There are several times, I need to grep for some_pattern in some XHTML files (many a time, file count in a specified folder goes beyond 10K+).

Previously, I have used Lugaru's Epsilon Programmer's Editor and there was grep command which invokes the search, and results a list of all matched lines in a grep-buffer. Afterwards, a user can use commands (like keep-matching-lines, delete-matching-lines, sort-lines, uniq etc.) on the grep-buffer. Since, the grep-buffer is editable, it is possible to post-process and mold the grep-result to desirable format as required.

But, that was weeks ago! This time, I have started to use Vim as my full-time editor. I am trying to quit all possible habits those are becoming obstacles to learning Vim. So, right now whenever I need to get such a search list, I am trying the same, in following way:

:cd d:\test_files\
:cex [] | vimgrep /pattern/ *.xhtml

Now, this servers my purpose well, except that the buffer remains in RO mode. So, every time it requires special post-editing process, I need to prepare a replica for the quickfix-window and then do as required. The quickfix-window is always uneditable.

Is there any way to make the quickfix-window editable? I know the result can be post-processed with some other commands in a single line, but I do need to view all the search list as whole and only then can I judge what the next steps should be.

Is there any tweak that can be applied in the vimrc? Am I missing something? Pointing out my error or any other approach to get job done, is greatly appreciated.

  • 4
    Have you tried :set modifiable? Alternatively, :redir could help. Feb 16, 2016 at 15:02
  • @fruglemonkey: Thank you so much....That's what all i needed...you rocks!!!!
    – Cylian
    Feb 16, 2016 at 17:17
  • 1
    Related post: Is it possible to grep Vimʼs quickfix? Feb 16, 2016 at 18:03
  • Just got the new updated on Debian with patch: 8.1.0311. Works great! :)
    – Marcel
    Aug 25, 2018 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


You definitively should try the plugin QFGrep plugin, which was created after the similar question mentioned in the comments: Is it possible to grep Vimʼs quickfix?.

I've been using it for a year and a half, and it works very well. It allows to grep (and reverse grep) the quickfix results, and also allows to restore the original contents. Check plugin homepage, which has a nice animated gif.

  • mMontu: must give it a try tomorrow....looks like what i really need....
    – Cylian
    Feb 16, 2016 at 20:05
  • It is a really cool script...thank you so much...
    – Cylian
    Feb 17, 2016 at 7:04

New official vim plugin cfilter

Since 21.8.2018 (patch: 8.1.0311) the plugin cfilter is distributed with vim in $VIMRUNTIME. It is documented under :h cfilter-plugin.

Load plugin cfilter when needed or load it always in your vimrc

:packadd cfilter

Filter quickfix list with

:Cfilter DPUST

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