How does vim split window horizontally? [SOLVED]


Written by - Omer Cakmak
Reviewed by - Deepak Prasad

Vim is a powerful and popular text editor that is widely used by programmers and developers. One of the many features that makes Vim so versatile is its ability to split the editor window into multiple panes, allowing users to view and edit multiple files or sections of the same file simultaneously.

Horizontal splitting is a particularly useful feature in Vim that allows users to split the window into two panes horizontally, with each pane occupying an equal amount of space on the screen. This can be helpful for comparing two sections of the same file, working on different parts of a file simultaneously, or for referencing documentation while coding.

To split the window horizontally in Vim, users can use the command ":split", which will divide the current window into two panes horizontally. Users can then navigate between the panes using various commands and shortcuts, allowing for efficient multitasking and productivity.

I have this file:

# cat file.txt
hello
how are you?
I am doing good
Thank You

 

Method-1: Using :split

The ":split" command is the most common and simple method to split a window horizontally in Vim. To use this method, open Vim and enter command mode by pressing the Esc key. Then type ":split" followed by Enter. This will divide the current window into two panes horizontally. For example:

How does vim split window horizontally? [SOLVED]

 

Method-2: Using the Ctrl+w, s shortcut

This method allows you to split the window horizontally using a keyboard shortcut. First, enter command mode by pressing the Esc key, then press Ctrl+w followed by s. This will split the window horizontally at the current cursor position. For example:

Note: Don't press colon. hit the combination just after pressing Esc

How does vim split window horizontally? [SOLVED]

 

Method-3: Using the Ctrl+w, n shortcut

This method creates a new horizontal split and moves the cursor to it at the same time. To use this method, enter command mode and press Ctrl+w followed by n. This will split the window horizontally and move the cursor to the new split. For example:

Note: Don't press colon. hit the combination just after pressing Esc

How does vim split window horizontally? [SOLVED]

 

Method-4: Using the ":new" command

The ":new" command creates a new horizontal split, similar to the ":split" command. To use this method, enter command mode and type ":new" followed by Enter. This will create a new horizontal split. For example:

How does vim split window horizontally? [SOLVED]

 

Method-5: Using the "vsplit" command

This method splits the window horizontally and opens a new file in the new split. To use this method, enter command mode and type ":vsplit new_file.txt" followed by Enter. This will split the window horizontally and open the "new_file.txt" file in the new split. For example:

How does vim split window horizontally? [SOLVED]

Once you save the changes, a new file will be created:

# ls -l new_file.txt 
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Mar 14 11:23 new_file.txt

 

Method-6: Using ":sp" command

You can also split the window horizontally without opening a file by using the following command:

:sp

How does vim split window horizontally? [SOLVED]

This will split the window horizontally without opening a file. You can then use the cursor to navigate between the two panes.

 

Opening two files in split mode in landscape window

In this method, you can provide 2 files which you wish to open in split mode:

vim -o file.txt new_file.txt

How does vim split window horizontally? [SOLVED]

In Vim, the first file is displayed in the upper horizontal window, and the second file is displayed in the lower window.

 

Bonus Tips (Working with split screen)

To navigate between the panes in vim, you can use the following commands:

  • Ctrl+w and Ctrl+w : This will move the cursor to the next pane.
  • Ctrl+w j : This will move the cursor to the pane below the current pane.
  • Ctrl+w k : This will move the cursor to the pane above the current pane.

To see all commands defined by vim itself type the following parameter in vim

":help index "

 

Summary

Vim is a popular and powerful text editor that allows users to split the editor window into multiple panes, making it easier to view and edit multiple files or sections of the same file simultaneously. One of the most commonly used methods to split the window horizontally in Vim is the ":split" command, which divides the current window into two panes horizontally. Other methods include using keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+W, S or Ctrl+W, N, or using the ":new" command or "vsplit" command with the "--split" option to open a new file in the new split. The horizontal splitting feature in Vim is particularly useful for comparing two sections of the same file, working on different parts of a file simultaneously, or for referencing documentation while coding. By utilizing these methods, users can greatly enhance their editing experience and increase their productivity.

Show Line Numbers in Vim [Absolute, Relative, Hybrid]

 

References

stackoverflow.com - To switch from vertical split to horizontal split fast in Vim
superuser.com - How to open files in vertically/horizontal split

 

Omer Cakmak

He is highly skilled at managing Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Oracle Linux, and Red Hat servers. Proficient in bash scripting, Ansible, and AWX central server management, he handles server operations on OpenStack, KVM, Proxmox, and VMware. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or check his projects on GitHub page.

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