selected window displaying the current dired buffer.

The relationship between filename extensions and their respective handling command (application) should be stored in a dired-x variable dired-guess-shell-alist-user (or dired-guess-shell-alist-default). This feature relies on dired-x. C-h v dired-guess-shell-alist-user RET shows you how to combine a command to a certain file extension (`*.jpeg' => execute `xv', etc), and the current relationship setup in the variable. See section `Shell Command Guessing' in dired-x info.

Rough and ready interactive command dired-dd-register-shell-alist is provided to add entry in dired-guess-shell-alist-user. However, the command dired-dd-register-shell-alist is not automatically called when there is no shell command is registered in dired-guess-shell-alist-user. Further, no automatic saving facility (for custom-file) is provided in current dired-dd. Adding setup codes for dired-guess-shell-alist-user in your `~/.emacs' is the most handy and safe way to support new shell command for certain file extension.

The invoked shell command output is collected in buffer `*dired-dd-proc*'. All the processes invoked by dired-dd-exec-command-directly share this buffer. Until all the processes sharing the buffer exit, string `run' is shown in the mode line of the buffer `*dired-dd-proc*'.

After all the processes have exited, the mode line shows `exit'. The buffer `*dired-dd-proc*' exists just for collecting stdout/stderr output from the invoked command(s). Killing the buffer `*dired-dd-proc*' does no harm (perhaps) to invoked command(s). No fancy job control interface is implemented.

As described above, double clicking mouse button 1 automatically selects file opening method, which works fine in most cases. However, no matter how your dired-guess-shell-alist-user definition is designed carefully, there should be such situation that you have to force either opening-by-emacs or open-by-external-application.

For instance, think about the case you have registered a shell script to pass a marked HTML file to Netscape in dired-guess-shell-alist-user, but you have to edit it in HTML-helper mode in emacs.

Use mouse-2 (dired-dd-find-file) to force opening a file (or directory) with emacs, or M-mouse-2 (dired-dd-exec-command-directly) to force execution of the registered command explicitly (see section Click (Single)).

Mouse Button 2

Mouse button 2 is the most important part of dired-dd. It handles Drag and Drop. Further, single clicking of Mouse button 2 opens files / directories, as well as executes command related to the file extension.

Users are strongly advised to create a directory or two accommodating dummy files to try drag-and-drop operations and features of dired-dd. There is "NO WARRANTY" for dired-dd (see section COPYING).

Function dired-dd-drag-drop takes charge in Drag and Drop part of mouse button 2, and is bound to multiple mouse events such as down-mouse-2, C-down-mouse-2, M-down-mouse-2.


Drag-and-drop object and target

With mouse button 2, you can drag marked (or on point) files or directories, and drop them somewhere. You can drop the object into another dired buffer, or into directory line in the same dired buffer. All of these drop targets are `directory' objects.

A `drop target' may be not only a `directory object', but also a `non-directory object'. For example, see what happens when you drop a file or directory into non-dired buffer.

The target dired or non-dired buffer, or target directory line in a dired buffer can be located anywhere in emacs. For example, `source' dired buffer and target dired buffer may be identical. Or, target dired buffer, or target directory line may be displayed in a window different from the `source' dired window. The target dired window can be accommodated in a different emacs frame.

On drag and drop into a directory object (a dired buffer or directory line in a dired buffer), a menu is popped up to ask file operation method for the drag drop. The menu also includes several entries which are thought to be convenient but may not be relevant directly to drag and drop operation.

The job selected from the popup menu is immediately executed (copy, move, link etc.) if the target is explicit, while minibuffer prompt is raised if the target (normally it is a directory) is ambiguous.

The same menu is popped upon horizontal drag. This means that you made drag & drop into the same directory, if the dragged object is file(s). In this case, the destination of copy/move/link etc. is asked by minibuffer interface.

If the horizontally dragged object is a directory, note that the target directory is not the same as the default directory of the dired buffer (refer to subsection "Where is my file ?" below).

Also See section The Popup Menu for the menu raised by mouse button 2.

Non-dired targets.

Drag and drop into non-directory object (other non-dired buffer), the file or directory object is just opened using the window into which it dropped (or defined function is executed. See below). This is an emulation of a drag and drop operation, which can be commonly found in various file managers and editing applications (eg. `Word' and `Explorer', Offix `Files' and `Editor' or `Trash' and so on).

The behaviour of on drag-and-dropping files into non-directory object (other non-dired buffer) can be customized with variable dired-dd-non-dired-drop-handlers. See section Customizing behavior on dropping into non-dired buffer for detailed informations.

On dropping onto non-dired buffer located in another frame, files or directories are opened using multiple windows.

Further, from version, the object can be dropped on root window. Before, dropping object on root window was treated with message "No emacs frame over there", but now the object (file or directory) is opened by function find-file-other-frame. The dropped file or directory is opened using an independent frame, which is newly created, or just raised (this behaviour may differ depending upon the window manager in use) if it already exists. If variable dired-dd-iconify-control-on-root-drop (default: nil) is non-nil, the relevant frame is iconified or deiconified depending on its iconic status. This iconify control may not work nicely (or be totally ignored) in some version of emacs, or with some window manager.

As a handler routine for the dropping onto non-dired target, an emacs command (function) dired-find-file-other-frame is provided. This emacs command can be called from keyboard. Possible settings (not well tested) in `./emacs':

  (define-key dired-mode-map "\e\C-o" 'dired-find-file-other-frame)
  (autoload 'dired-find-file-other-frame "dired-dd" nil t)

Unfortunately, inter-application drag-and-drop is not supported yet (or forever) in dired-dd. It seems that there are known some emacsen which can handle inter-application drag-and-drop, but the authour may be too busy to support them as a dired-dd platform, or build primitive functions for inter-application drag-and-drop disabled normal emacs.

Quick drag and drop with modifier keys

Dragging with Control/Meta/Shift key is supported. These modifier keys are detected at the very timing of releasing mouse button (as in `XV''s Visual Schunauzer). Thus, in order to select file operation method, you may start drag with down-mouse-2, then press Control/Meta/Shift before releasing it, even if you rebind C-/M-/S-down-mouse-2 to other functions.

Each modifier specifies file (or directory) operation for the current drag and drop as follows:

`C'opy file
`M'ove (rename) file
(maybe `S'ymbolic ?) Link file

In linking file / directory with Shift modifier, the link method is determined by variable dired-dd-default-link-method (see section File linking method).

Where is my file ?

Be carefull when you drop a file or directory into in a dired buffer. If a file or directory is dropped into an ordinary file line, into the first header line, or into `.' line, it is copied/moved/linked into the directory corresponding to the target dired buffer's default directory as you may expect. However, dropping a file or directory into a directory line in a dired buffer means that you selected the directory (line) as the destination directory. This is rational feature of dired-dd, but the file or directory may be copied/moved/linked to unintended place due to this feature, if you do not care much about the target line. Especially when you drop with the modifier keys, no menu is raised, nor destination is displayed in the echo area of emacs, so please pay a special attention on drop-target when you quick-drop with the modifier key.

Click (Single)

Clicking mouse-2 opens, or executes shell commands on file (or directory). A mere click opens file using the currently selected window.

Further several modifiers are supported for a click of mouse-2:

Mouse Button 3

Mouse Button 3 raises a menu facilitating miscellaneous file operations. This menu features various shell commands which are not available directly from original dired's menu-bar, or popup menu.

Click (Single)

Clicking mouse Button 3 raises a full menu (not so `full' as dired menu bar, but good enough for daily use, I suppose) to ask a handling method (delete/copy/move... etc) for marked (or on point) files delete/copy/move... etc.

Probably at the time of public release of dired-dd, various of shell commands will be bound which are not available direct from original dired menu bar or key binding. The menu raised by mouse button 3 can be customized (see section Menu raised by Button 3).

Consider the default menu raised by mouse button 3 as just a customizable file operation menu. Also See section The Popup Menu for the menu raised by mouse button 3.

In Emacs-19.xx, S-mouse-3 raises the original dired menu-bar as popup menu, which is a full-featured one. You can use C-mouse-3 menu as it is in emacs-20.

The Popup Menu

This chapter deals with some caveats on the popup menus raised by mouse buttons 2 and 3.

`Copy Recursive' entry

Most of the entries in the menu raised by mouse-2 call ordinary dired commands having dired- or dired-do- prefix in their function name. Thus, almost all of these `dired-compatible' commands will work almost the same as you expect from normal dired operations. At the same time, as a matter of course, the same limitation of the dired command is also applied: For example, neither recursive copy of directory tree, nor moving directory tree across different file systems is possible.

One exception is `Copy Recursive' entry (new from version 0.9) in the menu raised by mouse-2 and mouse-3. This menu entry is bound to functions `dired-dd-copy-recursive' (in case of mouse-2), and `dired-dd-do-copy-recursive' (in case of mouse-3). These `Copy Recursive' functions eventually call a sub-shell command defined in a variable dired-dd-copy-recursive-command, whose default value is `cp -a', assuming it being GNU `cp' command.

If you do not have `cp' command which can be invoked as `cp -a file targetdir', install GNU fileutil, or write an equivalent script using `tar', `cpio' etc.

The menu entry `Copy Recursive' can copy files / directories fast across different file systems recursively, but do not work over FTP directory.

Command dired-dd-do-copy-recursive-regexp is also provided in dired-dd. The command dired-dd-do-copy-recursive, as well as dired-dd-do-copy-recursive-regexp can be bound to a key similarly as in the case of standard dired-do-xxx, or dired-do-xxx-regexp commands in dired, for example:

(define-key dired-dd-mode-map "\eC" 'dired-dd-do-copy-recursive)
(define-key dired-dd-mode-map "%c" 'dired-dd-do-copy-recursive-regexp)


(define-key dired-dd-mode-map "%R" 'dired-dd-do-copy-recursive-regexp)

These key bindings are not defined as a default in dired-dd because I do not think they are good ones. Choose any preferred key bindings if you want to use these commands from keyboard as well.

`Move Recursive' is not supported in dire-dd yet. If you do not like to keep old directory after you have `copied recursive', just erase it (the menu raised by mouse-3 has `Delete Recursive').

The menu raised by mouse-3 has some more `dired-incompatible' commands. They are all conceived to provide convenience, but the in-compatibleness may irritate users. Just consider them as an example of customizable menu entry (see section Menu raised by Button 3).

`Exec Related CMD' entry

From version, `Exec Related CMD' entry in mouse-2 menu invokes shell command asynchronously. This menu item is compatible to M-mouse-2 (dired-dd-exec-command-directly). See section Click (Single).

`Launch a Terminal' entry

From version, `Launch a Terminal' entry is the top item in the menu raised by mouse-3 no matter how the real emacs user hates it (or not). The `Refresh Listing' entry is moved down to the bottom accordingly.

This menu item runs shell command stored in variable dired-dd-terminal-command, whose default value is `xterm', or probably `kterm' depending upon environment variable `LANG'. Set your favorite terminal emulator name in dired-dd-terminal-command. Options may be included in dired-dd-terminal-command, for example:

(setq dired-dd-terminal-command "rxvt -fn vga")

As in the case of dired-guess-shell-alist-user, dired-dd-terminal-command may include exec at the top of its string value (e.g. "exec rxvt -fn vga" for the example above) to save memory, but this may not work in Emacs-19.xx (see section Bug, Caveats).

Copying filename by mouse

Mouse bindings below are enabled in dired-dd minor mode:

These bindings may be convenient in exchanging file name with `xterm', or `*shell*' buffer.

Further trivial functions may be bound to other mouse / key events. Try C-h m (describe-mode) or C-h b (describe-bindings) in a dired-dd enabled buffer.


This chapter deals with customizing of various dired-dd features.


These variables controls various features of dired-dd:

The names are almost self-explanatory. Refer to the documentation string of the variables for detail (or see section Variable Index, for important variables are described in various places in this document) Hereafter, variables of reasonable importance are explained.

Turning on / off dired-dd-mode as default minor mode

Variable dired-dd-mode-as-default determines if dired-dd-mode should be automatically enabled or not when you fired up dired-mode with C-x d, C-x C-f, etc. Actually, dired-dd-mode-as-default determines whether to add function dired-dd-mode-enable to dired-mode-hook or not.

Default value of dired-dd-mode-as-default is t.

This variable dired-dd-mode-as-default should be set before actual loading of `dired-dd.elc' (if compiled) with expression such as (require 'dired-dd) or (load "dired-dd"). See section Installation, and See section Dired-dd minor mode.

On running emacs, you can turn off dired-dd-mode for forthcoming every dired-mode by evaluating

    (remove-hook 'dired-mode-hook 'dired-dd-mode-enable)

or, turn it on again as default minor mode for dired-mode by evaluating

    (add-hook 'dired-mode-hook 'dired-dd-mode-enable)

in `*scratch*' buffer, or M-: (ESC-ESC in emacs-19.xx).

Find file method


In the default setting, if no suitable external shell command is registered in association with the filename extention, double-mouse-1 (dired-dd-find-file-or-exec) opens just one clicked file or directory even if any marked file (or directory) exists in the dired buffer. If you want to open the marked files (not the clicked one), set variable dired-dd-find-multiple-file to non-nil. This variable dired-dd-find-multiple-file only affects the find-file behaviour of dired-dd-find-file-or-exec, and has no effect on the invoking the shell command (if any command is registered). If a shell command is registered, double-mouse-1 (dired-dd-find-file-or-exec) always invokes the registered shell command over marked files. Also refer to the document string of dired-dd-find-multiple-file with C-h v dired-dd-find-multiple-file RET.


You may want to setq dired-dd-find-file-method to 'dired-find-file-other-window, which emulates original dired's mouse-2 binding (to dired-mouse-find-file-other-window).

File linking method

The default value of variable dired-dd-default-link-method is relsymlink. According to this default, the object dragged and dropped by S-drag-mouse-2 is linked relatively to the source path of the object. Valid value is one of symlink, hardlink, or relsymlink. For instance, if you want to link file(s) with plain symbolic link, include

        (setq dired-dd-default-link-method 'symlink)

in your `~/.emacs'.

The dired-dd-default-symlink-method existed in older versions was renamed to dired-dd-default-link-method, and is not used anymore. If you have dired-dd-default-symlink-method in your `~/.emacs', rename it as well accordingly. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Customizing behavior on dropping into non-dired buffer

In older versions of dired-dd, a drag-and-dropped file (or directory) is just opend using target window if it is dropped into non-directory buffer, but, from version, the behavior invoked with such drag-and-drop operation can be customized.

User can define a prefered handler function to deal with the drag-and-drop operation into non-directory buffer, and the handler function can be registered in a variable dired-dd-non-dired-drop-handlers (nil as default) in a list form.

Refer to `dired-dd-mew.el' included in dired-dd distribution. `Dired-dd-mew.el' contains an example of the handler function and registering code. Also refer to `dired-dd-insert-file.el', and `dired-dd-insert-fname.el', which are yet other examples of the handler function.
`Dired-dd-mew.el' enables drag-and-dropping MIME attachment file(s) into Mew's draft buffer. `Dired-dd-insert-file.el' and `dired-dd-insert-fname.el' enable insert content, or filename of dropped file into a non-dired buffer respectively.

The handler functions registered in dired-dd-non-dired-drop-handlers are called in the order of the list until some of them succeeds from a function dired-dd-exec-non-dired-drop-handlers, which is invokd from a function dired-dd-drop-from-to (a core part of drag-and-drop in dired-dd).

The handler function to be registered in dired-dd-non-dired-drop-handlers must accept one arg ARGLIST, whose format is:



The handler function can assume that current window/buffer is already switched to the target of the relevant drag-and-drop when it is called. It is responsibility of the handler function to examine whether the current window/buffer is suitable for its own job. The examination should be strict as possible, because it is not predictable that the user registers what sort of handler function in what order.

The handler function must return non-nil if its operation was successful, otherwise nil.

If the parameters included in the ARGLIST is not enough, programmers can access variables such as modifiers, event start-window etc., which are defined in upper functions. Refer to the upper functions dired-dd-drag-drop and dired-dd-drop-from-to in `dired-dd.el', for the meaning of those parameters.

I guess we might be allowed to indulge ourselves in being lisp programmers, in writing this sort of function for limited purpose.


Experimental code for playing sound upon drag and drop by mouse-2 is included, but this facility is disabled as a default. If you want to play sound, set up these variables appropriately to match your environment:

See the document strings of these variables. In future version, this sound facility may be removed (or not, I don't know).

Pointer animation

Silly animation with X pointer is enabled by default (probably, if your X display, or network between your X display and remote emacs is fast enough). To turn off the animation, set dired-dd-no-x-pointer-animation to t. If the pointer animation is disabled, the pointer shape (number) stored in variable dired-dd-x-pointer-shape is used while dragging.

If you want to change the animation frames, modify variable dired-dd-x-pointer-list which contains pointer shape as list.

The pointer number is defined in `$lisp/term/x-win.el'. To get the name of the x-pointer variables, M-x apropos ^x-pointer- RET will work. You can examine the shape of a x-pointer with an expression such as:

        (let ((x-pointer-shape x-pointer-right-ptr))
          (set-mouse-color nil))

Evaluate above expression in `*scratch*' buffer with C-j, or M-: (ESC-ESC in emacs-19.xx).


Further setting variable dired-dd-awakening to non-nil (default: nil) enables display of dired-dd insignia upon every wake up of dired-dd-mode. M-x dired-dd-version RET, or the last entry "About dired-dd" in the menu raised by button 3 may display it as well, in full format.

The entity of the dired-dd insignia is dired-dd-the-ball-of-fire. Code such as:

(autoload 'dired-dd-the-ball-of-fire "dire-dd" nil t)
(add-hook 'find-file-hooks 'dired-dd-the-ball-of-fire)

will show you the road to awakening everywhere in emacs when you find new file.

The insignia may not be displayed if your X display or network between X display and remote machine running emacs is too slow. Sorry.

Menu raised by Button 2

It may not be such a good idea to try to customize the menu raised by Button 2. Currently variable dired-dd-b2-menu, and its handler routine are very nasty. Hack the source code, if you really want to modify mouse-2 menu, but I might change the structure of dired-dd-b2-menu (to normal keymap ?) totally in future version.

Menu raised by Button 3

You can customize the menu raised by button 3 with modifying variable dired-dd-b3-keymap.

The variable dired-dd-b3-keymap is structured as a emacs keymap, so you can use define-key / define-key-after to customize the menu as normal keymap.

In dired-dd, the use of keymap is expanded (which may be an `abuse'). You can define not only a normal menu keymap entry:

   (define-key-after (lookup-key dired-dd-b3-keymap [file])
     [open2] '("Open2" . find-file) 'o-other-win)

but also even an eval'able form ('(dired-view-file)):

   (define-key-after (lookup-key dired-dd-b3-keymap [file])
     [view2] '("View2" . (dired-view-file)) 'o-other-win)

Note that the second example above contains a non-command object as `definition' ('(dired-view-file)).

In dired-dd, if a key definition in the dired-dd-b3-keymap is a symbol ('find-file, in the first example above), the symbol is called as command with passing marked filename(s) as a 1st argument (repeatedly), while if the key definition is not a symbol (sexp '(dired-view-file), in the second example above), it is just evaluated once.

Both the bindings above can only be handled by special function dired-dd-x-popup-menu-out-of-keymap (and its upper function), which acts similarly to x-popup-menu when x-popup-menu is fed with non-keymap list as its 2nd argment.

Of course, you can undefine the unnecessary menu entry:

(define-key dired-dd-b3-keymap [arc lha-x] 'undefined)
(define-key dired-dd-b3-keymap [arc lha-v] 'undefined)

Updated dired-dd-b3-keymap can be inspected by evaluating

(x-popup-menu t dired-dd-b3-keymap)


(dired-dd-x-popup-menu-out-of-keymap t dired-dd-b3-keymap)

in `*scratch*' buffer.

Do not bind the variable dired-dd-b3-keymap directly to normal mouse / key event. That is useless.

Menu raised by button 3 may be too tall for your note pc. For example for 640x480 pc screen, include

mule*popup.font: -*-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-*-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
emacs*popup.font: -*-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-*-*-10-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

in your `~/.Xdefaults' or `~/.Xresources'.

Load hook

It is advisable to use dired-dd-load-hook to change mouse (key) binding. For example, if you prefer to bind the original dired menu-bar menu to mouse-3, include binding code in the add-hook codes below:

    (lambda ()
      (define-key dired-dd-mode-map [mouse-3] 'dired-dd-popmenu-map-func)
      (define-key dired-dd-mode-map [S-mouse-3]

This example makes sense only in Emacs-19, but you can see how to change bindings.


This chapter deals with miscellaneous tips on using `dired-dd'.

Using dired-dd in multiple window / frame environment

dired-dd is very useful when you are browsing through directory trees. I know that keyboard is faster than bothering to move over to mouse, but sometimes I feel lazy and wish I could use mouse for browsing through file system.

On using dired-dd, my recommendation is to split an emacs frame into several windows horizontally and/or vertically, or further into several frames, select one of them as browsing window (frame), and the other for dired window (frame). And, open file with drag and drop from dired window (frame) to browsing window (frame).

I prefer to use a window manager, but you can use emacs even without window manager at all. Once I tried starting only emacs from .xinitrc on a 1600x1200 sized X's root window without any window manager, and split it up to 5 to 6 windows for dired and browsing buffers. In such situation, dired-dd works very nicely; `mldrag.el' helped me a good deal in adjusting window configurations, and with `windows.el', I could even handle multiple frames without window manager (see section Other programs going well with dired-dd) at all.

I found that it is convenient if a command to kill or bury buffer is bound to certain mouse event when you are browsing through many files and directories. Or, sometimes after root-drop, you may want to delete many frames, and C-x 5 0 is really annoying if there are too may frames to be killed.

Setting variable dired-dd-use-modeline-binding-global to non-nil enables these mouse bindings:

      (define-key global-map [mode-line C-mouse-3] 'mouse-kill-this-buffer)
      (define-key global-map [mode-line S-mouse-3] 'mouse-bury-buffer))
      (define-key global-map [mode-line C-M-mouse-3] 'mouse-delete-frame)

globally (mouse-delete-frame might be useless if you prefer your window manager's delete-frame command... ). In dired-dd-mode, these bindings are enabled in its local map dired-dd-mode-map regardless of the value of dired-dd-use-modeline-binding-global.

Note that even if you setq dired-dd-use-modeline-binding-global to non-nil, the bindings above are not enabled until dired-dd is loaded. If you like these mouse binding, and want to use them globally from the startup of emacs, include the binding codes above, and the function definitions such as:

         (defun mouse-kill-this-buffer (e)
           (interactive "@e")
         (defun mouse-bury-buffer (e)
           (interactive "@e")
         (defun mouse-delete-frame (e &optional arg)
           (interactive "@e\nP")
           (delete-frame (selected-frame) arg))

in your `~/.emacs', which is a surer solution. See also the document string of dired-dd-use-modeline-binding-global with C-h v dired-dd-use-modeline-binding-global RET.

The functions mouse-kill-this-buffer, mouse-bury-buffer and mouse-delete-frame are defined at the end of the `dired-dd.el'.

Other programs going well with dired-dd

This section deals with the programs going well with dired-dd.

Dired can operate not only on local file system but also ftp directories. Some dired related programs are known to handle both local and ftp directories transparently, and they are all compatible with dired-dd.

For window / frame handling, or scrolling through, the mouse oriented programs listed below are found to be very useful:

`Spinout' directory

Up to the time of drafting this info, `Spinout' directory of dired-dd distribution contains small programs (some may be nice, and some may be rough and ready) conceived to use with dired/dired-x/dired-dd:

These are all small programs and no info file is provided. Refer to the comment section at the top of the program files for usage.

Bug, Caveats



Variable Index


  • dired-dd-audio-au-player
  • dired-dd-audio-directory
  • dired-dd-audio-file-alist
  • dired-dd-audio-wav-player
  • dired-dd-awakening
  • dired-dd-b2-menu
  • dired-dd-b3-keymap
  • dired-dd-copy-recursive-command
  • dired-dd-default-link-method
  • dired-dd-default-symlink-method
  • dired-dd-find-file-method
  • dired-dd-find-multiple-file
  • dired-dd-iconify-control-on-root-drop
  • dired-dd-load-hook
  • dired-dd-mode-as-default
  • dired-dd-no-x-pointer-animation
  • dired-dd-non-dired-drop-handlers
  • dired-dd-play-audio
  • dired-dd-terminal-command
  • dired-dd-use-modeline-binding-global
  • dired-dd-x-pointer-list
  • dired-dd-x-pointer-shape
  • Function Index


  • dired-dd-copy-filename-as-kill
  • dired-dd-copy-filename-as-kill-full
  • dired-dd-copy-recursive
  • dired-dd-do-copy-recursive
  • dired-dd-do-copy-recursive-regexp
  • dired-dd-drag-drop
  • dired-dd-drag-region, dired-dd-drag-region
  • dired-dd-find-file-or-exec
  • dired-dd-mode
  • dired-dd-no-destination-handling
  • dired-dd-the-ball-of-fire
  • dired-dd-unmark-all-marks
  • dired-dd-version
  • dired-do-flagged-delete
  • Concept Index


  • animation
  • b

  • bug
  • byte-compile
  • c

  • copying filename by mouse
  • customizing
  • d

  • drag drop into dired window
  • drag drop into other frame
  • drag drop into other non-dired window
  • f

  • file copy, open, move, link,,,
  • g

  • generic file opening facility
  • i

  • individual file operation
  • insignia
  • installation
  • m

  • make
  • Makefile
  • marking directory
  • marking file
  • p

  • popup menu
  • s

  • sound
  • system requirement
  • t

  • tips
  • TODO
  • turning on and off dired-dd-mode manually

  • This document was generated on 4 April 1999 using the texi2html translator version 1.51.