The fact that Vim highlights the strings matched by a search expression can be useful if you are searching for visual patterns in a text.

I would like to now if it was possible to quickly cycle throught the last searches? By that I mean faster that hitting / then <Up> a given number of time, because the number of time you have to hit <Up> grows quadratically with the length of the cycle.

To give an example: enter image description here There is a loop in this gif, but it would be fine if having to go back was necessary.

  • Vim doesn't have such a feature. If you can't find a plugin that does that, write it yourself.
    – romainl
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 7:28

1 Answer 1


When you are entering the search pattern, press CTRLP to cycle backwards through your search history or press CTRLN to cycle forwards again. This is explained at the help at :h c_CTRL-N (link)

  • That's better, thanks. However it is still necessary to press <kbd>Enter</kbd> to enable highlighting. Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 16:57
  • 1
    @GabrielDevillers if you set incsearch, you should see the highlighting immediately Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 15:37
  • on my setup, even after setting incsearch, only the first string matching the result is highlighted Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 21:31
  • @GabrielDevillers perhaps the next one does not match? Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 12:36

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