Exploring Fish Shell’s Syntax Highlighting and Autocompletion Features

Exploring Fish Shell’s Syntax Highlighting and Autocompletion Features

Fish shell is a Unix shell that brings advanced features to the command-line interface. One of the most significant benefits of using Fish is the syntax highlighting and autocompletion features that save developers‘ time and minimize errors.

Syntax Highlighting

Fish shell uses syntax highlighting to make the code more readable and catch errors faster. Syntax highlighting adds colors to the commands and highlights the code’s specific syntax, which makes it easier to understand and identify mistakes.

For instance, if we wanted to list all the files in the current directory, we can use the `ls` command. The syntax highlighting of Fish shell will add colors to the command and its arguments:

ls -l

The `ls` command will be in white, the `-l` option will be in yellow, and the files will be listed in blue.

Fish shell has built-in syntax highlighting for more than 2,500 programs and tools. It detects the syntax based on the file type and the shebang line, making it easy to identify and highlight the code accurately.


Fish shell offers a powerful autocompletion feature that predicts and completes commands and arguments as developers type. This feature saves time and improves productivity by reducing typos and making it easier to construct commands or arguments.

For example, if we want to create a new directory using the `mkdir` command, we can write:

mkdir new_

The Fish shell’s autocompletion feature will predict the word we want to write, and we can press the `Tab` key to complete it.

The command will be completed, and the cursor will move to the next point. Autocompletion is useful when working with complex commands with many options and arguments or when typing long filenames.

Fish shell offers intelligent autocompletion that predicts the intended command or argument based on history or previously typed text, making it easy to type and execute commands with minimal effort.


Using Fish shell’s syntax highlighting and autocompletion features makes the command-line interface more efficient, productive, and less prone to errors. Fish shell has excellent built-in support for many programs and tools, and it is effortless to install and configure.

In conclusion, Fish shell is a powerful and robust tool that provides a better and more efficient command-line experience. Developers can take advantage of its syntax highlighting and autocompletion features to streamline their workflow and achieve faster results. With its many useful features, Fish shell is an excellent choice for developers looking for a modern and efficient command-line interface.