Get the current file path
There are many uses for the current file path and many ways to get it:
- When typing a command, press
%<tab>to complete the current file path.
- While in insert mode, press
<ctrl-r>%to insert the current file path.
But an even more useful capability is yanking, or copying, the current file path into a register or your system clipboard. From there, you can paste it into another buffer or externally into another program. Here’s how to create a simple mapping in your
.vimrc to copy the the current file path:
map <leader>l :let @*=expand("%")<CR>
This takes the current relative path to the present buffer and copies it to the
* register, which is the system clipboard on most systems. (If you’re on Linux, try swapping the
* to a
+ if you have problems. Read more about the clipboard register.) You can paste this anywhere on your system now or use
"*p to paste it in Vim from the star register.
We can expand that a bit, too. It can also be useful to copy the relative path with the current line number appended to the end. Let’s improve our mapping:
map <leader>l :let @*=fnamemodify(expand("%"), ":~:.") . ":" . line(".")<CR>
If it’s more useful to you, there are some variations you can use in place of
% in these mappings:
- Relative path to file:
- Absolute path to file:
- Filename only:
- Directory name only:
I find the relative path with line number the most useful of these. I can paste it to a terminal to run tests, to a Slack message to discuss code, or into my notes file in another Vim buffer. From there, I can press
gF to go to that file and line number.
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