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14 days ago


The goal of nvim-bqf is to make Neovim's quickfix window better.

In today's era of floating windows, are you afraid to toggle quickfix window to make your eyes uncomfortable? Are you constantly jumping between the edit window and the quickfix window when you use quickfix window to refactor because of lacking a sustainable preview window? Do you think quickfix window lacks a fuzzy search function? At present, nvim-bqf can solve the above problems.

You really don't need any search replace plugins, because nvim-bqf with the built-in function of the quickfix window allows you to easily search and replace targets.

So why not nvim-bqf?

Table of contents


  • Toggle quickfix window with magic window keep your eyes comfortable
  • Extend built-in context of quickfix to build an eye friendly highlighting at preview
  • Support convenient actions inside quickfix window, see Function table below
  • Optimize the buffer preview under treesitter to get extreme performance
  • Using signs to filter the items of quickfix window
  • Integrate fzf as a picker/filter in quickfix window
  • Mouse supported for preview window


  • Find a better way to list history and switch to one
  • Use context field to override the existed configuration
  • Add tests




Install with Packer.nvim:

use {'kevinhwang91/nvim-bqf'}

Minimal configuration

use {'kevinhwang91/nvim-bqf', ft = 'qf'}

-- optional
use {'junegunn/fzf', run = function()

-- optional, highly recommended
use {'nvim-treesitter/nvim-treesitter', run = ':TSUpdate'}

The nvim-bqf's preview builds upon the buffers. I highly recommended to use nvim-treesitter to do syntax for the buffer, because vim's syntax is very lagging and is extremely bad for the user experience in large files.

nvim-bqf has optimized the preview performance for treesitter


  1. If you are familiar with quickfix, use quickfix as usual.
  2. If you don't know quickfix well, you can run :vimgrep /\w\+/j % | copen under a buffer inside nvim to get started quickly.
  3. If you want to taste quickfix like demo, check out Integrate with other plugins, and pick up the configuration you like.

Filter with signs

  1. Press <Tab> or <S-Tab> to toggle the sign of item
  2. Press zn or zN will create new quickfix list

Fzf mode

Press zf in quickfix window will enter fzf mode.

fzf in nvim-bqf supports ctrl-t/ctrl-x/ctrl-v key bindings that allow you to open up an item in a new tab, a new horizontal split, or in a new vertical split.

fzf becomes a quickfix filter and create a new quickfix list when multiple items are selected and accepted.

nvim-bqf also supports ctrl-q to toggle items' sign and adapts preview-half-page-up, preview-half-page-down and toggle-preview fzf's actions for preview.

Please run man fzf and check out KEY/EVENT BINDINGS section for details.

There're two ways to adapt fzf's actions for preview function, use ctrl-fand ctrl-b keys as example.

  1. Make $FZF_DEFAULT_OPTS contains --bind=ctrl-f:preview-half-page-down,ctrl-b:preview-half-page-up;
  2. Inject extra_opts = {'--bind', 'ctrl-f:preview-half-page-down,ctrl-b:preview-half-page-up'} to setup function;

Filter items with signs demo

input ^^ in fzf prompt will find all signed items, ctrl-o in fzf mode has bind toggle-all

Search and replace demo

Using external grep-like program to search display and replace it to show, but exclude session.lua file.

Demonstrating batch undo just show that quickfix has this feature


Setup and description

    auto_enable = {
        description = [[Enable nvim-bqf in quickfix window automatically]],
        default = true
    magic_window = {
        description = [[Give the window magic, when the window is splited horizontally, keep
            the distance between the current line and the top/bottom border of neovim unchanged.
            It's a bit like a floating window, but the window is indeed a normal window, without
            any floating attributes.]],
        default = true
    auto_resize_height = {
        description = [[Resize quickfix window height automatically.
            Shrink higher height to size of list in quickfix window, otherwise extend height
            to size of list or to default height (10)]],
        default = false
    preview = {
        auto_preview = {
            description = [[Enable preview in quickfix window automatically]],
            default = true
        border = {
            description = [[The border for preview window,
                `:h nvim_open_win() | call search('border:')`]],
            default = 'rounded',
        show_title = {
            description = [[Show the window title]],
            default = true
        show_scroll_bar = {
            description = [[Show the scroll bar]],
            default = true
        delay_syntax = {
            description = [[Delay time, to do syntax for previewed buffer, unit is millisecond]],
            default = 50
        win_height = {
            description = [[The height of preview window for horizontal layout,
                large value (like 999) perform preview window as a "full" mode]],
            default = 15
        win_vheight = {
            description = [[The height of preview window for vertical layout]],
            default = 15
        winblend = {
            description = [[The winblend for preview window, `:h winblend`]],
            default = 12
        wrap = {
            description = [[Wrap the line, `:h wrap` for detail]],
            default = false
        buf_label = {
            description = [[Add label of current item buffer at the end of the item line]],
            default = true
        should_preview_cb = {
            description = [[A callback function to decide whether to preview while switching buffer,
                with (bufnr: number, qwinid: number) parameters]],
            default = nil
    func_map = {
        description = [[The table for {function = key}]],
        default = [[see ###Function table for detail]],
    filter = {
        fzf = {
            action_for = {
                ['ctrl-t'] = {
                    description = [[Press ctrl-t to open up the item in a new tab]],
                    default = 'tabedit'
                ['ctrl-v'] = {
                    description = [[Press ctrl-v to open up the item in a new vertical split]],
                    default = 'vsplit'
                ['ctrl-x'] = {
                    description = [[Press ctrl-x to open up the item in a new horizontal split]],
                    default = 'split'
                ['ctrl-q'] = {
                    description = [[Press ctrl-q to toggle sign for the selected items]],
                    default = 'signtoggle'
                ['ctrl-c'] = {
                    description = [[Press ctrl-c to close quickfix window and abort fzf]],
                    default = 'closeall'
            extra_opts = {
                description = 'Extra options for fzf',
                default = {'--bind', 'ctrl-o:toggle-all'}

Before loading any modules, :lua =require('bqf.config') will show you everything about current configuration.

Function table

Function only works in the quickfix window, keys can be customized by lua require('bqf').setup({func_map = {}}).

You can reference Customize configuration to configure func_map.

Function Action Def Key
open open the item under the cursor <CR>
openc open the item, and close quickfix window o
drop use drop to open the item, and close quickfix window O
tabdrop use tab drop to open the item, and close quickfix window
tab open the item in a new tab t
tabb open the item in a new tab, but stay in quickfix window T
tabc open the item in a new tab, and close quickfix window <C-t>
split open the item in horizontal split <C-x>
vsplit open the item in vertical split <C-v>
prevfile go to previous file under the cursor in quickfix window <C-p>
nextfile go to next file under the cursor in quickfix window <C-n>
prevhist cycle to previous quickfix list in quickfix window <
nexthist cycle to next quickfix list in quickfix window >
lastleave go to last selected item in quickfix window '"
stoggleup toggle sign and move cursor up <S-Tab>
stoggledown toggle sign and move cursor down <Tab>
stogglevm toggle multiple signs in visual mode <Tab>
stogglebuf toggle signs for same buffers under the cursor '<Tab>
sclear clear the signs in current quickfix list z<Tab>
pscrollup scroll up half-page in preview window <C-b>
pscrolldown scroll down half-page in preview window <C-f>
pscrollorig scroll back to original position in preview window zo
ptogglemode toggle preview window between normal and max size zp
ptoggleitem toggle preview for a quickfix list item p
ptoggleauto toggle auto-preview when cursor moves P
filter create new list for signed items zn
filterr create new list for non-signed items zN
fzffilter enter fzf mode zf

Additional mouse supported:

  1. <ScrollWheelUp> and <ScrollWheelDown>: Scroll preview window.
  2. <2-LeftMouse>:
    • In quickfix window: Type <CR>;
    • In preview window: Jump to the location even it has scrolled;

Buffer Commands

  • BqfEnable: Enable nvim-bqf in quickfix window
  • BqfDisable: Disable nvim-bqf in quickfix window
  • BqfToggle: Toggle nvim-bqf in quickfix window


  • BqfAutoToggle: Toggle nvim-bqf enable automatically



Quickfix context

Vim grant users an ability to stuff a context to quickfix, please run :help quickfix-context for detail.

Why use an additional context?

nvim-bqf will use the context to implement missing features of quickfix. To get better highlighting experience, nvim-bqf processeds the vim regrex pattern and lsp range from the context additionally.

The context's format that can be processed by nvim-bqf is:

local context = {context = {bqf = {}}}

nvim-bqf only occupies a key of context, which makes nvim-bqf get along well with other plugins in context of the quickfix window.

Supported keys

context = {
    bqf = {
        pattern_hl = {
            description = [[search pattern from current position]],
            type = 'string'
        lsp_ranges_hl = {
            description = [[a list of lsp range. The length of list is equal to the items',
            pairwise correspondence each other]],
            type = 'table'

Simple lua tests for understanding

local cmd = vim.cmd
local api = vim.api
local fn = vim.fn

local function createQf()
    local bufnr = api.nvim_get_current_buf()
    local lines = {}
    for i = 1, 3 do
        table.insert(lines, ('%d | %s'):format(i, fn.strftime('%F')))
    api.nvim_buf_set_lines(bufnr, 0, -1, false, lines)
        {bufnr = bufnr, lnum = 1, col = 5}, {bufnr = bufnr, lnum = 2, col = 10},
        {bufnr = bufnr, lnum = 3, col = 13}

function _G.bqfPattern()
    fn.setqflist({}, 'r', {context = {bqf = {pattern_hl = [[\d\+]]}}, title = 'patternHl'})

function _G.bqfLspRanges()
    local lspRanges = {}
        {start = {line = 0, character = 4}, ['end'] = {line = 0, character = 8}})
        {start = {line = 1, character = 9}, ['end'] = {line = 1, character = 11}})
        {start = {line = 2, character = 12}, ['end'] = {line = 2, character = 14}})
    fn.setqflist({}, 'r', {context = {bqf = {lsp_ranges_hl = lspRanges}}, title = 'lspRangesHl'})

function _G.qfRanges()
    local items = fn.getqflist()
    local it1, it2, it3 = items[1], items[2], items[3]
    it1.end_lnum, it1.end_col = it1.lnum, it1.col + 4
    it2.end_lnum, it2.end_col = it2.lnum, it2.col + 2
    it3.end_lnum, it3.end_col = it3.lnum, it3.col + 2
    fn.setqflist({}, 'r', {items = items, title = 'qfRangesHl'})

-- Save and source me(`so %`). Run `:lua bqfPattern()`, `:lua bqfLspRanges()` and `:lua qfRanges()`

nvim-bqf actually works with context in Integrate with other plugins.

Highlight groups

hi default link BqfPreviewFloat Normal
hi default link BqfPreviewBorder FloatBorder
hi default link BqfPreviewTitle Title
hi default link BqfPreviewThumb PmenuThumb
hi default link BqfPreviewSbar PmenuSbar
hi default link BqfPreviewCursor Cursor
hi default link BqfPreviewCursorLine CursorLine
hi default link BqfPreviewRange IncSearch
hi default link BqfPreviewBufLabel BqfPreviewRange
hi default BqfSign ctermfg=14 guifg=Cyan
  • BqfPreviewFloat: Floating window.
  • BqfPreviewBorder: Border of floating window.
  • BqfPreviewTitle: Title of preview window.
  • BqfPreviewThumb: Thumb of preview window.
  • BqfPreviewSbar: Scroll bar of preview window, only take effect if the border is missing right.
  • BqfPreviewCursor: The cursor format [lnum, col] in preview window.
  • BqfPreviewCursorLine: The text line of the cursor in preview window.
  • BqfPreviewRange: The range format [lnum, col, range], which is produced by pattern_hl, lsp_ranges_hl and quickfix range.
  • BqfPreviewBufLabel: The index and count of the buffer under the cursor
  • BqfSign: The sign in quickfix window.

Advanced configuration

Customize configuration

    hi BqfPreviewBorder guifg=#3e8e2d ctermfg=71
    hi BqfPreviewTitle guifg=#3e8e2d ctermfg=71
    hi BqfPreviewThumb guibg=#3e8e2d ctermbg=71
    hi link BqfPreviewRange Search

    auto_enable = true,
    auto_resize_height = true, -- highly recommended enable
    preview = {
        win_height = 12,
        win_vheight = 12,
        delay_syntax = 80,
        border = {'┏', '━', '┓', '┃', '┛', '━', '┗', '┃'},
        show_title = false,
        should_preview_cb = function(bufnr, qwinid)
            local ret = true
            local bufname = vim.api.nvim_buf_get_name(bufnr)
            local fsize = vim.fn.getfsize(bufname)
            if fsize > 100 * 1024 then
                -- skip file size greater than 100k
                ret = false
            elseif bufname:match('^fugitive://') then
                -- skip fugitive buffer
                ret = false
            return ret
    -- make `drop` and `tab drop` to become preferred
    func_map = {
        drop = 'o',
        openc = 'O',
        split = '<C-s>',
        tabdrop = '<C-t>',
        -- set to empty string to disable
        tabc = '',
        ptogglemode = 'z,',
    filter = {
        fzf = {
            action_for = {['ctrl-s'] = 'split', ['ctrl-t'] = 'tab drop'},
            extra_opts = {'--bind', 'ctrl-o:toggle-all', '--prompt', '> '}

Integrate with other plugins

local fn = vim.fn
local cmd = vim.cmd
local api = vim.api

    packadd nvim-bqf
    packadd fzf
    packadd nvim-treesitter
    packadd vim-grepper
    packadd coc.nvim

vim.g.grepper = {tools = {'rg', 'grep'}, searchreg = 1}
    aug Grepper
        au User Grepper ++nested %s
    aug END
]]):format([[call setqflist([], 'r', {'context': {'bqf': {'pattern_hl': '\%#' . getreg('/')}}})]]))

-- try `gsiw` under word
    nmap gs  <plug>(GrepperOperator)
    xmap gs  <plug>(GrepperOperator)

-- if you use coc-fzf, you should disable its CocLocationsChange event
-- to make bqf work for <Plug>(coc-references)

-- vim.schedule(function()
--     cmd('au! CocFzfLocation User CocLocationsChange')
-- end)
vim.g.coc_enable_locationlist = 0
    aug Coc
        au User CocLocationsChange lua _G.jumpToLoc()
    aug END

    nmap <silent> gr <Plug>(coc-references)
    nnoremap <silent> <leader>qd <Cmd>lua _G.diagnostic()<CR>

-- just use `_G` prefix as a global function for a demo
-- please use module instead in reality
function _G.jumpToLoc(locs)
    locs = locs or vim.g.coc_jump_locations
    fn.setloclist(0, {}, ' ', {title = 'CocLocationList', items = locs})
    local winid = fn.getloclist(0, {winid = 0}).winid
    if winid == 0 then
        cmd('abo lw')

function _G.diagnostic()
    fn.CocActionAsync('diagnosticList', '', function(err, res)
        if err == vim.NIL then
            local items = {}
            for _, d in ipairs(res) do
                local text = ('[%s%s] %s'):format((d.source == '' and 'coc.nvim' or d.source),
                    (d.code == vim.NIL and '' or ' ' .. d.code), d.message:match('([^\n]+)\n*'))
                local item = {
                    filename = d.file,
                    lnum = d.lnum,
                    end_lnum = d.end_lnum,
                    col = d.col,
                    end_col = d.end_col,
                    text = text,
                    type = d.severity
                table.insert(items, item)
            fn.setqflist({}, ' ', {title = 'CocDiagnosticList', items = items})

            cmd('bo cope')
-- you can also subscribe User `CocDiagnosticChange` event to reload your diagnostic in quickfix
-- dynamically, enjoy yourself :)

Customize quickfix window (Easter egg)

Quickfix window default UI is extremely outdated and low level aesthetics. However, you can dress up your personal quickfix window:) Here is the configuration for demo:

This section is not nvim-bqf exclusive, you can use the configuration without nvim-bqf

Format new quickfix

Set quickfixtextfunc option and write down corresponding function:

local fn = vim.fn

function _G.qftf(info)
    local items
    local ret = {}
    -- The name of item in list is based on the directory of quickfix window.
    -- Change the directory for quickfix window make the name of item shorter.
    -- It's a good opportunity to change current directory in quickfixtextfunc :)
    -- local alterBufnr = fn.bufname('#') -- alternative buffer is the buffer before enter qf window
    -- local root = getRootByAlterBufnr(alterBufnr)
    -- vim.cmd(('noa lcd %s'):format(fn.fnameescape(root)))
    if info.quickfix == 1 then
        items = fn.getqflist({id =, items = 0}).items
        items = fn.getloclist(info.winid, {id =, items = 0}).items
    local limit = 31
    local fnameFmt1, fnameFmt2 = '%-' .. limit .. 's', '…%.' .. (limit - 1) .. 's'
    local validFmt = '%s │%5d:%-3d│%s %s'
    for i = info.start_idx, info.end_idx do
        local e = items[i]
        local fname = ''
        local str
        if e.valid == 1 then
            if e.bufnr > 0 then
                fname = fn.bufname(e.bufnr)
                if fname == '' then
                    fname = '[No Name]'
                    fname = fname:gsub('^' .. vim.env.HOME, '~')
                -- char in fname may occur more than 1 width, ignore this issue in order to keep performance
                if #fname <= limit then
                    fname = fnameFmt1:format(fname)
                    fname = fnameFmt2:format(fname:sub(1 - limit))
            local lnum = e.lnum > 99999 and -1 or e.lnum
            local col = e.col > 999 and -1 or e.col
            local qtype = e.type == '' and '' or ' ' .. e.type:sub(1, 1):upper()
            str = validFmt:format(fname, lnum, col, qtype, e.text)
            str = e.text
        table.insert(ret, str)
    return ret

vim.o.qftf = '{info -> v:lua._G.qftf(info)}'

-- Adapt fzf's delimiter in nvim-bqf
    filter = {
        fzf = {
            extra_opts = {'--bind', 'ctrl-o:toggle-all', '--delimiter', '│'}

Rebuild syntax for quickfix

Add qf.vim under your syntax path, for instance: ~/.config/nvim/syntax/qf.vim

if exists('b:current_syntax')

syn match qfFileName /^[^│]*/ nextgroup=qfSeparatorLeft
syn match qfSeparatorLeft /│/ contained nextgroup=qfLineNr
syn match qfLineNr /[^│]*/ contained nextgroup=qfSeparatorRight
syn match qfSeparatorRight '│' contained nextgroup=qfError,qfWarning,qfInfo,qfNote
syn match qfError / E .*$/ contained
syn match qfWarning / W .*$/ contained
syn match qfInfo / I .*$/ contained
syn match qfNote / [NH] .*$/ contained

hi def link qfFileName Directory
hi def link qfSeparatorLeft Delimiter
hi def link qfSeparatorRight Delimiter
hi def link qfLineNr LineNr
hi def link qfError DiagnosticError
hi def link qfWarning DiagnosticWarn
hi def link qfInfo DiagnosticInfo
hi def link qfNote DiagnosticHint

let b:current_syntax = 'qf'


  • If you get an issue or come up with an awesome idea, don't hesitate to open an issue in github.
  • If you think this plugin is useful or cool, consider rewarding it a star.


The project is licensed under a BSD-3-clause license. See LICENSE file for details.