> Are there any functions that can launch external programs (not just
> command line programs, but also GUI programs) from Emacs?
if you OS support command line to open the gui app, then you can just use emacs's shell-command. e.g. in mac os x, to open TextEdit, do
(shell-command "open -a TextEdit")
Q: How to open the current directory in Desktop?
You can define a function and assign it a keyboard shortcut, so that by pressing a button, emacs will switch you to your operating systems's file manager (aka Desktop) with the current directory open.
On the Mac OS X, this is done with the “/usr/bin/open” command. So, press “Alt+! open .” to have Finder open the current directory. You can define the function this way:
(defun open-with-finder ()
"Open the current file in Mac's Finder."
(shell-command "open ."))
(global-set-key (kbd "
For a documentation of OS X's “open” command, see “man open”.
On Microsoft Windows, you can use “explorer.exe” instead of the “open” command.
the above is from
• Emacs and HTML Tips
• Elisp Lesson: Execute/Compile Current File