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ZSH port of Fish shell's history search feature.
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README.md

zsh-history-substring-search

This is a clean-room implementation of the Fish shell's history search feature, where you can type in any part of any previously entered command and press the UP and DOWN arrow keys to cycle through the matching commands. You can also use K and J in VI mode or ^P and ^N in EMACS mode for the same.


Requirements

  • ZSH 4.3 or newer

Usage

  1. Load this script into your interactive ZSH session:

    % source zsh-history-substring-search.zsh
    

    If you want to use zsh-syntax-highlighting along with this script, then make sure that you load it before you load this script:

    % source zsh-syntax-highlighting.zsh
    % source zsh-history-substring-search.zsh
    
  2. Bind keyboard shortcuts to this script's functions:

    # bind UP and DOWN arrow keys
    zmodload zsh/terminfo
    bindkey "$terminfo[kcuu1]" history-substring-search-up
    bindkey "$terminfo[kcud1]" history-substring-search-down
    
    # bind UP and DOWN arrow keys (compatibility fallback
    # for Ubuntu 12.04, Fedora 21, and MacOSX 10.9 users)
    bindkey '^[[A' history-substring-search-up
    bindkey '^[[B' history-substring-search-down
    
    # bind P and N for EMACS mode
    bindkey -M emacs '^P' history-substring-search-up
    bindkey -M emacs '^N' history-substring-search-down
    
    # bind k and j for VI mode
    bindkey -M vicmd 'k' history-substring-search-up
    bindkey -M vicmd 'j' history-substring-search-down
    
  3. Type any part of any previous command and then:

    • Press the UP arrow key to select the nearest command that (1) contains your query and (2) is older than the current command in the command history.

    • Press the DOWN arrow key to select the nearest command that (1) contains your query and (2) is newer than the current command in the command history.

    • Press ^U (the Control and U keys simultaneously) to abort the search.

  4. If a matching command spans more than one line of text, press the LEFT arrow key to move the cursor away from the end of the command, and then:

    • Press the UP arrow key to move the cursor to the line above. When the cursor reaches the first line of the command, pressing the UP arrow key again will cause this script to perform another search.

    • Press the DOWN arrow key to move the cursor to the line below. When the cursor reaches the last line of the command, pressing the DOWN arrow key again will cause this script to perform another search.


Configuration

This script defines the following global variables. You may override their default values only after having loaded this script into your ZSH session.

  • HISTORY_SUBSTRING_SEARCH_HIGHLIGHT_FOUND is a global variable that defines how the query should be highlighted inside a matching command. Its default value causes this script to highlight using bold, white text on a magenta background. See the "Character Highlighting" section in the zshzle(1) man page to learn about the kinds of values you may assign to this variable.

  • HISTORY_SUBSTRING_SEARCH_HIGHLIGHT_NOT_FOUND is a global variable that defines how the query should be highlighted when no commands in the history match it. Its default value causes this script to highlight using bold, white text on a red background. See the "Character Highlighting" section in the zshzle(1) man page to learn about the kinds of values you may assign to this variable.

  • HISTORY_SUBSTRING_SEARCH_GLOBBING_FLAGS is a global variable that defines how the command history will be searched for your query. Its default value causes this script to perform a case-insensitive search. See the "Globbing Flags" section in the zshexpn(1) man page to learn about the kinds of values you may assign to this variable.

To always receive unique search results, use setopt HIST_IGNORE_ALL_DUPS. Alternatively, use setopt HIST_FIND_NO_DUPS which makes this plugin skip duplicate adjacent search results as you cycle through them---however, this does not guarantee that search results are unique: if your search results were "Dog", "Dog", "HotDog", "Dog", then cycling them gives "Dog", "HotDog", "Dog". Notice that the "Dog" search result appeared twice as you cycled through them! If you wish to avoid this limitation, then use setopt HIST_IGNORE_ALL_DUPS.


History

This script was originally written by Peter Stephenson, who published it to the ZSH users mailing list (thereby making it public domain) in September 2009. It was later revised by Guido van Steen and released under the BSD license (see below) as part of the fizsh project in January 2011.

It was later extracted from fizsh release 1.0.1, refactored heavily, and repackaged as both an oh-my-zsh plugin and as an independently loadable ZSH script by Suraj N. Kurapati in 2011.

It was further developed by Guido van Steen, Suraj N. Kurapati, Sorin Ionescu, and Vincent Guerci in 2011.

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