List all the files containing a phrase

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One of the most useful skills you can acquire to make you faster at almost any job that uses a computer is getting good at finding text in your current working diretory and identifying the files that its in. I often use the silver searcher ag or ripgrep rg to find files in large directories quickly. Both have a sane set of defaults that ignore hidden and gitignored files, but getting them to list only the filenames and not the matched was not trivial to me.

I've searched throught he help/man pages many times looking for these flags and they always seem to evade me.


Passing the flag -l to ag will get it to list only the filepath, and not the match. Here I gave it a --md as well to only return markdown filetypes. ag supports a number of filetypes in a very similar way.

ag nvim --md -l


Giving rg the --files-with-matches flag will yield you a similar set of results, giving only the filepaths themselves and not the match statement. Also passing in the -g "*.md" will similarly yield only results from markdown files.

rg --files-with-matches you -g "*.md"