I occasionally find myself using Nautilus instead of dired to search for files and would like to change that. When looking for a file, I often don't know the capitalization of its name which is why I like case-insensitive searches. Additionally, I almost always search for something in the middle of the file's name.

I think I can likely (i.e. p > .4) figure out myself how to write a function which always gives the same directory to find-name-dired and adds stars to both ends of its argument (so I can search for any substring).

However, I do not know how tell find-name-dired to tell find to ignore case. Basically I want find-name-dired to pass -iname to find instead of -name.

My question isn't necessarily about making find-name-dired do that. If there is a better way to achieve my goal, please tell me about it. It doesn't need to involve find-name-dired.

2 Answers 2


To answer your question about find-name-dired, according to its manual page (C-h f find-name-dired):

The default command run (after changing into DIR) is

find . -name 'PATTERN' -ls

See ‘find-name-arg’ to customize the arguments.

If you go to find-name-arg manual page, you get:

find-name-arg is a variable defined in ‘find-dired.el’.
Its value is "-name"

Argument used to specify file name pattern.
If ‘read-file-name-completion-ignore-case’ is non-nil, -iname is used so that
find also ignores case.  Otherwise, -name is used.

You can customize this variable.

So you can use M-x customize-variable RET find-name-arg to set your desired value, or you can add this to your init file:

(require 'find-dired)
(setq find-name-arg "-iname")

I solved the problem by defining this function + shortcut:

(defun find-in-current-location ()
  (find-dired dired-directory (concat "-iname \"*" (read-from-minibuffer "Search for: ") "*\"")))
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c f") 'find-in-current-location)

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