This repository is intended to contain useful tools while minimizing dependencies to allow use with/without mathlib and also while developing (a branch of) mathlib. I hope to also have a branch/tag for each lean toolchain version.

At present, there is a single tool, for running tactics automatically in the background to try to complete proofs.

Running tactics automatically

While proving results in tactic mode in Lean, proofs can often be completed by tactics like simp, exact?, aesop etc., but it is a nuisance to try this at each step. We provide a tactic mode where a list of tactics is run automatically in the background after each step.

If a proof can be completed, then:

  • A hyperlink in the infoview and a code action is offered to replace the code by a valid proof.
  • The sorry tactic is run to complete the proof, so the user sees a warning (this is to avoid showing an error, following a suggestion by Bolton Bailey).

To work with this mode, follow the below installation instructions, including adding import LeanAideTools to your file. You can enter the auto-tactic mode by:

  • Beginning a tactic block with byy instead of by.
  • At any stage, starting a sequence of tactics with doo.

The doo syntax is provided as, at present, the mode does not see within case, match, bullet points etc., so one has to use it to re-enter the auto-tactic mode in these cases.

The tactics that run by default are rfl, simp?, omega, aesop?, exact?. More tactics can be added as long as they are in scope. For example, in a Mathlib dependent project (or a branch of Mathlib) one may want to add linarith and ring. One can add either a single tactic or multiple tactics as in the following.

#auto ring
#autos [ring, linarith]

Examples in action

Here are some examples illustrating the tactic mode.

Simple Example

In the following simple example, the result can be proved straight away. The syntax byy by itself is valid and tries to prove the goal.

Simple Example

Checks after each tactic

In the following (rather contrived) example, the result cannot be proved automatically. However, once the tactic rw [silly] is entered the proof is completed and results are suggested.

Checks after each tactic

Background Running

The following shows that the tactics are running in the background. After the tactics to run are spawned, there is a configurable delay, 50 milliseconds by default, before control is returned to the user. The tactics continue running in the background till they finish after this delay.

Here the delay is set to 0. Hence after rw [silly] the proof is not automatically completed. Every time the interpreter is triggered we check whether the proof was found by the background processes. In this case, hitting enter triggered the interpreter which found that the proof was found in the background.

Background Running

Configuration: Adding tactics

The following illustrates adding tactics. Here simp [silly] is added. In the presence of this tactic the example can be proved straight away.

Adding Tactics


Add the following or equivalent to your lakefile.lean to use the auto-tactic mode. The branch/tag v4.7.0 works with the corresponding version of Lean's toolchain. Replace it with the toolchain you use in your project. I will try to have a branch/tag for each toolchain starting with v4.7.0-rc2.

require LeanAideTools from git
  "https://github.com/siddhartha-gadgil/LeanAideTools.git" @ "v4.7.0"

For use with a Mathlib branch, add the dependency in the lakefile while working on the branch and remove it before the PR is merged.

To use the mode in a file, add import LeanAideTools along with your other imports.

Missing features?

There are two features that I hope to work on eventually:

  • When a tactic like exact? finds a proof, the user gets a hyperlink and code-action to complete the proof with this tactic. But this tactic in turn gives a suggested proof with which it can be replaced. The two steps should ideally be replaced by just one.

  • The tactic mode does not see within case, match, bullet points etc. This is a limitation of the current implementation. The doo syntax is provided to re-enter the auto-tactic mode in these cases, but ideally one should not have to do this.

Any comments, suggestions, or bug reports are welcome. Also contributions are welcome.