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Colorful file names in dired buffers
Emacs Lisp
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This package provides a simple way to customize dired mode to display files in different faces and colors. Faces are chosen based on file extension, file name, or a regexp that matches the whole file line.

Screenshots are available at EmacsWiki.


Put this file in your Emacs-Lisp load path, and add the following into your $HOME/.emacs startup file.

(require 'diredful)



M-x diredful-add

This will ask you to define a new name for a file type, like “images”. You can then specify a list of extensions and file names that belong to this type, and customize the face that will be used to display them. A new face will be automatically generated and updated for each type.

Note: changes will only be applied to newly created dired buffers.

File Types can be added, edited, and deleted using any of the following three commands:

M-x diredful-add
M-x diredful-delete
M-x diredful-edit

These settings will be saved to the location of diredful-init-file (the default location is “~/.emacs.d/diredful-conf.el”). You may choose a different location by doing:

M-x customize-variable <ENTER> diredful-init-file


File type names are sorted alphabetically before being applied. If two file types matched the same file, the file type that comes last in an alphabetically-sorted list will take precedence (e.g., a type named “zworldwritable” will take priority over other file types).

The world-writable regexp pattern used in the screenshot is [rwx-][rwx-][rwx-][rwx-][rwx-][rwx-][rwx-]w[trwx-].

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