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Jumping to previously visited locations

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created 2001 · complexity basic · author Yegappan · version 6.0

Vim remembers the locations you have recently visited (where you jumped from). Each position (file name, column number, line number) is recorded in a jump list, and each window has a separate jump list that records the last 100 positions where a jump occurred.

The commands that are regarded as "jumps" include searching, substitute and marks. Scrolling through a file is not regarded as jumping.

The jump list is saved between edits (provided the 'viminfo' option has the ' parameter), so you can see where jumps occurred from previous editing sessions. :help 'viminfo'

Using a jump listEdit

Like a web browser, you can go back, then forward:

  • Press Ctrl-O to jump back to the previous (older) location.
  • Press Ctrl-I (same as Tab) to jump forward to the next (newer) location.

Display the jump list for the current window with:


Your current location in the jump list is indicated with '>', and the first number in each row is a count that can be used to jump to that position. For example, after pressing Ctrl-O three times, the :jumps command may show something like this:

 jump line  col file/text
   4   102    0 somefile.txt
   3    93    0 -invalid-
   2    23    0 the current line 23 is shown here
   1    89   34 the current line 89 is shown here
>  0    22   40 Display the jump list for the current window with:
   1    39    0 the current line 39 is shown here
   2   995    0 anotherfile.txt
   3    53  102 the current line 53 is shown here

Given the above, you could press:

  • Ctrl-I to jump to line 39 in the current buffer.
  • Ctrl-O to jump to line 89 in the current buffer.
  • 4 then Ctrl-O to jump to line 102 in file somefile.txt.
  • 3 then Ctrl-I to jump to line 53 in the current buffer.

In the example above:

  • The last line was added to the jump list when the first Ctrl-O was pressed (so you can return to the initial position: line 53, column 102).
  • Line 93 in the current buffer no longer exists (the jump location is invalid).

Using a script to select a jump in the listEdit

Using this vimrc function, you can enter the number of a jump to go to the desired jump:

function! GotoJump()
  let j = input("Please select your jump: ")
  if j != ''
    let pattern = '\v\c^\+'
    if j =~ pattern
      let j = substitute(j, pattern, '', 'g')
      execute "normal " . j . "\<c-i>"
      execute "normal " . j . "\<c-o>"

You can invoke the function in command mode:

:call GotoJump()

After this, you will see the list of jumps and be asked to select a jump. If you type 4 and press Enter, it will take you back to the 4th jump. If you type +4 and press Enter, it will take you forward to the 4th jump in the list. If you press Escape, nothing happens.

You can also have a mapping for it, for example:

nmap <Leader>j :call GotoJump()<CR>

See alsoEdit



You can also use g; and g, to move backward and forward in your edit locations.

One thing that may not be imediately evident is that this works only line-wise. You can't have more tham one jump per-line. If you use any of the jump generator commands inside the line, only one jump is saved.

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