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How can I more easily switch between buffers in Emacs:?

I've recently started using emacs and I'm enjoying using it for the most part. The only thing I'm not enjoying, is switching between buffers. I often have a few buffers open and I've grown tired of using C-x b and C-x C-b, are there any packages that make switching between buffers easier? I've looked into emacs wiki on switching buffers and I'd appreciate insight/feedback on what are are using/enjoying. Thanks.

 

UPDATE: iswitchb-mode is obsolete in Emacs >= 24.4, replaced by ido.

All of the features of iswitchdb are now provided by ido. Ross provided a link to the documentation in his answer. You can activate with the following in your .emacs (or use the customization interface as Ross suggests):

(require 'ido)
(ido-mode 'buffers) ;; only use this line to turn off ido for file names!
(setq ido-ignore-buffers '("^ " "*Completions*" "*Shell Command Output*"
               "*Messages*" "Async Shell Command"))

By default, ido provides completions for buffer names and file names. If you only want to replace the features of iswitchb, the second line turns off this feature for file names. ido will ignore any buffers that match the regexps listed in ido-ignore-buffers.

The behaviour described below for iswitchb-mode applies equally to ido for switching buffers.

iswitchb-mode (Emacs < 24.4)

iswitchb-mode replaces the default C-x b behaviour with a very intuitive buffer-switching-with-completion system. There are more sophisticated options, but I've never needed more than this.

After you hit C-x b, you are presented with a list of all buffers. Start typing the name of the buffer you want (or part of its name), and the list is narrowed until only one buffer matches. You don't need to complete the name, though, as soon as the buffer you want is highlighted hitting enter will move you to it. You can also use C-s and C-r to move through the list in order.

You can turn it on by default with this in your .emacs:

(iswitchb-mode 1)

You can also tell it to ignore certain buffers that you never (or very rarely) need to switch to:

(setq iswitchb-buffer-ignore '("^ " "*Completions*" "*Shell Command Output*"
               "*Messages*" "Async Shell Command"))
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