Last week's drill was focused on customizing Vim to our own needs, and creating custom keys that perform some more complex tasks in one quick keystroke. In future drills, we'll be revisiting this idea from several different angles. For now though, I want you to keep the idea of mappings in the back of your head while you do your work. It's so easy to both know that mappings exist and how they work, but never actually stop to think about how to apply them to your own workflow. Hopefully by being concious of them you can find some obvious mappings for yourself that will pay off.
This week we're going to go back to the idea of navigating around files and keeping the work you're interested in at hand.
Vim has a complex view of the files it edits. The terms
split get thrown around, and while they are all related, they all mean
very distinct things to Vim.
A buffer is an open file. For any given file, there will be only one buffer reflecting it.
:ls - Get a list of all open buffers
:buffer n - goes to buffer number n, where that number is found in the
:bdelete [id] - Delete a buffer by number. If you don't give the id, it
closes the currently open buffer. Just like
:q, it has a more aggressive
:bdelete! which won't ask to save the buffer first.
A window is your view into a buffer. Think of it like a porthole of a ship. You can see a piece of the ocean. And a different porthole will see a different piece.
A single buffer can be viewed by several windows. Which is useful to be able to see several parts of a file at a time.
CTRL-W h - Goto the window on the left
CTRL-W l - Goto the window on the right
CTRL-W j - Goto the window below the cursor
CTRL-W k - Goto the window above the cursor
CTRL-W w - Goto the next window, clockwise. This will rotate you through all
the windows. Also
CTRL-W CTRL-W does the same thing, so no worries if you
don't release the control key quick enough.
CTRL-W H - Push the current window to the far left
CTRL-W L - Push the current window to the far right
CTRL-W J - Push the current window to the bottom
CTRL-W K - Push the current window to the top
<C-w>- - Make the current window a bit smaller height
<C-w>+ - Make the current window a bit bigger height
<C-w>< - Make the current window a bit smaller width
<C-w>> - Make the current window a bit bigger width
:q - Our old friend! This actually just closes a window. If the tab page is
now empty, it closes. If it was the last window open in the whole Vim
instance, Vim exits.
Just like it sounds, it splits a window into two. This opens a new window into the same buffer.
:split - Horizontal split, the line splitting the windows is horizontal, so
the newly created windows are stacked on each other.
:vsplit - Vertical split, the line splitting the windows is vertical, so the
windows created are side by side.
Holds several windows together. Even if you never use the ability to switch tabs, you still have one. It holds all the windows together.
:tabnew - Creates a new tab, after the current one.
gt - Tab forward
gT - Tab back
nnoremap <D-1> 1gt - Go to the first open tab page. This matches up with how
most OSX applications with tabs work as well (chrome, iterm, etc). It's nice
for consistency. Of course, I have these mapped all the way up to 9.
nnoremap , <C-w><C-w> - This one is both very convenient, moving you forward
a window, but might be a bit controversial, since it clobbers the rather useful
, command. It's up to you, but I highly recommend an easily accessible key
for this mapping
nnoremap - <C-w>- - Resizes the window to be a bit smaller vertically
nnoremap = <C-w>+ - Resizes the window to be a bit bigger vertically
nnoremap _ <C-w>< - Resizes the window to be smaller horizontally
nnoremap + <C-w>> - Resizes the window to be bigger horizontally
nnoremap ; gt - Forwards a tab. Similarly to the
, remap I have, this one
steps on the useful
nnoremap <TAB>; gT - And backwards a tab
Get fast at opening, and switching windows, tabs, and buffers. Identify your normal workflow (maybe use mine? Tweak it maybe?) and optimize with windows and buffers and tabs. Keep everything in its place, but make your use consistent.