: Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition

5.2.6.1 Selecting files

5.2.6.1 Selecting files

So far we've primarily talked about flagging files for deletion. When you want to do something else with a group of files, you first mark them with an asterisk. Pressing m marks the file the cursor is on; an asterisk appears where you normally see a D. Typing 3m marks this file and the next two files. Once you mark files with an asterisk, Emacs assumes that any command you issue is meant for these files. So if you have three files marked with an asterisk and press Z to compress, Emacs assumes you want to compress those three files. After the compression, the files remain marked with asterisks. So how do you get rid of the asterisks when you're done with these files?

To remove the asterisks, you press M-Del (for dired-unmark-all-files). Emacs asks which marks to remove. Press Enter, and Emacs removes all the marks.

Sometimes it's easier to mark the files you don't want to work with than those you do. Pressing t toggles the marks, marking all unmarked files and removing marks from those previously marked.


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