Searching in the current buffer

execute command on lines that contain text

The :global command already has its own topic: The global command

Searching for an arbitrary pattern

Vim's standard search commands are / for forward search and ? for backward search.

To start a search from normal mode:

  1. press /,
  2. type your pattern,
  3. press <CR> to perform the search.

Examples:

/foobar<CR>      search forward for foobar
?foo\/bar<CR>    search backward for foo/bar

n and N can be used to jump to the next and previous occurence:

  • Pressing n after a forward search positions the cursor on the next occurence, forwards.

  • Pressing N after a forward search positions the cursor on the next occurence, backwards.

  • Pressing n after a backward search positions the cursor on the next occurence, backwards.

  • Pressing N after a backward search positions the cursor on the next occurence, forwards.

Searching for the word under the cursor

In normal mode, move the cursor to any word then press * to search forwards for the next occurrence of the word under the cursor, or press # to search backwards.

* or # search for the exact word under the cursor: searching for big would only find big and not bigger.

Under the hood, Vim uses a simple search with word boundaries atoms:

  • /\<big\> for *,
  • ?\<big\> for #.

g* or g# don't search for the exact word under the cursor: searching for big would find bigger.

Under the hood, Vim uses a simple search without word boundaries atoms:

  • /\<big\> for *,
  • ?\<big\> for #.