I can open a file with vim on the command line like so:

vim fnord.txt +50

And it will take me to the 50th line

Is it possible to do the same thing with :split? So far I haven't been able to figure out how to do it.

  • :split fnord.txt +50
  • :split fnord.txt ++50
  • :split fnord.txt:50

None of these work, and I didn't see anything searching for line within :help split.

  • :h CTRL-W_F could be also of use.
    – Matt
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 6:54

3 Answers 3


You are so close:

:split +50 fnord.txt

All commands in vim that create new buffer has prototype:

cmd [++opt] [+cmd] [file]

All commands in vim that write buffer to your disk has prototype:

cmd [++opt] [file]

:h ++opt is only used for special options that should be set before read or write a buffer.

:e ++fileformat=dos file
:e ++encoding=latin1 file
:e ++binary file
:e ++nobinary file
:e ++bad=?
:w ++enc=latin1 newfile
read ++edit file

Note the last read ++edit file change 'fileformat' and 'fileencoding' to values the same as :e file.

:h +cmd can be used to do any ex command:

:e +50 file
:e +/main file
:e +echo\ "blah\ blah" file
:e +setlocal\ textwidth=120 file
  • perfect! I figured there was something, and I was just missing it. Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 16:54

:split file | :50 should work, from command line. The separator separate commands. A number typed as command jumps to that line number.


vim [file] +50 +split to split horizontally

vim [file] +50 +vsto split vertically

  • This doesn't really answer the question; it creates the appropriate split, but not the way the OP wants. I imagined OP started on file a, and then wanted to :split b, but have b be on the 50th line.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Jan 4, 2020 at 17:11
  • The question only specified one filename so I thought it wasn't about multiple files. Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 7:14

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