I want to go to the search result in the right-window, identified after performing a /urllib search in the left window.

Pressing n\N doesn't proceed to search results in other windows. How can I proceed to search results in other windows?

enter image description here

  • 3
    Move to that window and hit n?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


If you really want to do this...

function! CycleWindowsSearch(direction) abort   
    " set forward to set variables accordingly
    let forward = a:direction
    if ! v:searchforward
        let forward = forward ? '0' : '1'
    " search forward / backward
    let searchflags = forward ? 'W' : 'Wb'
    " next or previous window
    let winmove = forward ? 'w' : 'W'
    " cursor at top or bottom
    let curmove = forward ? '1' : '$'

    " save first window ID
    let firstwin=winnr()
    " try to search
    if ! search(@/, searchflags)
        " move to next (or previous) window
        execute('wincmd ' . winmove)
        " save cursor position
        let savepos = getcurpos()
        " move to top (or bottom)
        call cursor(curmove, curmove)
        " redo for each window untill back to first
        while ! search(@/, searchflags) && firstwin != winnr()
            call setpos('.', savepos)
            execute('wincmd ' . winmove)
            call cursor(curmove, curmove)

nnoremap <silent> n :call CycleWindowsSearch('1')<cr>
nnoremap <silent> N :call CycleWindowsSearch('0')<cr>


  • go to first (or last) match of buffer when switching window (not depending on cursor position)
  • skips windows where pattern is not found, without losing their position
  • courtesy to @filbranden for all his suggestions


  • the "hit bottom" or "hit top" message is obliterated.
  • pressing 'n' when a pattern is not found anywhere (e.g after it was replaced with something else) will move the cursor to top (or bottom)
  • 1
    Yeah... At least I tried. Will update it later with your comment in mind.If you can tell me how I can check whether we're in / or ?, I'll take it, thanks!
    – Biggybi
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 6:31
  • 1
    I recently got into a rabbit hole like this too. This is yet another case where the Vimscript solution will be super hard to get right, with all corner cases... And the problem is so trivial that it's almost a non-issue at all (I mean, just change windows yourself, right?) Anyways, if you want to go down this route, I hope at least you get something out of it, should be an interesting learning experience.
    – filbranden
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 6:40
  • 1
    I think I'd also recommend fully implementing this using the search() function, not using the normal!s. Remove the 'n' flag so it does move the cursor. If it doesn't find it, move to the next window and repeat the same(?) search command. Instead of having two branches, simply store the flags in a variable and set it to 'b' or '' depending on which way you're going.
    – filbranden
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 6:44
  • 1
    A lot to answer here. First, I indeed mainly implemented this for personal training, but I still want it to work fine. This implementation does not seem to affect the default behavior when there's only one window (which is good). I expected you to mention corner cases (thanks for that). This function cycles windows even if they don't match, that's a flaw. I think it should skip them, and focus the first match if there's one (I may have to gg or G the window then). Thanks for your comments, as I mentioned I'll update my answer later when I have enough time to work on it.
    – Biggybi
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 7:01
  • 1
    @filbranden It's done! I think it's pretty consistent now, and less complex than I feared.
    – Biggybi
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 15:57

As @D. Ben Knoble said in the comments, you have to change focus to the new window, for example <c-w>w, if there are only two windows open. Then hit 'n'.

If this is an issue you frequently encounter, consider creating a mapping. In this case, to make <c-s> the way to search in the new window you could add to your .vimrc the following.

nnoremap <c-s> <c-w>wn
  • Thank you, what is <c-s> used for here? I know <c-w>w changes focus to next window.
    – Shuzheng
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 15:29
  • Nothing I know of by default, but you may have mapped it to something. Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 16:12
  • 1
    Careful though, <c-s> and <c-q> are mapped to terminal flow control, which needs to be disabled in order to map them. There's a topic on that subject.
    – Biggybi
    Commented May 9, 2020 at 23:39
  • Well, there you go. Don't use <c-s> Commented May 11, 2020 at 21:03

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