I have this issue where I need to both compare files, which I do using vimdiff, but also work on individual files with vertically split screens (vs). However, after I call vimdiff on a file, opening the file again later I see that scrollbind and cursorbind are set, which gets annoying to deactivate manually all the time. Is there a way to turn off scrollbind and cursorbind off automatically on exit form vimdiff?

As a clarification, here's an example of what I experience:

$ vim foo.txt             # works fine, noscrollbind and nocursorbind are set
$ vimdiff foo.txt bar.txt # works as expected, scrollbind and cursorbind are set during diff
$ vim foo.txt             # now scrollbind and cursorbind remain set, which I don't want
  • 1
    See if :diffoff solves the problem. Will post an answer if it works for you. Add ! if you want it to effect all windows (in current tabpage).
    – B Layer
    Jun 16, 2021 at 18:06
  • It doesn't. Also I know how to set noscrollbind and set nocursorbind, but I don't want to do it every time manually, as the steps I outlined above are part of a workflow that I use very often.
    – mivkov
    Jun 16, 2021 at 18:08
  • Yes, I just tried it.
    – mivkov
    Jun 16, 2021 at 18:10
  • That didn't change the outcome either.
    – mivkov
    Jun 16, 2021 at 18:12
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – B Layer
    Jun 16, 2021 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


There's a command that is made to deal with exactly that: :diffoff

It's effect on the current window...

    'diff'      off
    'scrollbind'    off
    'cursorbind'    off
    'scrollopt' without "hor"
    'wrap'      on
    'foldmethod'    "manual"
    'foldcolumn'    0

In other words it reverses all the settings put in place by :diff.

Now in your case we've encountered a bit trickiness. The command isn't working for you, you've reported, and that's apparently due to the fact that you're running the diff from the command line with vimdiff.

Fortunately, there's a variation of the command that will extend its effects to all windows (in the current tabpage): :diffoff! (the difference is the bang ! appended to the command). You've reported success with this.

Update: Ah, thanks to DBK's insightfulness we've solved the mystery of why 'scrollbind' and 'cursorbind' are getting preserved when a previously closed diff'ed file is reopened. (Which don't sound right.)

@mivkov is actually doing mkview in an autocommand and thus those two settings are persisted. The key line is basically this:

autocmd BufWinLeave * mkview 

And, fortuitously, this actually lends itself to a bonus for the OP...an easy way to automate the running of :diffoff which they weren't too keen on doing manually. Problem solved with a bit of a modification to that auto command:

autocmd BufWinLeave * if &diff | diffoff | endif | mkview

And everyone goes home happy!

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