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numbers.vim is a plugin for intelligently toggling line numbers.

This plugin alternates between relative numbering (relativenumber) and absolute numbering (number) for the active window depending on the mode you are in. In a GUI, it also functions based on whether or not the app has focus.

Commands are included for toggling the line numbering method and for enabling and disabling the plugin.


  • Vim 7.3+


Using pathogen or vundle for installation is recommended.

For pathogen users, clone the repo:

git clone ~/.vim/bundle/numbers

For vundle users, add the following to your .vimrc and then run a :BundleInstall:

Bundle "myusuf3/numbers.vim"

Numbers Don't Belong

If you see numbers where they don't belong like in the help menus or other vim plugins be sure to add your plugins to the excludes list in your vimrc like so

let g:numbers_exclude = ['tagbar', 'gundo', 'minibufexpl', 'nerdtree']

The plugin by default contains the following:

let g:numbers_exclude = ['unite', 'tagbar', 'startify', 'gundo', 'vimshell', 'w3m']$

So be sure to include the superset in your vimrc or gvimrc


Once installed, no action is required on your part. But for convenience, you may want to add mappings in your .vimrc for some of the commands, e.g.,

nnoremap <F3> :NumbersToggle<CR>
nnoremap <F4> :NumbersOnOff<CR>

Vim 7.4

If you are lucky enough to be a Vim 7.4 user, you may experience unexpected behaviour if set number is not present in your ~/.vimrc.