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tabpage.txt   For Vim version 7.4.  Last change: 2015 Jan 04

                  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Bram Moolenaar

Editing with windows in multiple tab pages.             tab-page tabpage

The commands which have been added to use multiple tab pages are explained
here.  Additionally, there are explanations for commands that work differently
when used in combination with more than one tab page.

1. Introduction                 tab-page-intro
2. Commands                     tab-page-commands
3. Other items                  tab-page-other
4. Setting 'tabline'            setting-tabline
5. Setting 'guitablabel'        setting-guitablabel

{Vi does not have any of these commands}
{not able to use multiple tab pages when the +windows feature was disabled
at compile time}

1. Introduction                                         tab-page-intro

A tab page holds one or more windows.  You can easily switch between tab
pages, so that you have several collections of windows to work on different

Usually you will see a list of labels at the top of the Vim window, one for
each tab page.  With the mouse you can click on the label to jump to that tab
page.  There are other ways to move between tab pages, see below.

Most commands work only in the current tab page.  That includes the CTRL-W
commands, :windo, :all and :ball (when not using the :tab modifier).
The commands that are aware of other tab pages than the current one are
mentioned below.

Tabs are also a nice way to edit a buffer temporarily without changing the
current window layout.  Open a new tab page, do whatever you want to do and
close the tab page.

2. Commands                                             tab-page-commands


When starting Vim "vim -p filename ..." opens each file argument in a separate
tab page (up to 'tabpagemax').  See -p

A double click with the mouse in the non-GUI tab pages line opens a new, empty
tab page.  It is placed left of the position of the click.  The first click
may select another tab page first, causing an extra screen update.

This also works in a few GUI versions, esp. Win32 and Motif.  But only when
clicking right of the labels.

In the GUI tab pages line you can use the right mouse button to open menu.

:[count]tabe[dit]                               :tabe :tabedit :tabnew
                Open a new tab page with an empty window, after the current
                tab page.  If [count] is given the new tab page appears after
                the tab page [count] otherwise the new tab page will appear
                after the current one. 
                    :tabnew     " opens tabpage after the current one
                    :.tabnew    " as above
                    :+tabnew    " opens tabpage after the next tab page
                                " note: it is one further than :tabnew
                    :-tabnew    " opens tabpage before the current one
                    :0tabnew    " opens tabpage before the first one
                    :$tabnew    " opens tabpage after the last one

:[count]tabe[dit] [++opt] [+cmd] {file}
:[count]tabnew [++opt] [+cmd] {file}
                Open a new tab page and edit {file}, like with :edit.
                For [count] see :tabnew above.

:[count]tabf[ind] [++opt] [+cmd] {file}                 :tabf :tabfind
                Open a new tab page and edit {file} in 'path', like with
                :find.  For [count] see :tabnew above.
                {not available when the +file_in_path feature was disabled
                at compile time}

:[count]tab {cmd}                                       :tab
                Execute {cmd} and when it opens a new window open a new tab
                page instead.  Doesn't work for :diffsplit, :diffpatch,
                :execute and :normal.
                When [count] is omitted the tab page appears after the current
                When [count] is specified the new tab page comes after tab
                page [count].  Use ":0tab cmd" to get the new tab page as the
                first one.
                        :tab split      " opens current buffer in new tab page
                        :tab help gt    " opens tab page with help for "gt"

CTRL-W gf       Open a new tab page and edit the file name under the cursor.
                See CTRL-W_gf.

CTRL-W gF       Open a new tab page and edit the file name under the cursor
                and jump to the line number following the file name.
                See CTRL-W_gF.


Closing the last window of a tab page closes the tab page too, unless there is
only one tab page.

Using the mouse: If the tab page line is displayed you can click in the "X" at
the top right to close the current tab page.  A custom 'tabline' may show
something else.

                                                        :tabc :tabclose
:tabc[lose][!]  Close current tab page.
                This command fails when:
                - There is only one tab page on the screen.             E784
                - When 'hidden' is not set, [!] is not used, a buffer has
                  changes, and there is no other window on this buffer.
                Changes to the buffer are not written and won't get lost, so
                this is a "safe" command. 
                    :tabclose       " close the current tab page

:tabc[lose][!] {count}
                Close tab page {count}.  Fails in the same way as :tabclose
                    :-tabclose      " close the previous tab page
                    :+tabclose      " close the next tab page
                    :1tabclose      " close the first tab page
                    :$tabclose      " close the last tab page

                                                        :tabo :tabonly
:tabo[nly][!]   Close all other tab pages.
                When the 'hidden' option is set, all buffers in closed windows
                become hidden.
                When 'hidden' is not set, and the 'autowrite' option is set,
                modified buffers are written.  Otherwise, windows that have
                buffers that are modified are not removed, unless the [!] is
                given, then they become hidden.  But modified buffers are
                never abandoned, so changes cannot get lost. 
                    :tabonly        " close all tab pages except the current

                Close all tab pages except the {count}th one. 
                    :.tabonly       " one
                    :-tabonly       " close all tab pages except the previous
                                    " one
                    :+tabonly       " close all tab pages except the next one
                    :1tabonly       " close all tab pages except the first one
                    :$tabonly       " close all tab pages except the last one


Using the mouse: If the tab page line is displayed you can click in a tab page
label to switch to that tab page.  Click where there is no label to go to the
next tab page.  'tabline'

:tabn[ext]                              :tabn :tabnext gt
<C-PageDown>                            CTRL-<PageDown> <C-PageDown>
gt                                      i_CTRL-<PageDown> i_<C-PageDown>
                Go to the next tab page.  Wraps around from the last to the
                first one.

:tabn[ext] {count}
{count}gt       Go to tab page {count}.  The first tab page has number one.

:tabp[revious]                          :tabp :tabprevious gT :tabN
:tabN[ext]                              :tabNext CTRL-<PageUp>
<C-PageUp>                       <C-PageUp> i_CTRL-<PageUp> i_<C-PageUp>
gT              Go to the previous tab page.  Wraps around from the first one
                to the last one.

:tabp[revious] {count}
:tabN[ext] {count}
{count}gT       Go {count} tab pages back.  Wraps around from the first one
                to the last one.

:tabr[ewind]                    :tabfir :tabfirst :tabr :tabrewind
:tabfir[st]     Go to the first tab page.

                                                        :tabl :tablast
:tabl[ast]      Go to the last tab page.

Other commands:
:tabs           List the tab pages and the windows they contain.
                Shows a ">" for the current window.
                Shows a "+" for modified buffers.


:tabm[ove] [N]                                          :tabm :tabmove
                Move the current tab page to after tab page N.  Use zero to
                make the current tab page the first one.  Without N the tab
                page is made the last one. 
                    :.tabmove   " do nothing
                    :-tabmove   " move the tab page to the left
                    :+tabmove   " move the tab page to the right
                    :0tabmove   " move the tab page to the beginning of the tab
                                " list
                    :tabmove 0  " as above
                    :tabmove    " move the tab page to the last
                    :$tabmove   " as above
                    :tabmove $  " as above

:tabm[ove] +[N]
:tabm[ove] -[N]
                Move the current tab page N places to the right (with +) or to
                the left (with -). 
                    :tabmove -  " move the tab page to the left
                    :tabmove -1 " as above
                    :tabmove +  " move the tab page to the right
                    :tabmove +1 " as above

Note that although it is possible to move a tab behind the N-th one by using
:Ntabmove. And move it by N places by using :+Ntabmove. For clarification what
+N means in this context see [range].


                                                        :tabd :tabdo
:[range]tabd[o] {cmd}
                Execute {cmd} in each tab page or if [range] is given only in
                tab pages which tab page number is in the [range].  It works
                like doing this: 
               This only operates in the current window of each tab page.
                When an error is detected on one tab page, further tab pages
                will not be visited.
                The last tab page (or where an error occurred) becomes the
                current tab page.
                {cmd} can contain '|' to concatenate several commands.
                {cmd} must not open or close tab pages or reorder them.
                {not in Vi} {not available when compiled without the
                +listcmds feature}
                Also see :windo, :argdo, :bufdo, :cdo, :ldo, :cfdo
                and :lfdo

3. Other items                                          tab-page-other

The GUI tab pages line has a popup menu.  It is accessed with a right click.
The entries are:
        Close           Close the tab page under the mouse pointer.  The
                        current one if there is no label under the mouse
        New Tab         Open a tab page, editing an empty buffer.  It appears
                        to the left of the mouse pointer.
        Open Tab...     Like "New Tab" and additionally use a file selector to
                        select a file to edit.

Diff mode works per tab page.  You can see the diffs between several files
within one tab page.  Other tab pages can show differences between other

Variables local to a tab page start with "t:". tabpage-variable

Currently there is only one option local to a tab page: 'cmdheight'.

The TabLeave and TabEnter autocommand events can be used to do something when
switching from one tab page to another.  The exact order depends on what you
are doing.  When creating a new tab page this works as if you create a new
window on the same buffer and then edit another buffer.  Thus ":tabnew"
        WinLeave                leave current window
        TabLeave                leave current tab page
        WinEnter                enter window in new tab page
        TabEnter                enter new tab page
        BufLeave                leave current buffer
        BufEnter                enter new empty buffer

When switching to another tab page the order is:

4. Setting 'tabline'                                    setting-tabline

The 'tabline' option specifies what the line with tab pages labels looks like.
It is only used when there is no GUI tab line.

You can use the 'showtabline' option to specify when you want the line with
tab page labels to appear: never, when there is more than one tab page or

The highlighting of the tab pages line is set with the groups TabLine
TabLineSel and TabLineFill.  hl-TabLine hl-TabLineSel hl-TabLineFill

A "+" will be shown for a tab page that has a modified window.  The number of
windows in a tabpage is also shown.  Thus "3+" means three windows and one of
them has a modified buffer.

The 'tabline' option allows you to define your preferred way to tab pages
labels.  This isn't easy, thus an example will be given here.

For basics see the 'statusline' option.  The same items can be used in the
'tabline' option.  Additionally, the tabpagebuflist(), tabpagenr() and
tabpagewinnr() functions are useful.

Since the number of tab labels will vary, you need to use an expression for
the whole option.  Something like: 
        :set tabline=%!MyTabLine()

Then define the MyTabLine() function to list all the tab pages labels.  A
convenient method is to split it in two parts:  First go over all the tab
pages and define labels for them.  Then get the label for each tab page. 

        function MyTabLine()
          let s = ''
          for i in range(tabpagenr('$'))
            " select the highlighting
            if i + 1 == tabpagenr()
              let s .= '%#TabLineSel#'
              let s .= '%#TabLine#'

            " set the tab page number (for mouse clicks)
            let s .= '%' . (i + 1) . 'T'

            " the label is made by MyTabLabel()
            let s .= ' %{MyTabLabel(' . (i + 1) . ')} '

          " after the last tab fill with TabLineFill and reset tab page nr
          let s .= '%#TabLineFill#%T'

          " right-align the label to close the current tab page
          if tabpagenr('$') > 1
            let s .= '%=%#TabLine#%999Xclose'

          return s

Now the MyTabLabel() function is called for each tab page to get its label. 

        function MyTabLabel(n)
          let buflist = tabpagebuflist(a:n)
          let winnr = tabpagewinnr(a:n)
          return bufname(buflist[winnr - 1])

This is just a simplistic example that results in a tab pages line that
resembles the default, but without adding a + for a modified buffer or
truncating the names.  You will want to reduce the width of labels in a
clever way when there is not enough room.  Check the 'columns' option for the
space available.

5. Setting 'guitablabel'                                setting-guitablabel

When the GUI tab pages line is displayed, 'guitablabel' can be used to
specify the label to display for each tab page.  Unlike 'tabline', which
specifies the whole tab pages line at once, 'guitablabel' is used for each
label separately.

'guitabtooltip' is very similar and is used for the tooltip of the same label.
This only appears when the mouse pointer hovers over the label, thus it
usually is longer.  Only supported on some systems though.

See the 'statusline' option for the format of the value.

The "%N" item can be used for the current tab page number.  The v:lnum
variable is also set to this number when the option is evaluated.
The items that use a file name refer to the current window of the tab page.

Note that syntax highlighting is not used for the option.  The %T and %X
items are also ignored.

A simple example that puts the tab page number and the buffer name in the
        :set guitablabel=%N\ %f

An example that resembles the default 'guitablabel': Show the number of
windows in the tab page and a '+' if there is a modified buffer: 

        function GuiTabLabel()
          let label = ''
          let bufnrlist = tabpagebuflist(v:lnum)

          " Add '+' if one of the buffers in the tab page is modified
          for bufnr in bufnrlist
            if getbufvar(bufnr, "&modified")
              let label = '+'

          " Append the number of windows in the tab page if more than one
          let wincount = tabpagewinnr(v:lnum, '$')
          if wincount > 1
            let label .= wincount
          if label != ''
            let label .= ' '

          " Append the buffer name
          return label . bufname(bufnrlist[tabpagewinnr(v:lnum) - 1])

        set guitablabel=%{GuiTabLabel()}

Note that the function must be defined before setting the option, otherwise
you get an error message for the function not being known.

If you want to fall back to the default label, return an empty string.

If you want to show something specific for a tab page, you might want to use a
tab page local variable. t:var


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