Assume buffer content:

aa bb
yy xx
aa bb

What's the different between /xx and :/xx?

  • I was discussing this with BLayer in another question, he think it's bad to hijack that question, so i open this question.
    – dedowsdi
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 2:57
  • Yeah, I felt bad as it was a first time poster and there was a wall of mostly off-topic comments distracting from the question. Anyways, it looks like you uncovered an extra layer of nuance to this. I'll take a closer look when I get back later.
    – B Layer
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 3:05

1 Answer 1


/xx place cursor at xx, it's a :h / .

:/xx is a :h :[range] , not :h :range , it's a valid ex command by itself, it's behavior is affected by :h 'startofline' .

If 'startofline' is on (default), :/xx place cursor at 1st non-blank of the line that contain xx, it's the leading y in this case.

If 'startofline' is off, :/xx move cursor to the matching line without moving the column if possible (you have to move the column if target line is too short).

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