When vim is split into different panes horizontally, each pane has its own statusline. It's easy to highlight the statuslines differently based on current and non-current panes. BUT, I cannot figure out how to set different values for StatusLine and StatusLineNC. Only the former is recognized by vim/neovim.

My plan is replace the values of non-active statuslines with em-dashes, making it look like a line-divider between panes. The active pane will have a conventional statusline with the a filepath, columns, row, etc.

How do you set separate values for them? Is this possible? Suggestions?

Bonus question: how can you repeat a single char through a statusline?

  • StatusLine and the NC variant are highlight groups; if you are referring to the 'statusline' option, Im afraid there is only one.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 22:04
  • 3
    correct, and there is no need for another option. You would set the statusline option to a function that checks what is the current window and returns the content for each statusline. This is basically what vim-airline does Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 6:24
  • Trying to make Christian's comment more noob-friendly: you can tell vim to show what you want based on the current status of split with BufEnter and BufLeave autocommands. Suggesting looking into from @ChristianBrabandt
    – 3N4N
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 14:28
  • Thanks, all insightful answers! I see now that this is possible, albeit a little cumbersome. I'll need some actual understanding of vimscript, so I've started reading "Learning Vimscript the hard way". I'll post the solution once I'm done. Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


To change the divider for the none current window you can do this with (look up :help fillchars):

set fillchars=stlnc:-

To change some content depending on whether it is the current or none current window:

function SomeText(nr)
    let activebuffer = (a:nr == win_getid()) ? "Active Window" : "None Current Window"
    let buf_type = &buftype
    return activebuffer." & ".buf_type
function MyStatusLineWrapper() abort
    let startup_win_id = win_getid()
    let s = "%{SomeText(".startup_win_id.")} ".startup_win_id
    return s

set statusline=%!MyStatusLineWrapper()

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