Some time ago I completely got rid of the status line. Vertical space is a scarcity in the modern HD world. The only thing I missed from it is an ability to see what file I'm working with. So I'm looking for a way of displaying it in the command line.

I tried to change the ruler to something like: set rulerformat=%60(%=%f\ %P%). It's essentially works. But when a window is smaller than those 60 characters, the ruler takes all the space. So I can't see error messages, which appears on the left side of the command line. And I couldn't find a way to display left-side content on top of the ruler.

The current way I use - is printing filename after changing a buffer. I'm ok with it being rewritten by a command or an error afterwards:

" Automatically show current file name in the command line
" TODO: after :wq the name is printed in the buffer we're leaving after the
" message about its successful writing
" I've tried: BufEnter, WinEnter, TabEnter
autocmd BufEnter * echo @% =~ '^\/.*$' ? @% : './' . @%

It works almost perfect except of the case of :wq, when filename is printed after the writing message and as there's more than a single line, I'm getting the Press ENTER or type command to continue. It's not critical, but still, a bit annoying.

So my question is if you have any suggestions how to fix one of described approaches or if there's a better one?

1 Answer 1


One simple fix is to get your autocmd to clear the "file written" message before echoing:

autocmd BufEnter * redraw | echo @% =~ '^\/.*$' ? @% : './' . @%

You get subtly different behaviour (the redraw is a bit faster) if you add !:

autocmd BufEnter * redraw! | echo @% =~ '^\/.*$' ? @% : './' . @%

The obvious downside to this approach is that you don't get to see the "file written" message, or indeed, any errors. (Although you can probably figure these out from context: if the window didn't close that means there was an error.)

The alternative is instead to suppress your echo when doing a :wq:

augroup InstallPseudoStatus
  autocmd CursorHold * call s:install_autocmd()
augroup END

function! s:install_autocmd() abort
  augroup PseudoStatus
    autocmd BufEnter * echo @% =~ '^\/.*$' ? @% : './' . @%
  augroup END

cabbrev <expr> wq (getcmdpos() == 3) ? 'augroup PseudoStatus <bar> execute "autocmd!" <bar> augroup END <bar> wq' : 'wq'

This works by installing your autocommand with a CursorHold autocommand, and then removing it again just before performing a wq, by means of a command line abbreviation.

If you don't like the behaviour of CursorHold, you could try CursorMoved instead, or use a timer.

  • Thanks, Rich. It works perfectly. I'm just wondering if I can miss some important messages this way?
    – imbolc
    May 6, 2020 at 8:55
  • @imbolc Yes, I think you can. See my edit for an alternative solution that avoids this issue.
    – Rich
    May 6, 2020 at 9:02

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