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README.md

Vem Tabline

Vem Tabline is a lightweight Vim/Neovim plugin to display your tabs and buffers at the top of your screen using the editor's tabline.

Vem Tabline - Screenshot

Vem tabline shows your tabs as numbered workspaces at the right of the top line of the screen and the list of open buffers to the left.

Features

  • Use of Vim's native tabline (no horizontal splits).

  • Support for displaying both buffers and tabs simultaneously.

  • Possibility of reordering the buffers in the tabline.

  • Support for Vim's native commands (no re-mappings necessary —there are key mappings offered by the plugin but they are optional).

  • Support to show the buffer number together with its name.

  • Mouse support for clicking on both buffers (only Neovim) and tabpage numbers.

  • Lightweight, performant and just focused on providing the tabline functionality.

Note: Vem Tabline is a component of a bigger Vim configuration setup named Vem. Hence the plugin name. Vem Tabline can be used independently from the Vem project though. Other components of Vem are:

Installation

You can use Vem Tabline right away without additional configuration. Just install the plugin and start using it. You only need to configure it if you want to manually order the buffers in the tabline (explained below) or to show the buffer number together with its name.

You need at least Vim 7.4 or Neovim to use Vem Tabline.

Note: If you don't have set it yet, probably you may want to specify:

set hidden

in your vimrc file so you can switch buffers without having to save their changes before.

Moving Buffers in Tabline

Vem Tabline allows you to change the order in which buffers are shown in each tab. To do so, use the following <Plug> mappings:

<Plug>vem_move_buffer_left-: Move selected buffer to the left <Plug>vem_move_buffer_right-: Move selected buffer to the right

Vim doesn't support ordering buffers natively so if you use :bnext and :bprev, they will not follow the order of buffers in the tabline if you have modified it. To avoid this problem you can use the following mappings:

<Plug>vem_prev_buffer-: Select previous buffer in tabline <Plug>vem_next_buffer-: Select next buffer in tabline

For example you could set your mappings like:

nmap <leader>h <Plug>vem_move_buffer_left-
nmap <leader>l <Plug>vem_move_buffer_right-
nmap <leader>p <Plug>vem_prev_buffer-
nmap <leader>n <Plug>vem_next_buffer-

You may also want to map the numbered keys to quickly access your tabs. To do so, use the following key mappings:

nnoremap <leader>1 :1tabnext<CR>
nnoremap <leader>2 :2tabnext<CR>
nnoremap <leader>3 :3tabnext<CR>
nnoremap <leader>4 :4tabnext<CR>
nnoremap <leader>5 :5tabnext<CR>
nnoremap <leader>6 :6tabnext<CR>
nnoremap <leader>7 :7tabnext<CR>
nnoremap <leader>8 :8tabnext<CR>
nnoremap <leader>9 :9tabnext<CR>

Deleting Buffers

If you reorder the buffers in the tabline and then you delete one of them, Vim will choose a new buffer to display instead. This will usually be the next buffer in Vim's jump list and not necessarily the next one in the tabline. If you delete several of them in a row, you don't really know which buffer will be selected in the tabline and the resulting effect looks a bit random.

If you want to have the next buffer in the tabline to be selected when you delete the current one, you can add something like this to your vimrc:

function! DeleteCurrentBuffer() abort
    let current_buffer = bufnr('%')
    let next_buffer = vem_tabline#tabline.get_replacement_buffer()
    try
        exec 'confirm ' . current_buffer . 'bdelete'
        if next_buffer != 0
            exec next_buffer . 'buffer'
        endif
    catch /E516:/
       " If the operation is cancelled, do nothing
    endtry
endfunction
nmap <leader>x :call DeleteCurrentBuffer()<CR>

With this, you can press <leader>x (typically \x), and the current buffer will be deleted, and the next one in the tabline selected. If the current buffer has unsaved changes, you'll be prompted to confirm.

Of course, you can adapt the snippet to your needs (like using bwipeout instead of bdelete) or choose a different key mapping.

Multiwindow mode

Vem Tabline offers a mode to show only relevant buffers depending on the layout of the current tabpage:

  • In tabs with only one window all buffers are listed.

  • In tabs with more than one window, only the buffers that are being displayed are listed.

This allows you to have a cleaner list of buffers depending on the tab that is active and goes well with Vim's philosophy of using tabs as workspaces to arrange windows in different configurations.

To enable this mode, set g:vem_tabline_multiwindow_mode to 1 in your vimrc. See Configuration for more information.

Color Scheme

Vem Tabline uses the default colors of your color scheme for rendering the tabline. However you may change them using the following highlighting groups:

Highlighting Group Default Meaning
VemTablineNormal TabLine Non-selected buffers
VemTablineLocation TabLine Directory name of non-selected buffers (when present)
VemTablineNumber TabLine Number of non-selected buffers (when present)
VemTablineSelected TabLineSel Currently selected buffer
VemTablineLocationSelected TabLineSel Directory name of the currently selected buffer (when present)
VemTablineNumberSelected TabLineSel Number of the currently selected buffer (when present)
VemTablineShown TabLine Buffers currently being displayed in windows
VemTablineLocationShown TabLine Directory name of the buffers being displayed (when present)
VemTablineNumberShown TabLine Number of the buffers being displayed (when present)
VemTablineSeparator TabLineFill '+X more' text
VemTablinePartialName TabLine Partially displayed buffer at the edge of the tabline
VemTablineTabSelected TabLineSel Selected tab
VemTablineTabNormal TabLineFill Non selected tab

For example, with the following code you can configure your tabline colors using different shades of grey:

Vem Tabline - Color scheme example

highlight VemTablineNormal           term=reverse cterm=none ctermfg=0   ctermbg=251 guifg=#242424 guibg=#cdcdcd gui=none
highlight VemTablineLocation         term=reverse cterm=none ctermfg=239 ctermbg=251 guifg=#666666 guibg=#cdcdcd gui=none
highlight VemTablineNumber           term=reverse cterm=none ctermfg=239 ctermbg=251 guifg=#666666 guibg=#cdcdcd gui=none
highlight VemTablineSelected         term=bold    cterm=bold ctermfg=0   ctermbg=255 guifg=#242424 guibg=#ffffff gui=bold
highlight VemTablineLocationSelected term=bold    cterm=none ctermfg=239 ctermbg=255 guifg=#666666 guibg=#ffffff gui=bold
highlight VemTablineNumberSelected   term=bold    cterm=none ctermfg=239 ctermbg=255 guifg=#666666 guibg=#ffffff gui=bold
highlight VemTablineShown            term=reverse cterm=none ctermfg=0   ctermbg=251 guifg=#242424 guibg=#cdcdcd gui=none
highlight VemTablineLocationShown    term=reverse cterm=none ctermfg=0   ctermbg=251 guifg=#666666 guibg=#cdcdcd gui=none
highlight VemTablineNumberShown      term=reverse cterm=none ctermfg=0   ctermbg=251 guifg=#666666 guibg=#cdcdcd gui=none
highlight VemTablineSeparator        term=reverse cterm=none ctermfg=246 ctermbg=251 guifg=#888888 guibg=#cdcdcd gui=none
highlight VemTablinePartialName      term=reverse cterm=none ctermfg=246 ctermbg=251 guifg=#888888 guibg=#cdcdcd gui=none
highlight VemTablineTabNormal        term=reverse cterm=none ctermfg=0   ctermbg=251 guifg=#242424 guibg=#4a4a4a gui=none
highlight VemTablineTabSelected      term=bold    cterm=bold ctermfg=0   ctermbg=255 guifg=#242424 guibg=#ffffff gui=bold

Configuration

The plugin is pretty simple and doesn't require manual configuration. However, there are some parameters that you may want to change. The most important ones are:

g:vem_tabline_show: boolean (default: 1)

The value of this option specifies how the tabline will be shown:

0: never shown
1: shown when there's more than one tab or buffer open
2: always shown

Note: Vim option `showtabline` is used for the same purpose and takes these
same values, however it only checks the number of tabs and ignores the
number of buffers when it is set to 1. Please, use `g:vem_tabline_show`
instead of `showtabline` since the plugin will override the value of the
option to fix this behavior.

g:vem_tabline_multiwindow_mode: boolean (default: 0)

When this mode is active, for layouts of multiple windows in the tabpage,
only the buffers that are displayed in those windows are listed in the
tabline. That only applies to multi-window layouts, if there is only one
window in the tabpage, all buffers are listed.

If this mode is set to 0, all buffers are listed in the tabline regardless
of the window layout.

g:vem_tabline_show_number: string (default: 'none')

Show number in front of each buffer. The possible values are:

    none: no number is shown
    buffnr: Vim's buffer number is shown
    index: displayed buffers are numbered sequentially starting from 1

Check the help file to get more information about how to switch to buffers
using the index number.

For more configuration options, check the Vim help file provided with the plugin.

Credits

There are many plugins to display the buffers in Vim. The design of Vem Tabline is based on two very cool ones: vim-buftabline and WinTabs. It doesn't share code with them but many ideas come from their original authors.

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