Vim plugin for the_platinum_searcher, 'pt', a replacement for the Perl module / CLI script 'ack'


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


The Platinum Searcher

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

git clone pt && cd pt && ./ && sudo make install
cd ~/.vim/bundle && git clone pt && vim +Helptags
  • Or, if you’re using Vundle:
echo "Plugin 'nazo/pt.vim'" >> ~/.vimrc && vim +BundleInstall


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

let g:ptprg="<custom-pt-path-goes-here> --column"


:Pt [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 :Pt, :PtAdd, :LPt, and :LPtAdd respectively. (See doc/ag.txt, or install and :h Pt 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 :Pt '\\\#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 pt.vim 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 pt, and don’t want to stop to install pt. Also, ack supports --type, and a few other features.

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