I am using vim as a book reader.
For this purpose I have three windows open as shown

 |~           ||The book I'm||~           |  
 |~           ||reading here||~           |  
 |~           ||It's a braw ||~           |  
 |~           ||licht moon  ||~           |  
 |~           ||licht nicht ||~           |  
 |~           ||the nicht in||~           |  
 |~           ||Echt        ||~           |  

I am reading in the middle window only.
This way I get a page about the same width as a book, and it makes for comfortable reading.

Can I turn the visible vertical borders between windows off so I don't see them?

3 Answers 3


To get rid of the | character between vertical windows you can set 'fillchars''s vert option to space. See :h 'fillchars' for more infomation

set fillchars+=vert:\ 

NOTE: there is a space being escaped at the end of the line

  • thanks. With the escaped space at the end of the line included it places the backslash vertically in the middle of the grey vertical bar, on each row. The grey vertical bar does not dissapear.
    – Kes
    Mar 4, 2021 at 17:05

You can set foreground and background of the VertSplit highlighting group to the background color of your Vim instance:

:hi VertSplit ctermfg=bg ctermbg=bg guifg=bg guibg=bg
  • thanks. I tried that and get the E420: BG colour unknown error. I tried :set bg=dark before hand but this made little difference
    – Kes
    Mar 4, 2021 at 17:10
  • 1
    @Kes I think this happens, because Vim does not know the default background color. Try to also explicitly set the Normal highlighting group using :hi Normal ctermfg=white ctermbg=black (or similar) Mar 4, 2021 at 19:37
  • 1
    @Kes see this question for removing the end of buffer marker: vi.stackexchange.com/questions/14225/… Mar 4, 2021 at 21:33
  • 1
    @Kes :hi Normal will tell you what that highlight group is defined as. More generally, :h :highlight is a useful read for how colours are set. Mar 4, 2021 at 22:12
  • 1
    @job_start No, not completely. For the background colors it would not make a difference, but for the foreground color Vim would then use the Normal foreground color instead of the background color as with ctermfg=bg and guifg=bg. This two ...bg values were chosen to make the actual glyph "invisible". Dec 22, 2022 at 6:54

You might want to check out the Goyo plug-in, which uses Vim windows to create a focus area at the center of the screen, free of distractions.

See an example screenshot below:

Screenshot of Goyo

  • 1
    thanks @Filbranden, I will check it out. Currently I am using Vim Mutton plug-in github.com/gabenespoli/vim-mutton.git. Seems Goyo may be a better choice.
    – Kes
    Mar 4, 2021 at 22:11
  • 1
    hi @Filbranden, i've tested Goyo. That's a very nice plugin. I've already started using it! :)
    – Kes
    Mar 5, 2021 at 0:38

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