I've never in 5+ years of vim usage and writing all kinds of custom plugins been able to properly figure out how to use the gvim -P windowname command line option.

According to vim's own documentation, it's used to pop a gvim window into an MDI environment. Perhaps the main problem is that MDI sort of died with the introduction of things like Silverlight, WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) and later HTML5. So there are very few programs still even using MDI. For example, Eclipse uses a tabbed environment (although there is a fantastic Vim pop-in solution for that called Eclim).

Every time I've tried to use it, it's failed, even with programs that have an MDI environment. MDI meaning multiple document interface - almost like a remote desktop session - where you can move windows around, resize them, collapse and tile, etc.

Whenever I try it, it just dies as if I didn't do anything, spitting out an error about an invalid window name. I've been totally unable to figure out how to use it, or what the correct "window name" is that it's looking for. I've tried the name of the program, the window title, and even the raw process name.

Does anyone know how to correctly use the -P command line parameter for gvim?

  • 2
    The doc says: "Note that the implementation is still primitive. It won't work with all applications and the menu doesn't work." So, basically, you shouldn't expect it to work at all. In any case, the vim_dev mailing list is almost certainly a better place for this question.
    – romainl
    Nov 17, 2016 at 20:53
  • True, except that I've tried that and no one answers it. I was hoping someone on here would have experience with using it. I've sent multiple emails to that dev distro and no one has ever responded to any of them. This includes emails asking them how to register my copy of vim (aka how to give them monetary support). If I didn't get a response to that question, I doubt I will ever get a response to any question.
    – Tim
    Nov 17, 2016 at 20:57
  • @Tim, what do you mean? Usually questions are answered. It might be, that no one knows your answer, but for sponsoring an answer should be given (however this is described on the vim website) Nov 18, 2016 at 7:08
  • @ChristianBrabandt Who knows, maybe I've been sending stuff to the wrong email address.
    – Tim
    Nov 18, 2016 at 14:59


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