/Fish 3.1

bind - handle fish key bindings


bind [(-M | --mode) MODE] [(-m | --sets-mode) NEW_MODE] [--preset | --user] [(-s | --silent)] [(-k | --key)] SEQUENCE COMMAND [COMMAND...]
bind [(-M | --mode) MODE] [(-k | --key)] [--preset] [--user] SEQUENCE
bind (-K | --key-names) [(-a | --all)] [--preset] [--user]
bind (-f | --function-names)
bind (-L | --list-modes)
bind (-e | --erase) [(-M | --mode) MODE] [--preset] [--user] (-a | --all | [(-k | --key)] SEQUENCE [SEQUENCE...])


bind adds a binding for the specified key sequence to the specified command.

SEQUENCE is the character sequence to bind to. These should be written as fish escape sequences. For example, because pressing the Alt key and another character sends that character prefixed with an escape character, Alt-based key bindings can be written using the \e escape. For example, Alt+w can be written as \ew. The control character can be written in much the same way using the \c escape, for example Control+X (^X) can be written as \cx. Note that Alt-based key bindings are case sensitive and Control-based key bindings are not. This is a constraint of text-based terminals, not fish.

The default key binding can be set by specifying a SEQUENCE of the empty string (that is, '' ). It will be used whenever no other binding matches. For most key bindings, it makes sense to use the self-insert function (i.e. bind '' self-insert) as the default keybinding. This will insert any keystrokes not specifically bound to into the editor. Non- printable characters are ignored by the editor, so this will not result in control sequences being printable.

If the -k switch is used, the name of the key (such as 'down', 'up' or 'backspace') is used instead of a sequence. The names used are the same as the corresponding curses variables, but without the 'key_' prefix. (See terminfo(5) for more information, or use bind --key-names for a list of all available named keys.) If used in conjunction with the -s switch, bind will silently ignore bindings to named keys that are not found in termcap for the current $TERMINAL, otherwise a warning is emitted.

COMMAND can be any fish command, but it can also be one of a set of special input functions. These include functions for moving the cursor, operating on the kill-ring, performing tab completion, etc. Use bind --function-names for a complete list of these input functions.

When COMMAND is a shellscript command, it is a good practice to put the actual code into a function and simply bind to the function name. This way it becomes significantly easier to test the function while editing, and the result is usually more readable as well.

If a script produces output, it should finish by calling commandline -f repaint to tell fish that a repaint is in order.

When multiple COMMANDs are provided, they are all run in the specified order when the key is pressed. Note that special input functions cannot be combined with ordinary shell script commands. The commands must be entirely a sequence of special input functions (from bind -f) or all shell script commands (i.e., valid fish script).

If no SEQUENCE is provided, all bindings (or just the bindings in the specified MODE) are printed. If SEQUENCE is provided without COMMAND, just the binding matching that sequence is printed.

To save custom keybindings, put the bind statements into config.fish. Alternatively, fish also automatically executes a function called fish_user_key_bindings if it exists.

Key bindings may use "modes", which mimics Vi's modal input behavior. The default mode is "default", and every bind applies to a single mode. The mode can be viewed/changed with the $fish_bind_mode variable.

The following parameters are available:

  • -k or --key Specify a key name, such as 'left' or 'backspace' instead of a character sequence
  • -K or --key-names Display a list of available key names. Specifying -a or --all includes keys that don't have a known mapping
  • -f or --function-names Display a list of available input functions
  • -L or --list-modes Display a list of defined bind modes
  • -M MODE or --mode MODE Specify a bind mode that the bind is used in. Defaults to "default"
  • -m NEW_MODE or --sets-mode NEW_MODE Change the current mode to NEW_MODE after this binding is executed
  • -e or --erase Erase the binding with the given sequence and mode instead of defining a new one. Multiple sequences can be specified with this flag. Specifying -a or --all with -M or --mode erases all binds in the given mode regardless of sequence. Specifying -a or --all without -M or --mode erases all binds in all modes regardless of sequence.
  • -a or --all See --erase and --key-names
  • --preset and --user specify if bind should operate on user or preset bindings. User bindings take precedence over preset bindings when fish looks up mappings. By default, all bind invocations work on the "user" level except for listing, which will show both levels. All invocations except for inserting new bindings can operate on both levels at the same time. --preset should only be used in full binding sets (like when working on fish_vi_key_bindings).

Special input functions

The following special input functions are available:

  • and, only execute the next function if the previous succeeded (note: only some functions report success)
  • accept-autosuggestion, accept the current autosuggestion completely
  • backward-char, moves one character to the left
  • backward-bigword, move one whitespace-delimited word to the left
  • backward-delete-char, deletes one character of input to the left of the cursor
  • backward-kill-bigword, move the whitespace-delimited word to the left of the cursor to the killring
  • backward-kill-line, move everything from the beginning of the line to the cursor to the killring
  • backward-kill-path-component, move one path component to the left of the cursor to the killring. A path component is everything likely to belong to a path component, i.e. not any of the following: /={,}'":@ |;<>&, plus newlines and tabs.
  • backward-kill-word, move the word to the left of the cursor to the killring. The "word" here is everything up to punctuation or whitespace.
  • backward-word, move one word to the left
  • beginning-of-buffer, moves to the beginning of the buffer, i.e. the start of the first line
  • beginning-of-history, move to the beginning of the history
  • beginning-of-line, move to the beginning of the line
  • begin-selection, start selecting text
  • cancel, cancel the current commandline and replace it with a new empty one
  • capitalize-word, make the current word begin with a capital letter
  • complete, guess the remainder of the current token
  • complete-and-search, invoke the searchable pager on completion options (for convenience, this also moves backwards in the completion pager)
  • delete-char, delete one character to the right of the cursor
  • delete-or-exit, deletes one character to the right of the cursor or exits the shell if the commandline is empty.
  • down-line, move down one line
  • downcase-word, make the current word lowercase
  • end-of-buffer, moves to the end of the buffer, i.e. the end of the first line
  • end-of-history, move to the end of the history
  • end-of-line, move to the end of the line
  • end-selection, end selecting text
  • expand-abbr expands any abbreviation currently under the cursor
  • execute run the current commandline
  • force-repaint reexecute the prompt functions without coalescing
  • forward-bigword, move one whitespace-delimited word to the right
  • forward-char, move one character to the right
  • forward-word, move one word to the right
  • history-search-backward, search the history for the previous match
  • history-search-forward, search the history for the next match
  • history-prefix-search-backward, search the history for the previous prefix match
  • history-prefix-search-forward, search the history for the next prefix match
  • history-token-search-backward, search the history for the previous matching argument
  • history-token-search-forward, search the history for the next matching argument
  • forward-jump and backward-jump, read another character and jump to its next occurence after/before the cursor
  • forward-jump-till and backward-jump-till, jump to right before the next occurence
  • repeat-jump and repeat-jump-reverse, redo the last jump in the same/opposite direction
  • kill-bigword, move the next whitespace-delimited word to the killring
  • kill-line, move everything from the cursor to the end of the line to the killring
  • kill-selection, move the selected text to the killring
  • kill-whole-line, move the line to the killring
  • kill-word, move the next word to the killring
  • pager-toggle-search, toggles the search field if the completions pager is visible.
  • repaint reexecutes the prompt functions and redraws the prompt. Multiple successive repaints are coalesced.
  • repaint-mode reexecutes the fish_mode_prompt function and redraws the prompt. This is useful for vi-mode. If no fish_mode_prompt exists, it acts like a normal repaint.
  • self-insert, inserts the matching sequence into the command line
  • self-insert-notfirst, inserts the matching sequence into the command line, unless the cursor is at the beginning
  • suppress-autosuggestion, remove the current autosuggestion
  • swap-selection-start-stop, go to the other end of the highlighted text without changing the selection
  • transpose-chars, transpose two characters to the left of the cursor
  • transpose-words, transpose two words to the left of the cursor
  • up-line, move up one line
  • upcase-word, make the current word uppercase
  • yank, insert the latest entry of the killring into the buffer
  • yank-pop, rotate to the previous entry of the killring


bind \cd 'exit'

Causes fish to exit when Control+D is pressed.

bind -k ppage history-search-backward

Performs a history search when the Page Up key is pressed.

set -g fish_key_bindings fish_vi_key_bindings
bind -M insert \cc kill-whole-line force-repaint

Turns on Vi key bindings and rebinds Control+C to clear the input line.

Special Case: The escape Character

The escape key can be used standalone, for example, to switch from insertion mode to normal mode when using Vi keybindings. Escape can also be used as a "meta" key, to indicate the start of an escape sequence, like for function or arrow keys. Custom bindings can also be defined that begin with an escape character.

Holding alt and something else also typically sends escape, for example holding alt+a will send an escape character and then an "a".

fish waits for a period after receiving the escape character, to determine whether it is standalone or part of an escape sequence. While waiting, additional key presses make the escape key behave as a meta key. If no other key presses come in, it is handled as a standalone escape. The waiting period is set to 30 milliseconds (0.03 seconds). It can be configured by setting the fish_escape_delay_ms variable to a value between 10 and 5000 ms. This can be a universal variable that you set once from an interactive session.

© 2019 fish-shell developers
Licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2.