For example:

I have several lines starting with :q:, which I want to jump to:

:q: regex syntax
:q: regex examples

Now I want to jump to the start of regex syntax or regex example with a specific regex find expression via /. Is this possible?

Why not just use W to jump to it? Well, it would just be nice to jump to each expression with the use of n and N.

2 Answers 2


You can use \zs (and it's complement, \ze), e.g.

/:q: \zs

should work for your example (assuming there is exactly 1 space after the second :)

It works by setting the start (or end in the case of \ze) of the matching text to a point somewhere in the middle of the regex. Check out :h \zs, it has a much better description than I can give, with additional examples.

  • Haha, I have written a whole custom command and mapped it in the meantime, but this works so much better, thank you!
    – hgiesel
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 21:33

You can change the location in which the cursor is left after a search by using an offset:

You can either an "end" or "start" offset for your specific example:


See :help search-offset for more details.

You can apply these offsets retroactively to an existing search by using an empty regular expression:

  • +1, this is a better solution than mine if, as in this case, the offset is a fixed number of characters. Commented May 1, 2018 at 15:59

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