[editor] Section

scrolloffNumber of lines of padding around the edge of the screen when scrolling5
mouseEnable mouse modetrue
middle-click-pasteMiddle click paste supporttrue
scroll-linesNumber of lines to scroll per scroll wheel step3
shellShell to use when running external commandsUnix: ["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 numbersabsolute
cursorlineHighlight all lines with a cursorfalse
cursorcolumnHighlight all columns with a cursorfalse
guttersGutters to display: Available are diagnostics and diff and line-numbers and spacer, note that diagnostics also includes other features like breakpoints, 1-width padding will be inserted if gutters is non-empty["diagnostics", "spacer", "line-numbers", "spacer", "diff"]
auto-completionEnable automatic pop up of auto-completiontrue
auto-formatEnable automatic formatting on savetrue
auto-saveEnable automatic saving on the focus moving away from Helix. Requires focus event support from your terminalfalse
idle-timeoutTime in milliseconds since last keypress before idle timers trigger.250
completion-timeoutTime in milliseconds after typing a word character before completions are shown, set to 5 for instant.250
preview-completion-insertWhether to apply completion item instantly when selectedtrue
completion-trigger-lenThe min-length of word under cursor to trigger autocompletion2
completion-replaceSet to true to make completions always replace the entire word and not just the part before the cursorfalse
auto-infoWhether to display info boxestrue
true-colorSet to true to override automatic detection of terminal truecolor support in the event of a false negativefalse
undercurlSet to true to override automatic detection of terminal undercurl support in the event of a false negativefalse
rulersList of column positions at which to display the rulers. Can be overridden by language specific rulers in languages.toml file[]
bufferlineRenders a line at the top of the editor displaying open buffers. Can be always, never or multiple (only shown if more than one buffer is in use)never
color-modesWhether to color the mode indicator with different colors depending on the mode itselffalse
text-widthMaximum line length. Used for the :reflow command and soft-wrapping if soft-wrap.wrap-at-text-width is set80
workspace-lsp-rootsDirectories relative to the workspace root that are treated as LSP roots. Should only be set in .helix/config.toml[]
default-line-endingThe line ending to use for new documents. Can be native, lf, crlf, ff, cr or nel. native uses the platform's native line ending (crlf on Windows, otherwise lf).native
insert-final-newlineWhether to automatically insert a trailing line-ending on write if missingtrue
popup-borderDraw border around popup, menu, all, or nonenone
indent-heuristicHow the indentation for a newly inserted line is computed: simple just copies the indentation level from the previous line, tree-sitter computes the indentation based on the syntax tree and hybrid combines both approaches. If the chosen heuristic is not available, a different one will be used as a fallback (the fallback order being hybrid -> tree-sitter -> simple).hybrid
jump-label-alphabetThe characters that are used to generate two character jump labels. Characters at the start of the alphabet are used first."abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz"

[editor.statusline] Section

Allows configuring the statusline at the bottom of the editor.

The configuration distinguishes between three areas of the status line:

[ ... ... LEFT ... ... | ... ... ... CENTER ... ... ... | ... ... RIGHT ... ... ]

Statusline elements can be defined as follows:

left = ["mode", "spinner"]
center = ["file-name"]
right = ["diagnostics", "selections", "position", "file-encoding", "file-line-ending", "file-type"]
separator = "β”‚"
mode.normal = "NORMAL"
mode.insert = "INSERT"
mode.select = "SELECT"

The [editor.statusline] key takes the following sub-keys:

leftA list of elements aligned to the left of the statusline["mode", "spinner", "file-name", "read-only-indicator", "file-modification-indicator"]
centerA list of elements aligned to the middle of the statusline[]
rightA list of elements aligned to the right of the statusline["diagnostics", "selections", "register", "position", "file-encoding"]
separatorThe character used to separate elements in the statusline"β”‚"
mode.normalThe text shown in the mode element for normal mode"NOR"
mode.insertThe text shown in the mode element for insert mode"INS"
mode.selectThe text shown in the mode element for select mode"SEL"

The following statusline elements can be configured:

modeThe current editor mode (mode.normal/mode.insert/mode.select)
spinnerA progress spinner indicating LSP activity
file-nameThe path/name of the opened file
file-absolute-pathThe absolute path/name of the opened file
file-base-nameThe basename of the opened file
file-modification-indicatorThe indicator to show whether the file is modified (a [+] appears when there are unsaved changes)
file-encodingThe encoding of the opened file if it differs from UTF-8
file-line-endingThe file line endings (CRLF or LF)
read-only-indicatorAn indicator that shows [readonly] when a file cannot be written
total-line-numbersThe total line numbers of the opened file
file-typeThe type of the opened file
diagnosticsThe number of warnings and/or errors
workspace-diagnosticsThe number of warnings and/or errors on workspace
selectionsThe number of active selections
primary-selection-lengthThe number of characters currently in primary selection
positionThe cursor position
position-percentageThe cursor position as a percentage of the total number of lines
separatorThe string defined in editor.statusline.separator (defaults to "β”‚")
spacerInserts a space between elements (multiple/contiguous spacers may be specified)
version-controlThe current branch name or detached commit hash of the opened workspace
registerThe current selected register

[editor.lsp] Section

enableEnables LSP integration. Setting to false will completely disable language servers regardless of language settings.true
display-messagesDisplay LSP progress messages below statusline1false
auto-signature-helpEnable automatic popup of signature help (parameter hints)true
display-inlay-hintsDisplay inlay hints2false
display-signature-help-docsDisplay docs under signature help popuptrue
snippetsEnables snippet completions. Requires a server restart (:lsp-restart) to take effect after :config-reload/:set.true
goto-reference-include-declarationInclude declaration in the goto references popup.true

By default, a progress spinner is shown in the statusline beside the file path.


You may also have to activate them in the LSP config for them to appear, not just in Helix. Inlay hints in Helix are still being improved on and may be a little bit laggy/janky under some circumstances. Please report any bugs you see so we can fix them!

[editor.cursor-shape] Section

Defines the shape of cursor in each mode. Valid values for these options are block, bar, underline, or hidden.

πŸ’‘ Due to limitations of the terminal environment, only the primary cursor can change shape.

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

[editor.file-picker] Section

Set options for file picker and global search. Ignoring a file means it is not visible in the Helix file picker and global search.

All git related options are only enabled in a git repository.

hiddenEnables ignoring hidden filestrue
follow-symlinksFollow symlinks instead of ignoring themtrue
deduplicate-linksIgnore symlinks that point at files already shown in the pickertrue
parentsEnables reading ignore files from parent directoriestrue
ignoreEnables reading .ignore filestrue
git-ignoreEnables reading .gitignore filestrue
git-globalEnables reading global .gitignore, whose path is specified in git's config: core.excludesfile optiontrue
git-excludeEnables reading .git/info/exclude filestrue
max-depthSet with an integer value for maximum depth to recurseUnset by default

Ignore files can be placed locally as .ignore or put in your home directory as ~/.ignore. They support the usual ignore and negative ignore (unignore) rules used in .gitignore files.

Additionally, you can use Helix-specific ignore files by creating a local .helix/ignore file in the current workspace or a global ignore file located in your Helix config directory:

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


# unignore in file picker and global search

[editor.auto-pairs] 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"

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

[editor.search] 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, nbsp, nnbsp, tab, and newlinenone
charactersLiteral characters to use when rendering whitespace. Sub-keys may be any of tab, space, nbsp, nnbsp, newline or tabpadSee example below


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

space = "Β·"
nbsp = "⍽"
nnbsp = "␣"
tab = "β†’"
newline = "⏎"
tabpad = "Β·" # Tabs will look like "β†’Β·Β·Β·" (depending on tab width)

[editor.indent-guides] Section

Options for rendering vertical indent guides.

renderWhether to render indent guidesfalse
characterLiteral character to use for rendering the indent guideβ”‚
skip-levelsNumber of indent levels to skip0


render = true
character = "β•Ž" # Some characters that work well: "▏", "┆", "β”Š", "βΈ½"
skip-levels = 1

[editor.gutters] Section

For simplicity, editor.gutters accepts an array of gutter types, which will use default settings for all gutter components.

gutters = ["diff", "diagnostics", "line-numbers", "spacer"]

To customize the behavior of gutters, the [editor.gutters] section must be used. This section contains top level settings, as well as settings for specific gutter components as subsections.

layoutA vector of gutters to display["diagnostics", "spacer", "line-numbers", "spacer", "diff"]


layout = ["diff", "diagnostics", "line-numbers", "spacer"]

[editor.gutters.line-numbers] Section

Options for the line number gutter

min-widthThe minimum number of characters to use3


min-width = 1

[editor.gutters.diagnostics] Section

Currently unused

[editor.gutters.diff] Section

The diff gutter option displays colored bars indicating whether a git diff represents that a line was added, removed or changed. These colors are controlled by the theme attributes diff.plus, diff.minus and diff.delta.

Other diff providers will eventually be supported by a future plugin system.

There are currently no options for this section.

[editor.gutters.spacer] Section

Currently unused

[editor.soft-wrap] Section

Options for soft wrapping lines that exceed the view width:

enableWhether soft wrapping is enabled.false
max-wrapMaximum free space left at the end of the line.20
max-indent-retainMaximum indentation to carry over when soft wrapping a line.40
wrap-indicatorText inserted before soft wrapped lines, highlighted with ui.virtual.wrapβ†ͺ
wrap-at-text-widthSoft wrap at text-width instead of using the full viewport size.false


enable = true
max-wrap = 25 # increase value to reduce forced mid-word wrapping
max-indent-retain = 0
wrap-indicator = ""  # set wrap-indicator to "" to hide it

[editor.smart-tab] Section

Options for navigating and editing using tab key.

enableIf set to true, then when the cursor is in a position with non-whitespace to its left, instead of inserting a tab, it will run move_parent_node_end. If there is only whitespace to the left, then it inserts a tab as normal. With the default bindings, to explicitly insert a tab character, press Shift-tab.true
supersede-menuNormally, when a menu is on screen, such as when auto complete is triggered, the tab key is bound to cycling through the items. This means when menus are on screen, one cannot use the tab key to trigger the smart-tab command. If this option is set to true, the smart-tab command always takes precedence, which means one cannot use the tab key to cycle through menu items. One of the other bindings must be used instead, such as arrow keys or C-n/C-p.false

Due to lack of support for S-tab in some terminals, the default keybindings don't fully embrace smart-tab editing experience. If you enjoy smart-tab navigation and a terminal that supports the Enhanced Keyboard protocol, consider setting extra keybindings:

tab = "move_parent_node_end"
S-tab = "move_parent_node_start"

S-tab = "move_parent_node_start"

tab = "extend_parent_node_end"
S-tab = "extend_parent_node_start"