I am working on an omni-completion script where I use taglist() to search for the existence of a certain word. After obtaining that tag I now need to quickly jump to where the tag is defined and analyze the code around it.

How can I do this in a VimScript? Because I need to do this within an omni-completion script, I cannot change the window context and would prefer to keep the jump list intact.

1 Answer 1


You can obtain the filename and the line number (/search command) from the selected tag.

let tag = taglist()[42]
exe 'e '. (tag.filename)
exe ':'.(tag.cmd)

However, this won't push your 'open-and-go-to-the-right-place' into the tag stack as :tag would have. I've been able to trick vim into doing it in my lh-tags plugin. The current version of the (GPLv3) code that do so is the following:

" # Tag push/pop {{{2
" internal tmp tags file {{{3
if !exists('s:tags_jump')
  let s:tags_jump = tempname()
  let &tags .= ','.s:tags_jump
  let s:lines = []

let s:lines = []

" lh#tags#jump {{{3
let s:k_tag_name__ = '__jump_tag__'
let s:k_nb_digits  = 5 " works with ~1 million jumps. Should be enough
function! lh#tags#jump(tagentry)
  let last = len(s:lines)+1
  " Assert s:tagentry.filename == expand('%:p')
  let filename = expand('%:p')

  let tag_name = s:k_tag_name__.repeat('0', s:k_nb_digits-strlen(last)).last
  let l = tag_name
    \ . "\t" . (filename)
    \ . "\t" . (a:tagentry.cmd)

  " test whether a new digit is used. In that case renumber every tags to have
  " a lexical order
  call add(s:lines, l)
  call writefile(s:lines, s:tags_jump)
  if exists('&l:tags')
    exe 'setlocal tags+='.s:tags_jump
  exe 'tag '.tag_name

The plugin is maintained there: https://github.com/LucHermitte/lh-tags

Update since the clarifications in the question: You can use readfile() (IIRC) to load the file associated to the selected tag, without moving the cursor or anything. Then, if the tags file uses line numbers, finding the context will be trivial. If the command is a search command, use filter(), or better match() to get the context you are interesting in.

  • Thanks for sharing this @LucHermitte. I've just updated the question to explain that I need to do this within an omni-completion script. Since I cannot change the context of the window, I don't think that this will work, right? Even trying to restore the window context through pop seems to fail.
    – Vitor
    Mar 5, 2015 at 21:51
  • OK. I've updated my answer. Mar 5, 2015 at 21:57
  • in my opinion the code you copied is not very helpful for the answer when compared to everything else and occupies much more area. Maybe you could keep only the link and leave the code out?
    – Vitor
    Mar 6, 2015 at 11:11
  • 1
    That what I do usually, but SE policies don't appear as very tolerant towards link... Mar 6, 2015 at 12:30

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