API Reference - Search

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Class CAPISearch

API for searching files and directories. One instance of this class should be instantiated for each search. The arguments to the constructor are:

txt -- The text to search for (required)

match_case -- True for case-sensitive search (default=True)

whole_words -- True to match only whole words (default=False)

omit_binary -- True to omit files that appear to be binary files (default=True)

search_styles -- One of 'text' for plain text search, 'wildcard' for wild card matches (unix glob style matching), and 'regex' for regular expression matching (default='text')

include_linenos -- True to include line numbers in the results (when False, line numbers are not computed, which makes for faster searching) (default=False)

use_buffer_content -- True to use the content of edited buffers instead of the disk file when unsaved edits exist (default=True)

regex_flags -- For regex searches: the regex flags from the re module (default=0)

After an instance of is created, use one of the following to start searching:



Search results and status are reported through the following signals called asynchronously until the search completes. The can be connected to a callback with Connect(signal, cb):

start -- A new search was started. Calls cb().

end -- The search completed or aborted. Calls cb().

match -- One or more matches have been found. Calls cb(filename, matches) where filename is the full path of the file, and matches is list of (lineno, linestart, line_text, positions) where lineno is the line number in the file (0=first), linestart is the position in the file where the line begins, line_text is the text for the line, and positions is a list of (start, end) tuples. The match signal may occur more than once per file or line, to report additional matches found. Line numbers are zero unless include_lineos was True. All positions are from the start of the file.

dir -- Scanning a new directory. Calls cb(dirname:str).

scanning -- Scanning a new file. Calls cb(filename).

file-done -- Done scanning a file. Calls cb(filename).

File and directory names passed to signal handlers are full paths or for remote files and directories, in the form ssh://hostname/path/to/item where hostname is the Identifier of a Remote Host.

Use Disconnect(signal_id) to preemptively disconnect a signal handler, where signal_id is the signal ID previously returned from Connect.


s = CAPISearch("test", match_case=False)
def match(filename, matches):
  print(filename, matches)
def end():
s.Connect('match', match)
s.Connect('end', end)

CAPISearch.SearchDirectory(dirname, file_set, recursive)

Start searching the given directory for all files that match the file set, optionally recursively.

The dirname is the full path of the directory name or for remote directories in the form ssh://hostname/path/to/dir where hostname is the Identifier of a Remote Host.

The file_set can either be a name of a configured file filter stored in the 'main.file-sets' preference or (includes, excludes) where includes and excludes are lists of tuples (spec_type, text) in which spec_type is one of 'wildcard-filename', 'mime-type', or 'wildcard-directory' and text is the pattern to apply to the file name, mime type, or directory name in order to filter which files are searched.

For example, to search only Python files use 'Python Files' as the filespec. Or to search *.py files other than those within a directory named 'test', use the following:

[(('wildcard-filename', '*.py'),), (('wildcard-directory', 'test'),)]

If the file filter in file_set is a string, an exception will be raised if it is not a valid file filter name.


Start searching all the given files, which is a list of full path filenames or URLs in the form ssh://hostname/path/to/file.py where hostname is the Identifier of a Remote Host.

This accepts only filenames and not directories. Use SearchDirectory to search a directory.

CAPISearch.SearchFile(filename, start_pos=0)

Search a single file for search matches, optionally starting at a given point. The filename should be a full path or URL in the form ssh://hostname/path/to/file.py where hostname is the Identifier of a Remote Host.

This can also be used to re-search a file previously searched through SearchDirectory if the file changes.


Terminate searching, if a search is active.


Pause the search process.


Continue the search process after it was previously paused with Pause.