Selecting and manipulating text with textobjects

In Helix, textobjects are a way to select, manipulate and operate on a piece of text in a structured way. They allow you to refer to blocks of text based on their structure or purpose, such as a word, sentence, paragraph, or even a function or block of code.

Textobject demo Textobject tree-sitter demo

  • ma - Select around the object (va in Vim, <alt-a> in Kakoune)
  • mi - Select inside the object (vi in Vim, <alt-i> in Kakoune)
Key after mi or maTextobject selected
(, [, ', etc.Specified surround pairs
mThe closest surround pair
tType (or Class)

💡 f, t, etc. need a tree-sitter grammar active for the current document and a special tree-sitter query file to work properly. [Only some grammars][lang-support] currently have the query file implemented. Contributions are welcome!

Navigating between functions, classes, parameters, and other elements is possible using tree-sitter and textobject queries. For example to move to the next function use ]f, to move to previous type use [t, and so on.


For the full reference see the [unimpaired][unimpaired-keybinds] section of the key bind documentation.

💡 This feature relies on tree-sitter textobjects and requires the corresponding query file to work properly.