How can I create a new buffer just after(next to) the one I am on ?

Let say I have three buffers opened (1, 2, 3) and I am (my cursor) currently in buffer 1. If I add a new buffer (with :edit for example) it will open it in buffer 4, but instead I want to open it in buffer 2 without deleting other existent buffers (so maybe buffer 2 and 3 will become 3 and 4, it's a sort of insert).

Are there any way to do this? (I did some research and found nothing). Thanks.

  • Why do you want to change a buffer number in the first place?
    – statox
    Jan 4, 2018 at 16:00
  • To switch more easily between buffers with :bn and :bp
    – renan
    Jan 4, 2018 at 16:36
  • 3
    I think that you are looking for the wrong solution: you would probably be more efficient if you learn other commands than bn and bp for example this SO answer might contain some interesting stuff for you.
    – statox
    Jan 4, 2018 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


There is no way to target buffer numbers in order to rearrange them or to say, "now it contains this file".

You could do a :b 2 + :%d_ + :read somefile, but that won't be enough, you'd also need to clear filetype, filename, local options and variables, syntax highlighting, and so on.

The best thing to do: forget buffer numbers, there is no way to organize them as you'd like.


If you're concerned to keep things "in order", using :argedit or :argadd adds the filename to the list and you can then stick to :n :N for navigation. I usually map a pair of keys (e.g. F3/F4) to mean previous / next so I don't have to keep hitting ESCAPE and : when I'm editing:

map! <special> <F3> <C-\><C-o><F3>
map! <special> <F4> <C-\><C-o><F4>
map <special> <F3> :N<Enter>
map <special> <F4> :n<Enter>

Yes, I know how lazy that is ...

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