Here is my document; the entire text is on a single line:

enter image description here

However, I would like it to be not so wide; for example by using set textwidth=40 and gq I get my desired results:

enter image description here

The problem with this is that it affects the actual contents of the buffer, whereas I want the changes to be just visual.

I looked at changing columns, but that changes the width of my terminal as well, and this seems like a hack in the first place.

Is there any good way to add a margin to the right side? (The example is slightly exaggerated; in reality I'd want more like 4-5 characters)


  • 3
    all those distraction free plugins just create empty windows around the main window (which you usually cannot enter) to have it look like a single window. There is no other possibility as far as I know. I believe there is even an entry in the todo list about a wrapmargin setting. But so far this has not been done yet. (I started working on a patch several years ago, but never really got around finishing it up to be ready for inclusion and I believe the neovim devs have a similar PR open) Jun 29, 2017 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


I would simply just :rightbelow vnew together with :set wrap and adjust the windows at will


If you can't find a decent solution that actually rearranges text perhaps you'll be in the market for a way to make the margin stand out visually. I use the colorcolumn option.

:h 'colorcolumn'

'colorcolumn' is a comma separated list of screen columns that are highlighted with ColorColumn |hl-ColorColumn|. Useful to align text. Will make screen redrawing slower.

The screen column can be an absolute number, or a number preceded with '+' or '-', which is added to or subtracted from 'textwidth'.

I take it to the extreme and color "all" columns right of my textwidth setting with this

let &colorcolumn='+' . join(range(1,256), ',+')

(I've not had any issues with slow screen redraws but this might not work well with slower gfx configurations.)

Here is an example with a subtle color choice. Color can be changed by changing appropriate highlight: :highlight ColorColumn ctermbg=4 ...

enter image description here

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