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vim-picker

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vim-picker is a fuzzy picker for Neovim and Vim.

vim-picker allows you to search for and select files, buffers, and tags using a fuzzy selector such as fzy, pick, or selecta. It has advantages over plugins with a similar purpose such as ctrlp.vim and Command-T:

  • It uses the embedded terminal emulator when available (this requires Neovim or Vim 8.1), so the fuzzy selector does not block the UI. Whilst selecting an item you can move to another buffer, edit that buffer, and return to the fuzzy selector to continue where you left off.
  • It adheres to the Unix philosophy, and does not reimplement existing tools. File listing is achieved using the best tool for the job: git in Git repositories and fd elsewhere, falling back to find if fd is not available. Fuzzy text selection is done with fzy by default: a fast, well behaved interactive filter.
  • It doesn't define default key mappings, allowing you to define your own mappings that best fit your workflow and don't conflict with your other plugins.

Installation

To use vim-picker you will first need a fuzzy selector such as fzy (recommended), pick, or selecta installed. See their respective homepages for installation instructions.

If you already use a plugin manager such as vim-plug, Dein.vim, or Vundle, install vim-picker in the normal manner. Otherwise, the recommended plugin manager is minpac. Add the following to your vimrc ($HOME/.vim/vimrc for Vim and ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:-$HOME/.config}/nvim/init.vim for Neovim), restart Vim, and run :call minpac#update():

call minpac#add('srstevenson/vim-picker')

If you have Vim 7.4.1840 or newer, you can use the native package support instead of a plugin manager by cloning vim-picker into a directory under packpath. For Vim:

git clone https://github.com/srstevenson/vim-picker \
    ~/.vim/pack/plugins/start/vim-picker

For Neovim:

git clone https://github.com/srstevenson/vim-picker \
    ${XDG_DATA_HOME:-$HOME/.local/share}/nvim/site/pack/plugins/start/vim-picker

Commands

vim-picker provides the following commands:

  • :PickerEdit: Pick a file to edit in the current window. This takes a single optional argument, which is the directory in which to run the file listing tool. If not specified, this defaults to the current working directory.
  • :PickerSplit: Pick a file to edit in a new horizontal split. This takes an optional directory argument in the same manner as :PickerEdit.
  • :PickerTabedit: Pick a file to edit in a new tab. This takes an optional directory argument in the same manner as :PickerEdit.
  • :PickerVsplit: Pick a file to edit in a new vertical split. This takes an optional directory argument in the same manner as :PickerEdit.
  • :PickerBuffer: Pick a buffer to edit in the current window.
  • :PickerBufferSplit: Pick a buffer to edit in a new horizontal split.
  • :PickerBufferVsplit: Pick a buffer to edit in a new vertical split.
  • :PickerTag: Pick a tag to jump to in the current window.
  • :PickerStag: Pick a tag to jump to in a new horizontal split.
  • :PickerBufferTag: Pick a tag from the current buffer to jump to.
  • :PickerHelp: Pick a help tag to jump to in the current window.

Key mappings

vim-picker defines the following <Plug> mappings:

  • <Plug>(PickerEdit): Execute :PickerEdit.
  • <Plug>(PickerSplit): Execute :PickerSplit.
  • <Plug>(PickerTabedit): Execute :PickerTabedit.
  • <Plug>(PickerVsplit): Execute :PickerVsplit.
  • <Plug>(PickerBuffer): Execute :PickerBuffer.
  • <Plug>(PickerBufferSplit): Execute :PickerBufferSplit.
  • <Plug>(PickerBufferVsplit): Execute :PickerBufferVsplit.
  • <Plug>(PickerTag): Execute :PickerTag.
  • <Plug>(PickerStag): Execute :PickerStag.
  • <Plug>(PickerBufferTag): Execute :PickerBufferTag.
  • <Plug>(PickerHelp): Execute :PickerHelp.

These are not mapped to key sequences, to allow you to choose those that best fit your workflow and don't conflict with other plugins you use. However if you have no preference, the following snippet maps the main mappings to mnemonic key sequences:

nmap <unique> <leader>pe <Plug>(PickerEdit)
nmap <unique> <leader>ps <Plug>(PickerSplit)
nmap <unique> <leader>pt <Plug>(PickerTabedit)
nmap <unique> <leader>pv <Plug>(PickerVsplit)
nmap <unique> <leader>pb <Plug>(PickerBuffer)
nmap <unique> <leader>p] <Plug>(PickerTag)
nmap <unique> <leader>pw <Plug>(PickerStag)
nmap <unique> <leader>po <Plug>(PickerBufferTag)
nmap <unique> <leader>ph <Plug>(PickerHelp)

Configuration

By default, vim-picker uses Git to list files in Git repositories, and fd outside of Git repositories, falling back to find if fd is not available. To use an alternative method of listing files, for example because you want to customise the flags passed to Git, because you use a different version control system, or because you want to use an alternative to fd or find, a custom file listing tool can be used.

To use a custom file listing tool, set g:picker_custom_find_executable and g:picker_custom_find_flags in your vimrc. For example, to use ripgrep set:

let g:picker_custom_find_executable = 'rg'
let g:picker_custom_find_flags = '--color never --files'

If g:picker_custom_find_executable is set, and the executable it references is found, it will always be used in place of Git, fd, or find. Therefore you may want to make g:picker_custom_find_executable a wrapper script that implements your own checks and fallbacks: for example using hg in Mercurial repositories, ripgrep elsewhere, and falling back to find if ripgrep is not installed.

fzy is used as the default fuzzy selector. To use an alternative selector, set g:picker_selector_executable and g:picker_selector_flags in your vimrc. For example, to use pick set:

let g:picker_selector_executable = 'pick'
let g:picker_selector_flags = ''

vim-picker has been tested with fzy, pick, and selecta, but any well behaved command line filter should work. If your version of Vim does not contain an embedded terminal emulator, but you run Vim within tmux, setting g:picker_selector_executable to the fzy-tmux script distributed with fzy will open the fuzzy selector in a new tmux pane below Vim, providing an interface similar to using the embedded terminal emulator of Neovim or Vim 8.1.

By default, when an embedded terminal emulator is available vim-picker will run the fuzzy selector in a full width split at the bottom of the window, using :botright. You can change this by setting g:picker_split in your vimrc. For example, to open a full width split at the top of the window, set:

let g:picker_split = 'topleft'

See opening-window for other valid values.

To specify the height of the window in which the fuzzy selector is opened, set g:picker_height in your vimrc. The default is 10 lines:

let g:picker_height = 10

Custom commands

For use cases not covered by the builtin functions, vim-picker also exposes lower level functions that allow you to specify any shell command to generate selection candidates with, combined with any Vim command to run on the output. These are picker#String() and picker#File():

call picker#String({shell_command}, {vim_command})
call picker#File({shell_command}, {vim_command}, ...)

These take the following arguments:

  1. A shell command that generates a newline-separated list of candidates to pass to the fuzzy selector. The shell command can utilise pipes to chain commands together.
  2. A Vim command, such as edit or tjump. The item selected in the fuzzy selector is passed to this Vim command as a single argument.

The two functions are equivalent, except that picker#File() escapes the user's selection for use as a filename (for passing to Vim commands such as :edit) whereas picker#String() does not.

For example, to edit a Markdown file stored in ~/notes in a new tab, use:

call picker#File('find ~/notes -name "*.md"', 'tabe')

In addition to shell_command and vim_command, picker#File accepts a third argument which is a dictionary controlling its behaviour.

It may contain the following keys:

  • cwd controls where shell_command is run.
  • line_handler must be the name of a function taking a single argument, and must return a dictionary. This function will be called for every user selection and allows the user to do some preprocessing, for example to strip extra information or to extract line and column information. The returned dictionary can have the following keys:
    • filename: the name of the file to open (mandatory).
    • line: the line to go to in the file (optional).
    • column: the column to go to in the line (optional).

For example, to use ripgrep to search for a pattern in files:

function! PickerRgLineHandler(selection) abort
    let parts = split(a:selection, ':')
    return {'filename': parts[0], 'line': parts[1], 'column': parts[2]}
endfunction

command! -nargs=? PickerRg
    \ call picker#File('rg --color never --line-number --column '.shellescape(<q-args>), "edit", {'line_handler': 'PickerRgLineHandler'})

Using :PickerRg <pattern> will search for the specified pattern and when a match is selected the file will be opened at the line and column of the match.

Copyright

Copyright © 2016-2021 Scott Stevenson.

vim-picker is distributed under the terms of the ISC licence.


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