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2. Basic Navigation

Speedbar can display different types of data, and has several display and behavior modes. These modes all have a common behavior, menu system, and look. If one mode is learned, then the other modes are easy to use.

2.1 Basic Key Bindings  
2.2 Basic Visuals  
2.3 Mouse Bindings  
2.4 Displays Submenu  

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2.1 Basic Key Bindings

These key bindings are common across all modes:

delete, SPC
Scroll up and down one page.
Quit speedbar, and kill the frame.
Quit speedbar, and hide the frame. This makes it faster to restore the speedbar frame, than if you press Q.
Refresh whatever contents are in speedbar.
Toggle speedbar to and from slowbar mode. In slowbar mode, frame tracking is not done.
Move, respectively, to the next or previous item. A summary of that item will be displayed in the attached frame's minibuffer.
Move to the next or previous item in a restricted fashion. If a list is open, the cursor will skip over it. If the cursor is in an open list, it will not leave it.
Move forwards and backwards across extended groups. This lets you quickly skip over all files, directories, or other common sub-items at the same current depth.
C-x b
Switch buffers in the attached frame.

Speedbar can handle multiple modes. Two are provided by default. These modes are File mode, and Buffers mode. There are accelerators to switch into these different modes.

Switch into Quick Buffers mode (see section 4. Buffer Mode). After one use, the previous display mode is restored.
Switch into File mode.
Switch back to the previous mode.

Some modes provide groups, lists and tags. See section 2.2 Basic Visuals. When these are available, some additional common bindings are available.

Edit/Open the current group or tag. This behavior is dependent on the mode. In general, files or buffers are opened in the attached frame, and directories or group nodes are expanded locally.
Expand the current group, displaying sub items. When used with a prefix argument, any data that may have been cached is flushed. This is similar to a power click. See section 2.3 Mouse Bindings.
Contract the current group, hiding sub items.

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2.2 Basic Visuals

Speedbar has visual cues for indicating different types of data. These cues are used consistently across the different speedbar modes to make them easier to interpret.

At a high level, in File mode, there are directory buttons, sub directory buttons, file buttons, tag buttons, and expansion buttons. This makes it easy to use the mouse to navigate a directory tree, and quickly view files, or a summary of those files.

The most basic visual effect used to distinguish between these button types is color and mouse highlighting. Anything the mouse highlights can be clicked on and is called a button (see section 2.3 Mouse Bindings). Anything not highlighted by the mouse will not be clickable.

Text in speedbar consists of four different types of data. Knowing how to read these textual elements will make it easier to navigate by identifying the types of data available.

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Groups summarize information in a single line, and provide a high level view of more complex systems, like a directory tree, or manual chapters.

Groups appear at different indentation levels, and are prefixed with a `+' in some sort of `box'. The group name will summarize the information within it, and the expansion box will display that information inline. In File mode, directories and files are `groups' where the `+' is surrounded by brackets like this:

<+> include
<-> src
 [+] foo.c

In this example, we see both open and closed directories, in addition to a file. The directories have a box consisting of angle brackets, and a file uses square brackets.

In all modes, a group can be `edited' by pressing RET, meaning a file will be opened, or a directory explicitly opened in speedbar. A group can be expanded or contracted using + or -. See section 2.1 Basic Key Bindings.

Sometimes groups may have a `?' in its indicator box. This means that it is a group type, but there are no contents, or no known way of extracting contents of that group.

When a group has been expanded, the indicator button changes from `+' to `-'. This indicates that the contents are being shown. Click the `-' button to contract the group, or hide the contents currently displayed.

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Tags are the leaf nodes of the tree system. Tags are generally prefixed with a simple character, such as `>'. Tags can only be jumped to using RET or e.

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Sometimes a group or tag is given a boolean flag. These flags appear as extra text characters at the end of the line. File mode uses boolean flags, such as a `*' to indicate that a file has been checked out of a versioning system.

For additional flags, see 3. File Mode, and 6.3 Version Control.

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Unadorned text generally starts in column 0, without any special symbols prefixing them. In Buffers mode different buffer groups are prefixed with a description of what the following buffers are (Files, scratch buffers, and invisible buffers.)

Unadorned text will generally be colorless, and not clickable.

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Each type of Group, item indicator, and label is given a different color. The colors chosen are dependent on whether the background color is light or dark. Of important note is that the `current item', which may be a buffer or file name, is highlighted red, and underlined.

Colors can be customized from the group speedbar-faces. Some modes, such as for Info, will use the Info colors instead of default speedbar colors as an indication of what is currently being displayed.

The face naming convention mirrors the File display mode. Modes which do not use files will attempt to use the same colors on analogous entries.

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2.3 Mouse Bindings

The mouse has become a common information navigation tool. Speedbar will use the mouse to navigate file systems, buffer lists, and other data. The different textual cues provide buttons which can be clicked on (see section 2.2 Basic Visuals). Anything that highlights can be clicked on with the mouse, or affected by the menu.

The mouse bindings are:

Move cursor to that location.
Activate the current button. Double-Mouse-1 is called a double click on other platforms, and is useful for windows users with two button mice.
This has the same effect as Mouse-2, except it is called a power click. This means that if a group with an expansion button `+' is clicked, any caches are flushed, and subitems re-read. If it is a name, it will be opened in a new frame.
Activate the speedbar menu. The item selected affects the line clicked, not the line where the cursor was.
Mouse-1 (mode line)
Activate the menu. This affects the item the cursor is on before the click, since the mouse was not clicked on anything.
Buffers sub-menu. The buffer in the attached frame is switched.

When the mouse moves over buttons in speedbar, details of that item should be displayed in the minibuffer of the attached frame. Sometimes this can contain extra information such as file permissions, or tag location.

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2.4 Displays Submenu

You can display different data by using different display modes. These specialized modes make it easier to navigate the relevant pieces of information, such as files and directories, or buffers.

In the main menu, found by clicking Mouse-3, there is a submenu labeled `Displays'. This submenu lets you easily choose between different display modes.

The contents are modes currently loaded into emacs. By default, this would include Files, Quick Buffers, and Buffers. Other major display modes such as Info are loaded separately.

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