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This Sublime Text 2/3 package provides support for working with tags generated by Exuberant CTags

The ctags command is searched for on the system PATH. It works by doing a binary search of a memory-mapped tags file, so it will work efficiently with very large (50MB+) tags files if needed.

See this forum thread for a bit of historical background on the Sublime Text plugin.


The easiest way to install this plugin, is to use the Package Control plugin, by Will Bond

Alternatively, the plugin can be installed manually using one of the following methods.

Using Git

Go to your Sublime Text Packages directory and clone the repository using the command below:

$ git clone

Manual Download

  • Download the files using the .zip download option
  • Unzip the files (and rename the folder to CTags if needed)
  • Copy the folder to your Sublime Text Packages directory

Additional Setup Steps


The default ctags executable in OSX does not support recursive directory search (i.e. ctags -R). To get a proper copy of ctags, use one of the following options:

Ensure that the PATH is updated so the correct version is run:

  • If which ctags doesn't point at ctags in /usr/local/bin, make sure you add /usr/local/bin to your PATH ahead of the folder which ctags reported.
  • Alternatively, add the path to the new ctags executable to the settings, under command. If you have Xcode / Apple Developer Tools installed this path will likely be /usr/local/bin/ctags.


To install ctags use your package manager.

  • For Debian-based systems (Ubuntu, Mint, etc.):

    sudo apt-get install exuberant-ctags
  • For Red Hat-based systems (Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS):

    sudo yum install ctags

And so forth


  • Download the CTags binary from the Exuberant CTags site.
  • Extract ctags.exe from the downloaded zip to C:\Program Files\Sublime Text 2 or any folder within your PATH so that Sublime Text can run it.
  • Alternatively, extract to any folder and add the path to this folder to the command setting.


This uses tag files created by the ctags -R -f .tags command by default (although this can be overriden in settings).

The plugin will try to find a .tags file in the same directory as the current view, walking up directories until it finds one. If it can't find one it will offer to build one (in the directory of the current view)

If a symbol can't be found in a tags file, it will search in additional locations that are specified in the CTags.sublime-settings file (see below).

If you are a Rubyist, you can build a Ruby Gem's tags with the following script:

require 'bundler'
paths =
system("ctags -R -f .gemtags #{paths.join(' ')}")


By default, Sublime will include ctags files in your project, which causes them to show up in the file tree and search results. To disable this behaviour you should add a file_exclude_patterns entry to your Preferences.sublime-settings or your project file. For example:

"file_exclude_patterns": [".tags", ".tags_sorted_by_file", ".gemtags"]

In addition to this setting, there's a CTags.sublime-settings file, which can be edited like any other .sublime-settings file

  • filters will allow you to set scope specific filters against a field of the tag. In the excerpt above, imports tags like from a import b are filtered:

  • extra_tag_paths is a list of extra places to look for keyed by

  • (selector, platform). Note the platform is tested against sublime.platform() so any values that function returns are valid.

  • extra_tag_files is a list of extra files relative to the original file

  • command is the path to the version of ctags to use, for example:

    "command" : "/usr/local/bin/ctags"


    "command" : "C:\Users\<username>\Downloads\CTags\ctag.exe"

The rest of the options are fairly self explanatory.


If there are any problems or you have a suggestion, open an issue, and we will receive a notification.

Thanks :)

Commands Listing

Command Key Binding Alt Binding Mouse Binding
rebuild_ctags ctrl+t, ctrl+r    
navigate_to_definition ctrl+t, ctrl+t ctrl+> ctrl+shift+left_click
jump_prev ctrl+t, ctrl+b ctrl+< ctrl+shift+right_click
show_symbols alt+s    
show_symbols (all files) alt+shift+s    
show_symbols (suffix) ctrl+alt+shift+s