Currently, I set the following keymap to my .vimrc:

nnoremap <C-z> :NERDTreeToggle ~/Dropbox/jupyter/<CR>

However, I sometimes want to trigger it with different directory, for example:


However, I tried the following command with the following answer, but it did not work.

:NERDTreeToggle getcwd()
:NERDTreeToggle pwd

How can I get the current directory to insert into the command-line mode?

  • 2
    Interactively, use the = expression register with control r
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Aug 1, 2018 at 21:58
  • 1
    @D.BenKnoble I just came back to this question to add that to my answer! Goodjob.
    – Rich
    Aug 2, 2018 at 5:29

3 Answers 3


The arguments you pass to a command are used as text, not as expressions, so unless a command specifically evaluates the expression in its implementation, passing an expression such as getcwd() won’t function how you’re hoping.

Instead, you can write a command where the expression is evaluated before being passed to the argument:

:execute 'NERDTreeToggle' getcwd()

You might need to add a bit more handling for paths that contain spaces to stop them being passed as separate arguments:

:execute 'NERDTreeToggle' escape(getcwd(), ' ')

Alternatively, you can use the expression register to add the result of a function directly. While in command-line mode press Ctrl-R= and then type your function getcwd() and press Enter.


Looks like

:NERDTreeToggle .

is doing what you're looking for -- several other commands work this way :sp, :e...

If you want to use getcwd(), you would have needed to play with :execute, or c_CTRL-R_= in that case. I prefer the later when I can (from mappings, or from the command-line e.g.).

nnoremap µ :NERDTreeToggle <c-r>=getcwd()<cr><cr>

Interactively, this means you'd have to type CTRL+R and conclude with ENTER, twice.

If your question was "the directory from the current file", interactively I usually type CTRL+R % CTRL-W (^W once or twice depending . is in the &isk list or not). In a mapping/script/..., instead of getcwd(), I call expand('%:h'), or expand('%:p:h') to have an absolute path.


getcwd(), so the command you want would be :NERDTreeToggle getcwd().

You just exchanged one character. pwd means print working directory. cwd means current working directory. That's why the function name is a bit different.

  • Sorry, it was a typo. As written in the linked answer, it is getcwd() but still did not work...
    – Blaszard
    Aug 1, 2018 at 18:15
  • But then the command works, the trouble is using it on the mapping?
    – Spidey
    Aug 2, 2018 at 10:40

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