Say I have spacemacs open and now I want to launch some sort of file browser to open a file. How do I do it?

I have found SPC f f which sort of works but the navigation is quite cumbersome. There is also SPC f F but I can't even see a difference.

How do you usually open files?

(I am using spacemacs in vi mode.)

  • 2
    The Emacs interface is based on a very different design than conventional GUIs. The text-based interfaces appear cumbersome, but are quite powerful once you get used to them. If you really want a point-and-click window to pick files, there are probably packages that will provide something for you. However, I'd recommend checking out the "Emacs way" first. Spacemacs uses the file interface from Helm. Here's a tutorial: tuhdo.github.io/helm-intro.html – Tyler Oct 18 '18 at 17:57

Since Spacemacs is build upon Emacs, the regular command for find-file works. Pressing C-x C-f (that is, control x control f) will open the file menu. Spacemacs also includes the Emacs tutorial, which covers this and many other useful things. You can access the tutorial by pressing C-h t (that is, control h t).

Also, since Spacemacs mimics Vim, you could do :e .. to open a file browser.


You can open neotree by using SPC f t then scroll up and down and open a file by hitting the return key. Once you have neotree open you can press ? to see the associated keybindings.

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