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Maximize window and return to previous split structure

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created 2002 · complexity intermediate · author scotch2 · version 6.0

Say you have layed out a complex window split structure, and want to temporarily open one window with max dimensions, but don't want to lose your split structure. The following function and mappings let you toggle between the split windows and on window maximized. The mappings prevent the default behavior of calling :only and losing your finely tuned splits.

Put this bit in your vimrc file, change mappings if you don't want to override the defaults:

nnoremap <C-W>O :call MaximizeToggle()<CR>
nnoremap <C-W>o :call MaximizeToggle()<CR>
nnoremap <C-W><C-O> :call MaximizeToggle()<CR>

function! MaximizeToggle()
  if exists("s:maximize_session")
    exec "source " . s:maximize_session
    call delete(s:maximize_session)
    unlet s:maximize_session
    let &hidden=s:maximize_hidden_save
    unlet s:maximize_hidden_save
    let s:maximize_hidden_save = &hidden
    let s:maximize_session = tempname()
    set hidden
    exec "mksession! " . s:maximize_session


This was something that I wanted for a while as well. In Vim 7 there is a nice solution using tabs.

:tabedit % will open the current buffer in a new tab
:tabclose when finished and return to your finely tuned set of splits.

I mapped them to the following sequences for quick access.

nmap t% :tabedit %<CR>
nmap td :tabclose<CR>

I'm now far happier when editing several files at once.

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