How do I open a file to view in a new tab? Specifically, I want the read-only equivalent of :tabe[dit] <filename>. I have tried

:tab :view <filename>

but that does not create a new tab as the documentation would suggest.

1 Answer 1


:tab <cmd> opens a tab where a <cmd> would have opened a window. :view doesn't open a window, so :tab view doesn't open a tab :-) See :help :tab.

However, we also have the :sview command, which does:

Same as ":split", but set 'readonly' option for this buffer.

This does open a window. So :tab sview file opens a tab.

:sview is short for "split view". You can abbreviate to to :sv, and you can also leave out the second :.

Your question suggests you're not very familiar with Vi/Vim terminology. Many people are confused about this, so don't worry :-) :help window is a good read for an introduction. It has a useful summary at the start:

A buffer is the in-memory text of a file.
A window is a viewport on a buffer.
A tab page is a collection of windows.

  • 1
    Thanks. Just what I was looking for. And thanks for the primer on vi/Vim terminology. One correction: while the command is called "splitview" the :splitview command does not exist. It's just :sview or :sv.
    – adurity
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 23:57
  • @adurity Oops, thanks. That was in the help file, but I misread >_< Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 0:01

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