26.9 Speedbar Frames
The speedbar is a special frame for conveniently navigating in
or operating on another frame. The speedbar, when it exists, is
always associated with a specific frame, called its attached
frame; all speedbar operations act on that frame.
Type M-x speedbar to create the speedbar and associate it with
the current frame. To dismiss the speedbar, type M-x speedbar
again, or select the speedbar and type q. (You can also delete
the speedbar frame like any other Emacs frame.) If you wish to
associate the speedbar with a different frame, dismiss it and call
M-x speedbar from that frame.
The speedbar can operate in various modes. Its default mode is
File Display mode, which shows the files in the current
directory of the selected window of the attached frame, one file per
line. Clicking on a file name visits that file in the selected window
of the attached frame, and clicking on a directory name shows that
directory in the speedbar (see Mouse References). Each line also
has a box, ‘[+]’ or ‘<+>’, that you can click on to
expand the contents of that item. Expanding a directory adds
the contents of that directory to the speedbar display, underneath the
directory's own line. Expanding an ordinary file adds a list of the
tags in that file to the speedbar display; you can click on a tag name
to jump to that tag in the selected window of the attached frame.
When a file or directory is expanded, the ‘[+]’ changes to
‘[-]’; you can click on that box to contract the item,
hiding its contents.
You navigate through the speedbar using the keyboard, too. Typing
RET while point is on a line in the speedbar is equivalent to
clicking the item on the current line, and SPC expands or
contracts the item. U displays the parent directory of the
current directory. To copy, delete, or rename the file on the current
line, type C, D, and R respectively. To create a
new directory, type M.
Another general-purpose speedbar mode is Buffer Display mode;
in this mode, the speedbar displays a list of Emacs buffers. To
switch to this mode, type b in the speedbar. To return to File
Display mode, type f. You can also change the display mode by
clicking mouse-3 anywhere in the speedbar window (or
mouse-1 on the mode-line) and selecting ‘Displays’ in the
Some major modes, including Rmail mode, Info, and GUD, have
specialized ways of putting useful items into the speedbar for you to
select. For example, in Rmail mode, the speedbar shows a list of Rmail
files, and lets you move the current message to another Rmail file by
clicking on its ‘<M>’ box.
For more details on using and programming the speedbar, See Speedbar.