According to :help filename-modifiers, :!echo %:~ should echo the path of a file relative to my home directory. If I am editing ~/tmp/SomeFile.txt, I would expect tmp/SomeFile.txt. Instead, I get /home/User.Name/tmp/SomeFile.txt. Am I misunderstanding the help, or is there anything I can do to further troubleshoot this?

The output of :version is:

VIM - Vi IMproved 8.2 (2019 Dec 12, compiled Mar 30 2020 21:51:17)
Included patches: 1-486
Modified by <cygwin@cygwin.com>
Compiled by <cygwin@cygwin.com>
Huge version with GTK3 GUI.  Features included (+) or not (-):
+acl               -farsi             -mouse_sysmouse    -tag_old_static
+arabic            +file_in_path      +mouse_urxvt       -tag_any_white
+autocmd           +find_in_path      +mouse_xterm       -tcl
+autochdir         +float             +multi_byte        +termguicolors
-autoservername    +folding           +multi_lang        +terminal
+balloon_eval      -footer            -mzscheme          +terminfo
+balloon_eval_term +fork()            +netbeans_intg     +termresponse
+browse            +gettext           +num64             +textobjects
++builtin_terms    -hangul_input      +packages          +textprop
+byte_offset       +iconv             +path_extra        +timers
+channel           +insert_expand     +perl/dyn          +title
+cindent           +job               +persistent_undo   +toolbar
+clientserver      +jumplist          +popupwin          +user_commands
+clipboard         +keymap            +postscript        +vartabs
+cmdline_compl     +lambda            +printer           +vertsplit
+cmdline_hist      +langmap           +profile           +virtualedit
+cmdline_info      +libcall           +python/dyn        +visual
+comments          +linebreak         +python3/dyn       +visualextra
+conceal           +lispindent        +quickfix          +viminfo
+cryptv            +listcmds          +reltime           +vreplace
+cscope            +localmap          +rightleft         +wildignore
+cursorbind        +lua/dyn           +ruby/dyn          +wildmenu
+cursorshape       +menu              +scrollbind        +windows
+dialog_con_gui    +mksession         +signs             +writebackup
+diff              +modify_fname      +smartindent       +X11
+digraphs          +mouse             +sound             -xfontset
+dnd               +mouseshape        +spell             +xim
-ebcdic            +mouse_dec         +startuptime       +xpm
+emacs_tags        -mouse_gpm         +statusline        +xsmp_interact
+eval              -mouse_jsbterm     -sun_workshop      +xterm_clipboard
+ex_extra          +mouse_netterm     +syntax            -xterm_save
+extra_search      +mouse_sgr         +tag_binary        
   system vimrc file: "/etc/vimrc"
     user vimrc file: "$HOME/.vimrc"
 2nd user vimrc file: "~/.vim/vimrc"
      user exrc file: "$HOME/.exrc"
  system gvimrc file: "/etc/gvimrc"
    user gvimrc file: "$HOME/.gvimrc"
2nd user gvimrc file: "~/.vim/gvimrc"
       defaults file: "$VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim"
    system menu file: "$VIMRUNTIME/menu.vim"
  fall-back for $VIM: "/etc"
 f-b for $VIMRUNTIME: "/usr/share/vim/vim82"
Compilation: gcc -c -I. -Iproto -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -DFEAT_GUI_GTK  -I/usr/include/gtk-3.0 -I/usr/include/pango-1.0 -I/usr/include/glib-2.0 -I/usr/lib/glib-2.0/include -I/usr/include/cairo -I/usr/include/pixman-1 -I/usr/include/freetype2 -I/usr/include/libpng16 -I/usr/include/uuid -I/usr/include/harfbuzz -I/usr/include/gdk-pixbuf-2.0 -I/usr/include/gio-unix-2.0/ -I/usr/include/atk-1.0 -I/usr/include/at-spi2-atk/2.0 -I/usr/include/at-spi-2.0 -I/usr/include/dbus-1.0 -I/usr/lib/dbus-1.0/include -D_REENTRANT    -ggdb -O2 -pipe -Wall -Werror=format-security -fstack-protector-strong --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -fdebug-prefix-map=/usr/src/ports/vim/vim-8.2.0486-1.x86_64/build=/usr/src/debug/vim-8.2.0486-1 -fdebug-prefix-map=/usr/src/ports/vim/vim-8.2.0486-1.x86_64/src/vim-8.2.0486=/usr/src/debug/vim-8.2.0486-1 -fstack-protector-strong -D_REENTRANT  -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=1       
Linking: gcc   -L. -fstack-protector-strong  -L/usr/local/lib -Wl,--as-needed -o vim.exe   -lgtk-3 -lgdk-3 -lpangocairo-1.0 -lpango-1.0 -latk-1.0 -lcairo-gobject -lcairo -lgdk_pixbuf-2.0 -lgio-2.0 -lgobject-2.0 -lglib-2.0 -lintl  -lSM -lICE -lXpm -lXt -lX11 -lXdmcp -lSM -lICE  -lm    -lncursesw -lcanberra  -liconv -lacl -lattr -lintl   -Wl,--enable-auto-import -Wl,--export-all-symbols -Wl,--enable-auto-image-base -fstack-protector-strong  -L/usr/lib/perl5/5.30/x86_64-cygwin-threads/CORE -lperl -lpthread -ldl -lcrypt        

Try this instead:

:echo expand('%:~')

When you do :!{cmd} then you're executing that command in the shell. I don't know how well Vim filename modifiers work when shelling out a command.

By using the expand() function, then you're guaranteed that the filename modifiers will work as you expect them to.

  • It seems to work. I get ~/tmp/SomeFile.txt. I was really hoping to use Bash to pipe it to putclip, which is the system clipboard. Actually, I would pipe it to putclp, which is my variation of putclip but deletes carriage returns using tr '\n' ''. I can still use :redir @* and :redir END, but it involves more steps and the resulting text in the clipboard needs cleaning up. But thanks, I know what the likely problem is. Aug 30 '21 at 21:45
  • 1
    :exe "!echo " . expand('%:~') will expand the filename the same way as :echo expand('%:~') and send it to shell echo. However, when you do echo ~/foo/bar.txt in a shell that will, depending on the shell/implementation, display /home/you/foo/bar.txt.
    – B Layer
    Aug 31 '21 at 7:58
  • @B Layer: Thanks. It's becoming a trade-off of how much typing to do. Sep 12 '21 at 19:42

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