(or emacs irrelevant)

Ivy-mode 0.5.0 is out

At this point, swiper is only a fraction of ivy-mode's functionality. Still, it's nice to keep them all, together with counsel, in a single repository: counsel-git-grep works much better this way.

Anyway, I'll echo the release notes here, there are quite a few exciting new features.


  • TAB shouldn't delete input when there's no candidate.
  • TAB should switch directories properly.
  • require dired when completing file names, so that the directory face is loaded.
  • TAB should work with confirm-nonexistent-file-or-buffer.
  • TAB should handle empty input.
  • work around grep-read-files: it should be possible to simply M-x rgrep RET RET RET.
  • Fix the transition from a bad regex to a good one - you can input a bad regex to get 0 candidates, the candidates come back once the regex is fixed.
  • ivy-switch-buffer should pre-select other-buffer just like switch-buffer does it.
  • Fix selecting "C:\" on Windows.
  • counsel-git-grep should warn if not in a repository.
  • C-M-n shouldn't try to call action if there isn't one.
  • Turn on sorting for counsel-info-lookup-symbol.
  • ivy-read should check for an outdated cons initial-input.

New Features

Out of order matching

I actually like in-order matching, meaning the input "in ma" will match "in-order matching", but not "made in". But the users can switch to out-of-order matching if they use this code:

(setq ivy-re-builders-alist
          '((t . ivy--regex-ignore-order)))

ivy-re-builders-alist is the flexible way to customize the regex builders per-collection. Using t here, means to use this regex builder for everything. You could choose to have in-order for files, and out-of-order for buffers and so on.

New defcustom: ivy-tab-space

Use this to have a space inserted each time you press TAB:

(setq ivy-tab-space t)

ignore case for TAB

"pub" can expand to "Public License".

New command: counsel-load-library

This command is much better than the standard load-libary that it upgrades. It applies a sort of uniquify effect to all your libraries, which is very useful:


In this case, I have avy installed both from the package manager and manually. I can easily distinguish them.

Another cool feature is that instead of using find-library (which is also bad, since it would report two versions of avy with the same name and no way to distinguish them), you can simply use counsel-load-library and type C-. instead of RET to finalize.

Here's another scenario: first load the library, then call ivy-resume and immediately open the library file.

New command: ivy-partial

Does a partial complete without exiting. Use this code to replace ivy-partial-or-done with this command:

(define-key ivy-minibuffer-map (kbd "TAB") 'ivy-partial)

Allow to use ^ in swiper

In regex terms, ^ is the beginning of line. You can now use this in swiper to filter your matches.

New command: swiper-avy

This command is crazy good: it combines the best features of swiper (all buffer an once, flexible input length) and avy (quickly select one candidate once you've narrowed to about 10-20 candidates).

For instance, I can enter "to" into swiper to get around 10 matches. Instead of using C-n a bunch of times to select the one of 10 that I want, I just press C-', followed by a or s or d ... to select one of the matches visible on screen.

So both packages use their best feature to cover up the others worst drawback.

Add support for virtual buffers

I was never a fan of recentf until now. The virtual buffers feature works in the same way as ido-use-virtual-buffers: when you call ivy-switch-buffer, your recently visited files as well as all your bookmarks are appended to the end of the buffer list.

Suppose you killed a buffer and want to bring it back: now you do it as if you didn't kill the buffer and instead buried it. The bookmarks access is also nice.

Here's how to configure it, along with some customization of recentf:

(setq ivy-use-virtual-buffers t)

(use-package recentf
  (setq recentf-exclude
        '("COMMIT_MSG" "COMMIT_EDITMSG" "github.*txt$"
  (setq recentf-max-saved-items 60))

Add a few wrapper commands for the minibuffer

All these commands just forward to their built-in counterparts, only trying not to exit the first line of the minibuffer.

  • M-DEL calls ivy-backward-kill-word
  • C-d calls ivy-delete-char
  • M-d calls ivy-kill-word
  • C-f calls ivy-forward-char

Allow to customize the minibuffer formatter

See the wiki on how to customize the minibuffer display to look like this:

100 Find file: ~/
> file3

When completing file names, TAB should defer to minibuffer-complete

Thanks to this, you can TAB-complete your ssh hosts, e.g.:

  • /ss TAB -> /ssh
  • /ssh:ol TAB -> /ssh:oleh@

More commands work with ivy-resume

I've added:

  • counsel-git-grep
  • counsel-git

Others (that start with counsel-) should work fine as well. Also don't forget that you can use C-M-n and C-M-p to:

  • switch candidate
  • call the action for the candidate
  • stay in the minibuffer

This is especially powerful for counsel-git-grep: you can easily check the whole repository for something with just typing in the query and holding C-M-n. The matches will be highlighted swiper-style, of course.

Allow to recenter during counsel-git-grep

Use C-l to recenter.

Update the quoting of spaces

Split only on single spaces, from all other space groups, remove one space.

As you might know, a space is used in place of .* in ivy. In case you want an actual space, you can now quote them even easier.


Thanks to all who contributed, check out the new stuff, and make sure to bind ivy-resume to something short: it has become a really nice feature.