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I am new to zsh and recently moved on from csh, due to obvious reasons.

Oddly enough, its taking me slightly longer than I expected to port a lot of aliases which I use extensively. Here's one of them.

In my csh i have a "cd test case" as follows

alias cdtc 'cd $TOP/\*/\*/tests/!*'

complete cdtc 'p#1#`/bin/ls -1 $TOP/*/*/tests | perl -lne '"'"'print if $_!~m/\// && $_!~m/^$/'"'"'`#'
  1. I guess the complete command prints a neat little coloured list of options of all test cases in all tests folders in my hierarchy, when I press tab.

  2. Partial matches are honoured. i.e. $> cdtc type_a_ <tab> would show directories beginning only with type_a_, but from all hierarchical locations

  3. While I understand the alias, I don't completely understand that perl expression; but I do know it's mostly related to the list of directory names being pretty and not in a single column. Lack of complete grasp is because I did not compose the alias nor the completion command.

My expectation in zsh

I Expected that the complete command wouldn't be necessary and just the alias would do. I've come across a few online posts which discuss _path_files but I couldn't find anything like _path_dirs.

I would like some pointers.

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  • corrected cdtc 'cd $TOP/*/*/tests/!*' Aug 12 '19 at 15:45
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Just add this to your ~/.zshrc file and you'll get pretty decent tab completion:

autoload -Uz compinit && compinit -C
bindkey '^I' complete-word

No need to mess around with aliases or functions. If you want to customize how the completion works, see http://zsh.sourceforge.net/Doc/Release/Completion-System.html

Or if you don't want to be bothered figuring out how all these settings interact with each other (which can get quite complex quickly), try my plugin marlonrichert/zsh-autocomplete. It auto-configures Zsh's completion system for a great out-of-the-box experience and gives you real-time completion as you type.

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