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sneak.vim 👟

Jump to any location specified by two characters.

Sneak is a powerful, reliable, yet minimal motion plugin for Vim. It works with multiple lines, operators (including repeat . and surround), motion-repeat (; and ,), keymaps, visual mode, multibyte text, and macros.

Try label-mode for a minimalist alternative to EasyMotion:

let g:sneak#label = 1


Sneak is invoked with s followed by exactly two characters:

  • Type sab to move the cursor immediately to the next instance of the text "ab".
    • Additional matches, if any, are highlighted until the cursor is moved.
  • Type ; to go to the next match (or s again, if s_next is enabled; see :help sneak).
  • Type 3; to skip to the third match from the current position.
  • Type ctrl-o or `` to go back to the starting point.
    • This is a built-in Vim motion; Sneak adds to Vim's jumplist only on s invocation—not repeats—so you can abandon a trail of ; or , by a single ctrl-o or ``.
  • Type s<Enter> at any time to repeat the last Sneak-search.
  • Type S to search backwards.

Sneak can be limited to a vertical scope by prefixing s with a count.

  • Type 5sxy to go immediately to the next instance of "xy" within 5 columns of the cursor.

Sneak is invoked with operators via z (because s is taken by surround.vim).

  • Type 3dzqt to delete up to the third instance of "qt".
    • Type . to repeat the 3dzqt operation.
    • Type 2. to repeat twice.
    • Type d; to delete up to the next match.
    • Type 4d; to delete up to the fourth next match.
  • Type yszxy] to surround in brackets up to xy.
    • Type . to repeat the surround operation.
  • Type gUz\} to upper-case the text from the cursor until the next instance of the literal text \}
    • Type . to repeat the gUz\} operation.


  • vim-plug
    • Plug 'justinmk/vim-sneak'
  • Pathogen
    • git clone git:// ~/.vim/bundle/vim-sneak
  • Manual installation:
    • Copy the files to your .vim directory.

To repeat Sneak operations (like dzab) with dot ., repeat.vim is required.


Why not use /?

For the same reason that Vim has motions like f and t: common operations should use the fewest keystrokes.

  • /ab<cr> requires 33% more keystrokes than sab
  • Sets only the initial position in the Vim jumplist—so you can explore a trail of matches via ;, then return to the start with a single ctrl-o or ``
  • Doesn't clutter your search history
  • Input is always literal (don't need to escape special characters)
    • Ignores accents ("equivalence class") when matching (#183)
  • Smarter, subtler highlighting

Why not use f?

  • 50x more precise than f or t
  • Moves vertically
  • Highlights matches in the direction of your search

How dare you remap s?

You can specify any mapping for Sneak (see :help sneak). By the way: cl is equivalent to s, and cc is equivalent to S.

How can I replace f with Sneak?

map f <Plug>Sneak_s
map F <Plug>Sneak_S

How can I replace f and/or t with one-character Sneak?

Sneak has <Plug> mappings for f and t 1-character-sneak. These mappings do not invoke label-mode, even if you have it enabled.

map f <Plug>Sneak_f
map F <Plug>Sneak_F
map t <Plug>Sneak_t
map T <Plug>Sneak_T



Copyright © Justin M. Keyes. Distributed under the MIT license.

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