I want to search a word from my current cursor position in vim to upward in file.

How to achieve this?

Also how to do same for downward in file.

  • The :set hlsearch and :set incsearch commands might be of interest to you.
    – evilsoup
    Sep 3, 2013 at 15:22

2 Answers 2


To search in reverse from your cursor for a word, just use ?. So to find the word "fred" you would issue ?fred.

For forward searching you use /, using "fred" as an example again you would issue /fred.

If you want to continue searching for the same term, in the same direction you can use the n command. (Or you can issue ? or / without arguments).

  • Since OP searches for a word from its current cursor position which I understand as word below cursor, he can also use the star * operator to search downward. There is also an equivalent for going upward but I do not rember it and it is exactly what I am looking for. Jun 29, 2023 at 10:24
  • * (forward) and # (backwards) search for the word under the cursor. No need to type the word with ? Jun 29, 2023 at 10:34

Typing ?search text in command mode searches backward from point while /search text searches forward.

Typing n goes to the next instance of the search text in the direction you were last searching and typing N looks in the opposite direction of your last search.

  • Shift+N so intuitive. Why bother with ? at all? May 27, 2022 at 16:23

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