I open Emacs from the command line to inspect 10+ files, say like this:

emacs *.java

However, all the files are listed in reverse order. This is getting kind of annoying--I'd like to start with the A files, not the Z files. Is there any way to just reverse all the buffers? Or even better, a command-line option that opens the files in reverse order, so that Emacs has them the right way around? (Without explicitly typing in every file.)

1 Answer 1


They're "visited" in the order given, and the buffer list you see sorts them (by default) by order of "recency". But you can sort them some other way, such as alphabetically: move the cursor into the column of buffer names and press S to sort them by their name.

I found this solution in the following way: - C-h m showed me the description of buffer-menu-mode. - In that description C-s sort told me there's no sorting option specific to that mode, but C-s parent showed this mode derives from tabulated-list-mode, so I clicked on this name to find the doc of that parent mode. - C-s sort C-s to find that S is bound to tabulated-list-sort which does the trick.

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    I'm not convinced that the OP is looking at the buffer list: my guess is that he is just seeing the buffer of the last file in the command-line sequence as the current buffer and he would like to see the buffer of the first file instead; then killing a buffer should reveal the buffer of the next file in the sequence.
    – NickD
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 6:36
  • I'm not sure I follow; isn't C-s just a search function? Killing a buffer does indeed reveal the next buffer. It's not that I can't find a given file, it's that they're in a really wonky order. I'd like to alphabetize the buffers, so that when I move between them (say with C-x (arrow)) I get the next file alphabetically.
    – Adam Smith
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 0:13

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