Load multiple files with a single command
From Vim Tips Wiki
created 2005 · complexity basic · author Tye Z · version 6.0
When starting Vim, you can open multiple files, one to a window or tab, with the
-p options. This tip discusses doing the same from within Vim.
You can use a command like
:args *.c to replace the argument list with all
.c files, then display those files with a command like
:sall (split window to show one file per window), or
:tab sall (show one file per tab).
Here is another method. Put the following in your vimrc:
com! -complete=file -nargs=* Edit silent! exec "!vim --servername " . v:servername . " --remote-silent <args>"
This uses the shell to send remote commands to the current instance of Vim.
Then do something like this to edit multiple files:
- If desired, substitute
--remote-tab-silentin place of
--remote-silentto load all the files in new tabs.
- If running under Windows, you'll probably want to allow backslashes to occur in path names, like this:
com! -complete=file -nargs=* Edit silent! exec "!vim --servername " . v:servername . " --remote-silent ".escape(<q-args>,'\')
If you put the following code in your vimrc, you can simply do
:Etabs file list,
:Ewindows file list (horizontal windows), or
:Evwindows file list (vertical windows).
The commands can be abbreviated, and the function allows for file globbing, so doing something like
:Et *.html should work. You may even find yourself using one of these to replace the :edit command!
command! -complete=file -nargs=+ Etabs call s:ETW('tabnew', <f-args>) command! -complete=file -nargs=+ Ewindows call s:ETW('new', <f-args>) command! -complete=file -nargs=+ Evwindows call s:ETW('vnew', <f-args>) function! s:ETW(what, ...) for f1 in a:000 let files = glob(f1) if files == '' execute a:what . ' ' . escape(f1, '\ "') else for f2 in split(files, "\n") execute a:what . ' ' . escape(f2, '\ "') endfor endif endfor endfunction
 Alternative 2
I added this command to my vimrc to open a list of globbed files in tab pages. For example, the command
:Tabe *.py *.txt opens a new tab page for each *.py and each *.txt file. When finished, the current tab page shows the first file added.
command! -complete=file -nargs=* Tabe call Tabe(<f-args>) function! Tabe(...) let t = tabpagenr() let i = 0 for f in a:000 for g in glob(f, 0, 1) exe "tabe " . fnameescape(g) let i = i + 1 endfor endfor if i exe "tabn " . (t + 1) endif endfunction
- Use fnameescape(), especially in the method that uses the shell.
From VimTip1234 comments section, an alternate method:
You can load an arbitrary list of files with :args <pattern>, for instance:
Open all .c or .h files in the directory (and it's subdirectories) two directories up from the current directory:
- args ../../**/*.[ch]
The only caveat (and it's a major one) is that it's very slow.