Skip to content
Easily locate the cursor after a search
Latest commit da2ce7c Feb 25, 2016 @inside Merge pull request #14 from jebaum/master
add doautocmd back with proper error checking

The vim search pulse plugin: easily locate the cursor after a search


When you perform a search, the cursor jumps to the closest match. It's often hard to locate it's new position. With this plugin the cursor line (by default) or the search pattern will "pulse" thus requiring your eyes attention.

For the cursor line to be set only in the active window you may want to install this plugin:

Activate the cursor line highlighing by putting set cursorline in your .vimrc file.

Cursor line pulse animation:

cursor line pulse

Pattern pulse animation:

pattern pulse


Use pathogen or a pathogen compatible plugin manager.


Sets whether the cursor line pulses (default is cursor_line):

let g:vim_search_pulse_mode = 'cursor_line'

or just the search pattern:

let g:vim_search_pulse_mode = 'pattern'

If you want to set your own mappings, do:

let g:vim_search_pulse_disable_auto_mappings = 1

Otherwise the plugin will do the following for you:

nmap n n<Plug>Pulse
nmap N N<Plug>Pulse
nmap * *<Plug>Pulse
nmap # #<Plug>Pulse
" Pulses cursor line on first match
" when doing search with / or ?
cmap <silent> <expr> <enter> search_pulse#PulseFirst()

The pulse duration is 200 milliseconds by default. You can set your own using the following global variable. For example:

let g:vim_search_pulse_duration = 400

The colors used by the pulse are [237, 238, 239, 240, 241] (gray scale) by default. A color map can be found at:

You can set your own and as many as you want using the following global variable. For example (green scale):

let g:vim_search_pulse_color_list = [22, 28, 34, 40, 46]

If you are using gvim, these are the default colors:

`['#3a3a3a', '#444444', '#4e4e4e', '#585858', '#606060']`

To disable/enable set the value of g:vim_search_pulse_disable to 0 or 1

To execute arbitrary commands before and after pulse runs, use these autocmds:

autocmd User PrePulse
autocmd User PostPulse

For example, to turn on cursorcolumn during the pulse and then off right after:

augroup Pulse
    autocmd! User PrePulse
    autocmd! User PostPulse
    autocmd  User PrePulse  set cursorcolumn
    autocmd  User PostPulse set nocursorcolumn
augroup END

This functionality requires Vim 7.3.438 or newer.

Integration with the incsearch.vim plugin

incsearch.vim provides a very nice improved incremental searching. With a little configuration, it can work with the vim search pulse:

" incsearch and vim search pulse
let g:vim_search_pulse_disable_auto_mappings = 1
let g:incsearch#auto_nohlsearch = 1
map / <Plug>(incsearch-forward)
map ? <Plug>(incsearch-backward)
map g/ <Plug>(incsearch-stay)

" Next or previous match is followed by a Pulse
map n <Plug>(incsearch-nohl-n)<Plug>Pulse
map N <Plug>(incsearch-nohl-N)<Plug>Pulse
map * <Plug>(incsearch-nohl-*)<Plug>Pulse
map # <Plug>(incsearch-nohl-#)<Plug>Pulse
map g* <Plug>(incsearch-nohl-g*)<Plug>Pulse
map g# <Plug>(incsearch-nohl-g#)<Plug>Pulse

" Pulses the first match after hitting the enter keyan
autocmd! User IncSearchExecute
autocmd User IncSearchExecute :call search_pulse#Pulse()

Integration with the vim-asterisk plugin

vim-asterisk provides improved star motions. Here's the configuration:

let g:vim_search_pulse_disable_auto_mappings = 1

nmap * <Plug>(asterisk-*)<Plug>Pulse
nmap # <Plug>(asterisk-#)<Plug>Pulse
nmap n n<Plug>Pulse
nmap N N<Plug>Pulse
" Pulses cursor line on first match
" when doing search with / or ?
cmap <silent> <expr> <enter> search_pulse#PulseFirst()

Known bugs



This plugin is inspired by:

The animated gif was created using

Thanks to everyone who participated in making this plugin better.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.