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UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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UNIX Commands
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ctags [options] files

Create a list of function and macro names that are defined in the specified C, Pascal, FORTRAN, yacc, or lex source files. The output list (named tags by default) contains lines of the form: name file context where name is the function or macro name, file is the source file in which name is defined, and context is a search pattern that shows the line of code containing name. After the list of tags is created, you can invoke vi on any file and type:

:set tags=tagsfile
:tag name

This switches the vi editor to the source file associated with the name listed in tagsfile (which you specify with -f).



Append tag output to existing list of tags.


context uses backward search patterns.


context uses forward search patterns (default).


Place output in tagsfile (default is tags).


Include typedefs as tags.


Update tags file to reflect new locations of functions (e.g., when functions are moved to a different source file). Old tags are deleted; new tags are appended.


Produce a listing (index) of each function, source file, and page number (1 page = 64 lines). -v is intended to create a file for use with vgrind, which is available in the BSD compatibility package.


Suppress warning messages.


Produce a listing of each function, its line number, source file, and context.


Store tags in Taglist for all C programs:

ctags -f Taglist *.c

Update tags and store in Newlist:

ctags -u -f Newlist *.c

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