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SearchSpecial : Generic functions for special search modes.

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created by
Ingo Karkat
script type
The built-in search via /, n, and N does its job. But sometimes, it
would be nice to have a custom search that is limited to a certain range, or
the first match in a line, or certain syntax groups, or a search that doesn't
open folds. This plugin offers generic functions that can be used to easily
build such custom search mappings for special searches. A predicate function
can specify which matches are skipped, and options control the behavior with
regards to folding and jumps.

- The SearchRepeat.vim (vimscript #4949) plugin provides an integration
  facility for custom searches (such as ones implemented via
  SearchSpecial.vim) that repeats the last type of used search via n/N, and
  can list all defined custom searches.

The following custom searches use this plugin:

- SearchAsQuickJump.vim (vimscript #5619):
  Quick search without affecting 'hlsearch', search pattern and history.

This plugin defines several functions. The following is an overview; you'll
find the details directly in the implementation files in the .vim/autoload/

SearchSpecial#SearchWithout( searchPattern, isBackward, Predicate, predicateId, predicateDescription, count, ... )

The main helper function that jumps to the next match of a:searchPattern,
skipping all those matches where a:Predicate returns false.

Here's a simple search mapping that emulates the default search (because it
doesn't pass a predicate that limits the matches, nor are there any options):
    nnoremap <silent> ,n
    \   :<C-u>if SearchSpecial#SearchWithout(@/, 0, '', 'default', '', v:count1)<Bar>
    \   if &hlsearch<Bar>set hlsearch<Bar>endif<Bar>
    \   else<Bar>echoerr ingo#err#Get()<Bar>endif<CR>
The 'hlsearch' handling cannot be done in a function; and any "Pattern not
found" error is raised directly from the mapping; that's the boilerplate code
at the end of the mapping.
install details
The code is hosted in a Git repo at
You can use your favorite plugin manager, or "git clone" into a directory used
for Vim packages. Releases are on the "stable" branch, the latest unstable
development snapshot on "master".

This script is also packaged as a vimball. If you have the "gunzip"
decompressor in your PATH, simply edit the *.vmb.gz package in Vim; otherwise,
decompress the archive first, e.g. using WinZip. Inside Vim, install by
sourcing the vimball or via the :UseVimball command.
    vim SearchSpecial*.vmb.gz
    :so %
To uninstall, use the :RmVimball command.

- Requires Vim 7.0 or higher.
- Requires the ingo-library.vim plugin (vimscript #4433), version 1.019 or

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script versions (upload new version)

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package script version date Vim version user release notes
SearchSpecial-1.20.vmb.gz 1.20 2017-12-08 7.0 Ingo Karkat - ENH: Extract search {offset} from the last search history element and apply it after jumping if the passed a:searchPattern is also the last element in the history. This can be turned off via a:options.isAutoOffset. The implementation even handles another search (|//;|), even though this is only considered for an initial search, not for subsequent searches (only the last pattern is stored in @/, not the full search sequence).
- a:options.EchoFunction and a:options.ErrorFunction now get supplied a:searchPattern which is either a String of a List of [searchPattern, searchOffset] if such is specified (via a:options.isAutoOffset).
- ENH: Add a:options.searchOffset to allow clients set the search offset.
SearchSpecial-1.10.vmb.gz 1.10 2017-11-19 7.0 Ingo Karkat - ENH: Allow to configure the echoing of successful matches via a:options.EchoFunction.
- ENH: Allow to configure the error messages when there are no matches via a:options.ErrorFunction.
- ENH: Allow to return more search information via a:options.isReturnMoreInfo.
- ENH: Allow to run commands before and after the first search via a:options.BeforeFirstSearchAction and a:options.AfterFirstSearchAction. Needed for SearchManyLocations.vim.
- ENH: Allow to run commands after each search via a:options.AfterAnySearchAction and after the final search jump via a:options.AfterFinalSearchAction. Allow to specify a:options.additionalSearchFlags. Both required for SearchAsQuickJump.vim offset enhancement.
SearchSpecial-1.00.vmb.gz 1.00 2014-05-24 7.0 Ingo Karkat Initial upload
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