Vim split to a specific size


Vim supports two kinds of splits: vertical (:vsplit) and horizontal (:split). You can open any file in a split by calling :split path/to/file or :vsplit path/to/file. By default, the full width or height of the current buffer will be divided in two. The new split will take up 50% of the available real estate, and the existing will be reduced to 50% of its original size.

But! Vim has a way to open splits to a specific size: By prepending a number to a split command, that split will be opened to the exact character width or height you specify. For example: :20 vsplit path/to/file will open a split that is exactly 20 characters wide, instead of 50% of the current width.

Note that the number includes the line numbers, gutter, and bar between buffers. For a vertical split, 4 characters will typically be lost to that space.

You can enter this with or without the space between the number. For example: :30split path/to/file and :30 split path/to/file will do the same thing.

We have written a ton about splits, so be sure to check the archives. Our post about resizing slits will come in handy paired with this tip.

How useful was this tip?

Average rating 4.6 / 5. Vote count: 81

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this tip.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Written by

Andy Libby

36 Posts

Rider of bicycles. Writer of code. User of Vim.
View all posts