I have following problem. In a unfamiliar project I need to inspect the history of changes in a given file. So I open the file and run M-x magit-log-buffer-file. That opens a log buffer listing commits in which that file was modified. Now I move to the commit I want to inspect and press RET to show the revision buffer.

In that buffer point is placed at the beginning of the buffer, but I would like if Magit allowed jumping right to the diff of that one file I am interested in directly from the log buffer.

Currently, once in the revision buffer, I have search for the file in the list of files that changed, press j, then press C-l C-l, and finally the diff for the interesting file appears at the top of revision buffer.

  • What's the end goal? I think I do something like you describe differently, but not sure if I do it for the same reason. I use git-timemachine to browse the revisions of the same file.
    – wvxvw
    Aug 17, 2016 at 16:11
  • @wvxvw can git-time mashine show me diffs? Like + followed by added code and - followed by removed code. My impression was git-timemachine only shows what the file looked like. Aug 17, 2016 at 16:26
  • I don't think git time machine can show diffs. And I don't think I have a better workflow for you either. I'd probably just copied the path to file and fed it to =f option in diff popup.
    – wvxvw
    Aug 17, 2016 at 16:38
  • I am also having difficulties trying to understand what you are trying to do - and also what you are actually doing. C-| C-| isn't a standard Magit binding; what is it bound to? What is "revision history"? The diff of a particular commit or a log (list) of commits? It sounds to me that you are in a log buffer, then you press RET to show the revision buffer, and now you want to go back to the log buffer. Is that correct?
    – tarsius
    Aug 19, 2016 at 12:38
  • @ tarsius it's not C-| but C-l, in other words Control - "el" or lower case letter in the alphabet after letter k. It's a standards shortcut on emacs bound to recenter-top-bottom. Aug 20, 2016 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


I have thrown together a quick-and-dirty implementation, which does this for diff buffers (not revision buffers as you requested), so you have to press d d instead of RET.

Put this in your init file:

(with-eval-after-load 'magit-diff
  (defvar magit-diff-focus-file nil)

  (defun magit-diff-setup (rev-or-range const args files)
    (require 'magit)
    (magit-mode-setup #'magit-diff-mode rev-or-range const args files)
    (--when-let (and magit-diff-focus-file
                      (append `((file . ,magit-diff-focus-file))
                              (magit-section-ident magit-root-section))))
      (magit-section-goto it)
      (recenter 0)))

  (defun magit-diff (rev-or-range &optional args files)
    (interactive (cons (magit-diff-read-range-or-commit "Diff for range"
                                                        nil current-prefix-arg)
    (let ((magit-diff-focus-file
           (and (derived-mode-p 'magit-log-mode)
                (= (length (car (cddr magit-refresh-args))) 1)
                (caar (cddr magit-refresh-args)))))
      (magit-diff-setup rev-or-range nil args files)))

I might eventually add something like this to Magit. To make it less likely that I will forget, please open a feature request.

  • It's a step in the right direction. I'll play with it tomorrow. Thank you for your help. Sep 2, 2016 at 21:40

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