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zsh-abbr GitHub release (latest by date)

zsh-abbr is the zsh manager for auto-expanding abbreviations - text that when written in a terminal is replaced with other (typically longer) text. Inspired by fish shell.

For example, abbreviate git checkout as co (or even c or anything else). Type coSpace and the co turns into git checkout. Abbreviate git checkout main as cm. Type cmEnter and the cm turns into and runs git checkout main. Don't want an abbreviation to expand? Use CtrlSpace instead of Space, and ;Enter instead of Enter.

Why? Like aliases, abbreviations save keystrokes. Unlike aliases, abbreviations can leave you with a transparently understandable command history ready for using on a different computer or sharing with a colleague. And where aliases can let you forget the full command, abbreviations may help you learn the full command even as you type the shortened version.

Like zsh's alias, zsh-abbr supports "regular" (i.e. command-position) and "global" (anywhere on the line) abbreviations. Like fish's abbr, zsh-abbr supports interactive creation of persistent abbreviations which are immediately available in all terminal sessions. Abbreviations automatically sync to a file, ready for your dotfile management.

Run abbr help for documentation; if the package is installed with Homebrew, man abbr is also available.


📖 See the guide at

v5 is a major release. It makes changes that will require some users to update their configurations. Details are in the migration guide.


See the CHANGELOG file.


See the ROADMAP file.


Looking for the documentation site's source? See

Thanks for your interest. Contributions are welcome!

Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.

Check the Issues to see if your topic has been discussed before or if it is being worked on. You may also want to check the roadmap (see above).

Please read before opening a pull request.

The test suite uses zsh-test-runner. Run with test suite with . ./tests/index.ztr.zsh.


Love zsh-abbr? I'm happy to be able to provide it for free. If you are moved to turn appreciation into action, I invite you to make a donation to one of the organizations listed below (to be listed as a financial contributor, send me a receipt via email or Reddit DM). Thank you!

  • O‘ahu Water Protectors a coalition of organizers and concerned community members fighting for safe, clean water on Oʻahu. Currently focused on the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility crisis (see Sierra Club of Hawaii's explainer).
  • Hoʻoulu ʻĀina is a 100-acre nature preserve nestled in the back of Kali hi valley on the island of Oʻahu which seeks to provide people of our ahupuaʻa and beyond the freedom to make connections and build meaningful relationships with the ʻāina, each other and ourselves.
  • Ol Pejeta Conservancy are caretakers of the land, safeguarding endangered species and ensuring the openness and accessibility of conservation for all. They empower their people to think the same way and embrace new approaches to conservation, and provide natural wilderness experiences, backed up by scientifically credible conservation and genuine interactions with wildlife.
  • Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) the only non-partisan, non-profit organization working full time to defend Utah’s redrock wilderness from oil and gas development, unnecessary road construction, rampant off-road vehicle use, and other threats to Utah’s wilderness-quality lands.


This project uses all-contributors to recognize its community. The key to the emojis is on the all-contributors website.

Henry Bley-Vroman
Henry Bley-Vroman

📖 🎨 💬 🔧
Akinori MUSHA
Akinori MUSHA

Alwin Wang
Alwin Wang

Henré Botha
Henré Botha

💻 🤔 💵
Lucas Larson
Lucas Larson

Stefan Hojer
Stefan Hojer



zsh-abbr by Henry Bley-Vroman is licensed under a license which is the unmodified text of CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 and the unmodified text of a Hippocratic License 3. It is not affiliated with Creative Commons or the Organization for Ethical Source.

Human-readable summary of (and not a substitute for) the LICENSE file:

You are free to

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material

Under the following terms

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • Non-commercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • Ethics - You must abide by the ethical standards specified in the Hippocratic License 3 with Ecocide, Extractive Industries, US Tariff Act, Mass Surveillance, Military Activities, and Media modules.
  • Preserve terms — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.