I have typed out a long command in the BASH but just as I typed the command I see that I have misspelled the command or argument. I want the cursor to go to the argument or command I have misspelled using inplace search instead of hitting arrow keys to go to the particular command or argument.


ls *.txt | grep -e 'foo' >> list_of_text_files_containing_foo.txt

and I want to change foo in grep to bar by find and replace foo to bar inside the command without hitting arrow keys. Is there a way to change all occurrences of foo to bar.

2 Answers 2


You probably are interested about bash quick substitution in the last command:



$ ls *.txt | grep -e 'foo' >> list_of_text_files_containing_foo.txt
$ !!:gs/foo/bar
ls *.txt | grep -e 'bar' >> list_of_text_files_containing_bar.txt

For more info about bash substitution, read man bash starting from somewhere from the line 3630.


I don't think you can make in-place search , but instead learn keyboard shortcuts to deal with Bash .

Ctrl + L   Clear the Screen, similar to the clear command
 Ctrl + u   Cut/delete the line before the cursor position.

  Alt + Del Delete the Word before the cursor.
  Alt + d   Delete the Word after the cursor.
 Ctrl + d   Delete character under the cursor
 Ctrl + h   Delete character before the cursor (Backspace)
 Ctrl + w   Cut the Word before the cursor to the clipboard.
 Ctrl + k   Cut the Line after the cursor to the clipboard.
  Alt + t   Swap current word with previous
 Ctrl + t   Swap the last two characters before the cursor (typo).
 Esc  + t   Swap the last two words before the cursor.
 ctrl + y   Paste the last thing to be cut (yank)
  Alt + u   UPPER capitalize every character from the cursor to the end of the current word.
  Alt + l   Lower the case of every character from the cursor to the end of the current word.
  Alt + c   Capitalize the character under the cursor and move to the end of the word.
  Alt + r   Cancel the changes and put back the line as it was in the history (revert).
 ctrl + _   Undo

Reference : Link

  • +1 for the tips but I don't want to delete or undo and type the command for which I can better use the arrow keys or shortcuts to move to the word. But a search like this will be quite useful like ctrl + r.
    – Wordzilla
    Mar 5, 2014 at 9:50

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