Is there a way to list the buffers specific to the tab that is open currently in vim or macvim?

2 Answers 2


The following code defines a new command :LsByTab that parses the output of :ls and groups it by tabs. You can call the command with an exclamation mark and/or the flags supported by :ls.

" Get the output of :ls as a List of lines.
function! s:LsOutput(bang, args)
    redir => ls_output
    exe 'silent ls' . a:bang a:args
    redir END
    return split(ls_output, "\n")

" Group the output of :ls by tabs and print it.
function! LsByTab(bang, args)
    let ls_output = s:LsOutput(a:bang, a:args)

    " Iterate over all tabs.
    for tab in gettabinfo()
        echo '===== tab' tab.tabnr '====='
        " Get the buffer numbers for the current tab.
        let buffers = tabpagebuflist(tab.tabnr)
        " Construct a regular expression that matches the buffer numbers
        " at the start of the lines of the :ls output.
        let buffers_pat = '^\s*\(' . join(buffers, '\|') . '\)\>'
        " Filter the lines from the :ls output so that only the lines for
        " the buffers of the current tab remain.
        let tab_buffers = filter(copy(ls_output), 'v:val =~ buffers_pat')
        " Print the info for the current tab.
        echo join(tab_buffers, "\n")

command! -bang -nargs=? LsByTab call LsByTab(<q-bang>, <q-args>)

The following code will give you the file names for the current tab (if the buffer in a window is connected to a file):

" Get the buffer numbers of all windows on the current tab
let buffers = tabpagebuflist(tabpagenr())
" Get the name of each buffer
let buffernames = map(copy(buffers), {key, val -> bufname(val)})
" Print the buffer names
echo buffernames

This needs a sufficiently new version of Vim, which supports lamdas.

  • 2
    You can replace the 2 first commands by let buffers = tabpagebuflist(). :h tabpagebuflist()
    – statox
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 10:22
  • @statox Thank you, done. When searching for an adequate function in the docs I had only looked for something matching get*(). :-( Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 11:29
  • Lambda free version: let buffernames = map(copy(buffers), 'bufname(v:val)'). Also you can see function group by category via :h function-list Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 17:25
  • This only tells you the number of the currently open buffers though. I was hoping something more like ls command that groups buffers by which tab they are in.
    – tushar
    Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 3:09
  • 1
    @tushar You should update your question to make this more clear. See my second answer for a solution that matches your reworded question. Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 8:40

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