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Display the Search Count in Vim's Status Bar


It's handy to know how many search results are in your buffer and which one is currently under your cursor.

Quick Jump: Demo Video

Let’s say you search for /hello and there’s 10 matches. By default Vim won’t show you how many results were found and if you n through them, you also won’t be able to see where you are in the file relative to the other matches.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see something like [2/10] in your status bar?

Fortunately this behavior is available in Vim. You just need to set shortmess-=S in your config file. Here’s the commit for when I added it to my dotfiles.

By default Vim does set S which is described like this in the help menu:

do not show search count message when searching, e.g “[1/5]”

In our case, we’re using -=S which removes that option so it does show it. If you already happen to be using shortmess+= for something else, that’s ok. You can set both the -= and += options on separate lines.

The video below shows how it works.

Demo Video


  • 0:29 – Looking at shortmess
  • 0:53 – Configuring shortmess
  • 1:40 – The eight buffalo sentence

Have you enabled this in your vimrc file? Let me know below!

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