I am using spacemacs with vim bindings and doing a search project-wide for something like while \( with SPC s p. I get the results in a helm buffer and can enter transient state to navigate them, but once I open one of the listed files, the search disappears and C-o does not get me back to it. I am forced to repeat the search.

For doing project-wide refactors this is pretty inconvenient. In my situation it's not a simple search and replace. I have to inspect each use and determine if I need to refactor.

Is there any way to preserve the search results so I can go through the results and return to them?

I saw in the help menu C-c o to open results in a new buffer, but that seems to just open a new buffer with the same file I was on, not the results.

1 Answer 1


You can toggle helm-follow-mode using C-c C-f within a helm buffer, then when cycling through helm you will see previews of the results. You can switch to the results buffer by typing M-1 and then switch back to the helm buffer by typing M-2 or SPC w w.

Also, after you have closed the helm buffer, e.g. by selecting/visiting one of its results by pressing RET on it, you can use M-x helm-resume or SPC r l to reopen the last results in helm.

  • Very nice! I particularly like helm-resume, as I could even use it without helm-follow-mode. Where did you find the M-1 bindings documented? I didn't find them in the helm layer docs.
    – mcp
    Jan 6, 2022 at 16:56
  • I don't remember where I found that, I think either someone told me about it, or I just discovered it at some point as an alternative to SPC 1..2 etc. (which does not work in helm of course). It is a general global keybinding, but I can not find any place where it is documented. Jan 6, 2022 at 21:49
  • Interesting, thanks for checking!
    – mcp
    Jan 7, 2022 at 16:41

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