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Drag and drop file names into the Vim command line

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created 2003 · complexity basic · author Thomas Ramming · version 6.0

You can open files in Vim by drag&drop of selected file names from Windows Explorer.

This also works by dropping into the Vim command line, so for example, you can type :split then type a space, then drag&drop a selected file to Vim window and press Enter.

The complete path and filename is transferred to commandline and the file is opened in a new Vim buffer/window.


This also works in an X-Windows environment, such as Linux uses.

:edit (drag file on to gvim window) (press Enter)

In X, you don't even need to type ":edit" first. Just grab a file from your file manager (like Rox) and drag/drop it into Vim.

I was looking for a way to drag-and-drop multiple files onto a 'gvimdiff' icon (I made one of those from the Gnome gvim icon) for diff editing. However it appears that Gnome wants to launch gvimdiff separately for each file rather than passing them all as arguments to gvimdiff. If I come up with a way I will post here. --Gar37bic 15:27, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, (in X) you can drag-and-drop a file onto a running GVim. It will not split the window, but it will replace the file in the window. The replaced file will be one of the buffers you can switch to. (I think it might be a good idea for the default behavior in gvim to split for a new file in this case.) --Gar37bic 15:27, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Good news is that if you hold down CTRL key while drag'n'dropping you do get a split !!! Works at least with Win32 version --User:deLux19 11:19, 2 January 2009


  • This is our only drag-and-drop tip, so it needs a little more information.
  • Probably rename tip and make it more general. Perhaps "Drag and drop".
  • Incorporate information from :help drag-n-drop which includes:
    • Can drag and drop one or more files into the Vim window.
    • Can also drag a directory to explore the directory (or to change to the directory if Shift is held down).
    • If the cursor is in the command line, the names of the dropped files and directories are inserted.
    • Otherwise, the files are opened.
    • If hold down Shift, Vim changes to the directory of the first dropped file.
    • If hold down Ctrl, the file is opened in a new split.

--JohnBeckett 01:09, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

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