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I want to basically search for a pattern in the current file on another file, from vim, using the current visual selection.

I know doing:

:grep pattern otherfile

works, but i want the 'pattern' to be the current visual selection instead (from the current opened file)

How could i do that?

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One thought that occurs to me: yank the text (y), and then paste it at the :grep command:

:grep <C-r>" ...

Note that this doesn't work too well for multi-line selections, and you may want something more like

<C-r>=escape(@", '/\')<CR>

to handle some escape sequences.


I'm making use of the "insert register" keystroke (:help <C-r>) and the fact that registers can be used as expressions when prefixed with @.

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  • how do i add support for more escape sequences to the second method? (like for example, to escape the character '#' so that it look like '\#') – Nordine Lotfi Sep 4 '20 at 20:34
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    You can add more characters to the second argument of escape() – D. Ben Knoble Sep 4 '20 at 21:00
  • you're right, seems doing it as '\#/\' work :) (don't know if you meant doing it that way though) – Nordine Lotfi Sep 4 '20 at 21:15
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    You probably dont need the extra backslash, but yes that’s what I meant. – D. Ben Knoble Sep 4 '20 at 21:20
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    Hm, looks like a newline. Not sure what’s happening there. – D. Ben Knoble Sep 4 '20 at 21:28

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