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Getting name of the function

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created October 15, 2001 · complexity intermediate · author Nitin Raut · version 5.7

While browsing code one always needs to know which function you are currently looking. Getting the name is very painful when the functions are lengthy and you are currently browsing NOT near to the start of the function. You can get the function's name by using this simple mapping.

Just place this in your vimrc.

map _F ma[[k"xyy`a:echo @x<CR>

Now _F will display which function you are currently in.

The working is as follows, mark the current line with a, jump to the previous '{' in the first column, go one line up, yank the line in register x, return to the mark a, echo the value of register x, which is the wanted function name.


Using Vim 6.0 (running on a terminal emulator) I found this to be quite useful, but ugly, since the function name is being displayed 2 lines above the bottom of the screen, along with the message "Hit ENTER or type command to continue" on the bottom line of the screen.

after a bit of investigation, I found that this is because the line being copied has a carriage return at the end of the line, which is then being echoed. so, if instead you use:

map _F ma[[k"xy$`a:echo @x<CR>

the line without the carriage return is copied, so now the function name is displayed on the bottom line of the screen, and there is no additional message, or key press required.

I am still getting the message when the function name is longer than the width of the screen, but this is quite rare in my code. converting this into a funciton should allow more complex processing of the line to fix that problem also. I may have a go at some point.

I used to use a macro like this, but I find a more 'vi' way to do this is as follows:

Press [[ to get to the start of the function and look around if you want.
Then type '' (that's two single quotes) to return you to where you were.

It's more keystrokes, but it lets you not have to deal with functions that aren't formated as you'd expect.

Interesting, I didn't know about that command. This does suggest the further incremental improvement to the macro:

map _F [[k"xy$``:echo @x<CR>

Which saves playing around with the users markers. Personally I prefer the macro because I can see the code and the function name all at once, which means I don't have to remember quite so much <g>

Using a plugin like TagsBase will allow you to do this for many more languages.

If you are using the old formatting style ("the one true formatting style"), i.e.

int something() {


then this won't work. You can use the following instead:

map _F ma][%0"xy$`a:echo @x<CR>

][ finds the next '}' on the first column, % finds the complementary '{', '0' goes to the beginning of line.

This is a diff version based on examples presented and based on an older version - I can't remember who wrote it initially - identifies the name of current function and highlight it.

map _F mk][%?^[A-Za-z_].*(<CR>V"ky`k:echo "<C-R>k"<CR>

If you have multi-line functions like:

int foo (int p1, int p2,
 int p3, int p4){


Event "map _F ma][%0"xy$`a:echo @x<CR>" wouldn't work.

Use the following, this works all types of (weird) function formatting style:

map _F ma][%b%b"xyy`a:echo @x<CR>

b skips white-spaces(including new lines, if any) in backwards, % finds matching ( for ) and another b skips white-spaces to go to the name of the function. btw, I found \f mapping to be easier to type than _F.

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