Creating files and directories


Vim’s built in file browser, netrw, has a multitude of uses. One oft-overlooked capability is the ability to create files and folders from inside its directory view. Without netrw, I’d need to use:

  • !mkdir path/to/dir – Make new directories by shelling out
  • :e path/to/dir/file.txt – Open a new buffer at the file path

But netrw gives us a better way and it works from any directory view. I usually open Vim with vim . which pops me right into the netrw view. From here, I can create new files or directories:

  • % – Create new file from netrw
  • d – Create new directory from netrw

If you’re in a buffer and want to hop back to the file tree, just use :e . and you’ll be placed in a view of the current working directory. From here, you can browse and create a new file or folder exactly where you want it.

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Written by

Colin Bartlett

105 Posts

Vim enthusiast and software developer for more than 20 years.
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