When I checkout different branches, I sometimes notice that files in the repo are not available to Vim plugins that search based on the ctags index.

I don't have a definitive test that's shown the files are missing due to versioning, but I usually notice that the missing files are those that were recently added.

I occasionally notice other missing lookups, e.g. with function names or other symbols, and assume it's the same matter. I'll quickly provide any details if someone has ideas.

  • 2
    Are you doing the git checkouts and pulls from within Vim? This sounds like something to solve in git, independently of vim. Feb 21, 2015 at 14:19
  • @Gilles I am not - all git changes are happening on my own in bash CLI. But, if any thinks this makes it off-topic, the integration is specific to Vim, and I wasn't positive if the issue was caused by another matter that others have seen commonly Feb 22, 2015 at 4:02
  • Thanks @carpetsmoker, I wanted to add the ctags tag, but didn't have the rep. Feb 23, 2015 at 0:02

1 Answer 1


Depending on how you update your ./tags file:

If you do not commit your ./tags file to your branch/repository you can use a git hook that calls ctags -R . on each pull/checkout you do - this way your ./tags file will always contain data on all present files in the current version you have checked out.

If you do want to commit your ./tags file, you can also save that to a hook on push/commit.

You could teach vim to do that, but this is something git can handle nicely for you.

  • 1
    Tim Pope wrote a blog article a few years back that details how something like this can be done.
    – tommcdo
    Feb 22, 2015 at 2:55
  • I don't check in the tags file, and I don't have an immediate sense of need to do this. I'd actually never thought of it, and for ludicrously-large projects I can see the benefit. Thanks for the edge case tip! Do you know about those git hooks? Pardon; I'm sure I can find this out one my own, in time. Feb 22, 2015 at 4:03
  • @New Alexandria: if you want to learn more about git hooks, I suggest to check out your .git/hooks folder. By default there should be some example scripts in there to inspire you. For details check out the official documentation at: git-scm.com/book/en/v2/Customizing-Git-Git-Hooks
    – Rock
    Feb 22, 2015 at 21:38

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