Vim Buffers

A buffer in VIM is equivalent to a tab in an editor like Sublime Text. It stores the contents of an open file.

  • :ls brings up the list of open buffers
  • :bn where n is a number of a buffer shown with :ls. Switch to the numbered buffer
  • There is a plugin which improves this called BufExplorer
    • Use <Leader>be, <Leader>bt, <Leader>bv, or <Leader>bs to bring up the buffer window where you can select which buffer to open using the hjkl keys

Saving Buffers

  • :w - saves the buffer
  • Additional custom mappings that I've made
    • <Leader>w - save file from normal mode
    • jk - escapes from insert mode
    • lkj - save file from insert mode (and exit to normal mode)
      nnoremap <Leader>w :w<CR>
      inoremap jk <esc>
      inoremap lkj <Esc>`^:w<CR>

Opening a file in a buffer

  • :e <filename> - VIM will autocomplete the filename using the tab key. This will expand folder and file names.
  • Vim has a current directory that you can see using :pwd. Use :cd <directory> to cd to a directory. To map <Leader>cd to change to the current file's directory use nnoremap <Leader>cd :cd %:p:h<CR>:pwd<CR>

Searching in a buffer

  • Improve searching with these settings
    set incsearch           " search as characters are entered
    set hlsearch            " highlight matches
  • To clear the seach highlight use the :nohlsearch command. I've bound it to <Leader>n
    " turn off search highlight
    nnoremap <Leader>n :nohlsearch<CR>

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