I've been searching far and wide around tutorials, :help command, source code, Stacks but maybe I just can't form my query correctly in the vimscript lingo.
My goal is to have a short command for switching buffers like:
42B or B42 that will switch the view to 42nd buffer. I don't want to monkey-map all the series B1, B2, B3 ..., though. So I want to treat 42 as an argument to some underlying function that chooses the appropriate buffer.

Pls halp.

1 Answer 1


There actually is a built-in map which does this, <c-^> or control+^

If you don't like this (it is indeed difficult to press), you can remap it simply.

nnoremap gb <c-^>

Note: I am using gb here since B is already a vim command. You can use B if you really want, but be aware that you would be overriding a built-in.

I am also going to show how to make this map if there weren't already a command <c-^>. Since there is an ex-command :buffer N which does what we need, the map would take the following pattern:

nnoremap <silent> gb :<c-u>buffer <c-r>=v:count<cr><cr>

The only tricky parts are <c-u> which eliminates the line-oriented address vim places after : by default and <c-r>=v:count<cr> which means enter the current count into the cmdline.

  • 1
    This is brilliant! Thank you so much. I'll definitely be using that. For the record, <c-^> chooses the buffer with that exact number and I wanted something more robust, that would be able to skip over the holes coming from closed buffers. But it's unnecessary complex and I can always just map :bn to something sensible... Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 19:42

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