This doc is for version 1.3.


hledger-ui - curses-style interface for the hledger accounting tool


hledger-ui [OPTIONS] [QUERYARGS]
hledger ui -- [OPTIONS] [QUERYARGS]


hledger is a cross-platform program for tracking money, time, or any other commodity, using double-entry accounting and a simple, editable file format. hledger is inspired by and largely compatible with ledger(1).

hledger-ui is hledger's curses-style interface, providing an efficient full-window text UI for viewing accounts and transactions, and some limited data entry capability. It is easier than hledger's command-line interface, and sometimes quicker and more convenient than the web interface.

Like hledger, it reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal). For more about this see hledger(1), hledger_journal(5) etc.


Note: if invoking hledger-ui as a hledger subcommand, write -- before options as shown above.

Any QUERYARGS are interpreted as a hledger search query which filters the data.

watch for data and date changes and reload automatically
use this custom display theme
start in the (first) matched account's register screen
show period balances (changes) at startup instead of historical balances
show full account names, unindented

hledger input options:

-f FILE --file=FILE
use a different input file. For stdin, use - (default: $LEDGER_FILE or $HOME/.hledger.journal)
Conversion rules file to use when reading CSV (default: FILE.rules)
rename accounts named OLD to NEW
anonymize accounts and payees
--pivot TAGNAME
use some other field/tag for account names
-I --ignore-assertions
ignore any failing balance assertions

hledger reporting options:

-b --begin=DATE
include postings/txns on or after this date
-e --end=DATE
include postings/txns before this date
-D --daily
multiperiod/multicolumn report by day
-W --weekly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by week
-M --monthly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by month
-Q --quarterly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by quarter
-Y --yearly
multiperiod/multicolumn report by year
-p --period=PERIODEXP
set start date, end date, and/or reporting interval all at once (overrides the flags above)
show, and match with -b/-e/-p/date:, secondary dates instead
-U --unmarked
include only unmarked postings/txns (can combine with -P or -C)
-P --pending
include only pending postings/txns
-C --cleared
include only cleared postings/txns
-R --real
include only non-virtual postings
hide accounts/postings deeper than N
-E --empty
show items with zero amount, normally hidden
-B --cost
convert amounts to their cost at transaction time (using the transaction price, if any)
-V --value
convert amounts to their market value on the report end date (using the most recent applicable market price, if any)

hledger help options:

-h --help
show general usage (or after COMMAND, command usage)
show version
show debug output (levels 1-9, default: 1)


? shows a help dialog listing all keys. (Some of these also appear in the quick help at the bottom of each screen.) Press ? again (or ESCAPE, or LEFT) to close it. The following keys work on most screens:

The cursor keys navigate: right (or enter) goes deeper, left returns to the previous screen, up/down/page up/page down/home/end move up and down through lists. Vi-style (h/j/k/l) and Emacs-style (CTRL-p/CTRL-n/CTRL-f/CTRL-b) movement keys are also supported. A tip: movement speed is limited by your keyboard repeat rate, to move faster you may want to adjust it. (If you're on a mac, the Karabiner app is one way to do that.)

With shift pressed, the cursor keys adjust the report period, limiting the transactions to be shown (by default, all are shown). shift-down/up steps downward and upward through these standard report period durations: year, quarter, month, week, day. Then, shift-left/right moves to the previous/next period. t sets the report period to today. With the --watch option, when viewing a "current" period (the current day, week, month, quarter, or year), the period will move automatically to track the current date. To set a non-standard period, you can use / and a date: query.

/ lets you set a general filter query limiting the data shown, using the same query terms as in hledger and hledger-web. While editing the query, you can use CTRL-a/e/d/k, BS, cursor keys; press ENTER to set it, or ESCAPEto cancel. There are also keys for quickly adjusting some common filters like account depth and transaction status (see below). BACKSPACE or DELETE removes all filters, showing all transactions.

ESCAPE removes all filters and jumps back to the top screen. Or, it cancels a minibuffer edit or help dialog in progress.

CTRL-l redraws the screen and centers the selection if possible (selections near the top won't be centered, since we don't scroll above the top).

g reloads from the data file(s) and updates the current screen and any previous screens. (With large files, this could cause a noticeable pause.)

I toggles balance assertion checking. Disabling balance assertions temporarily can be useful for troubleshooting.

a runs command-line hledger's add command, and reloads the updated file. This allows some basic data entry.

E runs $HLEDGER_UI_EDITOR, or $EDITOR, or a default (emacsclient -a "" -nw) on the journal file. With some editors (emacs, vi), the cursor will be positioned at the current transaction when invoked from the register and transaction screens, and at the error location (if possible) when invoked from the error screen.

q quits the application.

Additional screen-specific keys are described below.


Accounts screen

This is normally the first screen displayed. It lists accounts and their balances, like hledger's balance command. By default, it shows all accounts and their latest ending balances (including the balances of subaccounts). if you specify a query on the command line, it shows just the matched accounts and the balances from matched transactions.

Account names are normally indented to show the hierarchy (tree mode). To see less detail, set a depth limit by pressing a number key, 1 to 9. 0 shows even less detail, collapsing all accounts to a single total. - and + (or =) decrease and increase the depth limit. To remove the depth limit, set it higher than the maximum account depth, or press ESCAPE.

F toggles flat mode, in which accounts are shown as a flat list, with their full names. In this mode, account balances exclude subaccounts, except for accounts at the depth limit (as with hledger's balance command).

H toggles between showing historical balances or period balances. Historical balances (the default) are ending balances at the end of the report period, taking into account all transactions before that date (filtered by the filter query if any), including transactions before the start of the report period. In other words, historical balances are what you would see on a bank statement for that account (unless disturbed by a filter query). Period balances ignore transactions before the report start date, so they show the change in balance during the report period. They are more useful eg when viewing a time log.

U toggles filtering by unmarked status, including or excluding unmarked postings in the balances. Similarly, P toggles pending postings, and C toggles cleared postings. (By default, balances include all postings; if you activate one or two status filters, only those postings are included; and if you activate all three, the filter is removed.)

R toggles real mode, in which virtual postings are ignored.

Z toggles nonzero mode, in which only accounts with nonzero balances are shown (hledger-ui shows zero items by default, unlike command-line hledger).

Press right or enter to view an account's transactions register.

Register screen

This screen shows the transactions affecting a particular account, like a check register. Each line represents one transaction and shows:

If the accounts screen was in tree mode, the register screen will include transactions from both the current account and its subaccounts. If the accounts screen was in flat mode, and a non-depth-clipped account was selected, the register screen will exclude transactions from subaccounts. In other words, the register always shows the transactions responsible for the period balance shown on the accounts screen. As on the accounts screen, this can be toggled with F.

U toggles filtering by unmarked status, showing or hiding unmarked transactions. Similarly, P toggles pending transactions, and C toggles cleared transactions. (By default, transactions with all statuses are shown; if you activate one or two status filters, only those transactions are shown; and if you activate all three, the filter is removed.)q

R toggles real mode, in which virtual postings are ignored.

Z toggles nonzero mode, in which only transactions posting a nonzero change are shown (hledger-ui shows zero items by default, unlike command-line hledger).

Press right (or enter) to view the selected transaction in detail.

Transaction screen

This screen shows a single transaction, as a general journal entry, similar to hledger's print command and journal format (hledger_journal(5)).

The transaction's date(s) and any cleared flag, transaction code, description, comments, along with all of its account postings are shown. Simple transactions have two postings, but there can be more (or in certain cases, fewer).

up and down will step through all transactions listed in the previous account register screen. In the title bar, the numbers in parentheses show your position within that account register. They will vary depending on which account register you came from (remember most transactions appear in multiple account registers). The #N number preceding them is the transaction's position within the complete unfiltered journal, which is a more stable id (at least until the next reload).

Error screen

This screen will appear if there is a problem, such as a parse error, when you press g to reload. Once you have fixed the problem, press g again to reload and resume normal operation. (Or, you can press escape to cancel the reload attempt.)


COLUMNS The screen width to use. Default: the full terminal width.

LEDGER_FILE The journal file path when not specified with -f. Default: ~/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).


Reads data from one or more files in hledger journal, timeclock, timedot, or CSV format specified with -f, or $LEDGER_FILE, or $HOME/.hledger.journal (on windows, perhaps C:/Users/USER/.hledger.journal).


The need to precede options with -- when invoked from hledger is awkward.

-f- doesn't work (hledger-ui can't read from stdin).

-V affects only the accounts screen.

When you press g, the current and all previous screens are regenerated, which may cause a noticeable pause with large files. Also there is no visual indication that this is in progress.

--watch is not yet fully robust. It works well for normal usage, but many file changes in a short time (eg saving the file thousands of times with an editor macro) can cause problems at least on OSX. Symptoms include: unresponsive UI, periodic resetting of the cursor position, momentary display of parse errors, high CPU usage eventually subsiding, and possibly a small but persistent build-up of CPU usage until the program is restarted.