Created: 2011-07-19 04:42
Updated: 2018-11-14 16:42
License: apache-2.0


quickopen lets you open files in Vim, Emacs and even SlickEdit quickly with fuzzy expressions, a live-updating UI, even for directory-trees containing hundreds of thousands of files. Its UI works on Mac, Linux, Windows, and even a curses mode if you're stuck on VPN.

Fuzzy? When you enter "rwh", quickopen finds files like

  • RenderWidgetHost.cpp
  • render-widget-host.h
  • threaded_window_handler.h

The results are ranked by relevance. In mere milliseconds. So you get new results as you type. Thus, you might refine rwh to rwhcpp to get render_widget_host.cpp

Key features:

  • Blazingly fast! 15ms search time on full 360k-file Chrome directory tree.
  • Integration with vim gf and emacs ff-find-other-file
  • Index instantly searchable from any process, even command line
  • Reasonablly pretty GUI, with fallback to curses in terminal sessions
  • Same backend shared between emacs and vim, written in python


  • Linux: python-gtk2

  • OSX or Windows: chrome.

    Yes, chrome. quickopen uses Chrome Apps v2 for its UI.

Getting started

Get the code and dont forget to init the submodules.

git clone https://github.com/natduca/quickopen.git
git submodule update --init --recursive

Tell quickopen to index some directories...

  nduca: ~/quickopen $ ./quickopen add ~/Local/chrome
  nduca: ~/quickopen $ ./quickopen add ~/quickopen
  nduca: ~/quickopen $ ./quickopen ignore \*LayoutTests\*

Check quickopen's status:

  nduca: ~/quickopen $ ./quickopen rawsearch foo
  Database is not fully indexed. Wait a bit or try quickopen status

  nduca: ~/quickopen $ ./quickopen status
  Syncing: 17802 files found, 116 dirs pending

  nduca: ~/quickopen $ ./quickopen status
  up-to-date: 158553 files indexed; 2-threaded searches

VIM Setup

Using pathogen:

  1. http://github.com/tpope/vim-pathogen
  2. git submodule add https://github.com/natduca/quickopen ~/.vim/bundle/quickopen

Or, by hand in your .vimrc:

  1. source quickopen/plugin/quickopen.vim

You're done! To open things, you've got a few options:

  • :O for the quickopen dialog
  • :O somefile to open the best match if its obvious, or the dialog if not.
  • gf or c-w to goto file

Emacs Setup

By hand, in your .emacs:

(load "quickopen/elisp/quickopen.el")

Using site-lisp:

git clone https://github.com/natduca/quickopen.git ~/.emacs/site-lisp

And if site-lisp isn't set up yet:

(let ((site-lisp-dir (expand-file-name "~/.emacs/site-lisp")))
  (when (file-exists-p site-lisp-dir)
    (let ((default-directory site-lisp-dir))
      (normal-top-level-add-to-load-path '("."))

Consider binding ff-find-other-file to a hotkey if you haven't done so already. Quickopen will be used if the basic ff-find-other-file produces no results:

(global-set-key (kbd "M-o") (lambda ()
                              (interactive "")
(global-set-key (kbd "M-O") (lambda ()
                              (interactive "")
                              (ff-find-other-file t)

You're done! To use quickopen, use M-S-o (meta-shift-o) or C-q.

Visual SlickEdit Setup

  1. Ensure that the directory containing quickopend is in your path.

  2. Load the quickopen macro module by clicking Macro > Load Module..., and selecting slickedit/QuickOpen.e.

  3. Now set up a key binding for quick open.

    • Click, Tools > Options...
    • Expand 'Keyboard and Mouse'
    • Select 'Key Bindings'
    • Type QuickOpen in the 'Search by command:' text box. If all goes well, this command will exist and be found.
    • Then click the 'Add..' button and bind to whichever keys you please, but I strongly recommend ctrl+shift+o for consistency with vim.

You're done. Use C-O (ctrl-shift-o) to open things.

Command Line Usage

  nduca: ~/quickopen $ ./quickedit
     <brings up a GUI for a picking a file,
      opens the picked file in $EDITOR>

If you want to hook into your favorite editor:

  nduca: ~/quickopen $ ./quickopen search --help
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