I am using Vim 8.2 on Windows 10. Autocompletion (using CTRL+N or CTRL+P) upon creating the tags file using ctags.exe works fine for me.

Now I want to use the find command in vim to quickly opening any file in the project directory. Therefore I set set path=.,**,, in my vimrc file; now executing :find foo.py opens immediately that file, which is deep inside the project. However, trying to autocomplete freezes the editor (the status line shows Scanning tags.)

Is there a solution to this problem or are autocompletion and (accelerated) find mutually exclusive?

  • :find wasn't meant to be a fuzzy-finder. 'path' co-operates with gf and friends, as well as include and define searches. :find and :sfind are basically gf as a command with arguments. OTOH, regular <C-n>/<C-p> will look at included files as well as tags (and other things: see :help 'complete'), so it's possible that so many files are included it takes a long time to process. Maybe edit in :checkpath! as well as :setlocal complete? include? includeexpr? tags?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 18:37
  • Thank you @D.BenKnoble for this information.
    – Jorge D
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 9:25
  • Thank you @D.BenKnoble for this information. To summarize: configuring the path variable is a way to accelerate commands like gf rather than (or instead of) optimizing the :find command. It has however a drawback: if defined too broadly, it slows down the ctags-based autocompletion like C-n or C-p. If you wish to reword this as an answer, I would approve it - just to close the loop for other readers.
    – Jorge D
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 9:31
  • Feel free to self-answer. As I said I’d be surprised about that level of impact unless there were also lots of included files (where I am referring to include-search).
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 11:12

1 Answer 1


Summarizing feedback by @D.BenKnoble: yes, setting path so that lots of directories/files are included does have an impact on the speed of completion commands like C-n and C-p, because the all those files are considered when searching for a completion.

A trade-off could be e.g. not to include the whole project but only those directories which matter to you.

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