My ideal editing layout would look like this (in Gvim):

|       |                      |                         |
|   N   |                                                |
|   E   |                      |                         |
|   R   |                Editing Area                    |
|   D   |-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   |
|       |  (various splits, horizontal and/or vertical)  |
|   T   |                      |                         |
|   r   |                                                |
|   e   |                      |                         |
|   e   |------------------------------------------------|
|       |                                                |
|       | Terminal window (:terminal)                    |
|       |                                                |
|       |                                                |

Note in particular:

  1. I want the terminal window to open at the bottom. Setting splitbelow might work for this, but it would affect all splits, not only the terminal window.
  2. I can move the terminal to the bottom with <C-W>J, but this puts it below NERDTree, requiring me to then toggle NERDTree.

I'm looking to create a mapping that will allow me to open a terminal and place it where indicated in my diagram. Any ideas?

2 Answers 2


We start with:

:bel terminal

When :bel[owright] is followed by a command that splits a window the new window is opened below the current one. That means we first need to get to the bottom right window of the existing layout and then do :bel. Ctrl-W b is how we'd go to the bottom right in Normal mode. The Ex command equivalent is :wincmd b.

Combining into a mapping...

:nnoremap <leader>t :wincmd b \| bel terminal<CR>
  • Thanks. The following mapping is a start: nmap <silent> <leader>s :belowright split terminal<CR>:terminal ++curwin ++close<CR><F2> (note that I'm explicitly using nmap so that I can use my tnoremap <F2> to set the size). However, it isn't exactly what I was looking for since if I'm using vertical splits, the terminal only appears below one of the splits instead of across all but the leftmost. Jan 18, 2019 at 1:03
  • I think it would be easier, in that case, to use a mapping that does Ctrl-W J (or equivalent) on the terminal followed by Ctrl-W H on NERDTree rather than try to maneuver things around conditionally.
    – B Layer
    Jan 18, 2019 at 1:11
  • So you could use what I have in my answer, followed by :wincmd J | wincmd k | wincmd H....or something like that. (of course, you'd only do that conditionally...if there were a split on the left taking up full height). This is probably going to make more sense with a function rather than just in a mapping. Suggest you define very clearly what the "rules" are if you want that answered for y ou.
    – B Layer
    Jan 18, 2019 at 1:14
  • OK: Now I've got nmap <silent> <leader>s :wincmd b<CR>\t:belowright split terminal<CR><C-W>J10<C-W>_\t:wincmd b<CR>:terminal ++curwin ++close<CR>, which is good enough for now. (\t is <leader>t, my mapping to toggle NERDTree.) Thanks. Jan 18, 2019 at 1:43
  • Oh, okay. so it's really just the NERDTree case you care about. For the heck of it I may spend a little time on a more general approach. If I come up with something I'll post it here. Cheers.
    – B Layer
    Jan 18, 2019 at 3:40

The following workflow commands can help me structure Vim windows like your desire.

1.Split below window

set splitbelow

2.Execute NERDTree

autocmd VimEnter * NERDTree

3.Change cursor to editor console

autocmd VimEnter * wincmd p

4.Open terminal

autocmd VimEnter * terminal

5.Switch to terminal window

autocmd VimEnter * wincmd k

6.Increase size of main editor console

autocmd VimEnter * 10 wincmd +

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