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*ctrlp.txt* Full path fuzzy file, buffer and MRU file finder. v1.5.6
*CtrlP* *ControlP* *'ctrlp'* *'ctrl-p'*
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CONTENTS *ctrlp-contents*
5.Input Formats...........................|ctrlp-input-formats|
1. Intro *ctrlp-intro*
Full path fuzzy file, buffer and MRU file finder with an intuitive interface.
Written in pure Vimscript for MacVim and Vim version 7.0+. Has full support for
Vim’s |regexp| as search pattern, built-in MRU monitoring, project’s root
finder, and more.
See also |ctrlp-input-formats| and |ctrlp-fullregexp|.
2. Options *ctrlp-options*
Below are the available options and their default values.
Use this option to change the mapping to invoke |CtrlP| in |Normal| mode: >
let g:ctrlp_map = '<c-p>'
Use this option to disable the plugin completely: >
let g:loaded_ctrlp = 1
Set this to 1 to set search by filename (not full path) as the default: >
let g:ctrlp_by_filename = 0
Set this to 1 to set full |regexp| search as the default mode: >
let g:ctrlp_regexp_search = 0
Set this to 0 to show the match window at the top of the screen: >
let g:ctrlp_match_window_bottom = 1
Reverse the sort order of the matched files in the match window. The default
setting is from bottom to top: >
let g:ctrlp_match_window_reversed = 1
Set the maximum height of the match window: >
let g:ctrlp_max_height = 10
Use this option to specify how the file is to be opened when pressing <cr>:
1 - in a new tab
2 - in a new horizontal split
3 - in a new vertical split
0 - in the current window
let g:ctrlp_split_window = 0
Set this to 0 to disable the jump-to-open-buffer feature; set to 2 to also jump
tab if the selected buffer’s opened in another tab: >
let g:ctrlp_jump_to_buffer = 1
When starting up the prompt, automatically set the working directory (i.e. the
|current-directory|) to:
1 - the parent directory of the current file.
2 - the nearest ancestor that contains one of these directories/files:
0 - don’t manage working directory.
let g:ctrlp_working_path_mode = 1
You can use this functionality outside of |CtrlP| by adding the following line
to your |.vimrc|; the parameter is the same (1, 2 and 0): >
au BufEnter * cal ctrlp#SetWorkingPath(2)
Use this to set your own root markers for the |SetWorkingPath()| function, in
addition to the default ones. Your markers will take precedence: >
let g:ctrlp_root_markers = ['']
Set this to 0 to disable per-session caching. When disabled, caching will still
be enabled for directories that have more than 4000 files: >
let g:ctrlp_use_caching = 1
Note: you can quickly purge the cache by pressing <F5> while inside |CtrlP|.
Set this to 0 to enable cross-sessions caching by not deleting the caches upon
exiting Vim: >
let g:ctrlp_clear_cache_on_exit = 1
Set the parent directory for the '.ctrlp_cache' directory: >
let g:ctrlp_cache_dir = $HOME
Use this to customize the mappings inside |CtrlP|’s prompt to your liking. You
only need to keep the lines that you’ve changed the values (inside []): >
let g:ctrlp_prompt_mappings = {
\ 'PrtBS()': ['<bs>'],
\ 'PrtDelete()': ['<del>'],
\ 'PrtDeleteWord()': ['<c-w>'],
\ 'PrtClear()': ['<c-u>'],
\ 'PrtSelectMove("j")': ['<c-j>', '<down>'],
\ 'PrtSelectMove("k")': ['<c-k>', '<up>'],
\ 'PrtHistory(-1)': ['<c-n>'],
\ 'PrtHistory(1)': ['<c-p>'],
\ 'AcceptSelection("e")': ['<cr>'],
\ 'AcceptSelection("h")': ['<c-x>', '<c-cr>', '<c-s>'],
\ 'AcceptSelection("t")': ['<c-t>'],
\ 'AcceptSelection("v")': ['<c-v>', '<c-q>'],
\ 'ToggleFocus()': ['<tab>'],
\ 'ToggleRegex()': ['<c-r>'],
\ 'ToggleByFname()': ['<c-d>'],
\ 'ToggleType(1)': ['<c-f>', '<c-up'],
\ 'ToggleType(-1)': ['<c-b>', '<c-down>'],
\ 'PrtCurStart()': ['<c-a>'],
\ 'PrtCurEnd()': ['<c-e>'],
\ 'PrtCurLeft()': ['<c-h>', '<left>'],
\ 'PrtCurRight()': ['<c-l>', '<right>'],
\ 'PrtClearCache()': ['<F5>'],
\ 'CreateNewFile()': ['<c-y>'],
\ 'MarkToOpen()': ['<c-z>'],
\ 'OpenMulti()': ['<c-o>'],
\ 'PrtExit()': ['<esc>', '<c-c>', '<c-g>'],
\ }
Set this to 0 to completely disable the Most Recently Used files feature: >
let g:ctrlp_mru_files = 1
Specify the number of recently opened files you want |CtrlP| to remember: >
let g:ctrlp_mruf_max = 150
Files you don’t want |CtrlP| to remember; use |regexp| to specify the patterns:
let g:ctrlp_mruf_exclude = ''
Examples: >
let g:ctrlp_mruf_exclude = '/tmp/.*\|/temp/.*' " MacOSX/Linux
let g:ctrlp_mruf_exclude = '^C:\\dev\\tmp\\.*' " Windows
And if you want |CtrlP| to only remember some files, specify them here: >
let g:ctrlp_mruf_include = ''
Example: >
let g:ctrlp_mruf_include = '\.py$\|\.rb$'
Set this to 0 if you don’t want |CtrlP| to search for dotfiles and dotdirs: >
let g:ctrlp_dotfiles = 1
You can also use |'wildignore'| to exclude anything from the search.
e.g. exclude version control directories from the results: >
set wildignore+=*/.git/*,*/.hg/*,*/.svn/* " Linux/MacOSX
set wildignore+=.git\*,.hg\*,.svn\* " Windows
Note: the `*/` in front of each dotfile glob is required for the dotfiles
search feature to work correctly along side with |wildignore|. If you’ve
disabled dotfiles search (set |g:ctrlp_dotfiles| to 0), then you can ignore
Other note: |wildignore| influences the result of |expand()|, |globpath()| and
|glob()| which many plugins use to find stuff on the system (e.g. fugitive.vim
looks for .git/, some other plugins look for external .exe tools on Windows).
So be a little mindful of what you put in your |wildignore|.
Use this to enable/disable highlighting of the matched patterns and to specify
the highlight group that’ll be used: >
let g:ctrlp_highlight_match = [1, 'Identifier']
The maximum number of files to scan, set to 0 for no limit: >
let g:ctrlp_max_files = 20000
The maximum depth of a directory tree to recurse into: >
let g:ctrlp_max_depth = 40
Note: the larger the value, the more memory Vim uses.
Specify an external tool to use for indexing files instead of Vim’s globpath().
Use %s in place of the target directory: >
let g:ctrlp_user_command = ''
Examples: >
let g:ctrlp_user_command = 'find %s -type f' " MacOSX/Linux
let g:ctrlp_user_command = 'dir %s /-n /b /s /a-d' " Windows
You can also use 'grep', 'findstr' or something else to filter the results.
Examples: >
let g:ctrlp_user_command = 'find %s -type f | grep (?!tmp/.*)'
let g:ctrlp_user_command = 'dir %s /-n /b /s /a-d | findstr .*\.py$'
Use version control listing commands: >
let g:ctrlp_user_command = [marker, command, secondary_command]
If the secondary_command is empty or not defined, globpath() will be used.
Examples: >
let g:ctrlp_user_command = ['.git/', 'cd %s && git ls-files']
let g:ctrlp_user_command = ['.hg/', 'hg --cwd %s locate --fullpath -I .']
Use this option to specify how the newly created file is to be opened when
pressing <c-y>:
1 - in a new tab
2 - in a new horizontal split
3 - in a new vertical split
0 - in the current window
let g:ctrlp_open_new_file = 3
The maximum number of input strings you want |CtrlP| to remember. The default
value mirrors Vim’s global |'history'| option. E.g. `set history=50`: >
let g:ctrlp_max_history = &history
Set to 0 to disable prompt’s history.
If non-zero this will enable opening multiple files with <c-z> and <c-o>: >
let g:ctrlp_open_multi = 1
If bigger than 1, it’ll be used as the maximum number of windows to create when
opening the files (the rest will be hidden buffers). If is 1, it’ll open all
files, each in a vertical split.
3. Commands *ctrlp-commands*
:CtrlP [starting-directory]
Open the |CtrlP| prompt in find files mode.
If no argument is given, the value of |g:ctrlp_working_path_mode| will be
used to determine the starting directory.
You can use <tab> to auto-complete the path when typing it.
Open the |CtrlP| prompt in find buffers mode.
Open the |CtrlP| prompt in find Most-Recently-Used files mode.
Flush the cache for the current working directory. Same as pressing <F5>.
Delete all the cache files saved in |ctrlp_cache_dir|.
Reset all options, take in new values of the option variables (section 2).
The following commands ignore the value of |g:ctrlp_working_path_mode|:
Find files in the |current-directory| (without changing it).
Find files in the same directory as the current file, regardless of what the
|current-directory| is.
Same as |:CtrlPCurFile| but start from the project’s root.
Check |g:ctrlp_working_path_mode| to see how |CtrlP| finds a root.
4. Mappings *ctrlp-mappings*
Default |Normal| mode mapping to open the |CtrlP| prompt.
Once inside the prompt:
<c-r> *'ctrlp-fullregexp'*
Toggle between the string mode (section 5.a & b) and full |regexp| mode.
(note: in full |regexp| mode, the prompt’s base is 'r>>' instead of '>>>')
See also |input-formats| and |g:ctrlp_regexp_search|.
Toggle between full path search and filename only search.
(note: in filename mode, the prompt’s base is '>d>' instead of '>>>')
<c-f>, 'forward'
Toggle between searching files and searching buffers. Or switch to the
'next' search type in the sequence; currently files, buffers and most
recently used files (MRU Files) are available.
<c-b>, 'backward'
Toggle between searching files and searching buffers. Or switch to the
'previous' search type in the sequence.
Toggle the focus between the match window and the prompt.
Move selection down
Move selection up
Move the cursor to the 'start' of the prompt
Move the cursor to the 'end' of the prompt
Move the cursor one character to the 'left'
Move the cursor one character to the 'right'
Delete a preceding inner word
Clear the input field
Open selected file with the method specified with |g:ctrlp_split_window|
Open selected file in a new 'tab'
Open selected file in a 'vertical' split
Open selected file in a 'horizontal' split
Create a new file and its parent directories.
'Next' string in the prompt’s history
'Previous' string in the prompt’s history
Mark/unmark a file to be opened with <c-o>.
Open files marked by <c-z>.
Refresh the match window and purge the cache for the current directory.
Exit |CtrlP|. <c-c> can also be used to stop the files scan.
Chose your own mappings with |g:ctrlp_prompt_mappings|.
When inside the match window (press <tab> to switch):
Cycle through the lines with the first letter (of paths or filenames) that
matches that key.
5. Input Formats *ctrlp-input-formats*
Formats for inputting in the prompt:
a) Simple string. e.g. 'abc' is understood internally as 'a[^a]\{-}b[^b]\{-}c'
b) Vim |regexp|. If the input string contains '*' or '|', it’ll be treated as
a Vim’s |regexp| |pattern| without any modification.
e.g. 'abc\d*efg' will be read as 'abc\d*efg'.
See also |ctrlp-fullregexp| and |g:ctrlp_regexp_search|.
c) End the string with a colon ':' followed by a Vim command to execute that
command after opening the file. If you need to use ':' in the command,
escape it with a backslash: '\:'.
e.g. 'abc:45' will open the selected file and jump to line 45.
'abc:/my\:function' will open the selected file and jump to the first
instance of 'my:function'.
'abc:+setf\ myfiletype|50' will open the selected file and set its
filetype to 'myfiletype' then jump to line 50.
See also |++opt| and |+cmd|.
d) Type exactly two dots (..) at the start of the line and press enter to go
backward in the directory tree by 1 level. If the parent directory is
large, this might be slow.
e) Type the name of a non-existent file and press <c-y> to create it.
e.g. 'parentdir/file.txt' will create a directory named 'parentdir' as well
as 'file.txt'. Use '\' in place of '/' on Windows (if |'ssl'| is not set).
f) Submit ? to open this help file.
6. Credits *ctrlp-credits*
Developed by Kien Nguyen (, based on the Command-T and the
LustyExplorer plugins. No code was taken from these plugins, but I did clone
the majority of their (awesome) interfaces and the way they work.
This was originally written as a module for a would-be larger plugin called
AutoDoc.vim which I’ve stopped developing because of lost of interest. I really
liked the way Command-T and LustyExplorer deal with user’s input, so I wrote a
pure Vimscript version of their prompt window, intended to use it for the
aforementioned plugin.
Git repository:
Mercurial repository:
Thanks to everyone that has submitted ideas, bug reports, helped debugging or
coming up with solutions on gibhub, bitbucket, and through email.
+ New feature: Add support for user-made extensions.
<F5> now removes non-existent files from MRU list.
+ New option: |g:ctrlp_jump_to_buffer|
Before 2011/10/12
+ New features: Open multiple files.
Pass Vim’s ++opt and +cmd to the opening file (section 5.c)
Auto-complete each dir for |:CtrlP| [starting-directory]
+ New mappings: <c-z> mark/unmark a file to be opened with <c-o>.
<c-o> open all marked files.
+ New option: |g:ctrlp_open_multi|
+ Remove |g:ctrlp_persistent_input|, |g:ctrlp_live_update| and <c-^>.
Before 2011/09/29
+ New mappings: <c-n>, <c-p> next/prev string in the input history.
<c-y> create a new file and its parent dirs.
+ New options: |g:ctrlp_open_new_file|,
+ Added a new open-in-horizontal-split mapping: <c-x>
Before 2011/09/19
+ New command: |ResetCtrlP|
+ New options: |g:ctrlp_max_files|,
+ New mapping: <c-^>
Before 2011/09/12
+ Ability to cycle through matched lines in the match window.
+ Extended the behavior of |g:ctrlp_persistent_input|
+ Extended the behavior of |:CtrlP|
+ New options: |g:ctrlp_dotfiles|,
+ New input format: '..' (section 5.d)
+ New mapping: <F5>.
+ New commands: |:CtrlPCurWD|,
+ New feature: Search in most recently used (MRU) files
+ New mapping: <c-b>.
+ Extended the behavior of <c-f>.
+ New options: |g:ctrlp_mru_files|,
+ New command: |:CtrlPMRUFiles|
First public release: 2011/09/06
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