Those of you who hang around Irreal know that I’m a huge fan of the Ivy/Counsel/Swiper suite. It is, by far, the most important package I have installed1 and has improved my workflow in a major way.
Uncle Dave has a short video on searching with Swiper that shows some Swiper basics. My only problem with the video is that it doesn’t cover some of the best features of Swiper. One example of those features is the way that Swiper does a sort of “automatic regex” searching. A space in the search string is treated as
one two will search for any string that starts with “one” and ends with “two”. That sounds a bit odd but turns out to be extraordinarily useful. Once you get used to it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Another feature that I use all the time is being able to pop up an occur buffer containing each of the candidate search targets. There’s lots more. Swiper is one of a series of utilities that use the Ivy library to handle its completion features. When you install Swiper, you get all the rest of the functionality too. Check out the Ivy manual to see what else Swiper can do and to investigate the other great functionality that Ivy brings you. Try it out; you won’t, I promise, be sorry.
The video is just a few seconds over 4 minutes so you shouldn’t have a problem finding time for it.
Arguably Org Mode might hold that position but Org is now part of Emacs core even though I keep mine updated through the package system.