Vim has the command :goto to go to a byte offset in a buffer.

Is there an equivalent for a character offset? If not, is there a better way to implement it than repeatedly testing the cursor's character offset and moving backward/forward until you reach the right place?


1 Answer 1


This is working for me:

" Similar to the goto command, but for characters.
" index is 1-based, the start of the file.
function! GotoCharacter(index)
  call search('\m\%^\_.\{'.a:index.'}', 'es')

  " The search() function above counts a newline as 1 character even if it is
  " actually 2.  Therefore adjust the cursor position when newlines are
  " 2 characters.
  if &ff ==# 'dos'
    let [_whichwrap, &whichwrap] = [&whichwrap, "h,l"]
    let delta = wordcount().cursor_chars - a:index
    while delta != 0
      " Cannot land on a newline character.
      if (delta == -1 || delta == -2) && col('.') == col('$') - 1
      execute "normal! ".delta.(delta > 0 ? 'h' : 'l')
      let delta = wordcount().cursor_chars - a:index
    let &whichwrap = _whichwrap

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