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Search context in Vim in a sidebar using `ag` output
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The quickfix window is great, but it would be nice to get some context around our searches. This plugin adds ag output to a side buffer with quick navigation mappings using comfortable Vim conventions.

Simple Demo


  • step through ag output instead of quickfix output
  • syntax highlighting of ag output
  • mappable to search current word under cursor
  • configurable g:side_search_prg similar to grepprg
  • vertical or horizontal split output via g:side_search_splitter

Buffer Mappings

n/N             - Cursor to next/prev
<C-n>/<C-p>     - Open next/prev
<CR>|<DblClick> - Open at cursor
<C-w><CR>       - Open and jump to window
qf              - :grep! to Quickfix


We rely on The Silver Searcher to perform our file/text searches for us. Theoretically any program which has the same output could also work, but that we only test using ag output.

To install ag command on OSX:

brew install the_silver_searcher

For refer to The Silver Searcher for more instructions.

Global Configuration

" How should we execute the search?
" --heading and --stats are required!
let g:side_search_prg = 'ag --word-regexp'
  \. " --ignore='*'"
  \. " --heading --stats -B 1 -A 4"

" Can use `vnew` or `new`
let g:side_search_splitter = 'vnew'

" I like 40% splits, change it if you don't
let g:side_search_split_pct = 0.4

Suggested Mapping

" SideSearch current word and return to original window
nnoremap <Leader>ss :SideSearch <C-r><C-w><CR> | wincmd p

" Create an shorter `SS` command
command! -complete=file -nargs=+ SS execute 'SideSearch <args>'

" or command abbreviation
cabbrev SS SideSearch


How to search for multi-word terms?

Surround terms with double quotes

:SideSearch "cats and dogs"

How to pass extra args to ag?

Just do it :)

:SideSearch --js MyAwesomeComponent
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