cljoly/ledger.ctags Github stars for ledger.ctags

If you are using Ledger or one of its variants for your plain text accounting, you get to manage your finances a bit more like you manage code. With plain text files, in your favorite editor.

And yet, as opposed to code in most languages, you don’t have a Language Server Protocol implementation. So it’s a bit harder to get completions on accounts, tags, payees… You have to rely on bespoken support from your editor and that’s often imperfect or slow. Plus, if you declare your accounts and payees, you also can’t jump to the definition easily.

Enter ctags configuration for ledger, which this project provides. It generates tag file that’s understood by your editor, often out of the box (vim/neovim, emacs) or with a generic plugin (Atom, VS Code, TextMate and more). Congrats, your editor now has very fast completions and code navigation!


You need to have ctags installed1.

Then drop ledger.ctags in ~/.config/ctags (or whatever ctags is configured to read).


ctags my/ledger/journal.ldg

will collect all the elements formally declared in the journal file. This means that in the following file:

tag UUID
account Assets
payee Shop
commodity EUR

2022-01-01 * Someone
    Expenses:Food   $10
    Liabilities:Credit Card

only UUID, Assets, Shop and EUR are detected, because they are the only one declared and so the only ones with a definition to jump to. Someone, Expenses, Expenses:Food, $, Liabilities and Liabilities:Credit Card are not declared, so they are ignored by ctags.

Initial List of Accounts, Payees…

As mentioned, ctags only collects elements that are declared. You could write the declarations manually, if you want to have fine-grained control of which accounts you want to actively use and have completions for. But to ease initial bootstrapping, you may want to start by adding everything you currently use in your ledger journals. You can do that with a couple commands.

For accounts, you can use this bash snippet:

ledger accounts | awk '{ print "account", $0}'

For payees:

ledger payees | awk '{ print "payee", $0}'

For tags:

ledger tags | awk '{ print "tag", $0}'

The snippets above output proper ledger definitions for accounts, payees and tags. You can insert these outputs in your journal or in a separate file with all your declarations (say declarations.ledger), that you can then include in your main journal file.

Don’t forget that ctags does not follow includes, so you should pass the file with the definitions to ctags (e.g. ctags declarations.ledger)

Multiple files

If you have multiple ledger journal files, pass them all to ctags (e.g. ctags *.ledger *.ldg) or run it on the current directory:

ctags -R .

Automatic Update with Chezmoi

Chezmoi external feature allows you to auto update and manage the ledger.ctags file, by adding the following to your ~/.local/share/chezmoi/.chezmoiexternal.toml:

    type = "archive"
    include = [ "*/ledger.ctags" ]
    url = ""
    stripComponents = 1


Contributions (documentation or code improvements in particular) are welcome, see contributing!

Feel free to fill an issue if your declared accounts, tags, payee, alias… are not properly detected.


I would like to thank the creators, and all the contributors, of ctags and ledger. This is small configuration to make these two great projects work better together.

  1. Another implementation may work, but it’s untested. Feel free to send a PR though! ↩︎