Configure your Vim for easy searching

When navigating through Vim you'll search a lot using the / command, which works 'ok' by default but there's a couple of settings you can make to increase Vims search functionality a lot.

These are the settings I have in my .vimrc:

set incsearch

Normally Vim will wait with searching until you've completed your search pattern and once you press enter it will search for a match. Once you've set incearch it will immediately start searching as you type. So you'll see where the first match of your search pattern is, pretty handy as you'll immediately see whether your pattern is correct or not.

set hlsearch

This will highlight all of the matches of your search pattern, making it easy to show where and how often your pattern matches.

autocmd InsertEnter * :setlocal nohlsearch
autocmd InsertLeave * :setlocal hlsearch

This will disable the highlights when you enter insertmode and will turn them back on when you leave insertmode. So if you've searched and want to change something it'll stop highlighting the results but once you're done editing you'll be able to continue your search.

map <Leader>cs :nohlsearch<cr>

Highlighting your results is great, but you'll want to turn the highlights off once you're done with them. Typing :nohlsearch will do the trick, but as this is something I do quite often I've created a shortcut for it: <Leader>cs clears all the search results (Clear Search).

There's plenty more stuff to tweak about searching through Vim, these are the ones I've set but if you want to learn more tricks be sure to check out Vim's awesome help guides. They've got an entire chapter about searching, check it out at: :h usr_27

Am I searching through my files the hard way or am I missing an awesome setting? Please let me know in the comments, via mail or on Twitter!