Jake McCrary

Utilities I like: selecta

Selecta is a command-line utility that gives you the power to fuzzy select items from a list of text. What does that mean? It means you pipe selecta a list of text on stdin, it helps you make a choice from items in that list, and then selecta prints that choice to stdout.

Here is an example of me using it to help me narrow in on what file I’d like to pass to wc.

In this example, I search for markdown files using ripgrep (rg), type part of a filename, hit enter to select the match, and then see the wc stats of that file. This isn’t the greatest example of using selecta but it adequately shows what it does.

Some number of years ago, I wrote a script called connect-db. This script used selecta, along with grep, sed, and cut, to provide a very pleasant command-line experience for connecting to known databases. My coworkers and I used this script frequently.

By combining selecta with other stdin/stdout friendly command-line tools you can build really enjoyable, time-saving tools. Selecta is a useful utility to add to your toolkit.

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