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Blogs » Asynchronous grep on the fly

23 Jan 2018

FlyGrep means grep on the fly, it will update the result as you type. Of course, it is running asynchronously. Before using this feature, you need to install a searching tool. FlyGrep works through search tools: ag, rg, ack, pt and grep, Choose one you like.

This ia a built-in plugin in SpaceVim, and we also separated a plugin : FlyGrep.vim


In linux os, flygrep use grep by default, if you want a more fast tool, you can choose one of following:


In SpaceVim, you can use SPC s p or SPC s / to search in the current project.

searching project

You can use SPC s s to search in the current file. To search word under the cursor, you can press SPC s S.

searching current file

To searching in all loaded buffers, you need to press SPC s b, and you can also use SPC s B to search word under the point.


If you want to searching in a different directory instead of current directory, you can use SPC s f. Then insert the path of the arbitrary directory.

If you need background searching, you can press SPC s j, after searching is done, the index will be displayed on statusline. you can use SPC s l to list all the search results.

Key bindings

The search commands in SpaceVim are organized under the SPC s prefix with the next key is the tool to use and the last key is the scope. For instance SPC s a b will search in all opened buffers using ag.

If the last key (determining the scope) is uppercase then the current word under the cursor is used as default input for the search. For instance SPC s a B will search with word under cursor.

If the tool key is omitted then a default tool will be automatically selected for the search. This tool corresponds to the first tool found on the system of the list g:spacevim_search_tools, the default calling sequence is rg, ag, pt, ack then grep. For instance SPC s b will search in the opened buffers using pt if rg and ag have not been found on the system.

The tool keys are:

Tool Key
ag a
grep g
ack k
rg r
pt t

The available scopes and corresponding keys are:

Scope Key
opened buffers b
files in a given directory f
current project p

Within FlyGrep buffer:

Key Bindings Descriptions
<Esc> close FlyGrep buffer
<Enter> open file at the cursor line
Ctrl-t open item in new tab
Ctrl-s open item in split window
Ctrl-v open item in vertical split window
Ctrl-q apply all items into quickfix
<Tab> move cursor line down
Shift-<Tab> move cursor line up
<BackSpace> remove last character
Ctrl-w remove the Word before the cursor
Ctrl-u remove the Line before the cursor
Ctrl-k remove the Line after the cursor
Ctrl-a / <Home> Go to the beginning of the line
Ctrl-e / <End> Go to the end of the line

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