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  • Problem: let’s say you need to generate a web page with a table of the files in a directory, along with their size (in bytes) and modification date and time
    • They should be sorted by modification date
    • The table should include the total size of all the files


12010-08-2623:512345Hack Emacs -
22010-08-2723:15639Hack Emacs -
32010-08-2723:38744Hack Emacs - Windows and
42010-08-2901:382081Hack Emacs - Mark and
52010-10-0622:031848Hack Emacs -
62010-10-0923:42894Hack Emacs -
72011-01-2915:241218Hack Emacs -
82011-03-0919:121593Hack Emacs - Using
92011-05-1917:212777Hack Emacs - Org Mode
102011-05-2410:013092Hack Emacs - Org Mode
112011-05-2416:201281Hack Emacs -


  • This was originally going to be part of markup, but there is too much to cover at a useful pace, so it gets its own episode.
  • Navigate with <tab> and <shift>-<tab>
  • Tables export cleanly to ASCII, HTML and LaTeX

Getting data into tables

  • You can use C-u M-! to insert the result of shell commands into the current buffer at point
  • Use C-c | to grab the region and convert it
    • By default, it will look for tabs, and if there are none, will divide on whitespace
    • You can invoke this with a numeric argument to specify a number of spaces dividing the columns

Working with tables


  • Move rows with M-<up> and M-<down>
  • Move columns with M-<left> and M-<right>

Inserting and Deleting

  • Delete columns with M-S-<left>
  • Insert columns with M-S-<right>
  • Insert horizontal rule with C-c <return>


  • Sort with C-c ^
  • S-<return> copies the value down, incrementing numeric values
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