Output formats

This section deals with individual output-format topics.

The command line option --output-format=format chooses an output format. Supported format are u-ctags, e-ctags, etags, xref, and json.

u-ctags, e-ctags

u-ctags is the default output format extending the Exuberant Ctags output format (e-ctags).

--format=1 and --format=2 are same as --output-format=e-ctags and --output-format=u-ctags respectively.

See man page tags (5) for details. The difference between u-ctags and e-ctags are marked as “EXCEPTION”. Additional changes in Universal Ctags are described in Changes to the tags file format.


Output format for Emacs etags. --output-format=etags can be abbreviated as -e.

See emacs git for details.


A tabular, human-readable cross reference (xref) format. --output-format=xref can be abbreviated as -x.

See section Xref output for details.


JSON format.

See section JSON output for details.