Vim documentation: api

main help file

*api.txt*		Nvim


		 NVIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Thiago de Arruda



Nvim API							   *API* *api*

Nvim exposes a powerful API that can be used by plugins and external processes
via |msgpack-rpc|, Lua and VimL (|eval-api|).

Applications can also embed libnvim to work with the C API directly.

                                      Type <M-]> to see the table of contents.

==============================================================================

API Types							   *api-types*

Nvim's C API uses custom types for all functions. Some are just typedefs
around C99 standard types, and some are Nvim-defined data structures.

Boolean				  -> bool
Integer (signed 64-bit integer)	  -> int64_t
Float (IEEE 754 double precision) -> double
String				  -> {char* data, size_t size} struct

Additionally, the following data structures are defined:

Array
Dictionary
Object

The following handle types are defined as integer typedefs, but are
discriminated as separate types in an Object:

Buffer				  -> enum value kObjectTypeBuffer
Window				  -> enum value kObjectTypeWindow
Tabpage				  -> enum value kObjectTypeTabpage

==============================================================================

API metadata							 *api-metadata*

Nvim exposes API metadata as a Dictionary. Some items are described below:

version			Nvim version, API level/compatibility
version.api_level	Current API level
version.api_compatible	API is backwards-compatible with this level
version.api_prerelease	Declares the current API level as unstable
			(version.api_prerelease && fn.since == version.api_level)
functions		API function signatures
ui_events		UI event signatures |rpc-remote-ui|
{fn}.since		API level where function {fn} was introduced
{fn}.deprecated_since	API level where function {fn} was deprecated
types			Custom handle types defined by Nvim
error_types		Possible error types returned by API functions

External programs ("clients") can use the metadata to discover the |rpc-api|.

==============================================================================

API contract                                                     *api-contract*

The API is made of functions and events. Clients call functions like those
described at |api-global|, and may "attach" in order to receive rich events,
described at |rpc-remote-ui|.

As Nvim develops, its API may change only according the following "contract":

- New functions and events may be added.
  - Any such extensions are OPTIONAL: old clients may ignore them.
- Function signatures will NOT CHANGE (after release).
  - Functions introduced in the development (unreleased) version MAY CHANGE.
    (Clients can dynamically check `api_prerelease`, etc. |api-metadata|)
- Event parameters will not be removed or reordered (after release).
- Events may be EXTENDED: new parameters may be added.
- New items may be ADDED to map/list parameters/results of functions and
  events.
  - Any such new items are OPTIONAL: old clients may ignore them.
  - Existing items will not be removed (after release).
- Deprecated functions will not be removed until Nvim version 2.0

==============================================================================

Buffer highlighting					       *api-highlights*

Nvim allows plugins to add position-based highlights to buffers. This is
similar to |matchaddpos()| but with some key differences. The added highlights
are associated with a buffer and adapts to line insertions and deletions,
similar to signs. It is also possible to manage a set of highlights as a group
and delete or replace all at once.

The intended use case are linter or semantic highlighter plugins that monitor
a buffer for changes, and in the background compute highlights to the buffer.
Another use case are plugins that show output in an append-only buffer, and
want to add highlights to the outputs. Highlight data cannot be preserved
on writing and loading a buffer to file, nor in undo/redo cycles.

Highlights are registered using the |nvim_buf_add_highlight| function, see the
generated API documentation for details. If an external highlighter plugin is
adding a large number of highlights in a batch, performance can be improved by
calling |nvim_buf_add_highlight| as an asynchronous notification, after first
(synchronously) reqesting a source id. Here is an example using wrapper
functions in the python client:

    src = vim.new_highlight_source()

    buf = vim.current.buffer
    for i in range(5):
        buf.add_highlight("String",i,0,-1,src_id=src)

    # some time later

    buf.clear_highlight(src)
 
If the highlights don't need to be deleted or updated, just pass -1 as
src_id (this is the default in python). |nvim_buf_clear_highlight| can be used
to clear highlights from a specific source, in a specific line range or the
entire buffer by passing in the line range 0, -1 (the latter is the default
in python as used above).

An example of calling the api from vimscript:

    call nvim_buf_set_lines(0, 0, 0, v:true, ["test text"])
    let src = nvim_buf_add_highlight(0, 0, "String", 1, 0, 4)
    call nvim_buf_add_highlight(0, src, "Identifier", 0, 5, -1)

    " later
    call nvim_buf_clear_highlight(0, src, 0, -1)

==============================================================================

Global Functions                                                  *api-global*


nvim_command({command})                                       *nvim_command()*
                Executes an ex-command. On VimL error: Returns the VimL error;
                v:errmsg is not updated.

                Parameters:
                    {command}  Ex-command string


nvim_feedkeys({keys}, {mode}, {escape_csi})                  *nvim_feedkeys()*
                Passes input keys to Nvim. On VimL error: Does not fail, but
                updates v:errmsg.

                Parameters:
                    {keys}        to be typed
                    {mode}        mapping options
                    {escape_csi}  If true, escape K_SPECIAL/CSI bytes in
                                  `keys`


nvim_input({keys})                                              *nvim_input()*
                Passes keys to Nvim as raw user-input. On VimL error: Does not
                fail, but updates v:errmsg.

                Unlike `nvim_feedkeys`, this uses a lower-level input buffer
                and the call is not deferred. This is the most reliable way to
                emulate real user input.

                Attributes:
                    {async}

                Parameters:
                    {keys}  to be typed

                Return:
                    Number of bytes actually written (can be fewer than
                    requested if the buffer becomes full).


                                                    *nvim_replace_termcodes()*
nvim_replace_termcodes({str}, {from_part}, {do_lt}, {special})
                Replaces any terminal codes with the internal representation


nvim_command_output({str})                             *nvim_command_output()*
                TODO: Documentation


nvim_eval({expr})                                                *nvim_eval()*
                Evaluates a VimL expression (:help expression). Dictionaries
                and Lists are recursively expanded. On VimL error: Returns a
                generic error; v:errmsg is not updated.

                Parameters:
                    {expr}  VimL expression string

                Return:
                    Evaluation result or expanded object


nvim_call_function({fname}, {args})                     *nvim_call_function()*
                Calls a VimL function with the given arguments. On VimL error:
                Returns a generic error; v:errmsg is not updated.

                Parameters:
                    {fname}  Function to call
                    {args}   Function arguments packed in an Array

                Return:
                    Result of the function call


nvim_strwidth({str})                                         *nvim_strwidth()*
                Calculates the number of display cells occupied by `text`.
                <Tab> counts as one cell.

                Parameters:
                    {text}  Some text

                Return:
                    Number of cells


nvim_list_runtime_paths()                          *nvim_list_runtime_paths()*
                Gets the paths contained in 'runtimepath'.

                Return:
                    List of paths


nvim_set_current_dir({dir})                           *nvim_set_current_dir()*
                Changes the global working directory.

                Parameters:
                    {dir}  Directory path


nvim_get_current_line()                              *nvim_get_current_line()*
                Gets the current line

                Parameters:

                Return:
                    Current line string


nvim_set_current_line({line})                        *nvim_set_current_line()*
                Sets the current line

                Parameters:
                    {line}  Line contents


nvim_del_current_line()                              *nvim_del_current_line()*
                Deletes the current line

                Parameters:


nvim_get_var({name})                                          *nvim_get_var()*
                Gets a global (g:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {name}  Variable name

                Return:
                    Variable value


nvim_set_var({name}, {value})                                 *nvim_set_var()*
                Sets a global (g:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {name}   Variable name
                    {value}  Variable value


nvim_del_var({name})                                          *nvim_del_var()*
                Removes a global (g:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {name}  Variable name


nvim_get_vvar({name})                                        *nvim_get_vvar()*
                Gets a v: variable

                Parameters:
                    {name}  Variable name

                Return:
                    Variable value


nvim_get_option({name})                                    *nvim_get_option()*
                Gets an option value string

                Parameters:
                    {name}  Option name

                Return:
                    Option value (global)


nvim_set_option({name}, {value})                           *nvim_set_option()*
                Sets an option value

                Parameters:
                    {name}   Option name
                    {value}  New option value


nvim_out_write({str})                                       *nvim_out_write()*
                Writes a message to vim output buffer

                Parameters:
                    {str}  Message


nvim_err_write({str})                                       *nvim_err_write()*
                Writes a message to vim error buffer

                Parameters:
                    {str}  Message


nvim_err_writeln({str})                                   *nvim_err_writeln()*
                Writes a message to vim error buffer. Appends a linefeed to
                ensure all contents are written.

                Parameters:
                    {str}  Message


nvim_list_bufs()                                            *nvim_list_bufs()*
                Gets the current list of buffer handles

                Return:
                    List of buffer handles


nvim_get_current_buf()                                *nvim_get_current_buf()*
                Gets the current buffer

                Return:
                    Buffer handle


nvim_set_current_buf({buffer})                        *nvim_set_current_buf()*
                Sets the current buffer

                Parameters:
                    {id}  Buffer handle


nvim_list_wins()                                            *nvim_list_wins()*
                Gets the current list of window handles

                Return:
                    List of window handles


nvim_get_current_win()                                *nvim_get_current_win()*
                Gets the current window

                Return:
                    Window handle


nvim_set_current_win({window})                        *nvim_set_current_win()*
                Sets the current window

                Parameters:
                    {handle}  Window handle


nvim_list_tabpages()                                    *nvim_list_tabpages()*
                Gets the current list of tabpage handles

                Return:
                    List of tabpage handles


nvim_get_current_tabpage()                        *nvim_get_current_tabpage()*
                Gets the current tabpage

                Return:
                    Tabpage handle


nvim_set_current_tabpage({tabpage})               *nvim_set_current_tabpage()*
                Sets the current tabpage

                Parameters:
                    {handle}  Tabpage handle


nvim_subscribe({event})                                     *nvim_subscribe()*
                Subscribes to event broadcasts

                Parameters:
                    {event}  Event type string


nvim_unsubscribe({event})                                 *nvim_unsubscribe()*
                Unsubscribes to event broadcasts

                Parameters:
                    {event}  Event type string


nvim_get_color_by_name({name})                      *nvim_get_color_by_name()*
                TODO: Documentation


nvim_get_color_map()                                    *nvim_get_color_map()*
                TODO: Documentation


nvim_get_mode()                                              *nvim_get_mode()*
                Gets the current mode.
                mode:     Mode string. |mode()|
                blocking: true if Nvim is waiting for input.

                Attributes:
                    {async}

                Return:
                    Dictionary { "mode": String, "blocking": Boolean }


nvim_get_api_info()                                      *nvim_get_api_info()*
                TODO: Documentation

                Attributes:
                    {async}


nvim_call_atomic({calls})                                 *nvim_call_atomic()*
                Call many api methods atomically

                This has two main usages: Firstly, to perform several requests
                from an async context atomically, i.e. without processing
                requests from other rpc clients or redrawing or allowing user
                interaction in between. Note that api methods that could fire
                autocommands or do event processing still might do so. For
                instance invoking the :sleep command might call timer
                callbacks. Secondly, it can be used to reduce rpc overhead
                (roundtrips) when doing many requests in sequence.

                Parameters:
                    {calls}  an array of calls, where each call is described
                             by an array with two elements: the request name,
                             and an array of arguments.

                Return:
                    an array with two elements. The first is an array of
                    return values. The second is NIL if all calls succeeded.
                    If a call resulted in an error, it is a three-element
                    array with the zero-based index of the call which resulted
                    in an error, the error type and the error message. If an
                    error ocurred, the values from all preceding calls will
                    still be returned.


==============================================================================

Buffer Functions                                                  *api-buffer*


nvim_buf_line_count({buffer})                          *nvim_buf_line_count()*
                Gets the buffer line count

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle

                Return:
                    Line count


                                                        *nvim_buf_get_lines()*
nvim_buf_get_lines({buffer}, {start}, {end}, {strict_indexing})
                Retrieves a line range from the buffer

                Indexing is zero-based, end-exclusive. Negative indices are
                interpreted as length+1+index, i e -1 refers to the index past
                the end. So to get the last element set start=-2 and end=-1.

                Out-of-bounds indices are clamped to the nearest valid value,
                unless `strict_indexing` is set.

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}           Buffer handle
                    {start}            First line index
                    {end}              Last line index (exclusive)
                    {strict_indexing}  Whether out-of-bounds should be an
                                       error.

                Return:
                    Array of lines


                                                        *nvim_buf_set_lines()*
nvim_buf_set_lines({buffer}, {start}, {end}, {strict_indexing},
                   {replacement})
                Replaces line range on the buffer

                Indexing is zero-based, end-exclusive. Negative indices are
                interpreted as length+1+index, i e -1 refers to the index past
                the end. So to change or delete the last element set start=-2
                and end=-1.

                To insert lines at a given index, set both start and end to
                the same index. To delete a range of lines, set replacement to
                an empty array.

                Out-of-bounds indices are clamped to the nearest valid value,
                unless `strict_indexing` is set.

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}           Buffer handle
                    {start}            First line index
                    {end}              Last line index (exclusive)
                    {strict_indexing}  Whether out-of-bounds should be an
                                       error.
                    {replacement}      Array of lines to use as replacement


nvim_buf_get_var({buffer}, {name})                        *nvim_buf_get_var()*
                Gets a buffer-scoped (b:) variable.

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle
                    {name}    Variable name

                Return:
                    Variable value


nvim_buf_get_changedtick({buffer})                *nvim_buf_get_changedtick()*
                Gets a changed tick of a buffer

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle.

                Return:
                    b:changedtickvalue.


nvim_buf_set_var({buffer}, {name}, {value})               *nvim_buf_set_var()*
                Sets a buffer-scoped (b:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle
                    {name}    Variable name
                    {value}   Variable value


nvim_buf_del_var({buffer}, {name})                        *nvim_buf_del_var()*
                Removes a buffer-scoped (b:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle
                    {name}    Variable name


nvim_buf_get_option({buffer}, {name})                  *nvim_buf_get_option()*
                Gets a buffer option value

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle
                    {name}    Option name

                Return:
                    Option value


nvim_buf_set_option({buffer}, {name}, {value})         *nvim_buf_set_option()*
                Sets a buffer option value. Passing 'nil' as value deletes the
                option (only works if there's a global fallback)

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle
                    {name}    Option name
                    {value}   Option value


nvim_buf_get_name({buffer})                              *nvim_buf_get_name()*
                Gets the full file name for the buffer

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle

                Return:
                    Buffer name


nvim_buf_set_name({buffer}, {name})                      *nvim_buf_set_name()*
                Sets the full file name for a buffer

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle
                    {name}    Buffer name


nvim_buf_is_valid({buffer})                              *nvim_buf_is_valid()*
                Checks if a buffer is valid

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle

                Return:
                    true if the buffer is valid, false otherwise


nvim_buf_get_mark({buffer}, {name})                      *nvim_buf_get_mark()*
                Return a tuple (row,col) representing the position of the
                named mark

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}  Buffer handle
                    {name}    Mark name

                Return:
                    (row, col) tuple


                                                    *nvim_buf_add_highlight()*
nvim_buf_add_highlight({buffer}, {src_id}, {hl_group}, {line},
                       {col_start}, {col_end})
                Adds a highlight to buffer.

                This can be used for plugins which dynamically generate
                highlights to a buffer (like a semantic highlighter or
                linter). The function adds a single highlight to a buffer.
                Unlike matchaddpos() highlights follow changes to line
                numbering (as lines are inserted/removed above the highlighted
                line), like signs and marks do.

                "src_id" is useful for batch deletion/updating of a set of
                highlights. When called with src_id = 0, an unique source id
                is generated and returned. Succesive calls can pass in it as
                "src_id" to add new highlights to the same source group. All
                highlights in the same group can then be cleared with
                nvim_buf_clear_highlight. If the highlight never will be
                manually deleted pass in -1 for "src_id".

                If "hl_group" is the empty string no highlight is added, but a
                new src_id is still returned. This is useful for an external
                plugin to synchrounously request an unique src_id at
                initialization, and later asynchronously add and clear
                highlights in response to buffer changes.

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}     Buffer handle
                    {src_id}     Source group to use or 0 to use a new group,
                                 or -1 for ungrouped highlight
                    {hl_group}   Name of the highlight group to use
                    {line}       Line to highlight
                    {col_start}  Start of range of columns to highlight
                    {col_end}    End of range of columns to highlight, or -1
                                 to highlight to end of line

                Return:
                    The src_id that was used


                                                  *nvim_buf_clear_highlight()*
nvim_buf_clear_highlight({buffer}, {src_id}, {line_start}, {line_end})
                Clears highlights from a given source group and a range of
                lines

                To clear a source group in the entire buffer, pass in 1 and -1
                to line_start and line_end respectively.

                Parameters:
                    {buffer}      Buffer handle
                    {src_id}      Highlight source group to clear, or -1 to
                                  clear all.
                    {line_start}  Start of range of lines to clear
                    {line_end}    End of range of lines to clear (exclusive)
                                  or -1 to clear to end of file.


==============================================================================

Window Functions                                                  *api-window*


nvim_win_get_buf({window})                                *nvim_win_get_buf()*
                Gets the current buffer in a window

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle

                Return:
                    Buffer handle


nvim_win_get_cursor({window})                          *nvim_win_get_cursor()*
                Gets the cursor position in the window

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle

                Return:
                    (row, col) tuple


nvim_win_set_cursor({window}, {pos})                   *nvim_win_set_cursor()*
                Sets the cursor position in the window

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle
                    {pos}     (row, col) tuple representing the new position


nvim_win_get_height({window})                          *nvim_win_get_height()*
                Gets the window height

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle

                Return:
                    Height as a count of rows


nvim_win_set_height({window}, {height})                *nvim_win_set_height()*
                Sets the window height. This will only succeed if the screen
                is split horizontally.

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle
                    {height}  Height as a count of rows


nvim_win_get_width({window})                            *nvim_win_get_width()*
                Gets the window width

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle

                Return:
                    Width as a count of columns


nvim_win_set_width({window}, {width})                   *nvim_win_set_width()*
                Sets the window width. This will only succeed if the screen is
                split vertically.

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle
                    {width}   Width as a count of columns


nvim_win_get_var({window}, {name})                        *nvim_win_get_var()*
                Gets a window-scoped (w:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle
                    {name}    Variable name

                Return:
                    Variable value


nvim_win_set_var({window}, {name}, {value})               *nvim_win_set_var()*
                Sets a window-scoped (w:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle
                    {name}    Variable name
                    {value}   Variable value


nvim_win_del_var({window}, {name})                        *nvim_win_del_var()*
                Removes a window-scoped (w:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle
                    {name}    Variable name


nvim_win_get_option({window}, {name})                  *nvim_win_get_option()*
                Gets a window option value

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle
                    {name}    Option name

                Return:
                    Option value


nvim_win_set_option({window}, {name}, {value})         *nvim_win_set_option()*
                Sets a window option value. Passing 'nil' as value deletes the
                option(only works if there's a global fallback)

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle
                    {name}    Option name
                    {value}   Option value


nvim_win_get_position({window})                      *nvim_win_get_position()*
                Gets the window position in display cells. First position is
                zero.

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle

                Return:
                    (row, col) tuple with the window position


nvim_win_get_tabpage({window})                        *nvim_win_get_tabpage()*
                Gets the window tabpage

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle

                Return:
                    Tabpage that contains the window


nvim_win_get_number({window})                          *nvim_win_get_number()*
                Gets the window number

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle

                Return:
                    Window number


nvim_win_is_valid({window})                              *nvim_win_is_valid()*
                Checks if a window is valid

                Parameters:
                    {window}  Window handle

                Return:
                    true if the window is valid, false otherwise


==============================================================================

Tabpage Functions                                                *api-tabpage*


nvim_tabpage_list_wins({tabpage})                   *nvim_tabpage_list_wins()*
                Gets the windows in a tabpage

                Parameters:
                    {tabpage}  Tabpage

                Return:
                    List of windows in tabpage


nvim_tabpage_get_var({tabpage}, {name})               *nvim_tabpage_get_var()*
                Gets a tab-scoped (t:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {tabpage}  Tabpage handle
                    {name}     Variable name

                Return:
                    Variable value


nvim_tabpage_set_var({tabpage}, {name}, {value})      *nvim_tabpage_set_var()*
                Sets a tab-scoped (t:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {tabpage}  Tabpage handle
                    {name}     Variable name
                    {value}    Variable value


nvim_tabpage_del_var({tabpage}, {name})               *nvim_tabpage_del_var()*
                Removes a tab-scoped (t:) variable

                Parameters:
                    {tabpage}  Tabpage handle
                    {name}     Variable name


nvim_tabpage_get_win({tabpage})                       *nvim_tabpage_get_win()*
                Gets the current window in a tabpage

                Parameters:
                    {tabpage}  Tabpage handle

                Return:
                    Window handle


nvim_tabpage_get_number({tabpage})                 *nvim_tabpage_get_number()*
                Gets the tabpage number

                Parameters:
                    {tabpage}  Tabpage handle

                Return:
                    Tabpage number


nvim_tabpage_is_valid({tabpage})                     *nvim_tabpage_is_valid()*
                Checks if a tabpage is valid

                Parameters:
                    {tabpage}  Tabpage handle

                Return:
                    true if the tabpage is valid, false otherwise


==============================================================================

UI Functions                                                          *api-ui*


remote_ui_disconnect()                                *remote_ui_disconnect()*
                TODO: Documentation


nvim_ui_attach({width}, {height}, {options})                *nvim_ui_attach()*
                TODO: Documentation


nvim_ui_detach()                                            *nvim_ui_detach()*
                TODO: Documentation


nvim_ui_try_resize({width}, {height})                   *nvim_ui_try_resize()*
                TODO: Documentation


nvim_ui_set_option({name}, {value})                     *nvim_ui_set_option()*
                TODO: Documentation

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