Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

𝓿𝓲𝓶 -𝓫𝓾𝓯𝓯𝓮𝓽

Brings you the IDE-like tabs into Vim, for easy navigation, and a nice, customizable look

Installation • Usage • Recommendations • FAQ • Credits • License

Note: This plugin has been renamed from vim-workspace and thus has also different prefix for the configuration and commands. Please revisit the README and use the new names of the configuration parameters, highlight groups and commands. Sorry for inconvenience.


vim-buffet Screenshot

Vim-buffet takes your buffers and tabs, and shows them combined in the tabline. With this you always have your list of buffers visible, at the same time not losing visibility into tabs. Moreover, vim-buffet provides handy commands to boost navigation as well as a list of options to customize how the tabline appears.

If you are new to the Vim world, then welcome, and start by learning Vim's notions of buffers, windows and tabpages.

But if you are an experienced Vim user, you might have got tired of bn/bp/ls/Ctrl-^.

Take a look at the screenshot. The blue cuties are the tabpages. The tabpage that has the buffers list coming next, is the current tabpage. The gray items with names are the hidden/inactive buffers, and obviously, the green one is the current buffer. The brighter items on both ends with the little arrows and numbers are the truncation indicators. If all the buffers do not fit the screen, vim-buffet truncates the tabline, and shows the number of truncated buffers on both ends.

Note: The instance of Vim in the screenshot is configured to use powerline symbols and dev-icons. The default interface is only text and will work without requiring any patched fonts. The default interface looks like in the screenshot below.

vim-buffet Screenshot


Use your favourite plugin manager to install vim-buffet. If you do not have any preference or have not decided yet, I would recommend Plug.

Plug 'bagrat/vim-buffet'

After installation, vim-buffet is enabled by default, so whenever you restart Vim, you will see the new tabline!



Apart from listing the buffers in the tabline, vim-buffet also provides some handy commands to manipulate the buffers:

  • Bw[!] - wipe the current buffer without closing the window. If is has unsaved changes, an error will be shown, and the buffer will stay open. To ignore any changes and forcibly wipe the buffer, use Bw!.
  • Bonly[!] - wipe all the buffers but the current one. If there are any buffers in the list that has unsaved changes, those will not be wiped. To ignore any changes and forcibly wipe all buffers except the current one, use Bonly!.


Mappings for switching buffers are also provided. You just need to add the following mappings to your Vimrc file:

nmap <leader>1 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(1)
nmap <leader>2 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(2)
nmap <leader>3 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(3)
nmap <leader>4 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(4)
nmap <leader>5 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(5)
nmap <leader>6 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(6)
nmap <leader>7 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(7)
nmap <leader>8 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(8)
nmap <leader>9 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(9)
nmap <leader>0 <Plug>BuffetSwitch(10)

This will allow you to switch between buffers 1 - 10. You can get more <Plug> mappings, or disable it completely, by configuring the g:buffet_max_plug option.


There are some configuration options that make it possible to customize how the tabline works and looks like.

🔩 Options

Options Default Descriptions
g:buffet_always_show_tabline 1 Set to 0, the tabline will only be shown if there is more than one buffer or tab open
g:buffet_powerline_separators 0 Set to 1, use powerline separators in between buffers and tabs in the tabline (see the first screenshot)
g:buffet_separator '' The character to be used for separating items in the tabline
g:buffet_show_index 0 Set to 1, show index before each buffer name. Index is useful for switching between buffers quickly
g:buffet_max_plug 10 The maximum number of <Plug>BuffetSwitch provided. Mapping will be disabled if the option is set to 0
g:buffet_use_devicons 1 If set to 1 and vim-devicons plugin is installed, show file type icons for each buffer in the tabline. If the vim-devicons plugin is not present, the option will automatically default to 0 (Note: you need to have vim-devicons loaded before vim-buffet in order to make this work)
g:buffet_tab_icon '#' The character to be used as an icon for the tab items in the tabline
g:buffet_new_buffer_name '*' The character to be shown as the name of a new buffer
g:buffet_modified_icon '+' The character to be shown by the name of a modified buffer
g:buffet_left_trun_icon '<' The character to be shown by the count of truncated buffers on the left
g:buffet_right_trun_icon '>' The character to be shown by the count of truncated buffers on the right
g:buffet_hidden_buffers ['terminal', 'quickfix'] The types of buffers to hide from the tabline (Note: This has the side effect of making all matching buffers unlisted)

ğŸŽ¨ Colors

Of course, you can customize the colors of your tabline, to make it awesome and yours. To get your custom colors set, define a function with name g:BuffetSetCustomColors and place your highlight group definitions inside the function.

" Note: Make sure the function is defined before `vim-buffet` is loaded.
function! g:BuffetSetCustomColors()
  hi! BuffetCurrentBuffer cterm=NONE ctermbg=5 ctermfg=8 guibg=#00FF00 guifg=#000000

The following is the list of highlight groups, with self-explanatory names:

Highlights Descriptions
BuffetCurrentBuffer The current buffer.
BuffetActiveBuffer An active buffer (a non-current buffer visible in a non-current window)
BuffetBuffer A non-current and non-active buffer.
BuffetModCurrentBuffer The current buffer when modified.
BuffetModActiveBuffer A modified active buffer (a non-current buffer visible in a non-current window).
BuffetModBuffer A modified non-current and non-active buffer.
BuffetTrunc The truncation indicator (count of truncated buffers from the left or right)
BuffetTab A tab


Here are some recommended mappings to boost your navigation experience:

noremap <Tab> :bn<CR>
noremap <S-Tab> :bp<CR>
noremap <Leader><Tab> :Bw<CR>
noremap <Leader><S-Tab> :Bw!<CR>
noremap <C-t> :tabnew split<CR>


How do I get the look like in the screenshot?

First you will need a patched font, extended with powerline and font-awesome symbols. Also, you will need the vim-devicons installed, which also has great guides on how to patch fonts, as well as some pre-patched fonts. As soon as you have the patched font, setting the following options, will give you exactly the same tabline as you see in the first demo screenshot:

let g:buffet_powerline_separators = 1
let g:buffet_tab_icon = "\uf00a"
let g:buffet_left_trunc_icon = "\uf0a8"
let g:buffet_right_trunc_icon = "\uf0a9"

Note: you need to have vim-devicons loaded before vim-buffet in order to make this work.

How to have the current buffer open in a new tab instead of a new one?

Just add this mapping to your Vimrc:

map <C-t> :tab split<CR>
I can only see the current active buffer in the tabline

The reason is that you probably use some statusline plugin (e.g. lightline, airline) that also has tabline support, which overrides vim-buffet. All you need to do is disable the tabline of the statusline plugin.

For lightline.vim

It should be something like this:

let g:lightline.enable.tabline = 0

If that's not working, checkout this issue especially this comment.


The icon in the header is made by Freepik from



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