Filter buffer on a search result
From Vim Tips Wiki
created 2008 · complexity basic · author Niels AdB · version 7.0
You may want to list all lines in the current buffer that match a pattern, for example, list all lines containing "Warning". The following script copies all matching lines to a scratch (temporary) buffer. You can then examine the list, or save it to a file.
Create a file called (for example) filter.vim containing:
" Gather search hits, and display in a new scratch buffer. function! Gather(pattern) if !empty(a:pattern) let save_cursor = getpos(".") let orig_ft = &ft " append search hits to results list let results =  execute "g/" . a:pattern . "/call add(results, getline('.'))" call setpos('.', save_cursor) if !empty(results) " put list in new scratch buffer new setlocal buftype=nofile bufhidden=hide noswapfile execute "setlocal filetype=".orig_ft call append(1, results) 1d " delete initial blank line endif endif endfunction " Delete the current buffer if it is a scratch buffer (any changes are lost). function! CloseScratch() if &buftype == "nofile" && &bufhidden == "hide" && !&swapfile " this is a scratch buffer bdelete return 1 endif return 0 endfunction nnoremap <silent> <Leader>f :call Gather(input("Search for: "))<CR> nnoremap <silent> <Leader>F :call Gather(@/)<CR> nnoremap <silent> <Esc> :call CloseScratch()<CR>
In Vim, the command
:source filter.vim will execute the script.
Assuming the default leader key (backslash), you can now:
\fand enter a pattern when prompted.
\Fto filter on the last search pattern.
- Press Escape to close the scratch buffer listing the search hits.
For example, you could put the cursor on a word and press
* to search for the next occurrence of that word. If you now type
\F a new window will open with a list of all lines that contain the word you searched for. Press Escape to close the window.
 Alternative procedures
A simple procedure to list all lines matching a pattern is:
" Print all lines that contain "pattern". :g/pattern/p " Following is equivalent. :g/pattern
The following will delete all lines that do not contain a pattern, leaving only the search hits. You could then press
u to undo the changes.
 See also
- Folding with Regular Expression to fold away lines without a search pattern rather than modifying it or using a scratch buffer
- Search for lines not containing pattern for some simple techniques to display lines of interest
- Copy the search results into clipboard to copy matching patterns (not lines)
- Redirect g search output uses
g//pfor a limited one-line version of this tip
- List lines with current search pattern highlighted defines command
PPto highlight matches displayed with