I've used Dired, the Emacs directory editor, on occasion for a long time. Like anything with Emacs, there are the commands that get wired into your fingers, and those that you never quite remember. Here's a bit of getting better with dired.
Sometimes it's helpful to take a quick look at a file before deciding to rename or delete it:
|o||open in other window (below in frame). Reuses bottom window.|
|C-o||Display file in other window, but do not select it.|
`C-o` is especially helpful for a quick look, since the keyboard focus stays in the dired buffer.
I also found a helpful function on the Emacs Wiki page for Dired Find File Other Frame. It opens a file in a new frame, instead of just a new window. I added a slight variant to open the file read only (view mode) in a new frame as well.
(defun dired-find-file-other-frame () "In Dired, visit this file or directory in another frame." (interactive) (find-file-other-frame (dired-get-file-for-visit))) (defun wt/dired-find-file-read-only-other-frame () "In Dired, visit this file or directory in another frame." (interactive) (find-file-read-only-other-frame (dired-get-file-for-visit))) (eval-after-load "dired" '(progn (define-key dired-mode-map "F" 'dired-find-file-other-frame) (define-key dired-mode-map "V" 'dired-find-file-read-only-other-frame)))
Finally, a little non-dired bonus hack, from the Emacs Wiki page on Killing Buffers:
(substitute-key-definition 'kill-buffer 'kill-buffer-and-its-windows global-map)
This changes C-x C-k to kill the windows, and frame if appropriate, that were showing a buffer when it is killed. I'm not sure it works best yet, but I'm giving it a try now.