To override global configuration parameters, create a config.toml file located in your config directory:

  • Linux and Mac: ~/.config/helix/config.toml
  • Windows: %AppData%\helix\config.toml

Hint: You can easily open the config file by typing :config-open within Helix normal mode.

Example config:

theme = "onedark"

line-number = "relative"
mouse = false

insert = "bar"
normal = "block"
select = "underline"

hidden = false


[editor] Section

scrolloffNumber of lines of padding around the edge of the screen when scrolling.3
mouseEnable mouse mode.true
middle-click-pasteMiddle click paste support.true
scroll-linesNumber of lines to scroll per scroll wheel step.3
shellShell to use when running external commands.Unix: ["sh", "-c"]
Windows: ["cmd", "/C"]
line-numberLine number display: absolute simply shows each line's number, while relative shows the distance from the current line. When unfocused or in insert mode, relative will still show absolute line numbers.absolute
guttersGutters to display: Available are diagnostics and line-numbers, note that diagnostics also includes other features like breakpoints["diagnostics", "line-numbers"]
auto-completionEnable automatic pop up of auto-completion.true
auto-formatEnable automatic formatting on save.true
idle-timeoutTime in milliseconds since last keypress before idle timers trigger. Used for autocompletion, set to 0 for instant.400
completion-trigger-lenThe min-length of word under cursor to trigger autocompletion2
auto-infoWhether to display infoboxestrue
true-colorSet to true to override automatic detection of terminal truecolor support in the event of a false negative.false
rulersList of column positions at which to display the rulers. Can be overridden by language specific rulers in languages.toml file.[]

[editor.lsp] Section

display-messagesDisplay LSP progress messages below statusline1false

A progress spinner is always shown in the statusline beside the file path.

[editor.cursor-shape] Section

Defines the shape of cursor in each mode. Note that due to limitations of the terminal environment, only the primary cursor can change shape. Valid values for these options are block, bar, underline, or none.

normalCursor shape in normal modeblock
insertCursor shape in insert modeblock
selectCursor shape in select modeblock

[editor.file-picker] Section

Sets options for file picker and global search. All but the last key listed in the default file-picker configuration below are IgnoreOptions: whether hidden files and files listed within ignore files are ignored by (not visible in) the helix file picker and global search. There is also one other key, max-depth available, which is not defined by default.

hiddenEnables ignoring hidden files.true
parentsEnables reading ignore files from parent directories.true
ignoreEnables reading .ignore files.true
git-ignoreEnables reading .gitignore files.true
git-globalEnables reading global .gitignore, whose path is specified in git's config: core.excludefile option.true
git-excludeEnables reading .git/info/exclude files.true
max-depthSet with an integer value for maximum depth to recurse.Defaults to None.

[] Section

Enables automatic insertion of pairs to parentheses, brackets, etc. Can be a simple boolean value, or a specific mapping of pairs of single characters.

To disable auto-pairs altogether, set auto-pairs to false:

auto-pairs = false # defaults to `true`

The default pairs are (){}[]''""``, but these can be customized by setting auto-pairs to a TOML table:

'(' = ')'
'{' = '}'
'[' = ']'
'"' = '"'
'`' = '`'
'<' = '>'

Additionally, this setting can be used in a language config. Unless the editor setting is false, this will override the editor config in documents with this language.

Example languages.toml that adds <> and removes ''

name = "rust"

'(' = ')'
'{' = '}'
'[' = ']'
'"' = '"'
'`' = '`'
'<' = '>'

[] Section

Search specific options.

smart-caseEnable smart case regex searching (case insensitive unless pattern contains upper case characters)true
wrap-aroundWhether the search should wrap after depleting the matchestrue

[editor.whitespace] Section

Options for rendering whitespace with visible characters. Use :set whitespace.render all to temporarily enable visible whitespace.

renderWhether to render whitespace. May either be "all" or "none", or a table with sub-keys space, tab, and newline."none"
charactersLiteral characters to use when rendering whitespace. Sub-keys may be any of tab, space, nbsp or newlineSee example below


render = "all"
# or control each character
space = "all"
tab = "all"
newline = "none"

space = "·"
nbsp = "⍽"
tab = "→"
newline = "⏎"