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Full path fuzzy file, buffer, mru, tag, ... finder for Vim.

  • Written in pure Vimscript for MacVim, gVim and Vim 7.0+.
  • Full support for Vim's regexp as search patterns.
  • Built-in Most Recently Used (MRU) files monitoring.
  • Built-in project's root finder.
  • Open multiple files at once.
  • Create new files and directories.
  • Extensible.



vim 8+ manages packages all on its own. Installing ctrlp is this simple:

mkdir -p ~/.vim/pack/plugins/start
git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/ctrlpvim/ctrlp.vim.git ~/.vim/pack/plugins/start/ctrlp

Of course you can use your favorite plugin manager or check the quick installation guide for a primitive installation method.

Basic Usage

  • Run :CtrlP or :CtrlP [starting-directory] to invoke CtrlP in find file mode.
  • Run :CtrlPBuffer or :CtrlPMRU to invoke CtrlP in find buffer or find MRU file mode.
  • Run :CtrlPMixed to search in Files, Buffers and MRU files at the same time.

Check :help ctrlp-commands and :help ctrlp-extensions for other commands.

Once CtrlP is open:
  • Press <F5> to purge the cache for the current directory to get new files, remove deleted files and apply new ignore options.
  • Press <c-f> and <c-b> to cycle between modes.
  • Press <c-d> to switch to filename only search instead of full path.
  • Press <c-r> to switch to regexp mode.
  • Use <c-j>, <c-k> or the arrow keys to navigate the result list.
  • Use <c-t> or <c-v>, <c-x> to open the selected entry in a new tab or in a new split.
  • Use <c-n>, <c-p> to select the next/previous string in the prompt's history.
  • Use <c-y> to create a new file and its parent directories.
  • Use <c-z> to mark/unmark multiple files and <c-o> to open them.

Run :help ctrlp-mappings or submit ? in CtrlP for more mapping help.

  • Submit two or more dots .. to go up the directory tree by one or multiple levels.
  • End the input string with a colon : followed by a command to execute it on the opening file(s): Use :25 to jump to line 25. Use :diffthis when opening multiple files to run :diffthis on the first 4 files.

Basic Options

  • Change the default mapping and the default command to invoke CtrlP:

    let g:ctrlp_map = '<c-p>'
    let g:ctrlp_cmd = 'CtrlP'
  • When invoked without an explicit starting directory, CtrlP will set its local working directory according to this variable:

    let g:ctrlp_working_path_mode = 'ra'

    'c' - the directory of the current file.
    'a' - the directory of the current file, unless it is a subdirectory of the cwd
    'r' - the nearest ancestor of the current file that contains one of these directories or files: .git .hg .svn .bzr _darcs
    'w' - modifier to "r": start search from the cwd instead of the current file's directory
    0 or '' (empty string) - disable this feature.

    If none of the default markers (.git .hg .svn .bzr _darcs) are present in a project, you can define additional ones with g:ctrlp_root_markers:

    let g:ctrlp_root_markers = ['pom.xml', '.p4ignore']

    If more than one mode is specified, they will be tried in order until a directory is located.

  • If a file is already open, open it again in a new pane instead of switching to the existing pane

    let g:ctrlp_switch_buffer = 'et'

  • Exclude files and directories using Vim's wildignore and CtrlP's own g:ctrlp_custom_ignore. If a custom listing command is being used, exclusions are ignored:

    set wildignore+=*/tmp/*,*.so,*.swp,*.zip     " MacOSX/Linux
    set wildignore+=*\\tmp\\*,*.swp,*.zip,*.exe  " Windows
    let g:ctrlp_custom_ignore = '\v[\/]\.(git|hg|svn)$'
    let g:ctrlp_custom_ignore = {
      \ 'dir':  '\v[\/]\.(git|hg|svn)$',
      \ 'file': '\v\.(exe|so|dll)$',
      \ 'link': 'some_bad_symbolic_links',
      \ }
  • Use a custom file listing command:

    let g:ctrlp_user_command = 'find %s -type f'        " MacOSX/Linux
    let g:ctrlp_user_command = 'dir %s /-n /b /s /a-d'  " Windows
  • Ignore files in .gitignore

      let g:ctrlp_user_command = ['.git', 'cd %s && git ls-files -co --exclude-standard']

Check :help ctrlp-options for other options.


CtrlP is distributed under Vim's license.