Tabpage

Nvim :help pages, generated from source using the tree-sitter-vimdoc parser.


Editing with windows in multiple tab pages. tabpage
The commands which have been added to use multiple tab pages are explained here. Additionally, there are explanations for commands that work differently when used in combination with more than one tab page.

1. Introduction tab-page-intro

A tab page holds one or more windows. You can easily switch between tab pages, so that you have several collections of windows to work on different things.
Usually you will see a list of labels at the top of the Vim window, one for each tab page. With the mouse you can click on the label to jump to that tab page. There are other ways to move between tab pages, see below.
Most commands work only in the current tab page. That includes the CTRL-W commands, :windo, :all and :ball (when not using the :tab modifier). The commands that are aware of other tab pages than the current one are mentioned below.
Tabs are also a nice way to edit a buffer temporarily without changing the current window layout. Open a new tab page, do whatever you want to do and close the tab page.

2. Commands tab-page-commands

OPENING A NEW TAB PAGE:
When starting Vim "vim -p filename ..." opens each file argument in a separate tab page (up to 'tabpagemax'). See -p
A double click with the mouse in the non-GUI tab pages line opens a new, empty tab page. It is placed left of the position of the click. The first click may select another tab page first, causing an extra screen update.
This also works in a few GUI versions, esp. Win32. But only when clicking right of the labels.
In the GUI tab pages line you can use the right mouse button to open menu. tabline-menu.
For the related autocommands see tabnew-autocmd.
:[count]tabe[dit] :tabe :tabedit :tabnew :[count]tabnew Open a new tab page with an empty window, after the current tab page. If [count] is given the new tab page appears after the tabpage [count] otherwise the new tab page will appear after the current one.
:tabnew     " opens tabpage after the current one
:.tabnew    " as above
:+tabnew    " opens tabpage after the next tab page
            " note: it is one further than :tabnew
:-tabnew    " opens tabpage before the current
:0tabnew    " opens tabpage before the first one
:$tabnew    " opens tabpage after the last one
:[count]tabe[dit] [++opt] [+cmd] {file} :[count]tabnew [++opt] [+cmd] {file} Open a new tab page and edit {file}, like with :edit. For [count] see :tabnew above.
:[count]tabf[ind] [++opt] [+cmd] {file} :tabf :tabfind Open a new tab page and edit {file} in 'path', like with :find. For [count] see :tabnew above.
:[count]tab {cmd} :tab Execute {cmd} and when it opens a new window open a new tab page instead. Doesn't work for :diffsplit, :diffpatch, :execute and :normal. If [count] is given the new tab page appears after the tab page [count] otherwise the new tab page will appear after the current one. Examples:
:tab split            " opens current buffer in new tab page
:tab help gt    " opens tab page with help for "gt"
:.tab help gt   " as above
:+tab help            " opens tab page with help after the next
                " tab page
:-tab help            " opens tab page with help before the
                " current one
:0tab help            " opens tab page with help before the
                " first one
:$tab help            " opens tab page with help after the last
                " one
CTRL-W gf Open a new tab page and edit the file name under the cursor. See CTRL-W_gf.
CTRL-W gF Open a new tab page and edit the file name under the cursor and jump to the line number following the file name. See CTRL-W_gF.
CLOSING A TAB PAGE:
Closing the last window of a tab page closes the tab page too, unless there is only one tab page.
Using the mouse: If the tab page line is displayed you can click in the "X" at the top right to close the current tab page. A custom 'tabline' may show something else.
:tabc :tabclose :tabc[lose][!] Close current tab page. This command fails when:
There is only one tab page on the screen. E784
When 'hidden' is not set, [!] is not used, a buffer has changes, and there is no other window on this buffer. Changes to the buffer are not written and won't get lost, so this is a "safe" command.
:tabclose   " close the current tab page
:{count}tabc[lose][!] :tabc[lose][!] {count} Close tab page {count}. Fails in the same way as :tabclose above.
:-tabclose            " close the previous tab page
:+tabclose            " close the next tab page
:1tabclose            " close the first tab page
:$tabclose            " close the last tab page
:tabclose -2    " close the 2nd previous tab page
:tabclose +            " close the next tab page
:tabclose 3            " close the third tab page
:tabclose $            " close the last tab page
:tabclose #     " close the last accessed tab page
When a tab is closed the next tab page will become the current one.
:tabo :tabonly :tabo[nly][!] Close all other tab pages. When the 'hidden' option is set, all buffers in closed windows become hidden. When 'hidden' is not set, and the 'autowrite' option is set, modified buffers are written. Otherwise, windows that have buffers that are modified are not removed, unless the [!] is given, then they become hidden. But modified buffers are never abandoned, so changes cannot get lost.
:tabonly " close all tab pages except the current one
:tabo[nly][!] {count} Close all tab pages except {count} one.
:.tabonly            " as above
:-tabonly            " close all tab pages except the previous
                " one
:+tabonly            " close all tab pages except the next one
:1tabonly            " close all tab pages except the first one
:$tabonly            " close all tab pages except the last one
:tabonly -            " close all tab pages except the previous
                " one
:tabonly +2     " close all tab pages except the two next
                " one
:tabonly 1            " close all tab pages except the first one
:tabonly $            " close all tab pages except the last one
:tabonly #            " close all tab pages except the last
                " accessed one
SWITCHING TO ANOTHER TAB PAGE:
Using the mouse: If the tab page line is displayed you can click in a tab page label to switch to that tab page. Click where there is no label to go to the next tab page. 'tabline'
:tabn[ext] :tabn :tabnext gt <C-PageDown> CTRL-<PageDown> <C-PageDown> gt i_CTRL-<PageDown> i_<C-PageDown> Go to the next tab page. Wraps around from the last to the first one.
:{count}tabn[ext] :tabn[ext] {count} Go to tab page {count}. The first tab page has number one.
:-tabnext        " go to the previous tab page
:+tabnext        " go to the next tab page
:+2tabnext        " go to the two next tab page
:1tabnext        " go to the first tab page
:$tabnext        " go to the last tab page
:tabnext $        " as above
:tabnext #  " go to the last accessed tab page
:tabnext -        " go to the previous tab page
:tabnext -1        " as above
:tabnext +        " go to the next tab page
:tabnext +1        " as above
{count}<C-PageDown> {count}gt Go to tab page {count}. The first tab page has number one.
:tabp[revious] :tabp :tabprevious gT :tabN :tabN[ext] :tabNext CTRL-<PageUp> <C-PageUp> <C-PageUp> i_CTRL-<PageUp> i_<C-PageUp> gT Go to the previous tab page. Wraps around from the first one to the last one.
:tabp[revious] {count} :tabN[ext] {count} {count}<C-PageUp> {count}gT Go {count} tab pages back. Wraps around from the first one to the last one. Note that the use of {count} is different from :tabnext, where it is used as the tab page number.
:tabr[ewind] :tabfir :tabfirst :tabr :tabrewind :tabfir[st] Go to the first tab page.
:tabl :tablast :tabl[ast] Go to the last tab page.
<C-Tab> CTRL-<Tab> <C-Tab> CTRL-W g<Tab> g<Tab> CTRL-W_g<Tab> g<Tab> Go to the last accessed tab page.
Other commands: :tabs :tabs List the tab pages and the windows they contain. Shows a ">" for the current window. Shows a "+" for modified buffers. For example:
Tab page 1
tabpage.txt ~ ex_docmd.c ~ Tab page 2 ~ > main.c ~
REORDERING TAB PAGES:
:tabm[ove] [N] :tabm :tabmove :[N]tabm[ove] Move the current tab page to after tab page N. Use zero to make the current tab page the first one. N is counted before the move, thus if the second tab is the current one, :tabmove 1 and :tabmove 2 have no effect. Without N the tab page is made the last one.
:.tabmove   " do nothing
:-tabmove   " move the tab page to the left
:+tabmove   " move the tab page to the right
:0tabmove   " move the tab page to the beginning  of the tab
            " list
:tabmove 0        " as above
:tabmove        " move the tab page to the last
:$tabmove        " as above
:tabmove $        " as above
:tabmove #  " move the tab page after the last accessed
            " tab page
:tabm[ove] +[N] :tabm[ove] -[N] Move the current tab page N places to the right (with +) or to the left (with -).
:tabmove -        " move the tab page to the left
:tabmove -1        " as above
:tabmove +        " move the tab page to the right
:tabmove +1        " as above
Note that although it is possible to move a tab behind the N-th one by using :Ntabmove. And move it by N places by using :+Ntabmove. For clarification what +N means in this context see [range].
LOOPING OVER TAB PAGES:
:tabd :tabdo :[range]tabd[o] {cmd} Execute {cmd} in each tab page or, if [range] is given, only in tabpages which tab page number is in the [range]. It works like doing this:
:tabfirst
:{cmd}
:tabnext
:{cmd}
etc.
This only operates in the current window of each tab page. When an error is detected on one tab page, further tab pages will not be visited. The last tab page (or where an error occurred) becomes the current tab page. {cmd} can contain '|' to concatenate several commands. {cmd} must not open or close tab pages or reorder them. Also see :windo, :argdo, :bufdo, :cdo, :ldo, :cfdo and :lfdo.

3. Other items tab-page-other

tabline-menu The GUI tab pages line has a popup menu. It is accessed with a right click. The entries are: Close Close the tab page under the mouse pointer. The current one if there is no label under the mouse pointer. New Tab Open a tab page, editing an empty buffer. It appears to the left of the mouse pointer. Open Tab... Like "New Tab" and additionally use a file selector to select a file to edit.
Diff mode works per tab page. You can see the diffs between several files within one tab page. Other tab pages can show differences between other files.
Variables local to a tab page start with "t:". tabpage-variable
Currently there is only one option local to a tab page: 'cmdheight'.
tabnew-autocmd The TabLeave and TabEnter autocommand events can be used to do something when switching from one tab page to another. The exact order depends on what you are doing. When creating a new tab page this works as if you create a new window on the same buffer and then edit another buffer. Thus ":tabnew" triggers: WinLeave leave current window TabLeave leave current tab page WinEnter enter window in new tab page TabEnter enter new tab page BufLeave leave current buffer BufEnter enter new empty buffer
When switching to another tab page the order is: BufLeave WinLeave TabLeave WinEnter TabEnter BufEnter
When entering a new tab page (:tabnew), TabNew is triggered before TabEnter and after WinEnter.

4. Setting 'tabline' setting-tabline

The 'tabline' option specifies what the line with tab pages labels looks like. It is only used when there is no GUI tab line.
You can use the 'showtabline' option to specify when you want the line with tab page labels to appear: never, when there is more than one tab page or always.
The highlighting of the tab pages line is set with the groups TabLine TabLineSel and TabLineFill. hl-TabLine hl-TabLineSel hl-TabLineFill
A "+" will be shown for a tab page that has a modified window. The number of windows in a tabpage is also shown. Thus "3+" means three windows and one of them has a modified buffer.
The 'tabline' option allows you to define your preferred way to tab pages labels. This isn't easy, thus an example will be given here.
For basics see the 'statusline' option. The same items can be used in the 'tabline' option. Additionally, the tabpagebuflist(), tabpagenr() and tabpagewinnr() functions are useful.
Since the number of tab labels will vary, you need to use an expression for the whole option. Something like:
:set tabline=%!MyTabLine()
Then define the MyTabLine() function to list all the tab pages labels. A convenient method is to split it in two parts: First go over all the tab pages and define labels for them. Then get the label for each tab page.
function MyTabLine()
  let s = ''
  for i in range(tabpagenr('$'))
    " select the highlighting
    if i + 1 == tabpagenr()
      let s ..= '%#TabLineSel#'
    else
      let s ..= '%#TabLine#'
    endif

    " set the tab page number (for mouse clicks)
    let s ..= '%' .. (i + 1) .. 'T'

    " the label is made by MyTabLabel()
    let s ..= ' %{MyTabLabel(' .. (i + 1) .. ')} '
  endfor

  " after the last tab fill with TabLineFill and reset tab page nr
  let s ..= '%#TabLineFill#%T'

  " right-align the label to close the current tab page
  if tabpagenr('$') > 1
    let s ..= '%=%#TabLine#%999Xclose'
  endif

  return s
endfunction
Now the MyTabLabel() function is called for each tab page to get its label.
function MyTabLabel(n)
  let buflist = tabpagebuflist(a:n)
  let winnr = tabpagewinnr(a:n)
  return bufname(buflist[winnr - 1])
endfunction
This is just a simplistic example that results in a tab pages line that resembles the default, but without adding a + for a modified buffer or truncating the names. You will want to reduce the width of labels in a clever way when there is not enough room. Check the 'columns' option for the space available.

5. Setting 'guitablabel' setting-guitablabel

When the GUI tab pages line is displayed, 'guitablabel' can be used to specify the label to display for each tab page. Unlike 'tabline', which specifies the whole tab pages line at once, 'guitablabel' is used for each label separately.
'guitabtooltip' is very similar and is used for the tooltip of the same label. This only appears when the mouse pointer hovers over the label, thus it usually is longer. Only supported on some systems though.
See the 'statusline' option for the format of the value.
The "%N" item can be used for the current tab page number. The v:lnum variable is also set to this number when the option is evaluated. The items that use a file name refer to the current window of the tab page.
Note that syntax highlighting is not used for the option. The %T and %X items are also ignored.
A simple example that puts the tab page number and the buffer name in the label:
:set guitablabel=%N\ %f
An example that resembles the default 'guitablabel': Show the number of windows in the tab page and a '+' if there is a modified buffer:
function GuiTabLabel()
  let label = ''
  let bufnrlist = tabpagebuflist(v:lnum)

  " Add '+' if one of the buffers in the tab page is modified
  for bufnr in bufnrlist
    if getbufvar(bufnr, "&modified")
      let label = '+'
      break
    endif
  endfor

  " Append the number of windows in the tab page if more than one
  let wincount = tabpagewinnr(v:lnum, '$')
  if wincount > 1
    let label ..= wincount
  endif
  if label != ''
    let label ..= ' '
  endif

  " Append the buffer name
  return label .. bufname(bufnrlist[tabpagewinnr(v:lnum) - 1])
endfunction

set guitablabel=%{GuiTabLabel()}
Note that the function must be defined before setting the option, otherwise you get an error message for the function not being known.
If you want to fall back to the default label, return an empty string.
If you want to show something specific for a tab page, you might want to use a tab page local variable. t:var
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