I want to use hydra (in Emacs 24.5.1 on Windows 10) to create a pop-up list of directories that I often use. Selecting one of the directories in the list, using a single key, should cause it to open in Dired.

For example, the plan is that once the hydra menu is active hitting "a" will open in "g:/foo/bar/grob" and hitting "b" will open "c:/longername/short/utilities/morestuff/utilities" and so on.

I have run into difficulties with something I thought would have been obvious, namely opening a buffer in Dired. My idea was to have the hydra trigger the relevant Dired command, that I assumed would exist and look like:

dired-read-buffer "c:/emacs"

As far as I can see, there is no such command in the section in the GNU Emacs manual on invoking Dired. There is more than one way to interactively call Dired, but I want something more programmatic.

How can I implement this?

  • 2
    Implement? What is there to implement? C-h f dired tells you all you need to know: the function (command) accepts the directory name as argument. Ask Emacs.
    – Drew
    Oct 11, 2015 at 18:19
  • Your comment is basically at the same level as LMGTFY responses. As my question makes quite clear, I did read the parts of the help system that I thought would/should contain the information. No, I didn't think of using C-h f dired, perhaps because unlike yourself I do not live in Emacs, I just visit every other week. Fortunately the question was answered by somebody else so that the next person who comes looking will hopefully find the answer - which is what SO is for. Oct 12, 2015 at 20:29
  • 1
    That is what SO is for, yes. But what Emacs is for, as part of its proclaimed raison d'etre (the self-documenting editor), is to answer this kind of question directly. There is nothing wrong with asking on SO, certainly. But if you want to learn Emacs, the best advice I can give is to ask Emacs, and to learn to ask it better. You won't regret it, I'm guessing. Just a suggestion.
    – Drew
    Oct 13, 2015 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


You can pass the directory name to dired:

(defhydra hydra-dired (:exit t)
  ("w" (dired "~/Downloads") "Downloads")
  ("d" (dired "~/Documents") "Documents"))
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c C-d") 'hydra-dired/body)

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