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*tagbar.txt* Display tags of a file ordered by scope
Author: Jan Larres <>
Licence: Vim licence, see |license|
Version: 2.7
Contents *tagbar* *tagbar-contents*
1. Intro ........................... |tagbar-intro|
Pseudo-tags ................... |tagbar-pseudotags|
Supported features ............ |tagbar-features|
Other ctags-compatible programs |tagbar-other|
2. Requirements .................... |tagbar-requirements|
3. Installation .................... |tagbar-installation|
4. Usage ........................... |tagbar-usage|
Commands ...................... |tagbar-commands|
Key mappings .................. |tagbar-keys|
5. Configuration ................... |tagbar-configuration|
Highlight colours ............. |tagbar-highlight|
Automatically opening Tagbar .. |tagbar-autoopen|
Show current tag in statusline |tagbar-statusline|
Ignoring specific files ....... |tagbar-ignore|
6. Extending Tagbar ................ |tagbar-extend|
7. Troubleshooting & Known issues .. |tagbar-issues|
8. History ......................... |tagbar-history|
9. Todo ............................ |tagbar-todo|
10. Credits ......................... |tagbar-credits|
1. Intro *tagbar-intro*
Tagbar is a plugin for browsing the tags of source code files. It provides a
sidebar that displays the ctags-generated tags of the current file, ordered by
their scope. This means that for example methods in C++ are displayed under
the class they are defined in.
Let's say we have the following code inside of a C++ file:
namespace {
char a;
class Foo
int var;
Then Tagbar would display the tag information like so:
__anon1* : namespace
Foo : class
This example shows several important points. First, the tags are listed
indented below the scope they are defined in. Second, the type of a scope is
listed after its name and a colon. Third, tags for which the visibility
information is known are prefixed with a symbol indicating that.
PSEUDO-TAGS *tagbar-pseudotags*
The example also introduces the concept of "pseudo-tags". Pseudo-tags are tags
that are not explicitly defined in the file but have children in it. In this
example the namespace doesn't have a name and thus ctags doesn't generate a
tag for it, but since it has children it still needs to be displayed using an
auto-generated name.
Another case where pseudo-tags appear is in C++ implementation files. Since
classes are usually defined in a header file but the member methods and
variables are in the implementation file the class itself won't generate a tag
in that file.
Since pseudo-tags don't really exist they cannot be jumped to from the Tagbar
Pseudo-tags are denoted with an asterisk ('*') at the end of their name.
SUPPORTED FEATURES *tagbar-features*
The following features are supported by Tagbar:
- Display tags under their correct scope.
- Automatically update the tags when switching between buffers and editing
- Display visibility information of tags if available.
- Highlight the tag near the cursor while editing files.
- Jump to a tag from the Tagbar window.
- Display the complete prototype of a tag.
- Tags can be sorted either by name or order of appearance in the file.
- Scopes can be folded to hide uninteresting information.
- Supports all of the languages that ctags does, i.e. Ant, Assembler, ASP,
Awk, Basic, BETA, C, C++, C#, COBOL, DosBatch, Eiffel, Erlang, Flex,
Fortran, HTML, Java, JavaScript, Lisp, Lua, Make, MatLab, OCaml, Pascal,
Perl, PHP, Python, REXX, Ruby, Scheme, Shell script, SLang, SML, SQL, Tcl,
Tex, Vera, Verilog, VHDL, Vim and YACC.
- Can be extended to support arbitrary new types.
Tagbar also supports filetype-specific programs that can produce
ctags-compatible output, as long as these programs can write to the standard
output. Tagbar has been tested with doctorjs/jsctags and will use that if
present, other programs require some configuration (see |tagbar-extend|). If a
program does not work even with correct configuration please contact me.
Note: Please check |tagbar-issues| for some potential issues with jsctags.
2. Requirements *tagbar-requirements*
The following requirements have to be met in order to be able to use tagbar:
- Vim 7.0 or higher. Older versions will not work since Tagbar uses data
structures that were only introduced in Vim 7.
- Exuberant ctags 5.5 or higher. Ctags is the program that generates the
tag information that Tagbar uses. It is shipped with most Linux
distributions, otherwise it can be downloaded from the following
Tagbar will work on any platform that ctags runs on -- this includes
UNIX derivatives, Mac OS X and Windows. Note that other versions like
BSD ctags will not work.
Tagbar generates the tag information by itself and doesn't need (or use)
already existing tag files.
- File type detection must be turned on in vim. This can be done with the
following command in your vimrc:
filetype on
See |filetype| for more information.
- Tagbar will not work in |restricted-mode| or with 'compatible' set.
3. Installation *tagbar-installation*
Use the normal Vimball install method for installing tagbar.vba:
vim tagbar.vba
:so %
Alternatively you can clone the git repository and then add the path to
'runtimepath' or use the pathogen plugin. Don't forget to run |:helptags|.
If the ctags executable is not installed in one of the directories in your
$PATH environment variable you have to set the g:tagbar_ctags_bin variable,
see |g:tagbar_ctags_bin|.
4. Usage *tagbar-usage*
There are essentially two ways to use Tagbar:
1. Have it running all the time in a window on the side of the screen. In
this case Tagbar will update its contents whenever the source file is
changed and highlight the tag the cursor is currently on in the file. If
a tag is selected in Tagbar the file window will jump to the tag and the
Tagbar window will stay open. |g:tagbar_autoclose| has to be unset for
this mode.
2. Only open Tagbar when you want to jump to a specific tag and have it
close automatically once you have selected one. This can be useful for
example for small screens where a permanent window would take up too much
space. You have to set the option |g:tagbar_autoclose| in this case. The
cursor will also automatically jump to the Tagbar window when opening it.
Opening and closing the Tagbar window~
Use |:TagbarOpen| or |:TagbarToggle| to open the Tagbar window if it is
closed. By default the window is opened on the right side, set the option
|g:tagbar_left| to open it on the left instead. If the window is already open,
|:TagbarOpen| will jump to it and |:TagbarToggle| will close it again.
|:TagbarClose| will simply close the window if it is open.
It is probably a good idea to assign a key to these commands. For example, put
this into your |vimrc|:
nnoremap <silent> <F9> :TagbarToggle<CR>
You can then open and close Tagbar by simply pressing the <F9> key.
You can also use |:TagbarOpenAutoClose| to open the Tagbar window, jump to it
and have it close automatically on tag selection regardless of the
|g:tagbar_autoclose| setting.
Pausing the Tagbar window~
Use |:TagbarTogglePause| to toggle freezing/locking the Tagbar window on its
currently displayed file. Freezing the window stops the Tagbar contents from
changing when switching to a different source file. All Tagbar functionality
continues to work as expected. Unfreezing the window will cause it to load the
current source file.
Jumping to tags~
When you're inside the Tagbar window you can jump to the definition of a tag
by moving the cursor to a tag and pressing <Enter> or double-clicking on it
with the mouse. The source file will then move to the definition and put the
cursor in the corresponding line. This won't work for pseudo-tags.
You can sort the tags in the Tagbar window in two ways: by name or by file
order. Sorting them by name simply displays the tags in their alphabetical
order under their corresponding scope. Sorting by file order means that the
tags keep the order they have in the source file, but are still associated
with the correct scope. You can change the sort order by pressing the "s" key
in the Tagbar window. The current sort order is displayed in the statusline of
the Tagbar window.
The displayed scopes (and unscoped types) can be folded to hide uninteresting
information. Mappings similar to Vim's built-in ones are provided. Folds can
also be opened and closed by clicking on the fold icon with the mouse.
Highlighting the current tag~
When the Tagbar window is open the current tag will automatically be
highlighted in it after a short pause if the cursor is not moving. The length
of this pause is determined by the 'updatetime' option. If you want to make
that pause shorter you can change the option, but don't set it too low or
strange things will happen. This is unfortunately unavoidable.
Displaying the prototype of a tag~
Tagbar can display the prototype of a tag. More precisely it can display the
line(s) in which the tag is defined. This can be done by either pressing
<Space> when on a tag or hovering over a tag with the mouse. In the former
case the prototype will be displayed in the |Command-line|, in the latter case
it will be displayed in a pop-up window. The prototype will also be displayed
if the cursor stays on a tag for 'updatetime' milliseconds. In that case the
prototype may be abbreviated in order to avoid |hit-enter| prompts.
COMMANDS *tagbar-commands*
:TagbarOpen [{flags}] *:TagbarOpen*
Open the Tagbar window if it is closed.
Additional behaviour can be specified with the optional {flags} argument.
It is a string which can contain these character flags:
'f' Jump to Tagbar window when opening (just as if |g:tagbar_autofocus|
were set to 1)
'j' Jump to Tagbar window if already open
'c' Close Tagbar on tag selection (just as if |g:tagbar_autoclose| were
set to 1, but doesn't imply 'f'), but only if the Tagbar window was
opened using this command. If this is used the "c" flag will be
shown in the statusline of the Tagbar window.
For example, the following command would always jump to the Tagbar window,
opening it first if necessary, but keep it open after selecting a tag
(unless |g:tagbar_autoclose| is set): >
:TagbarOpen fj
:TagbarClose *:TagbarClose*
Close the Tagbar window if it is open.
:TagbarToggle *:TagbarToggle*
Open the Tagbar window if it is closed, or close it if it is open.
:TagbarOpenAutoClose *:TagbarOpenAutoClose*
Open the Tagbar window, jump to it and close it on tag selection. This is
an alias for ":TagbarOpen fjc".
:TagbarTogglePause *:TagbarTogglePause*
Freezes/Unfreezes the Tagbar window. Stops the contents of the window
from changing when a different source file is selected.
:TagbarSetFoldlevel[!] {number} *:TagbarSetFoldlevel*
Set the foldlevel of the tags of the current file to {number}. The
foldlevel of tags in other files remains unaffected. Works in the same way
as 'foldlevel'. Folds that are specified to be closed by default in the
type configuration will not be opened, use a "!" to force applying the new
foldlevel to those folds as well.
:TagbarShowTag *:TagbarShowTag*
Open the parent folds of the current tag in the file window as much as
needed for the tag to be visible in the Tagbar window.
:TagbarCurrentTag [{flags}] *:TagbarCurrentTag*
Echo the current tag in the command line. For {flags} see
:TagbarGetTypeConfig {filetype} *:TagbarGetTypeConfig*
Paste the Tagbar configuration of the vim filetype {filetype} at the
current cursor position (provided that filetype is supported by Tagbar)
for easy customization. The configuration will be ready to use as is but
will only contain the "kinds" entry as that is the only one that really
makes sense to customize. See |tagbar-extend| for more information about
type configurations.
:TagbarDebug [logfile] *:TagbarDebug*
Start debug mode. This will write debug messages to file [logfile] while
using Tagbar. If no argument is given "tagbardebug.log" in the current
directory is used. Note: an existing file will be overwritten!
Note also that it is usually necessary to call this command before loading
a file that creates problems in order to get all of the needed data.
:TagbarDebugEnd *:TagbarDebugEnd*
End debug mode, debug messages will no longer be written to the logfile.
KEY MAPPINGS *tagbar-keys*
The following mappings are valid in the Tagbar window:
<F1>/? Display key mapping help.
Map option: tagbar_map_help
<CR>/<Enter> Jump to the tag under the cursor. Doesn't work for pseudo-tags
or generic headers.
Map option: tagbar_map_jump
p Jump to the tag under the cursor, but stay in the Tagbar window.
Map option: tagbar_map_preview
P Open the tag in a |preview-window|.
Map option: tagbar_map_previewwin
<LeftMouse> When on a fold icon, open or close the fold depending on the
current state.
<2-LeftMouse> Same as <CR>. See |g:tagbar_singleclick| if you want to use a
single- instead of a double-click.
<C-N> Go to the next top-level tag.
Map option: tagbar_map_nexttag
<C-P> Go to the previous top-level tag.
Map option: tagbar_map_prevtag
<Space> Display the prototype of the current tag (i.e. the line defining
it) in the command line.
Map option: tagbar_map_showproto
v Hide tags that are declared non-public. Tags without any
visibility information will still be shown.
Map option: tagbar_map_hidenonpublic
+/zo Open the fold under the cursor.
Map option: tagbar_map_openfold
-/zc Close the fold under the cursor or the current one if there is
no fold under the cursor.
Map option: tagbar_map_closefold
o/za Toggle the fold under the cursor or the current one if there is
no fold under the cursor.
Map option: tagbar_map_togglefold
*/zR Open all folds by setting foldlevel to 99.
Map option: tagbar_map_openallfolds
=/zM Close all folds by setting foldlevel to 0.
Map option: tagbar_map_closeallfolds
zr Increase the fold level of the buffer by 1. Opens all folds one
Map option: tagbar_map_incrementfolds
zm Decrease the fold level of the buffer by 1. Closes all folds one
Map option: tagbar_map_decrementfolds
zj Go to the start of the next fold, like the standard Vim |zj|.
Map option: tagbar_map_nextfold
zk Go to the end of the previous fold, like the standard Vim |zk|.
Map option: tagbar_map_prevfold
s Toggle sort order between name and file order.
Map option: tagbar_map_togglesort
c Toggle the |g:tagbar_autoclose| option.
Map option: tagbar_map_toggleautoclose
x Toggle zooming the window.
Map option: tagbar_map_zoomwin
q Close the Tagbar window.
Map option: tagbar_map_close
These mappings can be redefined with the given map options. The argument can
be either a string or a |List| of strings. In the latter case the
functionality will be assigned to all of the keys in the list. For example, if
you want to remap the sort toggling functionality to "r":
let g:tagbar_map_togglesort = "r"
See |key-notation| for how to write special keys like <Space> or the keypad
5. Configuration *tagbar-configuration*
Default: empty
Use this option to specify the location of your ctags executable. Only needed
if it is not in one of the directories in your $PATH environment variable.
let g:tagbar_ctags_bin = 'C:\Ctags5.8\ctags.exe'
Default: 0
By default the Tagbar window will be opened on the right-hand side of vim. Set
this option to open it on the left instead.
If |g:tagbar_vertical| is used then setting this variable will open the Tagbar
window at the top, otherwise it will open at the bottom.
let g:tagbar_left = 1
Default: 0
If this is set to a positive value then the Tagbar window will be opened at
the top or bottom of the Vim window instead of at the side. This can be useful
for monitors that have been rotated into a vertical position. The value of
this variable will determine the number of lines to use for the Tagbar window.
See |g:tagbar_left| for configuring the position of the window.
let g:tagbar_vertical = 30
Default: 40
Width of the Tagbar window in characters.
let g:tagbar_width = 30
Default: 1
Width of the Tagbar window when zoomed.
Possible values are:
1: Use the maximum width available.
0: Use the width of the longest currently visible tag.
>1: Use this width in characters.
let g:tagbar_zoomwidth = 0
Default: 0
If you set this option the Tagbar window will automatically close when you
jump to a tag. This implies |g:tagbar_autofocus|. If enabled the "C" flag will
be shown in the statusline of the Tagbar window. This can also be toggled with
a key, see |tagbar-keys|.
let g:tagbar_autoclose = 1
Default: 0
If you set this option the cursor will move to the Tagbar window when it is
let g:tagbar_autofocus = 1
Default: 1
If this option is set the tags are sorted according to their name. If it is
unset they are sorted according to their order in the source file. Note that
in the second case Pseudo-tags are always sorted before normal tags of the
same kind since they don't have a real position in the file.
let g:tagbar_sort = 0
Default: 0
If this option is set a case-insensitive comparison is used when the tags
are sorted according to their name. If it is unset a case-sensitive
comparison is used.
let g:tagbar_case_insensitive = 1
Default: 0
Setting this option will result in Tagbar omitting the short help at the
top of the window and the blank lines in between top-level scopes in order to
save screen real estate.
let g:tagbar_compact = 1
Default: 2
The number of spaces by which each level is indented. This allows making the
display more compact or more spacious.
let g:tagbar_indent = 1
Default: 1
Show the visibility symbols (public/protected/private) to the left of the tag
let g:tagbar_show_visibility = 0
Default: 0
Whether line numbers should be shown in the Tagbar window.
Possible values are:
0: Don't show any line numbers.
1: Show absolute line numbers.
2: Show relative line numbers.
-1: Use the global line number settings.
let g:tagbar_show_linenumbers = 2
Default: 0
Hide tags that are declared non-public. Tags without any visibility
information will still be shown. If enabled the "v" flag will be shown in the
statusline of the Tagbar window. This can also be toggled with a key, see
let g:tagbar_hide_nonpublic = 1
Default: 0
If this option is set to 1 the Vim window will be expanded by the width of the
Tagbar window if using a GUI version of Vim. Setting it to 2 will also try
expanding a terminal, but note that this is not supported by all terminals.
See also |xterm-resize|.
let g:tagbar_expand = 1
Default: 0
If this option is set then a single- instead of a double-click is used to jump
to the tag definition.
let g:tagbar_singleclick = 1
Default: 99
The initial foldlevel for folds in the Tagbar window. Folds with a level
higher than this number will be closed.
let g:tagbar_foldlevel = 2
Since the display of the icons used to indicate open or closed folds depends
on the actual font used, different characters may be optimal for different
fonts. With this variable you can set the icons to characters of your liking.
The first character in the list specifies the icon to use for a closed fold,
and the second one for an open fold.
Examples (don't worry if some of the characters aren't displayed correctly,
just choose other characters in that case):
let g:tagbar_iconchars = ['▶', '▼'] (default on Linux and Mac OS X)
let g:tagbar_iconchars = ['▸', '▾']
let g:tagbar_iconchars = ['▷', '◢']
let g:tagbar_iconchars = ['+', '-'] (default on Windows)
Default: 0
If this variable is set to 1 and the current tag is inside of a closed fold
then the folds will be opened as much as needed for the tag to be visible so
it can be highlighted. If it is set to 0 then the folds will only be opened
when opening the Tagbar window and the current tag is inside a closed fold,
otherwise the folds won't be opened and the parent tag will be highlighted
instead. If it is set to 2 then the folds will never be opened automatically.
You can use the |:TagbarShowTag| command to open the folds manually.
let g:tagbar_autoshowtag = 1
Default: "topleft", or "rightbelow vertical" if |g:tagbar_vertical| is set
The position of the preview window. Valid values are the window splitting
commands that are described starting from |:vertical|. Set it to an empty
string to use the options 'splitbelow' and 'splitright'.
let g:tagbar_previewwin_pos = "aboveleft"
If you want to disable line numbers in the preview window put something like
this into your vimrc:
autocmd BufWinEnter * if &previewwindow | setlocal nonumber | endif
Default: 0
If this variable is set to 1 then moving the cursor in the Tagbar window will
automatically show the current tag in the preview window.
let g:tagbar_autopreview = 1
Deprecated. Tagbar will now always get updated when the file is being saved.
Default: value of 'encoding'
This variable is for cases where the character encoding of your operating
system is different from the one set in Vim, i.e. the 'encoding' option. For
example, if you use a Simplified Chinese Windows version that has a system
encoding of "cp936", and you have set 'encoding' to "utf-8", then you would
have to set this variable to "cp936".
Note that this requires Vim to be compiled with the |+multi_byte| and |+iconv|
features to work.
let g:tagbar_systemenc = 'cp936'
Default: undefined
This is the name of a function whose return value will be used to draw the
statusline of the Tagbar window.
The function has to take four arguments:
1. current: Whether Tagbar is the current window; 0 or 1.
2. sort: The sort order of the tags; 'Name' if they are sorted by name and
'Order' if they are sorted by their order of appearance in the file.
3. fname: The name of the file that the tags belong to.
4. flags: A list of characters that represent various state in the Tagbar
In order to avoid possible future additions to the arguments resulting in an
error it is recommended to add an additional vararg to the signature (see
Here is an example that, when put into your vimrc, will emulate Tagbar's
default statusline:
function! TagbarStatusFunc(current, sort, fname, flags, ...) abort
let colour = a:current ? '%#StatusLine#' : '%#StatusLineNC#'
let flagstr = join(flags, '')
if flagstr != ''
let flagstr = '[' . flagstr . '] '
return colour . '[' . sort . '] ' . flagstr . fname
let g:tagbar_status_func = 'TagbarStatusFunc'
Default: 0
By default if the cursor is over a tag in the tagbar window, information
about the tag is echoed out. Set this option to disable that behavior.
let g:tagbar_silent = 1
HIGHLIGHT COLOURS *tagbar-highlight*
All of the colours used by Tagbar can be customized. Here is a list of the
highlight groups that are defined by Tagbar:
The help at the top of the buffer.
The header of generic "kinds" like "functions" and "variables".
The "kind" headers in square brackets inside of scopes.
Tags that define a scope like classes, structs etc.
The type of a tag or scope if available.
Function signatures.
The asterisk (*) that signifies a pseudo-tag.
The fold icon on the left of foldable tags.
The colour that is used for automatically highlighting the current tag.
The "public" visibility symbol.
The "protected" visibility symbol.
The "private" visibility symbol.
If you want to change any of those colours put a line like the following in
your vimrc:
highlight TagbarScope guifg=Green ctermfg=Green
See |:highlight| for more information.
Since there are several different situations in which you might want to open
Tagbar automatically there is no single option to enable automatic opening.
Instead, autocommands can be used together with a convenience function that
opens Tagbar only if a supported file is open(ed). It has a boolean parameter
that specifies whether Tagbar should be opened if any loaded buffer is
supported (in case the parameter is set to true) or only if a supported
file/buffer is currently being shown in a window. This can be useful if you
use multiple tabs and don't edit supported files in all of them.
If you want to open Tagbar automatically on Vim startup no matter what put
this into your vimrc:
autocmd VimEnter * nested :TagbarOpen
If you want to open it only if you're opening Vim with a supported file/files
use this instead:
autocmd VimEnter * nested :call tagbar#autoopen(1)
The above is exactly what the Taglist plugin does if you set the
Tlist_Auto_Open option, in case you want to emulate this behaviour.
For opening Tagbar also if you open a supported file in an already running
autocmd FileType * nested :call tagbar#autoopen(0)
If you use multiple tabs and want Tagbar to also open in the current tab when
you switch to an already loaded, supported buffer:
autocmd BufEnter * nested :call tagbar#autoopen(0)
And if you want to open Tagbar only for specific filetypes, not for all of the
supported ones:
autocmd FileType c,cpp nested :TagbarOpen
Check out |autocmd.txt| if you want it to open automatically in more
complicated cases.
You can show the current tag in the 'statusline', or in any other place that
you want to, by calling the tagbar#currenttag() function. The current tag is
exactly the same as would be highlighted in the Tagbar window if it is open.
It is defined as the nearest tag upwards in the file starting from the cursor
position. This means that for example in a function it should usually be the
name of the function. You can define which tags will be shown in this manner,
read |tagbar-extend| (especially the "kinds" entry) on how to do that.
The function has the following signature:
tagbar#currenttag({format}, {default} [, {flags}])
{format} is a |printf()|-compatible format string where "%s" will be
replaced by the name of the tag. {default} will be displayed instead of
the format string if no tag can be found.
The optional {flags} argument specifies some additional properties of the
displayed tags. It is a string which can contain these character flags:
'f' Display the full hierarchy of the tag, not just the tag itself.
's' If the tag is a function, the complete signature will be shown,
otherwise just "()" will be appended to distinguish functions from
other tags.
'p' Display the raw prototype instead of the parsed tag. This can be
useful in cases where ctags doesn't report some information, like
the signature. Note that this can get quite long.
For example, if you put the following into your statusline: >
%{tagbar#currenttag('[%s] ','')}
< then the function "myfunc" will be shown as "[myfunc()] ".
Note that if there is an error when processing the current file no error
message will be shown in order to not disrupt the statusline. If the function
doesn't seem to work right open the Tagbar window to see any error messages.
You can ignore specific files by setting the |buffer-variable|
"b:tagbar_ignore" to 1. This is best done with an |autocommand|:
autocmd BufNewFile,BufReadPost foo.cpp let b:tagbar_ignore = 1
Note that autocommands are order-sensitive, so make sure that this autocommand
gets defined before the ones that Tagbar defines so the variable will get
found at the right time.
6. Extending Tagbar *tagbar-extend*
Tagbar has a flexible mechanism for extending the existing file type (i.e.
language) definitions. This can be used both to change the settings of the
existing types and to add completely new types. For Tagbar to support a
filetype two things are needed: a program that generates the tag information,
usually Exuberant Ctags, and a Tagbar type definition in your |vimrc| or an
|ftplugin| that tells Tagbar how to interpret the generated tags.
Note: if you only want to customize an existing definition (like changing the
order in which tag kinds are displayed) see "Changing an existing definition"
There are two ways to generate the tag information for new filetypes: add a
definition to Exuberant Ctags or create a specialized program for your
language that generates ctags-compatible tag information (see
|tags-file-format| for information about how a "tags" file is structured). The
former allows simple regular expression-based parsing that is easy to get
started with, but doesn't support scopes unless you instead want to write a
C-based parser module for Exuberant Ctags. The regex approach is described in
more detail below.
Writing your own program is the approach used by for example jsctags and can
be useful if your language can best be parsed by a program written in the
language itself, or if you want to provide the program as part of a complete
support package for the language. Some tips on how to write such a program are
given at the end of this section.
Before writing your own extension have a look at the wiki
( or try googling for existing ones.
If you do end up creating your own extension please consider adding it to the
wiki so that others can benefit from it, too.
Every type definition in Tagbar is a dictionary with the following keys:
ctagstype: The name of the language as recognized by ctags. Use the command >
ctags --list-languages
< to get a list of the languages ctags supports. The case doesn't
kinds: A list of the "language kinds" that should be listed in Tagbar,
ordered by the order they should appear in in the Tagbar window.
Use the command >
ctags --list-kinds={language name}
< to get a list of the kinds ctags supports for a given language. An
entry in this list is a colon-separated string with the following
syntax: >
< {short} is the one-character abbreviation that ctags uses, and
{long} is an arbitrary string that will be used in Tagbar as the
header for the the tags of this kind that are not listed under a
specific scope. {fold} determines whether tags of this kind should
be folded by default, with 1 meaning they should be folded and 0
they should not. If this part is omitted the tags will not be
folded by default. {stl} is used by the tagbar#currenttag()
function (see |tagbar-statusline|) to decide whether tags of this
kind should be shown in the statusline or not, with 1 meaning they
will be shown and 0 meaning they will be ignored. Omitting this
part means that the tags will be shown. Note that you have to
specify {fold} too if you want to specify {stl}.
For example, the string >
< would list all the function definitions in a file under the header
"functions", fold them, and implicitly show them in the statusline
if tagbar#currenttag() is used.
sro: The scope resolution operator. For example, in C++ it is "::" and
in Java it is ".". If in doubt run ctags as shown below and check
the output.
kind2scope: A dictionary describing the mapping of tag kinds (in their
one-character representation) to the scopes their children will
appear in, for example classes, structs etc.
Unfortunately there is no ctags option to list the scopes, you
have to look at the tags ctags generates manually. For example,
let's say we have a C++ file "test.cpp" with the following
contents: >
class Foo
int var;
< We then run ctags in the following way: >
ctags -f - --format=2 --excmd=pattern --extra= --fields=nksaSmt test.cpp
< Then the output for the variable "var" would look like this: >
var tmp.cpp /^ int var;$/;" kind:m line:11 class:Foo access:private
< This shows that the scope name for an entry in a C++ class is
simply "class". So this would be the word that the "kind"
character of a class has to be mapped to.
scope2kind: The opposite of the above, mapping scopes to the kinds of their
parents. Most of the time it is the exact inverse of the above,
but in some cases it can be different, for example when more than
one kind maps to the same scope. If it is the exact inverse for
your language you only need to specify one of the two keys.
replace: If you set this entry to 1 your definition will completely replace
{optional} an existing default definition. This is useful if you want to
disable scopes for a file type for some reason. Note that in this
case you have to provide all the needed entries yourself!
sort: This entry can be used to override the global sort setting for
{optional} this specific file type. The meaning of the value is the same as
with the global setting, that is if you want to sort tags by name
set it to 1 and if you want to sort them according to their order
in the file set it to 0.
deffile: The path to a file with additional ctags definitions (see the
{optional} section below on adding a new definition for what exactly that
means). This is especially useful for ftplugins since they can
provide a complete type definition with ctags and Tagbar
configurations without requiring user intervention.
Let's say you have an ftplugin that adds support for the language
"mylang", and your directory structure looks like this: >
< Then the "deffile" entry would look like this to allow for the
plugin to be installed in an arbitray location (for example
with pathogen): >
'deffile' : expand('<sfile>:p:h:h') . '/ctags/mylang.cnf'
ctagsbin: The path to a filetype-specific ctags-compatible program like
{optional} jsctags. Set it in the same way as |g:tagbar_ctags_bin|. jsctags is
used automatically if found in your $PATH and does not have to be
set in that case. If it is not in your path you have to set this
key, the rest of the configuration should not be necessary (unless
you want to change something, of course). Note: if you use this
then the "ctagstype" key is not needed.
ctagsargs: The arguments to be passed to the filetype-specific ctags program
{optional} (without the filename). Make sure you set an option that makes the
program output its data on stdout. Not used for the normal ctags
The value of ctagsargs may be a |List| of strings (a string for
each argument), or a single string (|expr-string|) of all the
When the value of ctagsargs is a list, tagbar.vim takes care of
escaping each argument in the list as required for the current
'shell' type.
When the value of ctagsargs is a string, it must be properly
escaped (if required by the current shell type). The reason
tagbar.vim does not attempt to escape the string in this case is
because if there is a space, it is ambiguous as to whether the
space is delimiting an argument or included in the argument. To
avoid this amiguity, tagbar.vim expects the string to be already
escaped as required.
If special escaping is required for different OS shell types or if
in doubt, then it is recommended to define ctagsargs with a List.
You then have to assign this dictionary to a variable in your vimrc with the
g:tagbar_type_{vim filetype}
For example, for C++ the name would be "g:tagbar_type_cpp". If you don't know
the vim file type then run the following command:
:set filetype?
and vim will display the file type of the current buffer.
Example: C++~
Here is a complete example that shows the default configuration for C++ as
used in Tagbar. This is just for illustration purposes since user
configurations will usually be less complicated.
let g:tagbar_type_cpp = {
\ 'ctagstype' : 'c++',
\ 'kinds' : [
\ 'd:macros:1:0',
\ 'p:prototypes:1:0',
\ 'g:enums',
\ 'e:enumerators:0:0',
\ 't:typedefs:0:0',
\ 'n:namespaces',
\ 'c:classes',
\ 's:structs',
\ 'u:unions',
\ 'f:functions',
\ 'm:members:0:0',
\ 'v:variables:0:0'
\ ],
\ 'sro' : '::',
\ 'kind2scope' : {
\ 'g' : 'enum',
\ 'n' : 'namespace',
\ 'c' : 'class',
\ 's' : 'struct',
\ 'u' : 'union'
\ },
\ 'scope2kind' : {
\ 'enum' : 'g',
\ 'namespace' : 'n',
\ 'class' : 'c',
\ 'struct' : 's',
\ 'union' : 'u'
\ }
\ }
Which of the keys you have to specify depends on what you want to do.
Changing an existing definition~
If you want to change an existing definition you only need to specify the
parts that you want to change. It probably only makes sense to change "kinds",
which would be the case if you wanted to for example change the order of
certain kinds, change their default fold state or exclude them from appearing
in Tagbar. The easiest way to do that is to use the |:TagbarGetTypeConfig|
command, which will paste a ready-to-use configuration with the "kinds" entry
for the specified type at the current cursor position.
As an example, if you didn't want Tagbar to show prototypes for C++ files,
switch the order of enums and typedefs, and show macros in the statusline, you
would first run ":TagbarGetTypeConfig cpp" in your vimrc and then change the
definition like this:
let g:tagbar_type_cpp = {
\ 'kinds' : [
\ 'd:macros:1',
\ 'g:enums',
\ 't:typedefs:0:0',
\ 'e:enumerators:0:0',
\ 'n:namespaces',
\ 'c:classes',
\ 's:structs',
\ 'u:unions',
\ 'f:functions',
\ 'm:members:0:0',
\ 'v:variables:0:0'
\ ]
\ }
Compare with the complete example above to see the difference.
Adding a definition for a new language/file type~
In order to be able to add a new language to Tagbar you first have to create a
configuration for ctags that it can use to parse the files. This can be done
in two ways:
1. Use the --regex argument for specifying regular expressions that are used
to parse the files. An example of this is given below. A disadvantage of
this approach is that you can't specify scopes.
2. Write a parser plugin in C for ctags. This approach is much more powerful
than the regex approach since you can make use of all of ctags'
functionality but it also requires much more work. Read the ctags
documentation for more information about how to do this.
For the first approach the only keys that are needed in the Tagbar definition
are "ctagstype" and "kinds". A definition that supports scopes has to define
those two and in addition "scopes", "sro" and at least one of "kind2scope" and
Let's assume we want to add support for LaTeX to Tagbar using the regex
approach. First we put the following text into ~/.ctags or a file pointed to
by the "deffile" definition entry:
--regex-latex=/^\\tableofcontents/TABLE OF CONTENTS/s,toc/
--regex-latex=/^\\part[[:space:]]*(\[[^]]*\])?[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/PART \2/s,part/
--regex-latex=/^\\part[[:space:]]*\*[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/PART \1/s,part/
--regex-latex=/^\\chapter[[:space:]]*(\[[^]]*\])?[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/CHAP \2/s,chapter/
--regex-latex=/^\\chapter[[:space:]]*\*[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/CHAP \1/s,chapter/
--regex-latex=/^\\section[[:space:]]*(\[[^]]*\])?[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/\. \2/s,section/
--regex-latex=/^\\section[[:space:]]*\*[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/\. \1/s,section/
--regex-latex=/^\\subsection[[:space:]]*(\[[^]]*\])?[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/\.\. \2/s,subsection/
--regex-latex=/^\\subsection[[:space:]]*\*[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/\.\. \1/s,subsection/
--regex-latex=/^\\subsubsection[[:space:]]*(\[[^]]*\])?[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/\.\.\. \2/s,subsubsection/
--regex-latex=/^\\subsubsection[[:space:]]*\*[[:space:]]*\{([^}]+)\}/\.\.\. \1/s,subsubsection/
This will create a new language definition with the name "latex" and associate
it with files with the extension ".tex". It will also define the kinds "s" for
sections, chapters and the like, "g" for included graphics, "l" for labels,
"r" for references and "p" for page references. See the ctags documentation
for more information about the exact syntax.
Now we have to create the Tagbar language definition in our vimrc:
let g:tagbar_type_tex = {
\ 'ctagstype' : 'latex',
\ 'kinds' : [
\ 's:sections',
\ 'g:graphics:0:0',
\ 'l:labels',
\ 'r:refs:1:0',
\ 'p:pagerefs:1:0'
\ ],
\ 'sort' : 0,
\ 'deffile' : expand('<sfile>:p:h:h') . '/ctags/latex.cnf'
\ }
The "deffile" field is of course only needed if the ctags definition actually
is in that file and not in ~/.ctags.
Sort has been disabled for LaTeX so that the sections appear in their correct
order. They unfortunately can't be shown nested with their correct scopes
since as already mentioned the regular expression approach doesn't support
Tagbar should now be able to show the sections and other tags from LaTeX
Note: As of 2012-05-05 the ctags development version contains an improved
LaTeX parser that works better than the example configuration presented here.
So if you are using a development build newer than that or a stable version
newer than 5.8 you should use the built-in support instead of this example.
Project-specific configuration~
In addition to the normal global configuration it is also possible to have
project-specific settings. This is mostly useful for additional ctags options,
like for example macros to ignore. Or maybe you want to do things like folding
certain tag kinds in some projects.
In order to use this feature you need to create User |autocommand|s in an
augroup called "TagbarProjects" and have it create a buffer-local variable
called "b:tagbar_type". This variable has to hold a type definition just like
the normal ones described in this chapter. If there already is a definition
then the project-specific one will be merged with the existing one, with the
project-specific one taking precedence. This makes it possible to have
project-specific overrides. This definition will then be applied only to the
files matched by the autocommand.
Note that there can be multiple definitions of the augroup with their own
autocommands (for example in separate project directories); they will get
merged automatically by Vim.
augroup TagbarProjects
autocmd User ~/myproject/*.c let b:tagbar_type = {'deffile' : '~/myproject/ctags.cnf'}
augroup END
Writing your own tag-generating program~
If you want to write your own program for generating tags then here are some
imporant tips to get it to integrate well with Tagbar:
- Tagbar supports the same tag format as Vim itself. The format is described
in |tags-file-format|, the third format mentioned there is the relevant
one. Note that the {tagaddress} part should be a search pattern since the
line number can be specified in a field (see below).
- Tagbar reads the tag information from a program's standard output
(stdout), it doesn't generate files and reads them in after that. So make
sure that your program has an option to output the tags on stdout.
- Some fields are supported for providing additional information about a
tag. One field is required: the "kind" field as a single letter, either
with or without a "kind:" fieldname. If it is used without the fieldname
then it has to be the first field in the list. All other fields need to
have a fieldname in order to determine what they are. The following fields
are supported for all filetypes:
* line: The line number of the tag.
* column: The column number of the tag.
* signature: The signature of a function.
* access: Visibility information of a tag; the values "public",
"protected" and "private" will be denoted with a special
symbol in Tagbar.
In addition fields that describe the surrounding scope of the tag are
supported if they are specified in the type configuration as explained at
the beginning of this section. For example, for a tag in class "Foo" this
could look like "class:Foo".
Important: the value of such a scope-specifying field should be the entire
hierarchy of scopes that the tag is in, so if for example in C++ you have
a member in class "Foo" which is in namespace "Bar" then the scope field
should be "class:Bar::Foo".
7. Troubleshooting & Known issues *tagbar-issues*
As a general rule, if the tag information displayed by Tagbar is wrong (for
example, a method doesn't show up or is in the wrong place) you should first
try running ctags manually to see whether ctags reports the wrong information
or whether that information is correct and Tagbar does something wrong. To run
ctags manually execute the following command in a terminal:
ctags -f - --format=2 --excmd=pattern --extra= --fields=nksaSmt myfile
If you set the |g:tagbar_ctags_bin| variable you probably have to use the same
value here instead of simply "ctags".
If something more fundamental isn't working right then try running the
|:messages| command to see if Tagbar printed any error messages that might
have been missed.
If the bug does seem to be in Tagbar then you can use Tagbar's debug mode to
try to find the source of the problem. Usually you would use it like this:
1. Remove the |tagbar-statusline| support from your vimrc if you use it
unless the problem is with this functionality, and make sure you don't
have any autocommands that load Tagbar on startup.
2. Open Vim without loading any files.
3. Run :TagbarDebug.
4. Open the file you are having problems with.
5. Open Tagbar. If the problem is with the statusline functionality this
step may not be necessary.
6. Exit Vim.
Note that it is important that the "TagbarDebug" command gets called before
any other call to a Tagbar command or function, so step 1 is important to get
a complete log.
This should leave a file called "tagbardebug.log" in the current directory. If
ctags got executed successfully then there should also be a file called
"tagbardebug.log.ctags_out" which contains the full output of the last ctags
invocation. This can be very helpful when debugging but may contain sensitive
information and is therefore kept in a separate file.
See |tagbar-commands| for more information on the debug commands. When you
look at the file you should especially pay attention to the reported file type
and the ctags command line in the log file.
Known issues~
- jsctags has to be newer than 2011-01-06 since it needs the "-f" option to
work. Also, the output of jsctags seems to be a bit unreliable at the
moment (especially regarding line numbers), so if you notice some strange
behaviour with it please run it manually in a terminal to check whether
the bug is in jsctags or Tagbar.
- Nested pseudo-tags cannot be properly parsed since only the direct parent
scope of a tag gets assigned a type, the type of the grandparents is not
reported by ctags (assuming the grandparents don't have direct, real
For example, if we have a C++ file with the following content:
// ...
// ...
In this case the type of "foo" is not known. Is it a namespace? A class?
For this reason the methods are displayed in Tagbar like this:
foo::Bar* : class
foo::Baz* : class
- Scope-defining tags at the top level that have the same name but a
different kind/scope type can lead to an incorrect display. For example,
the following Python code will incorrectly insert a pseudo-tag "Inner2"
into the "test" class:
class test:
class Inner:
def foo(self):
def test():
class Inner2:
def bar(self):
I haven't found a proper way around this yet, but it shouldn't be much of
a problem in practice anyway. Tags with the same name at any other level
are no problem, though.
8. History *tagbar-history*
2.7 (2017-01-09)
- Added support for Universal Ctags, courtesy of Dmytro Konstantinov
- Added option to arrange Tagbar window vertically
- Added case-insensitive sort option, courtesy of Martin Vuille
- Added option to configure zoom width
- Added option to hide non-public tags
- Added "silent" option to disable the display of tag information in the
command line, courtesy of Anmol Sethi
- Added mappings for moving between folds
- Improved handling of calling :bdelete/:bwipeout/:quit when Tagbar is
- Improved handling of multiple tabs with separate Tagbar instances,
courtesy of Martin Vuille
- Better handling of various errors to allow Tagbar to continue working
- Various other small improvements and bugfixes
2.6.1 (2014-01-23)
- Automatically close the preview window when jumping to a tag
- Don't forget the previous window in certain situations, which was
causing problems with for example fugitive
- Fixed toggling kind-specific folds
- Fixed ctags error that can happen with Cygwin
2.6 (2013-12-06)
- Added possibility to show tags in the preview window, either manually or
- Allow customizing the statusline, see :help g:tagbar_status_func.
- Type configuration can now be project-specific.
- The keybindings in the Tagbar window are now configurable.
- Improvements to Ctags execution on Windows, thanks to Darcy Parker.
- Added function tagbar#currentfile() that returns the path to the file
currently being displayed in Tagbar, thanks to Zhao Cai.
- Added a :Tagbar command as an alias for :TagbarToggle.
- Added an way to ignore specific files in case they create problems.
- Optionally show line numbers in the Tagbar window.
- The usual bunch of small improvements and bugfixes.
2.5 (2013-03-25)
- New command :TagbarTogglePause to freeze Tagbar in its current state so
you can switch to other files while keeping the old information
displayed for reference. (Kian Ryan)
- New command :TagbarCurrentTag which reports the same information as
- New option tagbar_indent to configure the indentation depth of the tags.
- New option tagbar_show_visibility to allow disabling the visibility
- Files are now cached locally to avoid additional slowdowns for slow
connections. This also makes it possible to use Tagbar with files
accessed through Netrw.
- Execute ctags again even if the previous run reported errors, in case it
was a parse error that has since been fixed. If the error persists,
don't display it again.
- Improved window switching and Vim exit behaviours. (Techlive Zheng)
- The currenttag() function now can show the prototype instead of the
actual tag, which can be useful in some cases where ctags doesn't report
all the interesting information.
- The prototype shown in the tooltip or command line should now always be
complete, even if it is spread out over more than one line in the source
- The TagbarAccessPublic etc. highlight groups have been renamed to
TagbarVisibilityPublic etc. to keep them in line with standard
terminology. The old names are still supported.
- Various smaller improvements and bugfixes.
2.4.1 (2012-07-16)
- Fixed some bugs related to the currenttag() function when it was called
before the rest of the plugin was loaded. Also fail silently in case
something goes wrong so the statusline doesn't get messed up.
- In certain cases highlighting tags in deeply nested folds could cause an
error message.
- Spellchecking is now correctly getting disabled in the Tagbar window.
2.4 (2012-06-17)
- New function tagbar#currenttag() that reports the current tag, for
example for putting it into the statusline.
- New command TagbarGetTypeConfig for easy customization of an existing
- Type definitions now can be loaded from ftplugins.
- The autoopen() function is now a bit more flexible.
- Vala is now supported if Anjuta is installed.
- Various other small improvements and bugfixes.
2.3 (2011-12-24)
- Add a convenience function that allows more flexible ways to
automatically open Tagbar.
- Replace option tagbar_usearrows with tagbar_iconchars to allow custom
characters to be specified. This helps with fonts that don't display the
default characters properly.
- Remove the need to provide the complete jsctags configuration if jsctags
is not found in $PATH, now only the concrete path has to be specified.
- Add debugging functionality.
2.2 (2011-11-26)
- Small incompatible change: TagbarOpen now doesn't jump to the Tagbar
window anymore if it is already open. Use "TagbarOpen j" instead or see
its documentation for more options.
- Tags inside of scopes now have a header displaying their "kind".
- The Tagbar contents are now immediately updated on save for files
smaller than a configurable size.
- Tagbar can now be configured to jump to a tag with only a single-click
instead of a double-click.
- Most of the script has been moved to the |autoload| directory, so Vim
startup should be faster (thanks to Kien N).
- Jumping to tags should work most of the time even if the file has been
modified and not saved.
- If Ctags has been installed into the default location using Homebrew or
MacPorts it should now be found automatically.
- Several bugfixes.
2.1 (2011-05-29)
- Make Tagbar work in (hopefully) all cases under Windows
- Handle cases where 'encoding' is different from system encoding, for
example on a Chinese Windows with 'encoding' set to "utf-8" (see manual
for details in case it doesn't work out-of-the-box)
- Fixed a bug with the handling of subtypes like "python.django"
- If a session got saved with Tagbar open it now gets restored properly
- Locally reset foldmethod/foldexpr in case foldexpr got set to something
expensive globally
- Tagbar now tries hard to go to the correct window when jumping to a tag
- Explain some possible issues with the current jsctags version in the
- Explicitly check for some possible configuration problems to be able to
give better feedback
- A few other small fixes
2.0.1 (2011-04-26)
- Fix sorting bug when 'ignorecase' is set
2.0 (2011-04-26)
- Folding now works correctly. Folds will be preserved when leaving the
Tagbar window and when switching between files. Also tag types can be
configured to be folded by default, which is useful for things like
includes and imports.
- DoctorJS/jsctags and other compatible programs are now supported.
- All of the highlight groups can now be overridden.
- Added keybinding to quickly jump to next/previous top-level tag.
- Added Taglist's "p" keybinding for jumping to a tag without leaving the
Tagbar window.
- Several bugfixes and other small improvements.
1.5 (2011-03-06)
- Type definitions can now include a path to a file with the ctags
definition. This is especially useful for ftplugins that can now ship
with a complete ctags and Tagbar configuration without requiring user
intervention. Thanks to Jan Christoph Ebersbach for the suggestion.
- Added autofocus setting by Taybin Rutkin. This will put the cursor in
the Tagbar window when it is opened.
- The "scopes" field is no longer needed in type definitions, the
information is already there in "scope2kind". Existing definitions will
be ignored.
- Some fixes and improvements related to redrawing and window switching.
1.2 (2011-02-28)
- Fix typo in Ruby definition
1.1 (2011-02-26)
- Don't lose syntax highlighting when ':syntax enable' is called
- Allow expanding the Vim window when Tagbar is opened
1.0 (2011-02-23)
- Initial release
9. Todo *tagbar-todo*
- Allow filtering the Tagbar content by some criteria like tag name,
visibility, kind ...
- Integrate Tagbar with the FSwitch plugin to provide header file
information in C/C++.
- Allow jumping to a tag in the preview window, a split window or a new tab.
10. Credits *tagbar-credits*
Tagbar was written by Jan Larres and is released under the Vim licence, see
|license|. It was heavily inspired by the Taglist plugin by Yegappan
Lakshmanan and uses a small amount of code from it.
Original taglist copyright notice:
Permission is hereby granted to use and distribute this code, with or without
modifications, provided that this copyright notice is copied with it. Like
anything else that's free, taglist.vim is provided *as is* and comes with no
warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. In no event will the
copyright holder be liable for any damamges resulting from the use of this
The folding technique was inspired by NERDTree by Martin Grenfell.
Thanks to the following people for code contributions, feature suggestions etc:
Peter Butkovic
Zhao Cai
Jan Christoph Ebersbach
Vadim Fint
Leandro Freitas
Ingo Karkat
Audrius Kažukauskas
Michael McClimon
Seth Milliken
Kien N
Darcy Parker
Taybin Rutkin
Kian Ryan
John Szakmeister
Ville Valkonen
Techlive Zheng
vim: tw=78 ts=8 sw=4 sts=4 et ft=help