I generally like to use the emacs-gtk3 package for my editing since I find it has better compatibility with my clipboard and a couple packages I use..but I don't like opening files in the GUI version of emacs. I like how I can open a file from the nox version and I can type the path to the file. I find it much more efficient. Is there a setting to prevent Emacs from using the GUI file manager and instead use the one that shows up at the bottom bar? I can't find an answer in any of my searches.

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure what you're asking, but maybe this is it.

If option use-dialog-box is non-nil, and if you use the mouse to invoke a command that asks you for some input such as a file name, then Emacs pops up a dialog box for you to choose the input (e.g. the file name).

If you customize that option to nil then Emacs just prompts you in the minibuffer, and you type the input (e.g. the file name), typically with completion.

C-h v use-dialog-box tells you:

use-dialog-box is a variable defined in C source code.

Its value is t Documentation:

Non-nil means mouse commands use dialog boxes to ask questions.

This applies to y-or-n-p and yes-or-no-p questions asked by commands invoked by mouse clicks and mouse menu items.

On some platforms, file selection dialogs are also enabled if this is non-nil.

You can customize this variable.

This variable was introduced, or its default value was changed, in version 21.1 of Emacs.

  • This is exactly what I was looking for. My "Emacs vocabulary" is very poor so I apologize for the confusion, but thank you so much for pointing that out to me! Nov 27, 2018 at 3:30

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