Windows

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


Editing with multiple windows and buffers. buffers
The commands which have been added to use multiple windows and buffers are explained here. Additionally, there are explanations for commands that work differently when used in combination with more than one window.
The basics are explained in chapter 7 and 8 of the user manual usr_07.txt usr_08.txt.

1. Introduction windows-intro window

Summary: A buffer is the in-memory text of a file. A window is a viewport on a buffer. A tab page is a collection of windows.
A window is a viewport onto a buffer. You can use multiple windows on one buffer, or several windows on different buffers.
A buffer is a file loaded into memory for editing. The original file remains unchanged until you write the buffer to the file.
A buffer can be in one of three states:
active-buffer active: The buffer is displayed in a window. If there is a file for this buffer, it has been read into the buffer. The buffer may have been modified since then and thus be different from the file. hidden-buffer hidden: The buffer is not displayed. If there is a file for this buffer, it has been read into the buffer. Otherwise it's the same as an active buffer, you just can't see it. inactive-buffer inactive: The buffer is not displayed and does not contain anything. Options for the buffer are remembered if the file was once loaded. It can contain marks from the shada file. But the buffer doesn't contain text.
In a table:
state displayed loaded ":buffers"
in window shows
active yes yes 'a' hidden no yes 'h' inactive no no ' '
Note: All CTRL-W commands can also be executed with :wincmd, for those places where a Normal mode command can't be used or is inconvenient.
The main Vim window can hold several split windows. There are also tab pages tab-page, each of which can hold multiple windows. window-ID winid windowid Each window has a unique identifier called the window ID. This identifier will not change within a Vim session. The win_getid() and win_id2tabwin() functions can be used to convert between the window/tab number and the identifier. There is also the window number, which may change whenever windows are opened or closed, see winnr(). The window number is only valid in one specific tab. The window ID is valid across tabs. For most functions that take a window ID or a window number, the window number only applies to the current tab, while the window ID can refer to a window in any tab.
Each buffer has a unique number and the number will not change within a Vim session. The bufnr() and bufname() functions can be used to convert between a buffer name and the buffer number.

2. Starting Vim windows-starting

By default, Vim starts with one window, just like Vi.
The "-o" and "-O" arguments to Vim can be used to open a window for each file in the argument list. The "-o" argument will split the windows horizontally; the "-O" argument will split the windows vertically. If both "-o" and "-O" are given, the last one encountered will be used to determine the split orientation. For example, this will open three windows, split horizontally:
vim -o file1 file2 file3
"-oN", where N is a decimal number, opens N windows split horizontally. If there are more file names than windows, only N windows are opened and some files do not get a window. If there are more windows than file names, the last few windows will be editing empty buffers. Similarly, "-ON" opens N windows split vertically, with the same restrictions.
If there are many file names, the windows will become very small. You might want to set the 'winheight' and/or 'winwidth' options to create a workable situation.
Buf/Win Enter/Leave autocommands are not executed when opening the new windows and reading the files, that's only done when they are really entered.
status-line A status line will be used to separate windows. The 'laststatus' option tells when the last window also has a status line: 'laststatus' = 0 never a status line 'laststatus' = 1 status line if there is more than one window 'laststatus' = 2 always a status line 'laststatus' = 3 have a global statusline at the bottom instead of one for each window
You can change the contents of the status line with the 'statusline' option. This option can be local to the window, so that you can have a different status line in each window.
Normally, inversion is used to display the status line. This can be changed with the hl-StatusLine highlight group. If no highlighting is used for the status line, the '^' character is used for the current window, and '=' for other windows. If 'mouse' is enabled, a status line can be dragged to resize windows.
filler-lines The lines after the last buffer line in a window are called filler lines. By default, these lines start with a tilde (~) character. The "eob" item in the 'fillchars' option can be used to change this character. By default, these characters are highlighted as NonText (hl-NonText). The EndOfBuffer highlight group (hl-EndOfBuffer) can be used to change the highlighting of the filler characters.

3. Opening and closing a window opening-window

CTRL-W s CTRL-W_s CTRL-W S CTRL-W_S CTRL-W CTRL-S CTRL-W_CTRL-S :[N]sp[lit] [++opt] [+cmd] [file] :sp :split Split current window in two. The result is two viewports on the same file.
Make the new window N high (default is to use half the height of the current window). Reduces the current window height to create room (and others, if the 'equalalways' option is set, 'eadirection' isn't "hor", and one of them is higher than the current or the new window).
If [file] is given it will be edited in the new window. If it is not loaded in any buffer, it will be read. Else the new window will use the already loaded buffer.
Note: CTRL-S does not work on all terminals and might block further input, use CTRL-Q to get going again. Also see ++opt and +cmd. E242 E1159 Be careful when splitting a window in an autocommand, it may mess up the window layout if this happens while making other window layout changes.
CTRL-W CTRL-V CTRL-W_CTRL-V CTRL-W v CTRL-W_v :[N]vs[plit] [++opt] [+cmd] [file] :vs :vsplit Like :split, but split vertically. The windows will be spread out horizontally if 1. a width was not specified, 2. 'equalalways' is set, 3. 'eadirection' isn't "ver", and 4. one of the other windows is wider than the current or new window. If N was given make the new window N columns wide, if possible. Note: In other places CTRL-Q does the same as CTRL-V, but here it doesn't!
CTRL-W n CTRL-W_n

CTRL-W CTRL_N CTRL-W_CTRL-N

:[N]new [++opt] [+cmd] :new Create a new window and start editing an empty file in it. Make new window N high (default is to use half the existing height). Reduces the current window height to create room (and others, if the 'equalalways' option is set and 'eadirection' isn't "hor"). Also see ++opt and +cmd. If 'fileformats' is not empty, the first format given will be used for the new buffer. If 'fileformats' is empty, the 'fileformat' of the current buffer is used. This can be overridden with the ++opt argument. Autocommands are executed in this order: 1. WinLeave for the current window 2. WinEnter for the new window 3. BufLeave for the current buffer 4. BufEnter for the new buffer This behaves like a ":split" first, and then an ":enew" command.
:[N]new [++opt] [+cmd] {file} :[N]sp[lit] [++opt] [+cmd] {file} :split_f Create a new window and start editing file {file} in it. This behaves almost like a ":split" first, and then an ":edit" command, but the alternate file name in the original window is set to {file}. If [+cmd] is given, execute the command when the file has been loaded +cmd. Also see ++opt. Make new window N high (default is to use half the existing height). Reduces the current window height to create room (and others, if the 'equalalways' option is set).
:[N]vne[w] [++opt] [+cmd] [file] :vne :vnew Like :new, but split vertically. If 'equalalways' is set and 'eadirection' isn't "ver" the windows will be spread out horizontally, unless a width was specified.
:[N]sv[iew] [++opt] [+cmd] [file] :sv :sview splitview Same as ":split", but set 'readonly' option for this buffer.
:[N]sf[ind] [++opt] [+cmd] {file} :sf :sfi :sfind splitfind Same as ":split", but search for {file} in 'path' like in :find. Doesn't split if {file} is not found.
CTRL-W CTRL-^ CTRL-W_CTRL-^ CTRL-W_^ CTRL-W ^ Split the current window in two and edit the alternate file. When a count N is given, split the current window and edit buffer N. Similar to ":sp #" and ":sp #N", but it allows the other buffer to be unnamed. This command matches the behavior of CTRL-^, except that it splits a window first.
CTRL-W ge CTRL-W_ge Detach the current window as an external window. Only available when using an UI with ui-multigrid support.
Note that the 'splitbelow' and 'splitright' options influence where a new window will appear. E36 Creating a window will fail if there is not enough room. Every window needs at least one screen line and column, sometimes more. Options 'winminheight' and 'winminwidth' are relevant.
:vert :vertical :vert[ical] {cmd} Execute {cmd}. If it contains a command that splits a window, it will be split vertically. For vertical wincmd = windows will be equalized only vertically. Doesn't work for :execute and :normal.
:hor :horizontal :hor[izontal] {cmd} Execute {cmd}. Currently only makes a difference for horizontal wincmd =, which will equalize windows only horizontally.
:lefta[bove] {cmd} :lefta :leftabove :abo[veleft] {cmd} :abo :aboveleft Execute {cmd}. If it contains a command that splits a window, it will be opened left (vertical split) or above (horizontal split) the current window. Overrules 'splitbelow' and 'splitright'. Doesn't work for :execute and :normal.
:rightb[elow] {cmd} :rightb :rightbelow :bel[owright] {cmd} :bel :belowright Execute {cmd}. If it contains a command that splits a window, it will be opened right (vertical split) or below (horizontal split) the current window. Overrules 'splitbelow' and 'splitright'. Doesn't work for :execute and :normal.
:topleft E442 :to[pleft] {cmd} Execute {cmd}. If it contains a command that splits a window, it will appear at the top and occupy the full width of the Vim window. When the split is vertical the window appears at the far left and occupies the full height of the Vim window. Doesn't work for :execute and :normal.
:bo :botright :bo[tright] {cmd} Execute {cmd}. If it contains a command that splits a window, it will appear at the bottom and occupy the full width of the Vim window. When the split is vertical the window appears at the far right and occupies the full height of the Vim window. Doesn't work for :execute and :normal.
These command modifiers can be combined to make a vertically split window occupy the full height. Example:
:vertical topleft split tags
Opens a vertically split, full-height window on the "tags" file at the far left of the Vim window.
Closing a window ----------------
:q[uit] :{count}q[uit] :count_quit CTRL-W q CTRL-W_q CTRL-W CTRL-Q CTRL-W_CTRL-Q Without {count}: Quit the current window. If {count} is given quit the {count} window. edit-window When quitting the last edit window (not counting help or preview windows), exit Vim.
When 'hidden' is set, and there is only one window for the current buffer, it becomes hidden. When 'hidden' is not set, and there is only one window for the current buffer, and the buffer was changed, the command fails. (Note: CTRL-Q does not work on all terminals). If [count] is greater than the last window number the last window will be closed:
:1quit  " quit the first window
:$quit  " quit the last window
:9quit  " quit the last window
        " if there are fewer than 9 windows opened
:-quit  " quit the previous window
:+quit  " quit the next window
:+2quit " quit the second next window
When closing a help window, and this is not the only window, Vim will try to restore the previous window layout, see :helpclose.
:q[uit]! :{count}q[uit]! Without {count}: Quit the current window. If {count} is given quit the {count} window If this was the last window for a buffer, any changes to that buffer are lost. When quitting the last window (not counting help windows), exit Vim. The contents of the buffer are lost, even when 'hidden' is set.
:clo[se][!] :{count}clo[se][!] CTRL-W c CTRL-W_c :clo :close Without {count}: Close the current window. If given close the {count} window.
When 'hidden' is set, or when the buffer was changed and the [!] is used, the buffer becomes hidden (unless there is another window editing it).
When there is only one edit-window in the current tab page and there is another tab page, this closes the current tab page. tab-page.
This command fails when: E444
There is only one window on the screen.
When 'hidden' is not set, [!] is not used, the 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.
CTRL-W CTRL-C CTRL-W_CTRL-C You might have expected that CTRL-W CTRL-C closes the current window, but that does not work, because the CTRL-C cancels the command.
:hide :hid[e] :{count}hid[e] Without {count}: Quit the current window, unless it is the last window on the screen. If {count} is given quit the {count} window.
The buffer becomes hidden (unless there is another window editing it or 'bufhidden' is unload, delete or wipe). If the window is the last one in the current tab page the tab page is closed. tab-page
The value of 'hidden' is irrelevant for this command. Changes to the buffer are not written and won't get lost, so this is a "safe" command.
:hid[e] {cmd} Execute {cmd} with 'hidden' set. The previous value of 'hidden' is restored after {cmd} has been executed. Example:
:hide edit Makefile
This will edit "Makefile", and hide the current buffer if it has any changes.
:on[ly][!] :{count}on[ly][!] CTRL-W o CTRL-W_o E445 CTRL-W CTRL-O CTRL-W_CTRL-O :on :only Make the current window the only one on the screen. All other windows are closed. For {count} see the :quit command above :count_quit.
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.

4. Moving cursor to other windows window-move-cursor

CTRL-W <Down> CTRL-W_<Down> CTRL-W CTRL-J CTRL-W_CTRL-J CTRL-W_j CTRL-W j Move cursor to Nth window below current one. Uses the cursor position to select between alternatives.
CTRL-W <Up> CTRL-W_<Up> CTRL-W CTRL-K CTRL-W_CTRL-K CTRL-W_k CTRL-W k Move cursor to Nth window above current one. Uses the cursor position to select between alternatives.
CTRL-W <Left> CTRL-W_<Left> CTRL-W CTRL-H CTRL-W_CTRL-H CTRL-W <BS> CTRL-W_<BS> CTRL-W_h CTRL-W h Move cursor to Nth window left of current one. Uses the cursor position to select between alternatives.
CTRL-W <Right> CTRL-W_<Right> CTRL-W CTRL-L CTRL-W_CTRL-L CTRL-W_l CTRL-W l Move cursor to Nth window right of current one. Uses the cursor position to select between alternatives.
CTRL-W w CTRL-W_w CTRL-W_CTRL-W CTRL-W CTRL-W Without count: move cursor to window below/right of the current one. If there is no window below or right, go to top-left window. With count: go to Nth window (windows are numbered from top-left to bottom-right). To obtain the window number see bufwinnr() and winnr(). When N is larger than the number of windows go to the last window.
CTRL-W_W CTRL-W W Without count: move cursor to window above/left of current one. If there is no window above or left, go to bottom-right window. With count: go to Nth window, like with CTRL-W w.
CTRL-W t CTRL-W_t CTRL-W_CTRL-T CTRL-W CTRL-T Move cursor to top-left window.
CTRL-W b CTRL-W_b CTRL-W_CTRL-B CTRL-W CTRL-B Move cursor to bottom-right window.
CTRL-W p CTRL-W_p CTRL-W_CTRL-P CTRL-W CTRL-P Go to previous (last accessed) window.
CTRL-W_P E441 CTRL-W P Go to preview window. When there is no preview window this is an error.
If Visual mode is active and the new window is not for the same buffer, the Visual mode is ended. If the window is on the same buffer, the cursor position is set to keep the same Visual area selected.
:winc :wincmd These commands can also be executed with ":wincmd":
:[count]winc[md] {arg} :winc[md] [count] {arg} Like executing CTRL-W [count] {arg}. Example:
:wincmd j
Moves to the window below the current one. This command is useful when a Normal mode cannot be used (for the CursorHold autocommand event). Or when a Normal mode command is inconvenient. The count can also be a window number. Example:
:exe nr .. "wincmd w"
This goes to window "nr".

5. Moving windows around window-moving

CTRL-W r CTRL-W_r CTRL-W_CTRL-R E443 CTRL-W CTRL-R Rotate windows downwards/rightwards. The first window becomes the second one, the second one becomes the third one, etc. The last window becomes the first window. The cursor remains in the same window. This only works within the row or column of windows that the current window is in.
CTRL-W_R CTRL-W R Rotate windows upwards/leftwards. The second window becomes the first one, the third one becomes the second one, etc. The first window becomes the last window. The cursor remains in the same window. This only works within the row or column of windows that the current window is in.
CTRL-W x CTRL-W_x CTRL-W_CTRL-X CTRL-W CTRL-X Without count: Exchange current window with next one. If there is no next window, exchange with previous window. With count: Exchange current window with Nth window (first window is 1). The cursor is put in the other window. When vertical and horizontal window splits are mixed, the exchange is only done in the row or column of windows that the current window is in.
The following commands can be used to change the window layout. For example, when there are two vertically split windows, CTRL-W K will change that in horizontally split windows. CTRL-W H does it the other way around.
CTRL-W_K CTRL-W K Move the current window to be at the very top, using the full width of the screen. This works like closing the current window and then creating another one with ":topleft split", except that the current window contents is used for the new window.
CTRL-W_J CTRL-W J Move the current window to be at the very bottom, using the full width of the screen. This works like closing the current window and then creating another one with ":botright split", except that the current window contents is used for the new window.
CTRL-W_H CTRL-W H Move the current window to be at the far left, using the full height of the screen. This works like closing the current window and then creating another one with :vert topleft split, except that the current window contents is used for the new window.
CTRL-W_L CTRL-W L Move the current window to be at the far right, using the full height of the screen. This works like closing the current window and then creating another one with :vert botright split, except that the current window contents is used for the new window.
CTRL-W_T CTRL-W T Move the current window to a new tab page. This fails if there is only one window in the current tab page. When a count is specified the new tab page will be opened before the tab page with this index. Otherwise it comes after the current tab page.

6. Window resizing window-resize

CTRL-W_= CTRL-W = Make all windows (almost) equally high and wide, but use 'winheight' and 'winwidth' for the current window. Windows with 'winfixheight' set keep their height and windows with 'winfixwidth' set keep their width. To equalize only vertically (make window equally high) use vertical wincmd = . To equalize only horizontally (make window equally wide) use horizontal wincmd = .
:res[ize] -N :res :resize CTRL-W_- CTRL-W - Decrease current window height by N (default 1). If used after :vertical: decrease width by N.
:res[ize] +N CTRL-W_+ CTRL-W + Increase current window height by N (default 1). If used after :vertical: increase width by N.
:res[ize] [N] CTRL-W CTRL-_ CTRL-W_CTRL-_ CTRL-W__ CTRL-W _ Set current window height to N (default: highest possible).
:{winnr}res[ize] [+-]N Like :resize above, but apply the size to window {winnr} instead of the current window.
z{nr}<CR> Set current window height to {nr}.
CTRL-W_< CTRL-W < Decrease current window width by N (default 1).
CTRL-W_> CTRL-W > Increase current window width by N (default 1).
:vert[ical] res[ize] [N] :vertical-resize CTRL-W_bar CTRL-W | Set current window width to N (default: widest possible).
You can also resize a window by dragging a status line up or down with the mouse. Or by dragging a vertical separator line left or right. This only works if the version of Vim that is being used supports the mouse and the 'mouse' option has been set to enable it.
The option 'winheight' ('wh') is used to set the minimal window height of the current window. This option is used each time another window becomes the current window. If the option is '0', it is disabled. Set 'winheight' to a very large value, e.g., '9999', to make the current window always fill all available space. Set it to a reasonable value, e.g., '10', to make editing in the current window comfortable.
The equivalent 'winwidth' ('wiw') option is used to set the minimal width of the current window.
When the option 'equalalways' ('ea') is set, all the windows are automatically made the same size after splitting or closing a window. If you don't set this option, splitting a window will reduce the size of the current window and leave the other windows the same. When closing a window, the extra lines are given to the window above it.
The 'eadirection' option limits the direction in which the 'equalalways' option is applied. The default "both" resizes in both directions. When the value is "ver" only the heights of windows are equalized. Use this when you have manually resized a vertically split window and want to keep this width. Likewise, "hor" causes only the widths of windows to be equalized.
The option 'cmdheight' ('ch') is used to set the height of the command-line. If you are annoyed by the hit-enter prompt for long messages, set this option to 2 or 3.
If there is only one window, resizing that window will also change the command line height. If there are several windows, resizing the current window will also change the height of the window below it (and sometimes the window above it).
The minimal height and width of a window is set with 'winminheight' and 'winminwidth'. These are hard values, a window will never become smaller.
WinScrolled and WinResized autocommands
win-scrolled-resized If you want to get notified of changes in window sizes, the WinResized autocommand event can be used. If you want to get notified of text in windows scrolling vertically or horizontally, the WinScrolled autocommand event can be used. This will also trigger in window size changes. WinResized-event The WinResized event is triggered after updating the display, several windows may have changed size then. A list of the IDs of windows that changed since last time is provided in the v:event.windows variable, for example: [1003, 1006] WinScrolled-event The WinScrolled event is triggered after WinResized, and also if a window was scrolled. That can be vertically (the text at the top of the window changed) or horizontally (when 'wrap' is off or when the first displayed part of the first line changes). Note that WinScrolled will trigger many more times than WinResized, it may slow down editing a bit.
The information provided by WinScrolled is a dictionary for each window that has changes, using the window ID as the key, and a total count of the changes with the key "all". Example value for v:event: { all: {width: 0, height: 2, leftcol: 0, topline: 1, skipcol: 0}, 1003: {width: 0, height: -1, leftcol: 0, topline: 0, skipcol: 0}, 1006: {width: 0, height: 1, leftcol: 0, topline: 1, skipcol: 0}, }
Note that the "all" entry has the absolute values of the individual windows accumulated.
If you need more information about what changed, or you want to "debounce" the events (not handle every event to avoid doing too much work), you may want to use the winlayout() and getwininfo() functions.
WinScrolled and WinResized do not trigger when the first autocommand is added, only after the first scroll or resize. They may trigger when switching to another tab page.
The commands executed are expected to not cause window size or scroll changes. If this happens anyway, the event will trigger again very soon. In other words: Just before triggering the event, the current sizes and scroll positions are stored and used to decide whether there was a change.

7. Argument and buffer list commands buffer-list

args list buffer list meaning
1. :[N]argument [N] 11. :[N]buffer [N] to arg/buf N 2. :[N]next [file ..] 12. :[N]bnext [N] to Nth next arg/buf 3. :[N]Next [N] 13. :[N]bNext [N] to Nth previous arg/buf 4. :[N]previous [N] 14. :[N]bprevious [N] to Nth previous arg/buf 5. :rewind / :first 15. :brewind / :bfirst to first arg/buf 6. :last 16. :blast to last arg/buf 7. :all 17. :ball edit all args/buffers 18. :unhide edit all loaded buffers 19. :[N]bmod [N] to Nth modified buf
split & args list split & buffer list meaning
21. :[N]sargument [N] 31. :[N]sbuffer [N] split + to arg/buf N 22. :[N]snext [file ..] 32. :[N]sbnext [N] split + to Nth next arg/buf 23. :[N]sNext [N] 33. :[N]sbNext [N] split + to Nth previous arg/buf 24. :[N]sprevious [N] 34. :[N]sbprevious [N] split + to Nth previous arg/buf 25. :srewind / :sfirst 35. :sbrewind / :sbfirst split + to first arg/buf 26. :slast 36. :sblast split + to last arg/buf 27. :sall 37. :sball edit all args/buffers 38. :sunhide edit all loaded buffers 39. :[N]sbmod [N] split + to Nth modified buf
40. :args list of arguments 41. :buffers list of buffers
The meaning of [N] depends on the command: [N] is the number of buffers to go forward/backward on 2/12/22/32, 3/13/23/33, and 4/14/24/34 [N] is an argument number, defaulting to current argument, for 1 and 21 [N] is a buffer number, defaulting to current buffer, for 11 and 31 [N] is a count for 19 and 39
Note: ":next" is an exception, because it must accept a list of file names for compatibility with Vi.
The argument list and multiple windows --------------------------------------
The current position in the argument list can be different for each window. Remember that when doing ":e file", the position in the argument list stays the same, but you are not editing the file at that position. To indicate this, the file message (and the title, if you have one) shows "(file (N) of M)", where "(N)" is the current position in the file list, and "M" the number of files in the file list.
All the entries in the argument list are added to the buffer list. Thus, you can also get to them with the buffer list commands, like ":bnext".
:[N]al[l][!] [N] :al :all :sal :sall :[N]sal[l][!] [N] Rearrange the screen to open one window for each argument. All other windows are closed. When a count is given, this is the maximum number of windows to open. With the :tab modifier open a tab page for each argument. When there are more arguments than 'tabpagemax' further ones become split windows in the last tab page. 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. [N] is the maximum number of windows to open. 'winheight' also limits the number of windows opened ('winwidth' if :vertical was prepended). Buf/Win Enter/Leave autocommands are not executed for the new windows here, that's only done when they are really entered. If autocommands change the window layout while this command is busy an error will be given. E249
:[N]sa[rgument][!] [++opt] [+cmd] [N] :sa :sargument Short for ":split | argument [N]": split window and go to Nth argument. But when there is no such argument, the window is not split. Also see ++opt and +cmd.
:[N]sn[ext][!] [++opt] [+cmd] [file ..] :sn :snext Short for ":split | [N]next": split window and go to Nth next argument. But when there is no next file, the window is not split. Also see ++opt and +cmd.
:[N]spr[evious][!] [++opt] [+cmd] [N] :spr :sprevious :[N]sN[ext][!] [++opt] [+cmd] [N] :sN :sNext Short for ":split | [N]Next": split window and go to Nth previous argument. But when there is no previous file, the window is not split. Also see ++opt and +cmd.
:sre :srewind :sre[wind][!] [++opt] [+cmd] Short for ":split | rewind": split window and go to first argument. But when there is no argument list, the window is not split. Also see ++opt and +cmd.
:sfir :sfirst :sfir[st] [++opt] [+cmd] Same as ":srewind".
:sla :slast :sla[st][!] [++opt] [+cmd] Short for ":split | last": split window and go to last argument. But when there is no argument list, the window is not split. Also see ++opt and +cmd.
:dr :drop :dr[op] [++opt] [+cmd] {file} .. Edit the first {file} in a window.
If the file is already open in a window change to that window.
If the file is not open in a window edit the file in the current window. If the current buffer can't be abandoned, the window is split first.
Windows that are not in the argument list or are not full width will be closed if possible. The argument-list is set, like with the :next command. The purpose of this command is that it can be used from a program that wants Vim to edit another file, e.g., a debugger. When using the :tab modifier each argument is opened in a tab page. The last window is used if it's empty. Also see ++opt and +cmd.

8. Do a command in all buffers or windows list-repeat

:windo :[range]windo {cmd} Execute {cmd} in each window or if [range] is given only in windows for which the window number lies in the [range]. It works like doing this:
CTRL-W t
:{cmd}
CTRL-W w
:{cmd}
etc.
This only operates in the current tab page. When an error is detected on one window, further windows will not be visited. The last window (or where an error occurred) becomes the current window. {cmd} can contain '|' to concatenate several commands. {cmd} must not open or close windows or reorder them.
Also see :tabdo, :argdo, :bufdo, :cdo, :ldo, :cfdo and :lfdo.
:bufdo :[range]bufdo[!] {cmd} Execute {cmd} in each buffer in the buffer list or if [range] is given only for buffers for which their buffer number is in the [range]. It works like doing this:
:bfirst
:{cmd}
:bnext
:{cmd}
etc.
When the current file can't be abandoned and the [!] is not present, the command fails. When an error is detected on one buffer, further buffers will not be visited. Unlisted buffers are skipped. The last buffer (or where an error occurred) becomes the current buffer. {cmd} can contain '|' to concatenate several commands. {cmd} must not delete buffers or add buffers to the buffer list. Note: While this command is executing, the Syntax autocommand event is disabled by adding it to 'eventignore'. This considerably speeds up editing each buffer.
Also see :tabdo, :argdo, :windo, :cdo, :ldo, :cfdo and :lfdo.
Examples:
:windo set nolist foldcolumn=0 | normal! zn
This resets the 'list' option and disables folding in all windows.
:bufdo set fileencoding= | update
This resets the 'fileencoding' in each buffer and writes it if this changed the buffer. The result is that all buffers will use the 'encoding' encoding (if conversion succeeds).

9. Tag or file name under the cursor window-tag

:sta :stag :sta[g][!] [tagname] Does ":tag[!] [tagname]" and splits the window for the found tag. See also :tag.
CTRL-W ] CTRL-W_] CTRL-W_CTRL-] CTRL-W CTRL-] Split current window in two. Use identifier under cursor as a tag and jump to it in the new upper window. In Visual mode uses the Visually selected text as a tag. Make new window N high.
CTRL-W_g] CTRL-W g ] Split current window in two. Use identifier under cursor as a tag and perform ":tselect" on it in the new upper window. In Visual mode uses the Visually selected text as a tag. Make new window N high.
CTRL-W_g_CTRL-] CTRL-W g CTRL-] Split current window in two. Use identifier under cursor as a tag and perform ":tjump" on it in the new upper window. In Visual mode uses the Visually selected text as a tag. Make new window N high.
CTRL-W f CTRL-W_f CTRL-W_CTRL-F CTRL-W CTRL-F Split current window in two. Edit file name under cursor. Like ":split gf", but window isn't split if the file does not exist. Uses the 'path' variable as a list of directory names where to look for the file. Also the path for current file is used to search for the file name. If the name is a hypertext link that looks like "type://machine/path", only "/path" is used. If a count is given, the count'th matching file is edited.
CTRL-W F CTRL-W_F Split current window in two. Edit file name under cursor and jump to the line number following the file name. See gF for details on how the line number is obtained.
CTRL-W gf CTRL-W_gf Open a new tab page and edit the file name under the cursor. Like "tab split" and "gf", but the new tab page isn't created if the file does not exist.
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. Like "tab split" and "gF", but the new tab page isn't created if the file does not exist.
CTRL-W gt CTRL-W_gt Go to next tab page, same as gt.
CTRL-W gT CTRL-W_gT Go to previous tab page, same as gT.
Also see CTRL-W_CTRL-I: open window for an included file that includes the keyword under the cursor.

10. The preview window preview-window

The preview window is a special window to show (preview) another file. It is normally a small window used to show an include file or definition of a function.
There can be only one preview window (per tab page). It is created with one of the commands below. The 'previewheight' option can be set to specify the height of the preview window when it's opened. The 'previewwindow' option is set in the preview window to be able to recognize it. The 'winfixheight' option is set to have it keep the same height when opening/closing other windows.
:pta :ptag :pta[g][!] [tagname] Does ":tag[!] [tagname]" and shows the found tag in a "Preview" window without changing the current buffer or cursor position. If a "Preview" window already exists, it is re-used (like a help window is). If a new one is opened, 'previewheight' is used for the height of the window. See also :tag. See below for an example. CursorHold-example Small difference from :tag: When [tagname] is equal to the already displayed tag, the position in the matching tag list is not reset. This makes the CursorHold example work after a :ptnext.
CTRL-W z CTRL-W_z CTRL-W CTRL-Z CTRL-W_CTRL-Z :pc :pclose :pc[lose][!] Close any "Preview" window currently open. When the 'hidden' option is set, or when the buffer was changed and the [!] is used, the buffer becomes hidden (unless there is another window editing it). The command fails if any "Preview" buffer cannot be closed. See also :close.
:pp :ppop :[count]pp[op][!] Does ":[count]pop[!]" in the preview window. See :pop and :ptag.
CTRL-W } CTRL-W_} Use identifier under cursor as a tag and perform a :ptag on it. Make the new Preview window (if required) N high. If N is not given, 'previewheight' is used.
CTRL-W g } CTRL-W_g} Use identifier under cursor as a tag and perform a :ptjump on it. Make the new Preview window (if required) N high. If N is not given, 'previewheight' is used.
:ped :pedit :ped[it][!] [++opt] [+cmd] {file} Edit {file} in the preview window. The preview window is opened like with :ptag. The current window and cursor position isn't changed. Useful example:
:pedit +/fputc /usr/include/stdio.h
:ps :psearch :[range]ps[earch][!] [count] [/]pattern[/] Works like :ijump but shows the found match in the preview window. The preview window is opened like with :ptag. The current window and cursor position isn't changed. Useful example:
:psearch popen
Like with the :ptag command, you can use this to automatically show information about the word under the cursor. This is less clever than using :ptag, but you don't need a tags file and it will also find matches in system include files. Example:
:au! CursorHold *.[ch] ++nested exe "silent! psearch " .. expand("<cword>")
Warning: This can be slow.
Example CursorHold-example
:au! CursorHold *.[ch] ++nested exe "silent! ptag " .. expand("<cword>")
This will cause a ":ptag" to be executed for the keyword under the cursor, when the cursor hasn't moved for the time set with 'updatetime'. "++nested" makes other autocommands be executed, so that syntax highlighting works in the preview window. The "silent!" avoids an error message when the tag could not be found. Also see CursorHold. To disable this again:
:au! CursorHold
A nice addition is to highlight the found tag, avoid the ":ptag" when there is no word under the cursor, and a few other things:
:au! CursorHold *.[ch] ++nested call PreviewWord()
:func PreviewWord()
:  if &previewwindow                        " don't do this in the preview window
:    return
:  endif
:  let w = expand("<cword>")                " get the word under cursor
:  if w =~ '\a'                        " if the word contains a letter
:
:    " Delete any existing highlight before showing another tag
:    silent! wincmd P                        " jump to preview window
:    if &previewwindow                " if we really get there...
:      match none                        " delete existing highlight
:      wincmd p                        " back to old window
:    endif
:
:    " Try displaying a matching tag for the word under the cursor
:    try
:       exe "ptag " .. w
:    catch
:      return
:    endtry
:
:    silent! wincmd P                        " jump to preview window
:    if &previewwindow                " if we really get there...
:         if has("folding")
:           silent! .foldopen                " don't want a closed fold
:         endif
:         call search("$", "b")                " to end of previous line
:         let w = substitute(w, '\\', '\\\\', "")
:         call search('\<\V' .. w .. '\>')        " position cursor on match
:         " Add a match highlight to the word at this position
:      hi previewWord term=bold ctermbg=green guibg=green
:         exe 'match previewWord "\%' .. line(".") .. 'l\%' .. col(".") .. 'c\k*"'
:      wincmd p                        " back to old window
:    endif
:  endif
:endfun

11. Using hidden buffers buffer-hidden

A hidden buffer is not displayed in a window, but is still loaded into memory. This makes it possible to jump from file to file, without the need to read or write the file every time you get another buffer in a window.
:buffer-! If the option 'hidden' ('hid') is set, abandoned buffers are kept for all commands that start editing another file: ":edit", ":next", ":tag", etc. The commands that move through the buffer list sometimes make the current buffer hidden although the 'hidden' option is not set. This happens when a buffer is modified, but is forced (with '!') to be removed from a window, and 'autowrite' is off or the buffer can't be written.
You can make a hidden buffer not hidden by starting to edit it with any command, or by deleting it with the ":bdelete" command.
The 'hidden' is global, it is used for all buffers. The 'bufhidden' option can be used to make an exception for a specific buffer. It can take these values: <empty> Use the value of 'hidden'. hide Hide this buffer, also when 'hidden' is not set. unload Don't hide but unload this buffer, also when 'hidden' is set. delete Delete the buffer.
hidden-quit When you try to quit Vim while there is a hidden, modified buffer, you will get an error message and Vim will make that buffer the current buffer. You can then decide to write this buffer (":wq") or quit without writing (":q!"). Be careful: there may be more hidden, modified buffers!
A buffer can also be unlisted. This means it exists, but it is not in the list of buffers. unlisted-buffer
:files[!] [flags] :files :buffers[!] [flags] :buffers :ls :ls[!] [flags] Show all buffers. Example:
1 #h "/test/text" line 1
2u "asdf" line 0
3 %a + "version.c" line 1
When the [!] is included the list will show unlisted buffers (the term "unlisted" is a bit confusing then...).
Each buffer has a unique number. That number will not change, thus you can always go to a specific buffer with ":buffer N" or "N CTRL-^", where N is the buffer number.
Indicators (chars in the same column are mutually exclusive): u an unlisted buffer (only displayed when [!] is used) unlisted-buffer % the buffer in the current window # the alternate buffer for ":e #" and CTRL-^ a an active buffer: it is loaded and visible h a hidden buffer: It is loaded, but currently not displayed in a window hidden-buffer - a buffer with 'modifiable' off = a readonly buffer R a terminal buffer with a running job F a terminal buffer with a finished job ? a terminal buffer without a job: :terminal NONE + a modified buffer x a buffer with read errors
[flags] can be a combination of the following characters, which restrict the buffers to be listed: + modified buffers - buffers with 'modifiable' off = readonly buffers a active buffers u unlisted buffers (overrides the "!") h hidden buffers x buffers with a read error % current buffer # alternate buffer R terminal buffers with a running job F terminal buffers with a finished job t show time last used and sort buffers Combining flags means they are "and"ed together, e.g.: h+ hidden buffers which are modified a+ active buffers which are modified
When using :filter the pattern is matched against the displayed buffer name, e.g.:
filter /\.vim/ ls
:bad :badd :bad[d] [+lnum] {fname} Add file name {fname} to the buffer list, without loading it, if it wasn't listed yet. If the buffer was previously deleted, not wiped, it will be made listed again. If "lnum" is specified, the cursor will be positioned at that line when the buffer is first entered. Note that other commands after the + will be ignored.
:balt :balt [+lnum] {fname} Like :badd and also set the alternate file for the current window to {fname}.
:[N]bd[elete][!] :bd :bdel :bdelete E516 :bd[elete][!] [N] Unload buffer [N] (default: current buffer) and delete it from the buffer list. If the buffer was changed, this fails, unless when [!] is specified, in which case changes are lost. The file remains unaffected. Any windows for this buffer are closed. If buffer [N] is the current buffer, another buffer will be displayed instead. This is the most recent entry in the jump list that points into a loaded buffer. Actually, the buffer isn't completely deleted, it is removed from the buffer list unlisted-buffer and option values, variables and mappings/abbreviations for the buffer are cleared. Examples:
:.,$-bdelete   "delete buffers from the current one to
               " last but one
:%bdelete      " delete all buffers
:bdelete[!] {bufname} E93 E94 Like ":bdelete[!] [N]", but buffer given by name, see {bufname}.
:bdelete[!] N1 N2 ... Do ":bdelete[!]" for buffer N1, N2, etc. The arguments can be buffer numbers or buffer names (but not buffer names that are a number). Insert a backslash before a space in a buffer name.
:N,Mbdelete[!] Do ":bdelete[!]" for all buffers in the range N to M inclusive.
:[N]bw[ipeout][!] :bw :bwipe :bwipeout E517 :bw[ipeout][!] {bufname} :N,Mbw[ipeout][!] :bw[ipeout][!] N1 N2 ... Like :bdelete, but really delete the buffer. Everything related to the buffer is lost. All marks in this buffer become invalid, option settings are lost, etc. Don't use this unless you know what you are doing. Examples:
:.+,$bwipeout   " wipe out all buffers after the current
                " one
:%bwipeout      " wipe out all buffers
:[N]bun[load][!] :bun :bunload E515 :bun[load][!] [N] Unload buffer [N] (default: current buffer). The memory allocated for this buffer will be freed. The buffer remains in the buffer list. If the buffer was changed, this fails, unless when [!] is specified, in which case the changes are lost. Any windows for this buffer are closed. If buffer [N] is the current buffer, another buffer will be displayed instead. This is the most recent entry in the jump list that points into a loaded buffer.
:bunload[!] {bufname} Like ":bunload[!] [N]", but buffer given by name. Also see {bufname}.
:N,Mbunload[!] Do ":bunload[!]" for all buffers in the range N to M inclusive.
:bunload[!] N1 N2 ... Do ":bunload[!]" for buffer N1, N2, etc. The arguments can be buffer numbers or buffer names (but not buffer names that are a number). Insert a backslash before a space in a buffer name.
:[N]b[uffer][!] [+cmd] [N] :b :bu :buf :buffer E86 Edit buffer [N] from the buffer list. If [N] is not given, the current buffer remains being edited. See :buffer-! for [!]. This will also edit a buffer that is not in the buffer list, without setting the 'buflisted' flag. Also see +cmd.
:[N]b[uffer][!] [+cmd] {bufname} {bufname} Edit buffer for {bufname} from the buffer list. A partial name also works, so long as it is unique in the list of buffers. Note that a buffer whose name is a number cannot be referenced by that name; use the buffer number instead. Insert a backslash before a space in a buffer name. See :buffer-! for [!]. This will also edit a buffer that is not in the buffer list, without setting the 'buflisted' flag. Also see +cmd.
:[N]sb[uffer] [+cmd] [N] :sb :sbuffer Split window and edit buffer [N] from the buffer list. If [N] is not given, the current buffer is edited. Respects the "useopen" setting of 'switchbuf' when splitting. This will also edit a buffer that is not in the buffer list, without setting the 'buflisted' flag. Also see +cmd.
:[N]sb[uffer] [+cmd] {bufname} Split window and edit buffer for {bufname} from the buffer list. This will also edit a buffer that is not in the buffer list, without setting the 'buflisted' flag. Note: If what you want to do is split the buffer, make a copy under another name, you can do it this way:
:w foobar | sp #
Also see +cmd.
:[N]bn[ext][!] [+cmd] [N] :bn :bnext E87 Go to [N]th next buffer in buffer list. [N] defaults to one. Wraps around the end of the buffer list. See :buffer-! for [!]. Also see +cmd. If you are in a help buffer, this takes you to the next help buffer (if there is one). Similarly, if you are in a normal (non-help) buffer, this takes you to the next normal buffer. This is so that if you have invoked help, it doesn't get in the way when you're browsing code/text buffers. The next three commands also work like this.
:sbn :sbnext :[N]sbn[ext] [+cmd] [N] Split window and go to [N]th next buffer in buffer list. Wraps around the end of the buffer list. Uses 'switchbuf' Also see +cmd.
:[N]bN[ext][!] [+cmd] [N] :bN :bNext :bp :bprevious E88 :[N]bp[revious][!] [+cmd] [N] Go to [N]th previous buffer in buffer list. [N] defaults to one. Wraps around the start of the buffer list. See :buffer-! for [!] and 'switchbuf'. Also see +cmd.
:[N]sbN[ext] [+cmd] [N] :sbN :sbNext :sbp :sbprevious :[N]sbp[revious] [+cmd] [N] Split window and go to [N]th previous buffer in buffer list. Wraps around the start of the buffer list. Uses 'switchbuf'. Also see +cmd.
:br[ewind][!] [+cmd] :br :bre :brewind Go to first buffer in buffer list. If the buffer list is empty, go to the first unlisted buffer. See :buffer-! for [!].
:bf[irst] [+cmd] :bf :bfirst Same as :brewind. Also see +cmd.
:sbr[ewind] [+cmd] :sbr :sbrewind Split window and go to first buffer in buffer list. If the buffer list is empty, go to the first unlisted buffer. Respects the 'switchbuf' option. Also see +cmd.
:sbf[irst] [+cmd] :sbf :sbfirst Same as ":sbrewind".
:bl[ast][!] [+cmd] :bl :blast Go to last buffer in buffer list. If the buffer list is empty, go to the last unlisted buffer. See :buffer-! for [!].
:sbl[ast] [+cmd] :sbl :sblast Split window and go to last buffer in buffer list. If the buffer list is empty, go to the last unlisted buffer. Respects 'switchbuf' option.
:[N]bm[odified][!] [+cmd] [N] :bm :bmodified E84 Go to [N]th next modified buffer. Note: this command also finds unlisted buffers. If there is no modified buffer the command fails.
:[N]sbm[odified] [+cmd] [N] :sbm :sbmodified Split window and go to [N]th next modified buffer. Respects 'switchbuf' option. Note: this command also finds buffers not in the buffer list.
:[N]unh[ide] [N] :unh :unhide :sun :sunhide :[N]sun[hide] [N] Rearrange the screen to open one window for each loaded buffer in the buffer list. When a count is given, this is the maximum number of windows to open.
:[N]ba[ll] [N] :ba :ball :sba :sball :[N]sba[ll] [N] Rearrange the screen to open one window for each buffer in the buffer list. When a count is given, this is the maximum number of windows to open. 'winheight' also limits the number of windows opened ('winwidth' if :vertical was prepended). Buf/Win Enter/Leave autocommands are not executed for the new windows here, that's only done when they are really entered. When the :tab modifier is used new windows are opened in a new tab, up to 'tabpagemax'.
Note: All the commands above that start editing another buffer, keep the 'readonly' flag as it was. This differs from the ":edit" command, which sets the 'readonly' flag each time the file is read.

12. Special kinds of buffers special-buffers

Instead of containing the text of a file, buffers can also be used for other purposes. A few options can be set to change the behavior of a buffer: 'bufhidden' what happens when the buffer is no longer displayed in a window. 'buftype' what kind of a buffer this is 'swapfile' whether the buffer will have a swap file 'buflisted' buffer shows up in the buffer list
A few useful kinds of a buffer:
quickfix Used to contain the error list or the location list. See :cwindow and :lwindow. This command sets the 'buftype' option to "quickfix". You are not supposed to change this! 'swapfile' is off.
help Contains a help file. Will only be created with the :help command. The flag that indicates a help buffer is internal and can't be changed. The 'buflisted' option will be reset for a help buffer.
terminal A terminal window buffer, see terminal. The contents cannot be read or changed until the job ends.
directory Displays directory contents. Can be used by a file explorer plugin. The buffer is created with these settings:
:setlocal buftype=nowrite
:setlocal bufhidden=delete
:setlocal noswapfile
The buffer name is the name of the directory and is adjusted when using the :cd command.
scratch-buffer scratch Contains text that can be discarded at any time. It is kept when closing the window, it must be deleted explicitly. Settings:
:setlocal buftype=nofile
:setlocal bufhidden=hide
:setlocal noswapfile
The buffer name can be used to identify the buffer, if you give it a meaningful name.
unlisted-buffer unlisted The buffer is not in the buffer list. It is not used for normal editing, but to show a help file, remember a file name or marks. The ":bdelete" command will also set this option, thus it doesn't completely delete the buffer. Settings:
:setlocal nobuflisted
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