Vim plugin for the_silver_searcher, 'ag', a replacement for the Perl module / CLI script 'ack'. Neovim Async supported


This plugin is a front for ag, A.K.A. the_silver_searcher. Ag can be used as a replacement for 153% of the uses of ack. This plugin will allow you to run ag from vim, and shows the results in a split window.

What is the difference with ag.vim and why does this exist?

I wanted to develop some new features for ag.vim that would enable it to work smoothly with Neovim, the biggest change is that on Neovim this plugin now works 100% asynchronous. I also just wanted more options.

I was not able to get in touch with the ag.vim people so I decided I’d just continue on my own. Issue’s and pull requests are always welcome! If some people from the original ag.vim read this, please let me know if You want to pull some parts of this into ag.vim. That was my main goal to begin with.


The Silver Searcher

You have to first install ag, itself. On Mac+Homebrew, Gentoo Linux, several others, there’s package named the_silver_searcher, but if your OS/distro don’t have one, the GitHub repo installs fine:

git clone ag && cd ag && ./ && sudo make install
cd ~/.vim/bundle && git clone ag && vim +Helptags
  • Or, if you’re using Vundle:
echo "Plugin 'numkil/ag.nvim'" >> ~/.vimrc && vim +BundleInstall
echo "NeoBundle 'numkil/ag.nvim'" >> ~/.vimrc && vim +NeoBundleInstall
  • Or, if you don’t use any sort of Vim plugin management:
cd ~/.vim/bundle && git clone ag && echo "set runtimepath^=~/.vim/bundle/ag" >> ~/.vimrc

Then open vim and rum :helptags ~/.vim/bundle/ag/doc.


You can specify a custom ag name and path in your .vimrc like so:

let g:agprg="<custom-ag-path-goes-here> --column"

You can configure ag.nvim to always start searching from your project root instead of the cwd

let g:ag_working_path_mode="r"


:Ag [options] {pattern} [{directory}]

Search recursively in {directory} (which defaults to the current directory) for the {pattern}.

Files containing the search term will be listed in the split window, along with the line number of the occurrence, once for each occurrence. [Enter] on a line in this window will open the file, and place the cursor on the matching line.

Just like where you use :grep, :grepadd, :lgrep, and :lgrepadd, you can use :Ag, :AgAdd, :LAg, and :LAgAdd respectively. (See doc/ag.txt, or install and :h Ag for more information.)


Some characters have special meaning, and need to be escaped your search pattern. For instance, ‘#’. You have to escape it like this :Ag '\\\#define foo' to search for #define foo. (From blueyed in issue #5.)

Sometimes git grep is even faster, though in my experience it’s not noticeably so.

Keyboard Shortcuts

In the quickfix window, you can use:

e    to open file and close the quickfix window
o    to open (same as enter)
go   to preview file (open but maintain focus on ag.nvim results)
t    to open in new tab
T    to open in new tab silently
h    to open in horizontal split
H    to open in horizontal split silently
v    to open in vertical split
gv   to open in vertical split silently
q    to close the quickfix window


This Vim plugin is derived (and by derived, I mean copied, almost entirely) from milesz’s ack.vim, which I also recommend installing since you might be in a situation where you have ack but not ag, and don’t want to stop to install ag. Also, ack supports --type, and a few other features.

Related Repositories



Vim plugin for the_silver_searcher, 'ag', a replacement for the Perl module / CLI script 'ack'. Neovim Async supported ...

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