SearchRepeat : Repeat the last type of search via n/N.
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Jumping to the next / previous search match is such a common command in Vim
that the n / N keys quickly become deeply ingrained in muscle memory. So
when one has defined a custom search (e.g. aided by the SearchSpecial.vim
(vimscript #4948) plugin), one is tempted to use n / N to repeat those,
too, but the keys will just continue to perform the default search. An
intelligent overloading of n / N is also desirable because these
single-key commands allow for quick single-stroke repeat, and there aren't
many other keys left for mapping custom searches to.
This plugin overloads the n and N commands so that custom searches (i.e.
anything except the default search via /, ?, [g]*, [g]#) can be repeated.
Activation of a custom search makes that search the new type of search to be
repeated, until the search type is changed again. The default search is
included in that via the `/` and ? commands, too.
It can also make n always move forward and N always move backward (for
both built-in and custom searches), regardless of the current search
- The SearchSpecial.vim (vimscript #4948) plugin provides generic functions
for special search modes. Check out its plugin page for a full list of
custom searches powered by it.
n / N Repeat the last used type of search.
gn List all registered search types, keys to
(re-)activate, and optional related search commands
that activate or configure that type.
The currently active search type is highlighted.
Some custom searches provide dedicated :Search... commands that also activate
the search repeat. Apart from that, you usually select and execute a custom
search type via its gn... integration mapping.
To change the search type back to plain normal search (without changing the
search pattern), just type '/<Enter>'.
Let's define a simple custom search that positions the current search result
in the middle of the window (using zz). These mappings just delegate to the
default n command, open a fold (zv, because that's not done automatically
from a mapping), and then append the zz command:
nnoremap <silent> <Plug>(SearchAtCenterOfWindowNext) :<C-u>execute 'normal!' v:count1 . 'nzvzz'<CR>
nnoremap <silent> <Plug>(SearchAtCenterOfWindowPrev) :<C-u>execute 'normal!' v:count1 . 'Nzvzz'<CR>
Then, integrate these into SearchRepeat, using gnzz and gnzZ to activate them:
\ '<Plug>(SearchAtCenterOfWindowNext)', '', 'zz', '/win-center/', 'Search forward, position at center of window', '',
\ '<Plug>(SearchAtCenterOfWindowPrev)', '', 'zZ', '?win-center?', 'Search backward, position at center of window', '',
The gn command will now show the (two forward / backward variants of the)
newly added custom search in addition to the built-in standard search:
activation description helptext
/ Standard search forward
? Standard search backward
gnzz win-center Search forward, position at center of window
gnzZ win-center Search backward, position at center of window
To activate, search for /something, then press gnzz. From now on, the n /
N commands will also center the match (and the gnzz search type is
highlighted in the gn list), until you reset the search type with another
This script is packaged as a vimball. If you have the "gunzip" decompressor
in your PATH, simply edit the *.vmb.gz package in Vim; otherwise, decompress
the archive first, e.g. using WinZip. Inside Vim, install by sourcing the
vimball or via the :UseVimball command.
To uninstall, use the :RmVimball command.
- Requires Vim 7.0 or higher.
- Requires the ingo-library.vim plugin (vimscript #4433), version 1.005 or
For a permanent configuration, put the following commands into your vimrc:
By default, when a backwards search (e.g. ?foo?) is configured, the n
command jumps backwards, too, so the search direction affects the behavior of
n / N. Some prefer to have n / N behave consistently, regardless of
the current search direction, i.e. have n always move forward and N always
move backward. This can be achieved for both built-in and custom searches by
let g:SearchRepeat_IsAlwaysForwardWith_n = 1
To change the default mapping prefix, use:
let g:SearchRepeat_MappingPrefix = 'gn'
This will affect all SearchRepeat integrations done by custom searches, and by
default also the gn list of all registered search types. To change the
latter one separately, use:
nmap <Leader>gn <Plug>(SearchRepeatHelp)
To set the current search type (in a custom search mapping):
:call SearchRepeat#Set("\<Plug>MyCustomSearchMapping", "\<Plug>MyCustomOppositeSearchMapping", n)
To set the current search type (in a custom search mapping) and execute the
(first with 0, opposite with 1 as first argument) search mapping:
if ! SearchRepeat#Execute(0, "\<Plug>MyCustomSearchMapping", "\<Plug>MyCustomOppositeSearchMapping", n)
The third argument n specifies how the mappings deal with an optional [count]
that is passed to the 'n' / 'N' commands:
0: Doesn't handle count, single invocation only. No count is prepended to
the search mapping, which is invoked only once. (But the count itself
is still available through v:count.)
1: Doesn't handle count itself, invoke search mapping multiple times.
2: Handles count itself, prepend count before search mapping.
An optional fourth argument supplies additional configuration in a dictionary;
these key names are supported:
- "hlsearch" (type Boolean, default 1)
Flag whether to re-enable 'hlsearch' during repetition (which is not done
automatically because the repeated mapping is executed from within a
function, and not via feedkeys()). Set to 0 if your search mapping has
nothing to do with the built-in search functionality.
- "keys" (type String, default "")
Appends arbitrary (mapped) key sequences (via feedkeys()) after executing
the search mapping.
But normally, you'd define the (optional) SearchRepeat integration via the
single SearchRepeat#Define() convenience function, at the end of your custom
catch /^Vim\%((\a\+)\)\=:E117/ " catch error E117: Unknown function
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||- FIX: v:searchforward requires Vim 7.2; don't support the g:SearchRepeat_IsAlwaysForwardWith_n configuration in older versions.
||- CHG: Add isOpposite flag to SearchRepeat#Execute() and remove the swapping of a:mappingNext and a:mappingPrev in the opposite mapping definition.
- ENH: Add g:SearchRepeat_IsAlwaysForwardWith_n configuration to consistently always move forward / backward with n / N, regardless of whether the current search mode goes into the opposite direction.
- FIX: SearchRepeat#Execute() needs to return status of SearchRepeat#Repeat() to have clients :echoerr any error.