ctags - create a tags file
ctags [ -BFatuwvx ] [ -f tagsfile ] name ...
Ctags makes a tags file for ex(1) from the specified C, Pascal, Fortran, YACC, lex, and
lisp sources. A tags file gives the locations of specified objects (in this case func-
tions and typedefs) in a group of files. Each line of the tags file contains the object
name, the file in which it is defined, and an address specification for the object defini-
tion. Functions are searched with a pattern, typedefs with a line number. Specifiers are
given in separate fields on the line, separated by blanks or tabs. Using the tags file,
ex can quickly find these objects definitions.
If the -x flag is given, ctags produces a list of object names, the line number and file
name on which each is defined, as well as the text of that line and prints this on the
standard output. This is a simple index which can be printed out as an off-line readable
If the -v flag is given, an index of the form expected by vgrind(1) is produced on the
standard output. This listing contains the function name, file name, and page number
(assuming 64 line pages). Since the output will be sorted into lexicographic order, it
may be desired to run the output through sort -f. Sample use:
ctags -v files | sort -f > index
vgrind -x index
Normally ctags places the tag descriptions in a file called tags; this may be overridden
with the -f option.
Files whose names end in .c or .h are assumed to be C source files and are searched for C
routine and macro definitions. Files whose names end in .y are assumed to be YACC source
files. Files whose names end in .l are assumed to be either lisp files if their first
non-blank character is `;', `(', or `[', or lex files otherwise. Other files are first
examined to see if they contain any Pascal or Fortran routine definitions; if not, they
are processed again looking for C definitions.
Other options are:
-F use forward searching patterns (/.../) (default).
-B use backward searching patterns (?...?).
-a append to tags file.
-t create tags for typedefs.
-w suppressing warning diagnostics.
-u causing the specified files to be updated in tags, that is, all references to them
are deleted, and the new values are appended to the file. (Beware: this option is
implemented in a way which is rather slow; it is usually faster to simply rebuild the
The tag main is treated specially in C programs. The tag formed is created by prepending
M to the name of the file, with a trailing .c removed, if any, and leading pathname compo-
nents also removed. This makes use of ctags practical in directories with more than one
tags output tags file
Ken Arnold; FORTRAN added by Jim Kleckner; Bill Joy added Pascal and -x, replacing cxref;
C typedefs added by Ed Pelegri-Llopart.
Recognition of functions, subroutines and procedures for FORTRAN and Pascal is done is a
very simpleminded way. No attempt is made to deal with block structure; if you have two
Pascal procedures in different blocks with the same name you lose.
The method of deciding whether to look for C or Pascal and FORTRAN functions is a hack.
Does not know about #ifdefs.
Should know about Pascal types. Relies on the input being well formed to detect typedefs.
Use of -tx shows only the last line of typedefs.
4th Berkeley Distribution May 30, 1985 CTAGS(1)