An Emacs frame can have a speedbar, which is a vertical window that serves as a scrollable menu of files you could visit and tags within those files. To create a speedbar, type M-x speedbar; this creates a speedbar window for the selected frame. From then on, you can click on a file name in the speedbar to visit that file in the corresponding Emacs frame, or click on a tag name to jump to that tag in the Emacs frame.
Initially the speedbar lists the immediate contents of the current directory, one file per line. Each line also has a box, `[+]' or `<+>', that you can click on with Mouse-2 to "open up" the contents of that item. If the line names a directory, opening it adds the contents of that directory to the speedbar display, underneath the directory's own line. If the line lists an ordinary file, opening it up adds a list of the tags in that file to the speedbar display. When a file is opened up, the `[+]' changes to `[-]'; you can click on that box to "close up" that file (hide its contents).
Some major modes, including Rmail mode, Info, and GUD, have specialized ways of putting useful items into the speedbar for you to select. For example, in Rmail mode, the speedbar shows a list of Rmail files, and lets you move the current message to another Rmail file by clicking on its `<M>' box.
A speedbar belongs to one Emacs frame, and always operates on that frame. If you use multiple frames, you can make a speedbar for some or all of the frames; type M-x speedbar in any given frame to make a speedbar for it.
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