Fork me on GitHub



GeanyCtags adds a simple support for generating and querying ctags files for a Geany project. It requires that the ctags command is installed in a system path. On unix systems, distributions usually provide the ctags package; on Windows, the ctags binary can be found in the zip Windows distribution from the ctags home page (

Even though Geany supports symbol definition searching by itself within the open files (and with a plugin support within the whole project), tag regeneration can become too slow for really big projects. This is why this plugin was created. It makes it possible to generate the tag file only once and just query it when searching for a particular symbol definition/declaration. This approach is fine for big projects where most of the codebase remains unchanged and the tag positions remain more or less static.


GeanyCtags only works for Geany projects so in order to use it, a Geany project has to be open. The "File patterns" entry under Project->Properties determines for which files the tag list will be generated. All files within the project base path satisfying the file patterns will be included for the tag generation.

Tag Generation

To generate the list of tags, make sure that

  • a project is open, and
  • "File patterns" are specified correctly under Project->Properties

Then, select Project->Generate tags. After this, a file whose name corresponds to the project name with the suffix ".tags" is created in the same directory as the project file.

Tag Querying

There are two ways to find a symbol's definition/declaration:

  • using the context menu by placing a cursor at the searched symbol, right-clicking and selecting one of the two top items "Find Tag Definition" or "Find Tag Declaration".
  • using Project->Find tag

If the symbol is found, the editor is opened at the tag line. In addition, all the found tags are written into the Messages window. This is useful when there are more tags of the same name - by clicking a line in the Messages window it is possible to jump to any of the found tags.

When using the Project->Find tag search, it is possible to select from several search types:

  • prefix (default) - finds all tags with the specified prefix
  • exact - finds all tags matching the name exactly
  • pattern - finds all tags matching the provided glob pattern

Note that the pattern option is the slowest of the three possibilities because it has to go through the tag list sequentially instead of using binary search used by the other two methods. By default, tag definitions are searched; to search tag declarations, select the Declaration option.

Known issues


GeanyCtags is distributed 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. A copy of this license can be found in the file COPYING included with the source code of this program.


GeanyCtags is part of the combined Geany Plugins release. For more information and downloads, please visit //

Development Code

Get the code from:

git clone

Ideas, questions, patches and bug reports

Please direct all questions, bug reports and patches to the plugin author using the email address listed below or to the Geany mailing list to get some help from other Geany users.

2010-2014 by Jiří Techet techet(at)gmail(dot)com

Docs for previous versions