man page search – how can I turn off the highlighting after matches found?

When using man pages, a commonly used feature is to use / then a search term to get to a word of interest.

Once found, all matches remain highlighted – this can often be distracting when I just want to read the man page.

I’m sure its a simple key combo, but how can I turn the highlighting off once the matches are found?

  • ESC does nothing
  • q obviously quits out of man page completely

Note: I’m on Ubuntu

Asked By: the_velour_fog


Since you’re on Ubuntu, the pager used to visualise man pages is probably GNU less.

As you can see after pressing h:

ESC-u Undo (toggle) search highlighting.

In most terminals, it should be equivalent to Alt+U.

Answered By: choroba
Categories: Answers Tags: ,
Answers are sorted by their score. The answer accepted by the question owner as the best is marked with
at the top-right corner.