General form

The input is the area at the bottom of the focused panel, in which you can type a filter or a command.

Its parts are

Both parts are optional.

The filtering pattern

A search pattern is made of 1 to 3 parts separated by the / character but you rarely need the two /.

The syntax is globally


The mode is either nothing (fuzzy name), just a slash (regex name) or some letters followed by a slash.

mode example query example match explanation
fuzzy name abc or nf/abc abac.txt search for "abc" in a fuzzy way in filenames
exact name e/Bac or en/Bac ABac.txt search for the string "Bac" in filenames
regex name /[yz]{3} or /[yz]{3}/ search for the regular expression [yz]{3} in filenames
regex name /(json|xml)$/i thing.XML find files whose name ends in json or xml, case insensitive
regex name /abc/i aBc.txt search for the regular expression abc with flag i in filenames
fuzzy path p/abc or p/abc/ a/bac.txt search for "abc" in a fuzzy way in sub-paths from current tree root
exact path ep/te\/d or pe/te\/d/ website/docs search for "te/d" in sub-paths from current tree root
regex path rp/\\d{3}.*txt dir/a256/abc.txt search for the \d{3}.*txt regex in sub-paths from current tree root
exact content c/mask or c/mask/ umask = "1.0" search for the "mask" string in file contents
regex content rc/[abc]{5}/i bAAAc search with a regular expression in file contents - i making it case insensitive

It's also possible to redefine those mode mappings.

To escape characters (for example the space, colon or slash) in the pattern, use a \ (an antislash is \\).

Combining filtering patterns

Patterns can be combined with the ! (not), & (and) and | (or) operators, and parentheses if necessary.

You can for example display non json files containing either isize or i32 with



The characters you use as operators and the parenthesis can be useful in patterns too, either because you want to search for them in fuzzy patterns or in file contents, or because you write non trivial regular expressions.

Most often you'll just type what feels natural and broot will select the interpretation which makes sense but you might be interested in a few rules:

The verb invocation

The verb invocation is




where arguments can be empty, depending on the verb's behaviour and invocation pattern.

Verbs are detailed in the Verbs & Commands chapter.








A search followed by a command without arguments:

re rm (which is equivalent to re:rm)

This is very natural: You use the search to select your element and you don't need to remove it before typing the command.


A search followed by a command taking an argument:

re mv ../


In this case with an escaped space:

c/two\ p

content search

content regex search

Here we search for "carg" both in file names and file contents, and we exclude "lock" files:


complex composite

note: the / at the end of c/carg/ is necessary to tell broot that the following parenthesis isn't part of the pattern.