git clone 'git://github.com/syohex/emacs-helm-ag.git'


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helm-ag.el provides interfaces of The Silver Searcher with helm.




I suppose you can use older version ag however if you want to use all features of helm-ag, please upgrade ag version.


helm-ag is available on MELPA and MELPA stable

You can install helm-ag with the following command.

M-x package-install [RET] helm-ag [RET]

Basic Usage


Input search word with ag command. You can change search directory with C-u prefix.


Same as helm-ag except to search only current file


Search with ag like helm-do-grep. You can specify extra command line option of ag with minus prefix(C--).



Same as helm-do-ag except to search only current file


Call helm-ag at project root. helm-ag seems directory as project root where there is .git or .hg or .svn.


Call helm-do-ag at project root.


Search buffers by helm-ag


Search buffers by helm-do-ag


Move to point before jump


Clear context stack

Persistent action

You can see file content temporarily by persistent action(C-j).

Search Tips of helm-ag

Passing command line options and pattern

Pattern: -Gmd$ search_pattern

Command line options is -Gmd$ and search pattern is search_pattern. helm-ag treats words which starts with - as command line option.

Pattern contains space

Pattern: foo bar baz

Search pattern is foo bar baz. You need not to wrap pattern with quotes.

Pattern starts with -

Pattern: -- --count

Search pattern is --count. helm-ag treats words after -- as search pattern.


helm-ag-base-command(Default: ag --nocolor --nogroup)

Base command of ag.

helm-ag-command-option(Default: nil)

Command line option of base command.

helm-ag-insert-at-point(Default: nil)

Insert thing at point as default search pattern, if this value is non nil. You can set the parameter same as thing-at-point(Such as 'word, symbol etc).

helm-ag-fuzzy-match(Default: nil)

Enable fuzzy matching.

helm-ag-source-type(Default: 'one-line)

If this value is 'file-line, helm-ag displays candidate as helm file-line style.


helm-ag-use-grep-ignore-list(Default: nil)

Use grep-find-ignored-files and grep-find-ignored-directories as ignore pattern. They are specified to `–ignore' options."

helm-ag-always-set-extra-option(Default: nil)

Always set extra command line option of ag in helm-do-ag if this value is non-nil.

helm-ag-edit-save(Default: t)

Save buffers you edit at editing completed.

helm-ag-use-emacs-lisp-regexp(Default: nil)

Use Emacs Lisp regexp instead of PCRE as pattern. NOTE: this is very simple convertion.

helm-ag-use-agignore(Default: nil)

Use .agignore file at project root if this variable is non nil.


helm-ag-map and helm-do-ag-map are inherited by helm-map.

| Key | Action | |:———-|:—————————| | C-c o | Open other window | | C-l | Search in parent directory | | C-c C-e | Switch to edit mode | | C-x C-s | Save ag results to buffer | | C-c C-f | Enable helm-follow-mode | | C-c ? | Show help message |

Edit mode keymap

| Key | Action | |:———-|:—————–| | C-c C-c | Commit changes | | C-c C-k | Abort |

You can use next-error and previous-error for seeing file content which current line indicates.

Sample Configuration

 '(helm-ag-base-command "ag --nocolor --nogroup --ignore-case")
 '(helm-ag-command-option "--all-text")
 '(helm-ag-insert-at-point 'symbol))

helm-ag.el with the platinum searcher or ack

helm-ag.el can work the platinum searcher or ack instead of the silver searcher. It is difficult to install the silver search on some platform such as Windows, while it is easy to install the platinum searcher because it is written in go language and its author provides binaries for some platforms. And ack is written in Perl.

NOTE: Please use pt 1.7.7 or higher version if you use the platinum searcher.

Please add following configuration if you use helm-ag with the platinum searcher. I recommend you to set -e option which enables regexp searching.

  '(helm-ag-base-command "pt -e --nocolor --nogroup"))

or using ack

  '(helm-ag-base-command "ack --nocolor --nogroup"))

For projectile users

You can use helm-ag with projectile by following command.

(defun projectile-helm-ag ()
  (helm-ag (projectile-project-root)))


ag.el provides M-x grep interface. Also it can work without helm.