fzf - Man Page

a command-line fuzzy finder

Examples (TL;DR)


fzf [options]


fzf is a general-purpose command-line fuzzy finder.


Search mode

-x,  --extended

Extended-search mode. Since 0.10.9, this is enabled by default. You can disable it with +x or --no-extended.

-e,  --exact

Enable exact-match


Case-insensitive match (default: smart-case match)


Case-sensitive match


Do not normalize latin script letters for matching.


Fuzzy matching algorithm (default: v2)

v2     Optimal scoring algorithm (quality)
v1     Faster but not guaranteed to find the optimal result (performance)

-n,  --nth=N[,..]

Comma-separated list of field index expressions for limiting search scope. See Field Index Expression for the details.


Transform the presentation of each line using field index expressions

-d,  --delimiter=STR

Field delimiter regex for --nth and --with-nth (default: AWK-style)


Do not perform search. With this option, fzf becomes a simple selector interface rather than a "fuzzy finder". You can later enable the search using enable-search or toggle-search action.

Search result

+s,  --no-sort

Do not sort the result


Reverse the order of the input

    history | fzf --tac --no-sort


Comma-separated list of sort criteria to apply when the scores are tied.

length  Prefers line with shorter length
begin   Prefers line with matched substring closer to the beginning
end     Prefers line with matched substring closer to the end
index   Prefers line that appeared earlier in the input stream

- Each criterion should appear only once in the list
- index is only allowed at the end of the list
- index is implicitly appended to the list when not specified
- Default is length (or equivalently length,index)
- If end is found in the list, fzf will scan each line backwards


-m,  --multi

Enable multi-select with tab/shift-tab. It optionally takes an integer argument which denotes the maximum number of items that can be selected.

+m,  --no-multi

Disable multi-select


Disable mouse


Comma-separated list of custom key bindings. See Key/Event Bindings for the details.


Enable cyclic scroll


Keep the right end of the line visible when it's too long. Effective only when the query string is empty.


Disable horizontal scroll


Number of screen columns to keep to the right of the highlighted substring (default: 10). Setting it to a large value will cause the text to be positioned on the center of the screen.


Make word-wise movements and actions respect path separators. The following actions are affected:



Label characters for jump and jump-accept



Display fzf window below the cursor with the given height instead of using the full screen.


Minimum height when --height is given in percent (default: 10). Ignored when --height is not specified.


Choose the layout (default: default)

default       Display from the bottom of the screen
reverse       Display from the top of the screen
reverse-list  Display from the top of the screen, prompt at the bottom


A synonym for --layout=reverse


Draw border around the finder

rounded     Border with rounded corners (default)
sharp       Border with sharp corners
horizontal  Horizontal lines above and below the finder
vertical    Vertical lines on each side of the finder


Use ASCII characters instead of Unicode box drawing characters to draw border


Comma-separated expression for margins around the finder.

TRBL     Same margin for top, right, bottom, and left
TB,RL    Vertical, horizontal margin
T,RL,B   Top, horizontal, bottom margin
T,R,B,L  Top, right, bottom, left margin

Each part can be given in absolute number or in percentage relative to the terminal size with % suffix.

    fzf --margin 10%
    fzf --margin 1,5%


Comma-separated expression for padding inside the border. Padding is distinguishable from margin only when --border option is used.

    fzf --margin 5% --padding 5% --border --preview 'cat {}' \
        --color bg:#222222,preview-bg:#333333

TRBL     Same padding for top, right, bottom, and left
TB,RL    Vertical, horizontal padding
T,RL,B   Top, horizontal, bottom padding
T,R,B,L  Top, right, bottom, left padding


Determines the display style of finder info.

default       Display on the next line to the prompt
inline        Display on the same line
hidden        Do not display finder info


A synonym for --info=hidden


Input prompt (default: '> ')


Pointer to the current line (default: '>')


Multi-select marker (default: '>')


The given string will be printed as the sticky header. The lines are displayed in the given order from top to bottom regardless of --layout option, and are not affected by --with-nth. ANSI color codes are processed even when --ansi is not set.


The first N lines of the input are treated as the sticky header. When --with-nth is set, the lines are transformed just like the other lines that follow.



Enable processing of ANSI color codes


Number of spaces for a tab character (default: 8)


Color configuration. The name of the base color scheme is followed by custom color mappings.

   (default: dark on 256-color terminal, otherwise 16)

   dark    Color scheme for dark 256-color terminal
   light   Color scheme for light 256-color terminal
   16      Color scheme for 16-color terminal
   bw      No colors (equivalent to --no-color)

   fg         Text
   bg         Background
   preview-fg Preview window text
   preview-bg Preview window background
   hl         Highlighted substrings
   fg+        Text (current line)
   bg+        Background (current line)
   gutter     Gutter on the left (defaults to bg+)
   hl+        Highlighted substrings (current line)
   query      Query string
   disabled   Query string when search is disabled
   info       Info line (match counters)
   border     Border around the window (--border and --preview)
   prompt     Prompt
   pointer    Pointer to the current line
   marker     Multi-select marker
   spinner    Streaming input indicator
   header     Header

   -1         Default terminal foreground/background color
              (or the original color of the text)
   0 ~ 15     16 base colors
     bright-black (gray | grey)
   16 ~ 255   ANSI 256 colors
   #rrggbb    24-bit colors

ANSI ATTRIBUTES: (Only applies to foreground colors)
   regular    Clears previously set attributes; should precede the other ones


    # Seoul256 theme with 8-bit colors
    # (https://github.com/junegunn/seoul256.vim)
    fzf --color='bg:237,bg+:236,info:143,border:240,spinner:108' \
        --color='hl:65,fg:252,header:65,fg+:252' \

    # Seoul256 theme with 24-bit colors
    fzf --color='bg:#4B4B4B,bg+:#3F3F3F,info:#BDBB72,border:#6B6B6B,spinner:#98BC99' \
        --color='hl:#719872,fg:#D9D9D9,header:#719872,fg+:#D9D9D9' \


Do not use bold text


Use black background



Load search history from the specified file and update the file on completion. When enabled, CTRL-N and CTRL-P are automatically remapped to next-history and previous-history.


Maximum number of entries in the history file (default: 1000). The file is automatically truncated when the number of the lines exceeds the value.



Execute the given command for the current line and display the result on the preview window. {} in the command is the placeholder that is replaced to the single-quoted string of the current line. To transform the replacement string, specify field index expressions between the braces (See Field Index Expression for the details).

    fzf --preview='head -$LINES {}'
    ls -l | fzf --preview="echo user={3} when={-4..-2}; cat {-1}" --header-lines=1

fzf exports $FZF_PREVIEW_LINES and $FZF_PREVIEW_COLUMNS so that they represent the exact size of the preview window. (It also overrides $LINES and $COLUMNS with the same values but they can be reset by the default shell, so prefer to refer to the ones with FZF_PREVIEW_ prefix.)

A placeholder expression starting with + flag will be replaced to the space-separated list of the selected lines (or the current line if no selection was made) individually quoted.

    fzf --multi --preview='head -10 {+}'
    git log --oneline | fzf --multi --preview 'git show {+1}'

When using a field index expression, leading and trailing whitespace is stripped from the replacement string. To preserve the whitespace, use the s flag.

Also, {q} is replaced to the current query string, and {n} is replaced to zero-based ordinal index of the line. Use {+n} if you want all index numbers when multiple lines are selected.

A placeholder expression with f flag is replaced to the path of a temporary file that holds the evaluated list. This is useful when you multi-select a large number of items and the length of the evaluated string may exceed ARG_MAX.

    # Press CTRL-A to select 100K items and see the sum of all the numbers.
    # This won't work properly without 'f' flag due to ARG_MAX limit.
    seq 100000 | fzf --multi --bind ctrl-a:select-all \
                     --preview "awk '{sum+=$1} END {print sum}' {+f}"

Note that you can escape a placeholder pattern by prepending a backslash.

Preview window will be updated even when there is no match for the current query if any of the placeholder expressions evaluates to a non-empty string.

Since 0.24.0, fzf can render partial preview content before the preview command completes. ANSI escape sequence for clearing the display (CSI 2 J) is supported, so you can use it to implement preview window that is constantly updating.

     fzf --preview 'for i in $(seq 100000); do
       (( i % 200 == 0 )) && printf "\033[2J"
       echo "$i"
       sleep 0.01


POSITION: (default: right)

Determines the layout of the preview window.

* If the argument contains :hidden, the preview window will be hidden by default until toggle-preview action is triggered.

* If size is given as 0, preview window will not be visible, but fzf will still execute the command in the background.

* Long lines are truncated by default. Line wrap can be enabled with :wrap flag.

* Preview window will automatically scroll to the bottom when :follow flag is set, similarly to how tail -f works.

     fzf --preview-window follow --preview 'for i in $(seq 100000); do
       echo "$i"
       sleep 0.01
       (( i % 300 == 0 )) && printf "\033[2J"

* Cyclic scrolling is enabled with :cycle flag.

* To change the style of the border of the preview window, specify one of the options for --border with border- prefix. e.g. border-rounded (border with rounded edges, default), border-sharp (border with sharp edges), border-left, border-none, etc.

* [:+SCROLL[OFFSETS][/DENOM]] determines the initial scroll offset of the preview window.

 - SCROLL can be either a numeric integer or a single-field index expression that refers to a numeric integer.

 - The optional OFFSETS part is for adjusting the base offset. It should be given as a series of signed integers (-INTEGER or +INTEGER).

 - The final /DENOM part is for specifying a fraction of the preview window height.

* ~HEADER_LINES keeps the top N lines as the fixed header so that they are always visible.

* default resets all options previously set to the default.

    # Non-default scroll window positions and sizes
    fzf --preview="head {}" --preview-window=up,30%
    fzf --preview="file {}" --preview-window=down,1

    # Initial scroll offset is set to the line number of each line of
    # git grep output *minus* 5 lines (-5)
    git grep --line-number '' |
      fzf --delimiter : --preview 'nl {1}' --preview-window '+{2}-5'

    # Preview with bat, matching line in the middle of the window below
    # the fixed header of the top 3 lines
    #   ~3    Top 3 lines as the fixed header
    #   +{2}  Base scroll offset extracted from the second field
    #   +3    Extra offset to compensate for the 3-line header
    #   /2    Put in the middle of the preview area
    git grep --line-number '' |
      fzf --delimiter : \
          --preview 'bat --style=full --color=always --highlight-line {2} {1}' \
          --preview-window '~3,+{2}+3/2'

    # Display top 3 lines as the fixed header
    fzf --preview 'bat --style=full --color=always {}' --preview-window '~3'


-q,  --query=STR

Start the finder with the given query

-1,  --select-1

If there is only one match for the initial query (--query), do not start interactive finder and automatically select the only match

-0,  --exit-0

If there is no match for the initial query (--query), do not start interactive finder and exit immediately

-f,  --filter=STR

Filter mode. Do not start interactive finder. When used with --no-sort, fzf becomes a fuzzy-version of grep.


Print query as the first line


Comma-separated list of keys that can be used to complete fzf in addition to the default enter key. When this option is set, fzf will print the name of the key pressed as the first line of its output (or as the second line if --print-query is also used). The line will be empty if fzf is completed with the default enter key. If --expect option is specified multiple times, fzf will expect the union of the keys. --no-expect will clear the list.

    fzf --expect=ctrl-v,ctrl-t,alt-s --expect=f1,f2,~,@


Read input delimited by ASCII NUL characters instead of newline characters


Print output delimited by ASCII NUL characters instead of newline characters


Do not clear finder interface on exit. If fzf was started in full screen mode, it will not switch back to the original screen, so you'll have to manually run tput rmcup to return. This option can be used to avoid flickering of the screen when your application needs to start fzf multiple times in order.


Synchronous search for multi-staged filtering. If specified, fzf will launch ncurses finder only after the input stream is complete.

e.g. fzf --multi | fzf --sync


Display version information and exit

Note that most options have the opposite versions with --no- prefix.

Environment Variables


Default command to use when input is tty. On *nix systems, fzf runs the command with $SHELL -c if SHELL is set, otherwise with sh -c, so in this case make sure that the command is POSIX-compliant.


Default options. e.g. export FZF_DEFAULT_OPTS="--extended --cycle"

Exit Status

0      Normal exit
1      No match
2      Error
130    Interrupted with CTRL-C or ESC

Field Index Expression

A field index expression can be a non-zero integer or a range expression ([BEGIN]..[END]). --nth and --with-nth take a comma-separated list of field index expressions.


1      The 1st field
2      The 2nd field
-1     The last field
-2     The 2nd to last field
3..5   From the 3rd field to the 5th field
2..    From the 2nd field to the last field
..-3   From the 1st field to the 3rd to the last field
..     All the fields

Extended Search Mode

Unless specified otherwise, fzf will start in "extended-search mode". In this mode, you can specify multiple patterns delimited by spaces, such as: 'wild ^music .mp3$ sbtrkt !rmx

You can prepend a backslash to a space (\ ) to match a literal space character.

Exact-match (quoted)

A term that is prefixed by a single-quote character (') is interpreted as an "exact-match" (or "non-fuzzy") term. fzf will search for the exact occurrences of the string.


A term can be prefixed by ^, or suffixed by $ to become an anchored-match term. Then fzf will search for the lines that start with or end with the given string. An anchored-match term is also an exact-match term.


If a term is prefixed by !, fzf will exclude the lines that satisfy the term from the result. In this case, fzf performs exact match by default.

Exact-match by default

If you don't prefer fuzzy matching and do not wish to "quote" (prefixing with ') every word, start fzf with -e or --exact option. Note that when --exact is set, '-prefix "unquotes" the term.

OR operator

A single bar character term acts as an OR operator. For example, the following query matches entries that start with core and end with either go, rb, or py.

e.g. ^core go$ | rb$ | py$

Key/Event Bindings

--bind option allows you to bind a key or an event to one or more actions. You can use it to customize key bindings or implement dynamic behaviors.

--bind takes a comma-separated list of binding expressions. Each binding expression is KEY:ACTION or EVENT:ACTION.

    fzf --bind=ctrl-j:accept,ctrl-k:kill-line

Available Keys: (Synonyms)

ctrl-^      (ctrl-6)
ctrl-/      (ctrl-_)
alt-[*]     (Any case-sensitive single character is allowed)
enter       (return ctrl-m)
bspace      (bs)
alt-bspace  (alt-bs)
btab        (shift-tab)
pgup        (page-up)
pgdn        (page-down)
or any single character

Available Events


Triggered whenever the query string is changed

    # Move cursor to the first entry whenever the query is changed
    fzf --bind change:first


Triggered when the query string is already empty and you try to delete it backward.

    fzf --bind backward-eof:abort

Available Actions

A key or an event can be bound to one or more of the following actions.

 ACTION:                   DEFAULT BINDINGS (NOTES):
   abort                     ctrl-c  ctrl-g  ctrl-q  esc
   accept                    enter   double-click
   accept-non-empty          (same as accept except that it prevents fzf from exiting without selection)
   backward-char             ctrl-b  left
   backward-delete-char      ctrl-h  bspace
   backward-delete-char/eof  (same as backward-delete-char except aborts fzf if query is empty)
   backward-kill-word        alt-bs
   backward-word             alt-b   shift-left
   beginning-of-line         ctrl-a  home
   cancel                    (clear query string if not empty, abort fzf otherwise)
   change-prompt(...)        (change prompt to the given string)
   clear-screen              ctrl-l
   clear-selection           (clear multi-selection)
   close                     (close preview window if open, abort fzf otherwise)
   clear-query               (clear query string)
   delete-char               del
   delete-char/eof           ctrl-d (same as delete-char except aborts fzf if query is empty)
   deselect-all              (deselect all matches)
   disable-search            (disable search functionality)
   down                      ctrl-j  ctrl-n  down
   enable-search             (enable search functionality)
   end-of-line               ctrl-e  end
   execute(...)              (see below for the details)
   execute-silent(...)       (see below for the details)
   first                     (move to the first match)
   forward-char              ctrl-f  right
   forward-word              alt-f   shift-right
   jump                      (EasyMotion-like 2-keystroke movement)
   jump-accept               (jump and accept)
   kill-word                 alt-d
   last                      (move to the last match)
   next-history              (ctrl-n on --history)
   page-down                 pgdn
   page-up                   pgup
   preview(...)              (see below for the details)
   preview-down              shift-down
   preview-up                shift-up
   previous-history          (ctrl-p on --history)
   print-query               (print query and exit)
   reload(...)               (see below for the details)
   replace-query             (replace query string with the current selection)
   select-all                (select all matches)
   toggle                    (right-click)
   toggle-all                (toggle all matches)
   toggle+down               ctrl-i  (tab)
   toggle-in                 (--layout=reverse* ? toggle+up : toggle+down)
   toggle-out                (--layout=reverse* ? toggle+down : toggle+up)
   toggle-search             (toggle search functionality)
   toggle+up                 btab    (shift-tab)
   unbind(...)               (unbind bindings)
   unix-line-discard         ctrl-u
   unix-word-rubout          ctrl-w
   up                        ctrl-k  ctrl-p  up
   yank                      ctrl-y

Action Composition

Multiple actions can be chained using + separator.

    fzf --multi --bind 'ctrl-a:select-all+accept'
    fzf --multi --bind 'ctrl-a:select-all' --bind 'ctrl-a:+accept'

Action Argument

An action denoted with (...) suffix takes an argument.

    fzf --bind 'ctrl-a:change-prompt(NewPrompt> )'
    fzf --bind 'ctrl-v:preview(cat {})' --preview-window hidden

If the argument contains parentheses, fzf may fail to parse the expression. In that case, you can use any of the following alternative notations to avoid parse errors.


The last one is the special form that frees you from parse errors as it does not expect the closing character. The catch is that it should be the last one in the comma-separated list of key-action pairs.

Command Execution

With execute(...) action, you can execute arbitrary commands without leaving fzf. For example, you can turn fzf into a simple file browser by binding enter key to less command like follows.

   fzf --bind "enter:execute(less {})"

You can use the same placeholder expressions as in --preview.

fzf switches to the alternate screen when executing a command. However, if the command is expected to complete quickly, and you are not interested in its output, you might want to use execute-silent instead, which silently executes the command without the switching. Note that fzf will not be responsive until the command is complete. For asynchronous execution, start your command as a background process (i.e. appending &).

On *nix systems, fzf runs the command with $SHELL -c if SHELL is set, otherwise with sh -c, so in this case make sure that the command is POSIX-compliant.

Reload Input

reload(...) action is used to dynamically update the input list without restarting fzf. It takes the same command template with placeholder expressions as execute(...).

See https://github.com/junegunn/fzf/issues/1750 for more info.

    # Update the list of processes by pressing CTRL-R
    ps -ef | fzf --bind 'ctrl-r:reload(ps -ef)' --header 'Press CTRL-R to reload' \
                 --header-lines=1 --layout=reverse

    # Integration with ripgrep
    RG_PREFIX="rg --column --line-number --no-heading --color=always --smart-case "
      fzf --bind "change:reload:$RG_PREFIX {q} || true" \
          --ansi --disabled --query "$INITIAL_QUERY"

Preview Binding

With preview(...) action, you can specify multiple different preview commands in addition to the default preview command given by --preview option.


    # Default preview command with an extra preview binding
    fzf --preview 'file {}' --bind '?:preview:cat {}'

    # A preview binding with no default preview command
    # (Preview window is initially empty)
    fzf --bind '?:preview:cat {}'

    # Preview window hidden by default, it appears when you first hit '?'
    fzf --bind '?:preview:cat {}' --preview-window hidden


Junegunn Choi (junegunn.c@gmail.com)

See Also

Project homepage:

Extra Vim plugin:




Jun 2021 fzf 0.27.2 fzf - a command-line fuzzy finder