There is a slight, but obnoxious difference in how the default search works in vim against the way it works in other IDEs.

In vim, whenever you click the / (forward slash) you start writing a word you want to find in the current file. The problem is that you have to write the whole word and click enter before you start seeing the results.

This can work fine and you can cope with it most of the times, but it can start getting in the way pretty quickly once you start searching for longer words or phrases, whose exact identifier you can get wrong pretty easily. At that point, you have to start all over again with the search and be very careful about writing the keywords precisely.

The way search works in IDEs is that it starts showing results while you’re typing the keyword. This way, you can:

  • Get to the word you need before you even write the whole keyword
  • Detect a mistake in your term before you’re finished

This feature is called incremental search and can be very handy.

Today, I want to show you how to get it in your vim editor.

This article is part of the sequence  Boost Your VIM where I share my favorite vim plugins and tools which can greatly optimize your productivity and make you a better keystroke ninja.

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