Skip to content
This repository has been archived by the owner on Oct 10, 2019. It is now read-only.


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time
Exuberant Ctags
Author: Darren Hiebert <dhiebert at>
        Instant Messaging:
          Yahoo! ID     : dbhiebert
          AIM ScreenName: darrenhiebert

Exuberant Ctags is a multilanguage reimplementation of the much-underused
ctags(1) program and is intended to be the mother of all ctags programs. It
generates indexes of source code definitions which are used by a number of
editors and tools. The motivation which drove the development of Exuberant
Ctags was the need for a ctags program which supported generation of tags
for all possible C language constructs (which no other ctags offers), and
because most were easily fooled by a number of preprocessor contructs.

Exuberant Ctags offers the following features:

1.  It supports the following languages: Assembler, AWK, ASP, BETA,
    Bourne/Korn/Z Shell, C, C++, C#, COBOL, Eiffel, Erlang, Fortran, Java, Lisp,
    Lua, Makefile, Pascal, Perl, PHP, PL/SQL, Python, REXX, Ruby, Scheme,
    S-Lang, SML (Standard ML), Tcl, Vera, Verilog, VHDL, Vim, and YACC.

2.  It is capable of generating tags for virtually all C language constructs.

3.  It is very robust in parsing code. In particular, the C/C++ parser is
    far less easily fooled by code containing #if preprocessor conditional
    constructs, using a conditional path selection algorithm to resolve
    complicated situations, and a fall-back algorithm when this one fails.

4.  Supports output of Emacs-style TAGS files (i.e. "etags").

5.  User-defined languages, using Posix regular expressions.

6.  Supports UNIX, MSDOS, Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP, OS/2, QNX, Amiga, QDOS,
    RISC OS, VMS, Macintosh, and Cray. Some pre-compiled binaries are
    available on the web site.

Visit the Exuberant Ctags web site:

Which brings us to the most obvious question:

  Q: Why is it called "Exuberant" ctags?
  A: Because one of the meanings of the word is:

     exuberant : produced in extreme abundance : PLENTIFUL syn see PROFUSE

Compare the tag file produced by Exuberant Ctags with that produced by any
other ctags and you will see how appropriate the name is.

This source code is distributed according to the terms of the GNU General
Public License. It is provided on an as-is basis and no responsibility is
accepted for its failure to perform as expected. It is worth at least as
much as you paid for it!

Exuberant Ctags was originally derived from and inspired by the ctags
program by Steve Kirkendall ( that comes with the Elvis
vi clone (though almost none of the original code remains). This, too, is
freely available.

Please report any problems you find. The two problems I expect to be most
likely are either a tag which you expected but is missing, or a tag created
in error (shouldn't really be a tag). Please include a sample of code (the
definition) for the object which misbehaves.