These search tools list results in the minibuffer, but the matches are not highlighting:

  • SPC s a f (ag)
  • SPC s g f (grep)
  • SPC s k f (ack)
  • SPC s t f (pt)

enter image description here

Help describe does highlight matches. Would be nice if ag/grep/ack/pt did the same.

Is there a way to highlight matches for ag/grep/ack/pt? Does your Ivy search-tool highlight matches?

Other than that, I am really enjoying how tightly the search tool is integrated into the editor.

I am using Emacs 25.2.1 with Evil Spacemacs and Ivy on Linux.


I restarted Spacemacs with the default .spacemacs file and there is no highlighting in the search results. I guess it's a Spacemacs bug.

The following is a listing of what I did:

Renamed .spacemacs to .spacemaces_backup
Restarted emacs, and answer the questions:
    What is your preferred editing style? vim
    What distribution of spacemacs would you like to start with? spacemacs
    What type of completion framework do you want? ivy
(this generates a new .spacemacs file)

Restarted emacs, 
    SPC s k f
    ack from ... : test
"test" is in the search results, but not highlighted.

1 Answer 1


This is how it looks like for me: counsel-ack.png

Try to load just counsel.el with emacs -Q: you should see the same colored output. After that, you need to figure out which part of your config makes the colors disappear.

  • Thanks for the response abo-abo. I finally got around to trouble shooting this. Please refer to Update_1 in the question.
    – wolfv
    Sep 6, 2017 at 16:59

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