This is the 10th post of my post series on nifty Nvim/Vim techniques that will make my editing experience easier.

Click here to check other posts in this series.

Equal sign (=) is recognized as part of file name

I have a config file where it has a line like file_path=path/to/file.txt. When the cursor is after the = sign, I tried to use gf to open the file path/to/file.txt. I got the following error:

E447: Can’t find file “file_path=path/to/file.txt” in path.

Apparently, Vim thinks that = is part of the file name and tries to open the wrong file. It turns out that gf is using the option isfname to decide which character is valid for a file name. So we need to remove = from this option.

set isfname-==

Open a buffer in vertical split

There are several ways to do this:

  • :vsplit +b{count}: {count} represents the buffer number, as shown by :ls or :buffers command.
  • :vsplit #{count}: {count} has the same meaning as above.
  • :vert sb {count}: {count} has the same meaning as above.
  • :vert sb {buf_name}: {buf_name} represents the path to a file. It supports completion for buffer names, i.e., you only need to type part of the path and then press <Tab> for completion.


Disable syntax highlighting for a particular filetype

When we open a YAML file using Neovim, if the file has thousands of lines, cursor movement will be slowed down considerably due to Vim’s slow syntax highlighting feature. In this case, we may want to turn syntax highlight off for YAML based on its line numbers. We can use FileType autocmd to detect the file type and set the syntax option to disable syntax highlighting.

augroup yaml_syntax_off
   autocmd FileType yaml if line('$') > 500 | setlocal syntax=OFF | endif
augroup END

Note that we use setlocal syntax=OFF instead of syntax off, because syntax off will turn off syntax highlight for all the buffers currently opened, which is not what we want.


I get error when I try to call a plugin function in init.vim?

I want to call a plugin’s function in my init.vim, but I get an error that the function does not exist? However, when nvim is opened, I call the function without any errors. What happened?

The called function is in a script under plugin directory. This is because the plugin has not been properly initialized. We can call the plugin function after VimEnter event:

autocmd VimEnter * call my_plugin_func()


Generate a list of incrementing numbers one per line

I would like to generate a list of incrementing numbers:


How do we do it in Vim? First, generate a list of same numbers. Input 0 in the first line, press yy and then press 4p to generate five zeros:


Then move the cursor to first 0, and press Ctrl-V, followed by 4j to visual select this block. Finally, press g, followed by pressing Ctrl-A. We will get what we want.

Another way is to use :put command: :put =range(1, 5), which is more concise.