vi: search string "^~" (unlikley pattern). Useful after search/highlight when you want to drop the highlighting.

When searching in vi, the search string gets highlighted but the highlighting can become a nuisance. By searching for the very unlikely pattern "^~" the highlighting is effectively switched off.
Sample Output
You need to try this in vi to see what it does.

First, search (/) for a string.
For example: "/if". Now all the "if"s are highlighted.
To remove the highlighting: "/^~" .

It works because the pattern "^~" is a very unlikely pattern to find.

By: mpb
2012-08-02 21:10:23

What Others Think

The proper way to take care of this issue is: :noh which stands for "no highlighting"
silbak04 · 522 weeks and 6 days ago
@silbak04: :noh won't work, certainly for any recent versions of vim. You need to type :nohls which is short for "no highlight search" :nohlsearch
flatcap · 522 weeks and 6 days ago
:noh works fine in vim 7.3.429 for me.
mrfixit42 · 522 weeks and 6 days ago
The three characters /^~ are faster to type than :noh
mpb · 522 weeks and 5 days ago
@silnak04 What is a "proper way" ? The expression: "There is more than one way to skin a cat." seems appropriate. What can I tell you? "/^~" works very well and I have used it for years. Anyway, thank you for suggesting ":soh". It's useful to know another way to skin this particular cat. :-)
mpb · 522 weeks and 5 days ago
Put this in your .vimrc so that pressing enter (while in edit mode) will toggle highlighting. Normally enter doesn't really do anything except move the cursor down a line. " toggles search highlighting nnoremap / :set hls/ nnoremap n :set hlsn nnoremap N :set hlsN nnoremap :set invhls
dstahlke · 522 weeks and 1 day ago
@dstahlke Thank you for sharing that .vimrc idea. I personally avoid making too many configuration files because I work on multiple machines and it's a bit of a nuisance having to reset all my preferred settings in config files on each new machine. This is another reason why I like the simple solution of "/^~"
mpb · 512 weeks and 2 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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