I'm using nvim v0.4.3 and am trying to apply some of the tricks + alpha (e.g. disabling substitution preview) to make editing large files faster.

I want to do that even to unnamed buffers (i.e. buffers without actual filenames), but I don't know how to get the size of the current buffer's content in vim script.

For named buffers, one can use getfsize() but it doesn't work for unnamed buffers.

g<C-g> displays the size in bytes, but I want to get the size info in vim script. It looks like getbufinfo() doesn't return the size info.

Is there any way to do it?

Thank you.

  • Welcome to Vi and Vim!
    – filbranden
    Jun 13, 2020 at 15:08
  • 1
    @filbranden Thanks for the hello and the perfect answer!
    – noname
    Jun 13, 2020 at 15:52
  • 2
    Happy to help! Btw I found about it under :help g_CTRL-G, so one great piece of advice with (Neo)Vim is to always start with the help system, which is really thorough!
    – filbranden
    Jun 13, 2020 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


The wordcount() function will return statistics for the current buffer, including the total number of bytes and total number of characters.

From :help wordcount():

The result is a dictionary of byte/chars/word statistics for the current buffer. This is the same info as provided by g_CTRL-G.

The return value includes:

  • bytes: Number of bytes in the buffer
  • chars: Number of chars in the buffer
  • etc.

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