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File search similar to cmd-t in TextMate

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Tip 1432 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2006 · complexity basic · author Samuel Hughes · version 6.0


  • Need introduction: what is this?
  • Decide what should be removed.


A much better method to get this feature is to install the FuzzyFinder plugin. Use the function FuzzyFinderFile with argument **/ to do a recursive search through the current directory tree.

Put the following in your vimrc so you can invoke the function by pressing F5:

nmap <F5> :FuzzyFinderFile \*\*\/<CR>


map <Leader>t :FufFile **/<CR>

Original tipEdit

This adds capabilities similar to the cmd-t file search feature in TextMate. It uses the Find function from VimTip1234, modified to search recursively whatever directory you are in.

For example, if I am in the "~/alumni" directory and am looking for a file named "admin_controller.rb" somewhere beneath the current directory, I could type:

:Fi adm trol

where "adm" and "trol" are excerpts of "admin_controller.rb". The results will look like this:

1 ./app/controllers/admin_controller.rb
2 ./test/functional/admin_controller_test.rb
Which ? (<enter>=nothing)

Then you type the number next to the file you're searching for and hit Enter.

In other words, it's searching for "*adm*trol*", the asterisks being wildcards. The wildcards replace the spaces from your original search and are also added to the beginning and end of your search keywords.

I use this map for faster access:

map ,f :Fi

The function is:

function! Find(name)
  let l:_name = substitute(a:name, "\\s", "*", "g")
  let l:list=system("find . -iname '*".l:_name."*' -not -name \"*.class\" -and -not -name \"*.swp\" | perl -ne 'print \"$.\\t$_\"'")
  let l:num=strlen(substitute(l:list, "[^\n]", "", "g"))
  if l:num < 1
    echo "'".a:name."' not found"
  if l:num != 1
    echo l:list
    let l:input=input("Which ? (<enter>=nothing)\n")
    if strlen(l:input)==0
    if strlen(substitute(l:input, "[0-9]", "", "g"))>0
      echo "Not a number"
    if l:input<1 || l:input>l:num
      echo "Out of range"
    let l:line=matchstr("\n".l:list, "\n".l:input."\t[^\n]*")
    let l:line=l:list
  let l:line=substitute(l:line, "^[^\t]*\t./", "", "")
  execute ":e ".l:line
command! -nargs=1 Find :call Find("<args>")


searchInRuntime.vim and script#1581 offer similar functionality.

script#2042 is a ruby/curses based plugin that is very similar to the TextMate functionality, though it won't work in gvim and has a few dependencies (listed on the project page).

Change find to grep, map to \* and you get a nice intuitive 'find references' function.

In order to avoid searching in .svn directories, I changed one line in the original function.

let l:list=system("find . -path \"*/.svn\" -prune -o -iname '*".l:_name."*' -not -name \"*.class\" -and -not -name \"*.swp\" -print | perl -ne 'print \"$.\\t$_\"'")

Alternatively you can use Vim's built-in '**' wildcard, e.g.

:edit **/adm*trol<CTRL_D>

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