Today, I stumbled upon Kirubakaran Athmanathan's post Efficiently Browsing Text or Code and learned a new Emacs trick. Athmanathan's post is about leveraging the power of Emacs to efficiently find some text in a large group of files, choose the important files from the search, and then operate on those files in some manner.
One trick he used that is new to me is
virtual-dired. Suppose you have a complicated script that generates a listing (
ls -lR style) of files. If the script is named
file-filter you can use 【Ctrl+u Meta+!】
file-filter to dump the listing into an Emacs buffer and then turn it into a
dired buffer with 【Meta+x】
virtual-dired. Now you have a custom
dired buffer with all the power of
dired at your disposal. Very nice.
Be sure to follow the link and read Athmanathan's post for other ways of using Emacs to browse files.