I have the following php file:

namespace App\Validator;

use Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraint;  // #1

class MyValidator // ...
    public function validate(Constraint /* #2 */ $constraint): void
        // ...

I have generated all tags with exuberant ctags (v5.9) using the command ctags -R ..

Whenever I put my vim cursor on either #1 or #2 and try to navigate to the Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraint class using tselect (actual key pressed: C-]), the current buffer is loaded with the PHPUnit\Framework\Constraint class instead of Symfony\Component\Validator\Constraint.

Is this a ctags issue or a vim issue ? What should I do to generate tags that understand php namespace ?


1 Answer 1


<C-]> is equivalent to :tag <keyword>, not to :tselect <keyword>, the normal mode equivalent of which would be g].

The end result of $ ctags -R . is a tags file that contains a list of tags found under the working directory. :tag and :tselect work differently:

  • :tag <keyword> (and thus <C-]>) jumps to the first matching tag found in that tags file,
  • :tselect <keyword> (and thus g]) displays a list of the matching tags found in that tags file.

In your case, <C-]> jumps to the first Constraint that was found by ctags, which is the expected behavior.

If you use g], you should get a list of potential tags and thus be able to jump to the appropriate one.

That is, of course, if your tags file includes what you are looking for.

I recommend :tjump <keyword> (and thus g<C-]>) instead of either, because it combines the advantages of both:

  • if there is only one matching tag, jump to it like :tag <keyword>,
  • if there are more than one, display a list like :tselect <keyword>.

See :help :tselect, :help :tjump, and :help :tag.

  • 1
    illuminating answer; thank you
    – kjones
    Commented Jan 25 at 19:43

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