hledger-ui - robust, friendly plain text accounting (TUI version)
hledger-ui [OPTS] [QUERYARGS]
hledger ui -- [OPTS] [QUERYARGS]
This manual is for hledger's terminal interface, version 1.32. See also the hledger manual for common concepts and file formats.
hledger is a robust, user-friendly, cross-platform set of programs 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), and largely interconvertible with beancount(1).
hledger-ui is hledger's terminal 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 from (and appends to) a journal file specified by
LEDGER_FILE environment variable (defaulting to
$HOME/.hledger.journal); or you can specify files with
It can also read timeclock files, timedot files, or any CSV/SSV/TSV file
with a date field. (See hledger(1) -> Input for details.)
Unlike hledger, hledger-ui hides all future-dated transactions by default. They can be revealed, along with any rule-generated periodic transactions, by pressing the F key (or starting with --forecast) to enable "forecast mode".
Any QUERYARGS are interpreted as a hledger search query which filters the data.
hledger-ui provides the following options:
: watch for data and date changes and reload automatically
: use this custom display theme
: start in the menu screen
: start in the cash accounts screen
: start in the balance sheet accounts screen
: start in the income statement accounts screen
: start in the all accounts screen
: start in the (first) matched account's register screen
: show period balances (changes) at startup instead of historical
: show accounts as a flat list (default)
: show accounts as a tree
hledger-ui also supports many of hledger's general options (and the hledger manual's command line tips also apply here):
: show general or COMMAND help
: show general or COMMAND user manual with man
: show general or COMMAND user manual with info
: show general or ADDONCMD version
: show debug output (levels 1-9, default: 1)
-f FILE --file=FILE
: use a different input file. For stdin, use - (default:
: Conversion rules file to use when reading CSV (default: FILE.rules)
: Field separator to expect when reading CSV (default: ',')
: rename accounts named OLD to NEW
: anonymize accounts and payees
: use some other field or tag for the account name
: disable balance assertion checks (note: does not disable balance
: do extra error checking (check that all posted accounts are
: include postings/txns on or after this date (will be adjusted to
preceding subperiod start when using a report interval)
: include postings/txns before this date (will be adjusted to
following subperiod end when using a report interval)
: multiperiod/multicolumn report by day
: multiperiod/multicolumn report by week
: multiperiod/multicolumn report by month
: multiperiod/multicolumn report by quarter
: multiperiod/multicolumn report by year
: set start date, end date, and/or reporting interval all at once
using period expressions syntax
: match the secondary date instead (see command help for other
: override today's date (affects relative smart dates, for
: include only unmarked postings/txns (can combine with -P or -C)
: include only pending postings/txns
: include only cleared postings/txns
: include only non-virtual postings
: hide/aggregate accounts or postings more than NUM levels deep
: show items with zero amount, normally hidden (and vice-versa in
: convert amounts to their cost/selling amount at transaction time
: convert amounts to their market value in default valuation
: convert amounts to their market value in commodity COMM
: convert amounts to cost or market value, more flexibly than -B/-V/-X
: infer conversion equity postings from costs
: infer costs from conversion equity postings
: use costs as additional market prices, as if they were P directives
: generate transactions from periodic
: between the latest recorded txn and 6 months from today,
: or during the specified PERIOD (= is required).
: Auto posting rules will be applied to these transactions as well.
: Also, in hledger-ui make future-dated transactions visible.
: generate extra postings by applying auto posting
rules to all txns (not just forecast
: add visible tags indicating transactions or postings which have been
: Override the commodity style in the output for the specified
commodity. For example 'EUR1.000,00'.
--color=WHEN (or --colour=WHEN)
: Should color-supporting commands use ANSI color codes in text
: 'auto' (default): whenever stdout seems to be a color-supporting
: 'always' or 'yes': always, useful eg when piping output into
: 'never' or 'no': never.
: A NO_COLOR environment variable overrides this.
: Show prettier output, e.g. using unicode box-drawing characters.
: Accepts 'yes' (the default) or 'no' ('y', 'n', 'always',
'never' also work).
: If you provide an argument you must use '=', e.g.
When a reporting option appears more than once in the command line, the last one takes precedence.
Some reporting options can also be written as query arguments.
In most modern terminals, you can navigate through the screens with a mouse or touchpad:
- Use mouse wheel or trackpad to scroll up and down
- Click on list items to go deeper
- Click on the left margin (column 0) to go back.
Keyboard gives more control.
? 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
q) to close it. The following keys work on
The cursor keys navigate:
ENTER goes deeper,
to the previous screen,
END move up
and down through lists. Emacs-style
CTRL-b) and VI-style (
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
-w/--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
(Mac users: SHIFT-DOWN/UP keys do not work by default in Terminal, as of
MacOS Monterey. You can configure them as follows: open Terminal, press
CMD-comma to open preferences, click Profiles, select your current
terminal profile on the left, click Keyboard on the right, click + and
add this for Shift-Down:
\033[1;2B, click + and add this for Shift-Up:
\033[1;2A. Press the Escape key to enter the
\033 part, you can't
type it directly.)
/ 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,
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).
DELETE removes all filters, showing
As mentioned above, by default hledger-ui hides future transactions -
both ordinary transactions recorded in the journal, and periodic
transactions generated by rule.
F toggles forecast mode, in which
future/forecasted transactions are shown.
ESCAPE resets the UI state and jumps back to the top screen, restoring
the app's initial state at startup. Or, it cancels minibuffer data
entry or the help dialog.
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
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.
A is like
a, but runs the
which provides a terminal interface. This key will be available if
hledger-iadd is installed in $path.
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.
B toggles cost mode, showing amounts converted to their cost's
commodity (see hledger manual > Cost
V toggles value mode, showing amounts converted to their market value
(see hledger manual > Valuation flag). More
By default, the
Vkey toggles showing end value (
--value=end) on or off. The valuation date will be the report end date if specified, otherwise today.
If you started hledger-ui with some other valuation (such as
Vkey toggles that off or on.
Cost/value tips: - When showing end value, you can change the report end
date without restarting, by pressing
/ and adding a query like
date:..YYYY-MM-DD. - Either cost mode, or value mode, can be active,
but not both at once. Cost mode takes precedence. - There's not yet any
visual indicator that cost or value mode is active, other than the
q quits the application.
Additional screen-specific keys are described below.
At startup, hledger-ui shows a menu screen by default. From here you can
navigate to other screens using the cursor keys:
DOWN to select,
RIGHT to move to the selected screen,
LEFT to return to the previous
screen. Or you can use
ESC to return directly to the top menu screen.
You can also use a command line flag to specific a different startup
This is the top-most screen. From here you can navigate to several screens listing accounts of various types. Note some of these may not show anything until you have configured account types.
This screen shows "cash" (ie, liquid asset) accounts (like
hledger balancesheet type:c). It always shows balances (historical
ending balances on the date shown in the title line).
This screen shows asset, liability and equity accounts (like
hledger balancesheetequity). It always shows balances.
This screen shows revenue and expense accounts (like
hledger incomestatement). It always shows changes (balance changes in
the period shown in the title line).
This screen shows all accounts in your journal (unless filtered by a
hledger balance). It shows balances by default; you can
toggle showing changes with the
This screen shows the transactions affecting a particular account. 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 total after the transaction. With the
Hkey you can toggle between
- the period total, which is from just the transactions displayed
- or the historical total, which includes any undisplayed transactions before the start of the report period (and matching the filter query if any). This will be the running historical balance (what you would see on a bank's website, eg) if not disturbed by a query.
Note, this screen combines each transaction's in-period postings to a
single line item, dated with the earliest in-period transaction or
posting date (like hledger's
aregister). So custom posting dates can
cause the running balance to be temporarily inaccurate. (See hledger
manual > aregister and posting
Transactions affecting this account's subaccounts will be included in
the register if the accounts screen is in tree mode, or if it's in list
mode but this account has subaccounts which are not shown due to a depth
limit. In other words, the register always shows the transactions
contributing to the balance shown on the accounts screen. Tree mode/list
mode can be toggled with
t here also.
U toggles filtering by unmarked status, showing
or hiding unmarked transactions. Similarly,
P toggles pending
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.)
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
RIGHT to view the selected transaction in detail.
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).
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
On this screen (and the register screen), the
E key will open your
text editor with the cursor positioned at the current transaction if
This screen has a limitation with showing file updates: it will not show
them until you exit and re-enter it. So eg to see the effect of using
E key, currently you must: - press
E, edit and save the file,
then exit the editor, returning to hledger-ui - press
g to reload the
file (or use
-w/--watch mode) - press
RIGHT to exit and
re-enter the transaction 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.)
One of hledger-ui's best features is the auto-reloading
mode. With this flag, it will update the display automatically whenever
changes are saved to the data files.
This is very useful when reconciling. A good workflow is to have your bank's online register open in a browser window, for reference; the journal file open in an editor window; and hledger-ui in watch mode in a terminal window, eg:
$ hledger-ui --watch --register checking -C
As you mark things cleared in the editor, you can see the effect immediately without having to context switch. This leaves more mental bandwidth for your accounting. Of course you can still interact with hledger-ui when needed, eg to toggle cleared mode, or to explore the history.
There are currently some limitations with
It may not work correctly for you, depending on platform or system configuration. (Eg #836.)
At least on mac, there can be a slow build-up of CPU usage over time,
until the program is restarted (or, suspending and restarting with
fg may be enough).
It will not detect file changes made by certain editors, such as
Jetbrains IDEs or
gedit, or on certain less common filesystems. (To
work around, press
g to reload manually, or try
fs.inotify.max_user_watches workaround and let us know.)
If you are viewing files mounted from another machine, the system clocks on both machines should be roughly in agreement.
You can add
--debug[=N] to the command line to log debug output. This
will be logged to the file
hledger-ui.log in the current directory. N
ranges from 1 (least output, the default) to 9 (maximum output).
COLUMNS The screen width to use. Default: the full terminal width.
LEDGER_FILE The main journal file to use when not specified with
Some known issues:
-f- doesn't work (hledger-ui can't read from stdin).
If you press
g with large files, there could be a noticeable pause.
The Transaction screen does not update from file changes until you exit and re-endter it (see SCREENS > Transaction above).
--watch is not yet fully robust on all platforms (see Watch mode