Speedbar is a program for Emacs which can be used to summarize information related to the current buffer. Its original inspiration is the “explorer” often used in modern development environments, office packages, and web browsers.

Speedbar displays a narrow frame in which a tree view is shown. This tree view defaults to containing a list of files and directories. Files can be “expanded” to list tags inside. Directories can be expanded to list the files within them. Each file or tag can be jumped to immediately.

Speedbar expands upon “explorer” windows by maintaining context with the user. For example, when using the file view, the current buffer’s file is highlighted. Speedbar also mimics the explorer windows by providing multiple display modes. These modes come in two flavors. Major display modes remain consistent across buffers, and minor display modes appear only when a buffer of the applicable type is shown. This allows authors of other packages to provide speedbar summaries customized to the needs of that mode.

Throughout this manual, activities are defined as “clicking on”, or “expanding” items. Clicking means using mouse-2 on a button. Expanding refers to clicking on an expansion button to display an expanded summary of the entry the expansion button is on. See Basic Navigation.

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