fzf man page

fzf — a command-line fuzzy finder


find path/to/search -type f | fzf

ps aux | fzf

find path/to/search_files -type f | fzf -m > filename

fzf -q "query"

fzf -q "^core go$ | rb$ | py$"

fzf -q "!pyc 'travis"


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)

Search result

+s, --no-sort

Do not sort the result


Reverse the order of the input

e.g. 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

+m, --no-multi

Disable multi-select


Disable mouse


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


Enable cyclic scroll


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 above and below the finder


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.

e.g. fzf --margin 10%
    fzf --margin 1,5%


Display finder info inline with the query


Input prompt (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. Ansi color code of -1 denotes terminal default foreground/background color. You can also specify 24-bit color in #rrggbb format.

e.g. fzf --color=bg+:24
    fzf --color=light,fg:232,bg:255,bg+:116,info:27

   (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

   fg      Text
   bg      Background
   hl      Highlighted substrings
   fg+     Text (current line)
   bg+     Background (current line)
   hl+     Highlighted substrings (current line)
   info    Info
   border  Border of the preview window and horizontal separators (--border)
   prompt  Prompt
   pointer Pointer to the current line
   marker  Multi-select marker
   spinner Streaming input indicator
   header  Header


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).

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

fzf overrides $LINES and $COLUMNS so that they represent the exact size of the preview window.

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.

e.g. 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.

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.


Determine the layout of the preview window. If the argument ends with :hidden, the preview window will be hidden by default until toggle-preview action is triggered. Long lines are truncated by default. Line wrap can be enabled with :wrap flag.

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

POSITION: (default: right)

e.g. fzf --preview="head {}" --preview-window=up:30%
    fzf --preview="file {}" --preview-window=down:1


-q, --query=STR

Start the finder with the given query

-1, --select-1

Automatically select the only match

-0, --exit-0

Exit immediately when there's no match

-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.

e.g. 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


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 Bindings

You can customize key bindings of fzf with --bind option which takes a comma-separated list of key binding expressions. Each key binding expression follows the following format: KEY:ACTION

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

   enter       (return ctrl-m)
   bspace      (bs)
   alt-bspace  (alt-bs)
   btab        (shift-tab)
   pgup        (page-up)
   pgdn        (page-down)
   or any single character

Additionally, a special event named change is available which is triggered whenever the query string is changed.

   e.g. fzf --bind change:top

   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-kill-word    alt-bs
   backward-word         alt-b   shift-left
   beginning-of-line     ctrl-a  home
   cancel                (clears query string if not empty, aborts fzf otherwise)
   clear-screen          ctrl-l
   delete-char           del
   delete-char/eof       ctrl-d
   down                  ctrl-j  ctrl-n  down
   end-of-line           ctrl-e  end
   execute(...)          (see below for the details)
   execute-silent(...)   (see below for the details)
   execute-multi(...)    (deprecated in favor of {+} expression)
   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
   next-history          (ctrl-n on --history)
   page-down             pgdn
   page-up               pgup
   preview-down          shift-down
   preview-up            shift-up
   previous-history      (ctrl-p on --history)
   print-query           (print query and exit)
   replace-query         (replace query string with the current selection)
   toggle                (right-click)
   toggle+down           ctrl-i  (tab)
   toggle-in             (--layout=reverse* ? toggle+up : toggle+down)
   toggle-out            (--layout=reverse* ? toggle+down : toggle+up)
   toggle+up             btab    (shift-tab)
   top                   (move to the top result)
   unix-line-discard     ctrl-u
   unix-word-rubout      ctrl-w
   up                    ctrl-k  ctrl-p  up
   yank                  ctrl-y

Multiple actions can be chained using + separator.

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

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.

If the command 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.


This 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.

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 &).


Junegunn Choi (junegunn.c@gmail.com)

See Also

Project homepage:

Extra Vim plugin:




Jun 2018 fzf 0.17.4 fzf - a command-line fuzzy finder