The "modal mode", which may be familiar to vim users, changes a little the way you interact with broot:

I recommend you don't activate this mode until you really tried broot. Broot isn't a text editor and can't be confused with one. This mode may be more comfortable when you constantly jump from vim to broot but only after you understood how broot works.

You may be an avid vim user, as I am, and still prefer not to use modality in broot. Starting in command mode means you have one more letter to type before searching, because search is done in input mode. And broot is search oriented and often used in very short sessions (less than 5 seconds from intent to launch to being back in the shell in the right directory or editing the right file in your favorite editor).


You need first to enable the "modal mode" and to decide whether you want to start in command or input mode:

modal: true
initial_mode: command
# note that this must be near the start of the configuration file
modal = true
initial_mode = "command"

If modal isn't set to true, the single letter shortcuts you define in configuration will be ignored (so you don't have to remove them if you don't want modality anymore).


Broot may be in one of two modes:

  1. input mode, with the input field at the bottom focused and received standard keys
  2. command mode, with input not focused, and single key shortcuts enabled

In command mode, you'll find those keys already configured:

You enter input mode by typing one of those letters: (space), :, or /. You leave it with the escape key. You may add other bindings to the :mode_input and :mode_command verbs.