Fast Project Finding With fzf
fzf is a fantastic utility, written by an author with a history of writing useful things. He’s also a vim user, and in addition to his other vim plugins he has created an “enhancement” plugin called fzf.vim.
One of the neat things
fzf.vim does is make it easy to create new commands
for fuzzy searches. If you’re like me, you probably have some absurd number of project
repositories you keep around and jump to, as necessary. Not everything is in
the same directory (e.g.
~/work/), naturally, and with a laptop, desktop,
and a couple other machines the less-frequently used repos may be where one
least expects them to be — or not present at all.
It’s not hugely annoying, just a sort of mild pain to have to spend several
extra seconds doing a fuzzy search manually, rather than having
fzf do it.
But we do have
fzf, and it’s not difficult at all to build out a new search,
so there’s really no reason to keep on inflicting that pain.
Let’s create a new command in my vimrc,
:Projects, that invokes
fzf to search through all the different work
directories I have.
What does this do?
Defines a new vim command,
No surprises here.
fzf#run()to run a
fzf#run()handles the actual execution and presentation of
fzf, as well has dispatching the results back to the
fzf#wrap()is neat. It allows a command to take advantage of
fzf.vim’s option handling – or not, by simply omitting it.
findto look for repositories
We know roughly where to look(
~/.vim/plugged) and how deep to look. Just about everything I do is backed by git, so we can look for repositories and return the parent of the found
Note that the
findinvocation deliberately omits a
-type dargument. I do use git worktrees, meaning
.gitmay well be a file (a “gitlink”).
Calls out to
rsrchboy#fzf#FindOrOpenTab()with the project selected
fzf#run()what to do with the results. In our case we have provided
fzf#run()with a callback function, but you can also use built-ins as sinks.
The callback “sink” function
In general, I use one tab per project (repository) in vim. For me, this is a
nice balance of utility and sanity. It also allows me to do things like set
t:git_workdir to the git and workdir, respectively, of the
repository associated with the tab.
Our callback function first attempts to find an open tab with the workdir
requested; if found, it just switches to it and returns. (It should probably
admonish me to read the tab line before invoking
If not found. the callback function invokes
fzf#run() again. This time we
git ls-files to generate the source list for
fzf, allowing us to pick
a file to be opened by the given
Hey, that wasn’t too hard!
Easier than writing this post, I’d say ;)