This doc is for version 1.0.


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.

--flat : show full account names, unindented

--register=ACCTREGEX : start in the (first) matched account's register screen

--theme=default|terminal|greenterm : use this custom display theme

-V --value : show amounts as their current market value in their default valuation commodity (accounts screen only)

hledger general options:

-h : show general usage (or after COMMAND, the command's usage)

--help : show the current program's manual as plain text (or after an add-on COMMAND, the add-on's manual)

--man : show the current program's manual with man

--info : show the current program's manual with info

--version : show version

--debug[=N] : show debug output (levels 1-9, default: 1)

-f FILE --file=FILE : use a different input file. For stdin, use -

--rules-file=RULESFILE : Conversion rules file to use when reading CSV (default: FILE.rules)

--alias=OLD=NEW : display accounts named OLD as NEW

-I --ignore-assertions : ignore any failing balance assertions in the journal

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)

--date2 : show, and match with -b/-e/-p/date:, secondary dates instead

-C --cleared : include only cleared postings/txns

--pending : include only pending postings/txns

-U --uncleared : include only uncleared (and pending) postings/txns

-R --real : include only non-virtual postings

--depth=N : 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)

--pivot TAG : will transform the journal before any other processing by replacing the account name of every posting having the tag TAG with content VALUE by the account name "TAG:VALUE". The TAG will only match if it is a full-length match. The pivot will only happen if the TAG is on a posting, not if it is on the transaction. If the tag value is a multi:level:account:name the new account name will be "TAG:multi:level:account:name".

--anon : show anonymized accounts and payees


? 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 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. (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 cleared/uncleared (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.

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.

C toggles cleared mode, in which uncleared transactions and postings are not shown. U toggles uncleared mode, in which only uncleared transactions/postings are shown.

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:

  • the other account(s) involved, in abbreviated form. (If there are both real and virtual postings, it shows only the accounts affected by real postings.)

  • the overall change to the current account's balance; positive for an inflow to this account, negative for an outflow.

  • the running historical total or period total for the current account, after the transaction. This can be toggled with H. Similar to the accounts screen, the historical total is affected by transactions (filtered by the filter query) before the report start date, while the period total is not. If the historical total is not disturbed by a filter query, it will be the running historical balance you would see on a bank register for the current account.

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.

C toggles cleared mode, in which uncleared transactions and postings are not shown. U toggles uncleared mode, in which only uncleared transactions/postings are shown.

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. Also there is no visual indication that this is in progress.

The register screen's switching between historic balance and running total based on query arguments may be confusing, and there is no column heading to indicate which is being displayed.