When I used :silent to run a terminal command in the background, my vim screen goes blank, until I navigate through my code, at which point each line I move to reappears.

What gives?

2 Answers 2


This works as designed, and is documented under :help :silent:

      ":silent" will also avoid the hit-enter prompt.  When
      using this for an external command, this may cause the
      screen to be messed up.  Use |CTRL-L| to clean it up

You can also use the :redraw command.

  • 4
    I found I needed to use redraw! - without the bang it was like I'd done nothing
    – JonnyRaa
    Jan 30, 2018 at 10:38

For me, I found out that I couldn't use redraw to chain a command like this:

:!command | redraw

I tried with and without '!' i.e. 'redraw' or 'redraw!' with no luck : I always had to hit Ctrl-L to get my screen back.

I found a solution to this here and I did this instead:

:call system('command')

No need to call redraw.

For info, I was trying to send tmux commands to another pane from vim. Now my command, that I run when saving my buffer, looks like this:

:w | call system('tmux send-keys -t 1 "glow foo.md" Enter')

This obviously needs some more scripting and error checking, but you get the idea.

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