sudo apt-get install exuberant-ctags

ctags Configuration

Create a ~/.ctags file:



The first line turns off tags generation for variables and imports. The second and third lines turn off generation of tags in the named folders, since you almost certainly want to ignore source code in those directories.



To build tags for all files in the current folder and sub-folders:

ctags -R
ctags -a -R ~/dev/modules/my-python-app/

In the example above -a appends to the current tags file.


To build tags for all the java files in the current folder:

ctags *.java


ctags -R .
ctags -a -R ~/dev/web/modules/region/


The default command will create a file called tags. This is the name that vim will look for.

vim Configuration

Case insensitive tag matching

If your .vimrc requests case-insensitive searching by setting ignorecase (aka ic), then the above tag matching will also be case insensitive. This is irksome, because searching for the definition of property .matrix will present you with a menu asking you to choose between property .matrix and class Matrix, rather than just jumping to the property.

To fix this, add this to your .vimrc:

map <silent> <c-]> :set noic<cr>g<c-]>:set ic<cr>

This maps your Ctrl ] key to turn off case-insensitivity while it does the jump to tag, then turn it back on again. Now pressing Ctrl t will jump directly to your property, only presenting menus on the occasion when the tag you search for is defined in more than one place using precisely the same name.


From this blog entry, Python with a modular IDE (Vim).

I also have 2 tweaks in my .vimrc so you can use ctrl, left arrow and ctrl right arrow to move between the files with more natural key bindings:

map <silent><C-Left> <C-T>
map <silent><C-Right> <C-]>

VIM Commands

:tag <tagname>               jump to a tag.
Ctrl ]                       jump (after positioning the cursor over a tag)
g Ctrl ]                     jump (or list if more than one match)

pop                          come back from a tag jump.
Ctrl t                       "

:ts                          list matches and allow user to select.
:tags                        list the contents of the tag stack?

vim -t DispPageDialog        open the file and find the tag