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Manual Reference Pages  -  TIGRC (5)

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tigrc - Tig configuration file



set   variable = value
bind  keymap key action
color area fgcolor bgcolor [attributes]
source path


You can permanently set an option by putting it in the ~/.tigrc file. The file consists of a series of commands. Each line of the file may contain only one command. Commands can span multiple lines if each line is terminated by a backslash (\) character.

The hash mark (#) is used as a comment character. All text after the comment character to the end of the line is ignored. You can use comments to annotate your initialization file.

Certain options can be manipulated at runtime via the option menu. In addition, options can also be toggled with the :toggle prompt command or by entering the configuration command into the prompt.


Alternatively to using ~/.tigrc, Tig options can be set by putting them in one of the Git configuration files, which are read by Tig on startup. See git-config(1) for which files to use. The following example show the basic syntax to use for settings, bindings and colors.

[tig] show-changes = true
[tig "color"] cursor = yellow red bold
[tig "bind"] generic = P parent

In addition to tig-specific options, the following Git options are read from the Git configuration:


Colors for the various UI types. Can be configured via the git-colors setting.


The width of the commit ID. See also id-width option.


The editor command. Can be overridden by setting GIT_EDITOR.


The path to the root of the working tree.


The encoding to use for displaying of file content.


The encoding used for commits. The default is UTF-8.


A few selective variables can be configured via the set command. The syntax is:

set variables = value


set commit-order = topo         # Order commits topologically
set git-colors = no             # Do not read Gits color settings.
set horizontal-scroll = 33%     # Scroll 33% of the view width
set blame-options = -C -C -C    # Blame lines from other files

# Wrap branch names with () and tags with <> set reference-format = (branch) <tag>

# Configure blame view columns using command spanning multiple lines. set blame-view = \ date:default \ author:abbreviated \ file-name:auto \ id:yes,color \ line-number:yes,interval=5 text

Or in the Git configuration files:

        line-graphics = no      # Disable graphics characters
        tab-size = 8            # Number of spaces per tab

The type of variables is either bool, int, string, or mixed.

Valid bool values

To set a bool variable to true use either "1", "true", or "yes". Any other value will set the variable to false.

Valid int values

A non-negative integer.

Valid string values

A string of characters. Optionally, use either or " as delimiters.

Valid mixed values

These values are composites of the above types. The valid values are specified in the description.


The following variables can be set:

diff-options (string)

A space separated string of diff options to use in the diff view. git-show(1) is used for formatting and always passes --patch-with-stat. This option overrides any options specified in the TIG_DIFF_OPTS environment variable (described in tig(1)), but is itself overridden by diff flags given on the command line invocation.

blame-options (string)

A space separated string of default blame options. Can be used for telling git-blame(1) how to detect the origin of lines. The options are ignored when Tig is started in blame mode and given blame options on the command line.

log-options (string)

A space separated string of default options that should be passed to the git-log(1) command used by the log view. Options can be overridden by command line options. Used internally override custom \(oqpretty.format\(cq settings that break the log view.

main-options (string)

A space separated string of default options that should be passed to the git-log(1) command used by the main view. Options can be overridden by command line options.

reference-format (string)

A space separated string of format strings used for formatting reference names. Wrap the name of the reference type with the characters you would like to use for formatting, e.g. [tag] and <remote>. If no format is specified for local-tag, the format for tag is used. Similarly, if no format is specified for tracked-remote the remote format is used. Prefix with hide: to not show that reference type, e.g. hide:remote. Supported reference types are:


o head : The current HEAD.


o tag : A signed tag.


o local-tag : An unsigned tag.


o remote : A remote.


o tracked-remote : The remote tracked by current HEAD.


o replace : A replaced reference.


o branch : Any other reference.

line-graphics (mixed) [ascii|default|utf-8|<bool>]

What type of character graphics for line drawing.

horizontal-scroll (mixed)

Interval to scroll horizontally in each step. Can be specified either as the number of columns, e.g. 5, or as a percentage of the view width, e.g. 33%, where the maximum is 100%. For percentages it is always ensured that at least one column is scrolled. The default is to scroll 50% of the view width.

git-colors (list)

A space separated list of "key=value" pairs where the key is a Git color name and the value is a Tig color name, e.g. "branch.current=main-head" and "grep.filename=grep.file". Set to "no" to disable.

show-notes (mixed) [<reference>|<bool>]

Whether to show notes for a commit. When set to a note reference the reference is passed to git show --notes=. Notes are enabled by default.

show-changes (bool)

Whether to show staged and unstaged changes in the main view.

vertical-split (mixed) [auto|<bool>]

Whether to split the view horizontally or vertically. "auto" (which is the default) means that it will depend on the window dimensions. When true vertical orientation is used, and false sets the orientation to horizontal.

split-view-height (mixed)

The height of the bottom view in a horizontally split display. Can be specified either as the number of rows, e.g. 5, or as a percentage of the view height, e.g. 80%, where the maximum is 100%. It is always ensured that the smaller of the views is at least four rows high. The default is 67%.

split-view-width (mixed)

Width of the right-most view in a vertically split display. Can be specified either as the number of column, e.g. 5, or as a percentage of the view width, e.g. 80%, where the maximum is 100%. It is always ensured that the smaller of the views is at least four columns wide. The default is 50%.

status-untracked-dirs (bool)

Show untracked directories contents in the status view (analog to git ls-files --directory option). On by default.

tab-size (int)

Number of spaces per tab. The default is 8 spaces.

diff-context (int)

Number of context lines to show for diffs.

ignore-space (mixed) [no|all|some|at-eol|<bool>]

Ignore space changes in diff view. By default no space changes are ignored. Changing this to "all", "some" or "at-eol" is equivalent to passing "--ignore-all-space", "--ignore-space" or "--ignore-space-at-eol" respectively to git diff or git show.

commit-order (enum) [auto|default|topo|date|author-date|reverse]

Commit ordering using the default (chronological reverse) order, topological order, date order or reverse order. When set to "auto" (which is the default), topological order is automatically used in the main view when the commit graph is enabled. In repositories with a long commit history it is advised to set this option to "default" to speed up loading of the main view.

ignore-case (bool)

Ignore case in searches. By default, the search is case sensitive.

wrap-lines (bool)

Wrap long lines. By default, lines are not wrapped. Not compatible with line numbers enabled.

focus-child (bool)

Whether to focus the child view when it is opened. When disabled the focus will remain in the parent view, avoiding reloads of the child view when navigating the parent view. True by default.

editor-line-number (bool)

Whether to pass the selected line number to the editor command. The line number is passed as +<line-number> in front of the file name. Example: vim +10 tig.c

mouse (bool)

Whether to enable mouse support. Off by default since it makes selecting text from the terminal less intuitive. When enabled hold down Shift (or Option on Mac) to select text. Mouse support requires that ncurses itself support mouse events.

mouse-scroll (int)

Interval to scroll up or down using the mouse. The default is 3 lines. Mouse support requires that ncurses itself support mouse events and that you have enabled mouse support in ~/.tigrc with set mouse = true.

refresh-mode (mixed) [manual|auto|after-command|periodic|<bool>]

Configures how views are refreshed based on modifications to watched files in the repository. When set to manual, nothing is refreshed automatically. When set to auto, views are refreshed when a modification is detected. When set to after-command only refresh after returning from an external command. When set to periodic, visible views are refreshed periodically using refresh-interval.

refresh-interval (int)

Interval in seconds between view refresh update checks when refresh-mode is set to periodic.

file-args (args)

Command line arguments referring to files. These are filtered using git-rev-parse(1).

rev-args (args)

Command line arguments referring to revisions. These are filtered using git-rev-parse(1).

cmdline-args (args)

All remaining command line arguments that are not either filtered into file-args or rev-args.

    View settings

The view settings define the order and options for the different columns of a view. Each view setting expects a space separated list of column specifications. Column specifications starts with the column type, and can optionally be followed by a colon (:) and a list of column options. E.g. the following column specification defines an author column displaying the author email and with a maximum width of 20 characters: author:email,width=20.

The first option value in a column specification is always the display option. When no display value is given, yes is assumed. For display options expecting an enumerated value this will automatically resolve to the default enum value. For example, file-name will automatically have its display setting resolve to auto.

Specifications can also be given for a single column, for example to override the defaults in the system tigrc file. To override a single column, use the column name as a suffix after the view setting name, e.g. main-view-date will allow to set the date in the main view.


# Enable both ID and line numbers in the blame view
set blame-view = date:default author:full file-name:auto id:yes,color \
                 line-number:yes,interval=5 text

# Change grep view to be similar to ‘git grep‘ format set grep-view = file-name:yes line-number:yes,interval=1 text

# Show file sizes as units set tree-view = line-number:no,interval=5 mode author:full \ file-size:units date:default id:no file-name

# Show line numbers for every 10th line in the pager view set pager-view = line-number:yes,interval=10 text

# Shorthands to change view settings for a previously defined column set main-view-date = short set blame-view-line-number = no # Use Gits default commit order, even when the commit graph is enabled. set commit-order = default

The following list shows which the available view settings and what column types they support:

blob-view, diff-view, log-view, pager-view, stage-view

line-number, text


author, date, file-name, id, line-number, text


file-name, line-number, text


author, date, commit-title, id, line-number


author, date, commit-title, id, line-number, ref


author, date, commit-title, id, line-number


file-name, line-number, status


author, date, id, file-name, file-size, line-number, mode

Supported column types and their respective column options:




display (mixed) [full|abbreviated|email|email-user|<bool>]: How to display author names. If set to "abbreviated" author initials will be shown.



width (int): Width of the column. When set to a value between 1 and 10, the author name will be abbreviated to the author\(cqs initials. When set to zero, the width is automatically sized to fit the content.




graph (mixed) [no|v2|v1]: Whether to show the revision graph in the main view on start-up. "v1" refers to the old graph rendering, which is less accurate but faster and thus recommended in large repositories. See also the line-graphics options.



refs (bool): Whether to show references (branches, tags, and remotes) in the main view. Can be toggled.



overflow (bool or int): Whether to highlight text in commit titles exceeding a given width. When set to a boolean, it enables or disables the highlighting using the default width of 50 character. When set to an int, the assigned value is used as the maximum character width.




display (mixed) [relative|short|default|local|<bool>]: How to display dates. If set to "relative" a relative date will be used, e.g. "2 minutes ago". If set to "short" no time information is shown. If set to "local", localtime(3) is used.



width (int): Width of the column. When set to zero, the width is automatically sized to fit the content.




display (mixed) [auto|always|<bool>]: When to display file names. If set to "auto" file names are shown only when needed, e.g. when running: tig blame -C <file>.



width (int): Width of the column. When set to zero, the width is automatically sized to fit the content.




display (mixed) [default|units|<bool>]: How to display file sizes. When set to "units", sizes are shown using binary prefixes, e.g. 12524 bytes is shown as "12.2K".



width (int): Width of the filename column. When set to zero, the width is automatically sized to fit the content.




display (bool): Whether to show commit IDs in the main view.



width (int) : Width of the commit ID. When unset Tig will use the value of core.abbrev if found. See git-config(1) on how to set core.abbrev. When set to zero the width is automatically sized to fit the content of reflog (e.g. ref/stash@{4}) IDs and otherwise default to 7.




display (bool): Whether to show line numbers.



interval (int): Interval between line numbers.



width (int): Width of the column. When set to zero, the width is automatically sized to fit the content.




display (bool): Whether to show file modes.



width (int): Width of the column. When set to zero, the width is automatically sized to fit the content.




display (bool): Whether to show the reference name.



width (int): Width of the column. When set to zero, the width is automatically sized to fit the content.




display (mixed) [no|short|long|<bool>]: How to display the status label.



width (int): Width of the column. When set to zero, the width is automatically sized to fit the content.




commit-title-overflow (bool or int): Whether to highlight commit titles exceeding a given width in the diff view. When set to a boolean, it enables or disables the highlighting using the default width of 50 character. When set to an int, the assigned value is used as the maximum character width.

All column options can be toggled. For display options, use the option name as the prefix followed by a dash and the column name. E.g. :toggle author-display will toggle the display option in the author column. For all other options use the column name followed by a dash and then the option name as the suffix. E.g. :toggle commit-title-graph will toggle the graph option in the commit-title column. Alternatively, use the option menu to manipulate options.


Using bind commands, keys can be mapped to an action when pressed in a given key map. The syntax is:

bind keymap key action


# Add keybinding to quickly jump to the next diff chunk in the stage view
bind stage <Enter> :/^@@

# Disable the default mapping for running git-gc bind generic G none

# User-defined external command to amend the last commit bind status + !git commit --amend

# User-defined internal command that reloads ~/.tigrc bind generic S :source ~/.tigrc

# UTF8-encoded characters can be used as key values. bind generic \(/o @sh -c "printf %s %(commit) | pbcopy"

Or in the Git configuration files:

[tig "bind"]
        # unbind the default quit key binding
        main = Q none
        # Cherry-pick current commit onto current branch
        generic = C !git cherry-pick %(commit)

Keys are mapped by first searching the keybindings for the current view, then the keybindings for the generic keymap, and last the default keybindings. Thus, the view keybindings override the generic keybindings which override the built-in keybindings.


Valid keymaps are: main, diff, log, help, pager, status, stage, tree, blob, blame, refs, stash, grep and generic. Use generic to set key mapping in all keymaps. Use search to define keys for navigating search results during search.

Key values

Key values should never be quoted. Use either an ASCII or UTF8-encoded character or one of the following symbolic key names. Symbolic key names are case insensitive and starts with "<" and ends with ">". Use <Hash> to bind to the # key, since the hash mark is used as a comment character. Use <LessThan> to bind to the < key.

<Enter>, <Space>, <Backspace>, <Tab>, <Escape> or <Esc>, <Left>, <Right>, <Up>, <Down>, <Insert> or <Ins>, <Delete> or <Del>, <Hash>, <LessThan> or <LT>, <Home>, <End>, <PageUp> or <PgUp>, <PageDown> or <PgDown>, <F1>, <F2>, <F3>, <F4>, <F5>, <F6>, <F7>, <F8>, <F9>, <F10>, <F11>, <F12>.

To define key mappings with the Ctrl key, use <Ctrl-key>. In addition, key combos consisting of an initial Escape key followed by a normal key value can be bound using <Esc>key.


bind main R             refresh
bind main <Down>        next
bind main <Ctrl-f>      scroll-page-down
bind main <Esc>o        options

Note that due to the way ncurses encodes Ctrl key mappings, Ctrl-m and Ctrl-i cannot be bound as they conflict with Enter and Tab respectively. Furthermore, ncurses does not allow to distinguish between Ctrl-f and Ctrl-F. Finally, Ctrl-z is automatically used for process control and will suspend Tig and open a subshell (use fg to reenter Tig).


Actions are either specified as user-defined commands (external or internal) or using action names as described in the following sections.

    External user-defined command

These actions start with one or more of the following option flags followed by the command that should be executed.

Unless otherwise specified, commands are run in the foreground with their console output shown (as if ! was specified). When multiple command options are specified their behavior are combined, e.g. "?<git commit" will prompt the user whether to execute the command and will exit Tig after completion.

Browsing state variables

User-defined commands can optionally refer to Tig\(cqs internal state using the following variable names, which are substituted before commands are run:


# Save save the current commit as a patch file when the user selects a
# commit in the main view and presses S.
bind main S !git format-patch -1 %(commit)

# Create and checkout a new branch; specify custom prompt bind main B ?git checkout -b "%(prompt Enter new branch name: )"

Advanced shell-like commands

If your command requires use of dynamic features, such as subshells, expansion of environment variables and process control, this can be achieved by using a shell command:

Example 1. Configure a binding to copy the current commit ID to the clipboard.

bind generic I @sh -c "echo -n %(commit) | xclip -selection c"

Or by using a combination of Git aliases and Tig external commands. The following example entries can be put in either the .gitconfig or .git/config file:

Example 2. Git configuration which binds Tig keys to Git command aliases.

        gitk-bg = !"gitk HEAD --not $(git rev-parse --remotes) &"
        publish = !"for i in origin public; do git push $i; done"
[tig "bind"]
        # @-prefix means that the console output will not be shown.
        generic = V !@git gitk-bg
        generic = > !git publish

    Internal user-defined commands

Actions beginning with a : will be run and interpreted as internal commands and act similar to commands run via Tig\(cqs prompt. Valid internal commands are configuration file options (as described in this document) and pager view commands. Examples:

# Reload ~/.tigrc when S is pressed
bind generic S :source .tigrc

# Change diff view to show all commit changes regardless of file limitations bind diff F :set diff-options = --full-diff

# Show the output of git-reflog(1) in the pager view bind generic W :!git reflog

# Search for previous diff (c)hunk and next diff header bind stage 2 :?^@@ bind stage D :/^diff --(git|cc)

bind main I :toggle id # Show/hide the ID column bind diff D :toggle diff-options --minimal # Use minimal diff algorithm bind diff [ :toggle diff-context -3 # Decrease context (-U arg) bind diff ] :toggle diff-context +3 # Increase context bind generic V :toggle split-view-height -10% # Decrease split height

Similar to external commands, pager view commands can contain variable names that will be substituted before the command is run.

    Action names

Valid action names are described below. Note, all action names are case-insensitive, and you may use -, _, and . interchangeably, e.g. "view-main", "View.Main", and "VIEW_MAIN" are the same.

View switching

View manipulation

View specific actions

Cursor navigation





Color commands control highlighting and the user interface styles. If your terminal supports color, these commands can be used to assign foreground and background combinations to certain areas. Optionally, an attribute can be given as the last parameter. The syntax is:

color area fgcolor bgcolor [attributes]


# Override the default terminal colors to white on black.
color default           white   black
# Diff colors
color diff-header       yellow  default
color diff-index        blue    default
color diff-chunk        magenta default
color "Reported-by:"    green   default
# View specific color
color         black   cyan    bold

Or in the Git configuration files:

[tig "color"]
        # A strange looking cursor line
        cursor          = red   default underline
        # UI colors
        title-blur      = white blue
        title-focus     = white blue    bold
# View specific color
[tig "color.tree"]
        date            = cyan  default bold

Area names

Can be either a built-in area name or a custom quoted string. The latter allows custom color rules to be added for lines matching a quoted string. Valid built-in area names are described below. Note, all names are case-insensitive, and you may use -, and _ interchangeably, e.g. "Diff-Header" and "DIFF_HEADER" are the same. View specific colors can be defined by prefixing the view name to the area name, e.g. "stage.diff-chunk" and "diff.diff-chunk".

Color names

Valid colors include: white, black, green, magenta, blue, cyan, yellow, red, default. Use default to refer to the default terminal colors, for example, to keep the background transparent when you are using a terminal with a transparent background.

Colors can also be specified using the keywords color0, color1, ..., colorN-1 (where N is the number of colors supported by your terminal). This is useful when you remap the colors for your display or want to enable colors supported by 88-color and 256-color terminals. Note that the color prefix is optional. If you prefer, you can specify colors directly by their numbers 0, 1, ..., N-1 instead, just like in the configuration file of Git.

Attribute names

Valid attributes include: normal, blink, bold, dim, reverse, standout, and underline. Note, not all attributes may be supported by the terminal.

    UI colors

The colors and attributes to be used for the text that is not highlighted or that specify the use of the default terminal colors can be controlled by setting the default color option.

Table 1. General

Table 2. Main view colors

Table 3. Status view

Table 4. Help view


Diff markup

Options concerning diff start, chunks and lines added and deleted.

diff-header, diff-chunk, diff-add, diff-add2, diff-del, diff-del2

Enhanced Git diff markup

Extra diff information emitted by the Git diff machinery, such as mode changes, rename detection, and similarity.

diff-oldmode, diff-newmode, diff-copy-from, diff-copy-to, diff-similarity, diff-index

Pretty print commit headers

Commit diffs and the revision logs are usually formatted using pretty printed headers , unless --pretty=raw was given. This includes lines, such as merge info, commit ID, and author and committer date.

pp-refs, pp-reflog, pp-reflogmsg, pp-merge

Raw commit header

Usually shown when --pretty=raw is given, however commit is pretty much omnipresent.

commit, parent, tree, author, committer

Commit message

Signed-off-by, Acked-by, Reviewed-by and Tested-by lines are colorized. Characters in the commit title exceeding a predefined width can be highlighted.

Tree markup

Colors for information of the tree view.

tree-dir, tree-file


Source commands make it possible to read additional configuration files. Sourced files are included in-place, meaning when a source command is encountered the file will be immediately read. Any commands later in the current configuration file will take precedence. The syntax is:

source path


source ~/.tig/colorscheme.tigrc
source ~/.tig/keybindings.tigrc


Copyright (c) 2006-2014 Jonas Fonseca <\m[blue]\m[][1]>

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.


tig(1), tigmanual(7), git(7), git-config(1)


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Tig 2&.1&.1 TIGRC (5) 04/08/2015

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