In Vim, I often find myself performing one search immediately followed by another search. I am wondering if I can combine the two searches into one command.

For example, if I want to find the first instance of the foobar variable within a function named transmogrify, I would enter:

/def transmogrify

Or if I'm in a log file and I want to search for an error that happened after a specific date:


Is there a better way to do this? And no, I'm not looking to record a macro.


Easiest might be, e.g.

/def transmogrify/;/foobar

You can use the | symbol to do an OR operation when searching.

Taking your second example, for example:


Even better, if you have these set in your vimrc:

" Make search expressions "very magic"
nnoremap / /\v
vnoremap / /\v

Then you don't have to escape the |. E.g.:

  • 1
    In my brain that wouldn't work because it should stop once it finds the first term because that makes the whole statement true, but in real life it probably does work.
    – Rob
    Jul 26 '12 at 15:53
  • @Rob is right; this didn't work when I just tested it. Thanks, though!
    – arussell84
    Jul 26 '12 at 15:56
  • It sort of works. It will get you what you want, you'll have to navigate through all the foobar or error though. It doesn't not work because of what I said, but because it matches both terms, which is what the | is for here.
    – Rob
    Jul 26 '12 at 15:59
  • Yes, I see what you mean. I misunderstood what you were asking for.
    – kenny
    Jul 26 '12 at 16:02

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