I would like to add to my vimrc a custom command (:customFilter {pattern}) for filtering text and placing result in a new tab.

I tried using :global or :vimgrep /{pattern}/ % but the problem is that I would like to redirect this result of global or content of Quickfix list (without name of file) to a new tab.

Please help.


my file:

class TemperatureNode {
    + uint8_t getTemperatureValue()
    + void setTemperatureValue(uint8_t newVal)
    + uint8_t getHumidityValue()
    + void setHumidityValue(uint8_t newVal)

and then I call :customFilter void and get:

+ void setTemperatureValue(uint8_t newVal)
+ void setHumidityValue(uint8_t newVal)

Having this with line numbers from the filtered file would be even better.

  • What do you want to do with that new buffer?
    – romainl
    Aug 21, 2015 at 7:39
  • This would be mainly for searching through the logs, so having few buffer/tab with results of filtering would allow me to debug more efficiently (huge app, syslog debugging). But if you're asking more literally- I want to save this buffer/tab to a file.
    – lewiatan
    Aug 21, 2015 at 8:05

2 Answers 2


You can create a new empty buffer in a new tab and then populate it with the result of a grep search on the previous file:

:tabnew|0r!grep -n pattern #

In a mapping:

nnoremap <key> :tabnew\|0r!grep -n  #<Left><Left>

Which works like this:

enter image description here

--- edit ---

Here is an alternative command that works with the current buffer instead of the current file:

:%y z|tabnew|0put=@z|%!grep -n pattern


:%y z                 " yank the whole buffer in register z
:tabnew               " edit a new buffer in a new tab
:0put=@z              " put the yanked text in that new buffer
:%!grep -n pattern    " do your filtering

As a command:

:command! -nargs=1 -range=% Filter <line1>,<line2>y z|tabnew|0put=@z|%!grep -n '<q-args>'


:Filter pattern        " works on the whole buffer by default
:5,20Filter pattern    " works on the supplied range
  • This is great but has a flaw- it only works with existing files and doesn't work with new buffer/tab. Do you have any idea how to make this work for unsaved files? And one more question what does #<Left><Left> and the # itself do? EDIT: I get this <Left><Left> - it's just moving cursor for it to be in the right place to insert "pattern"
    – lewiatan
    Aug 21, 2015 at 18:17
  • # represents "the alternate file" (usually it's the previous buffer). It is expanded by Vim before sending the command to the shell.
    – romainl
    Aug 21, 2015 at 19:19
  • Ok. Thanks. I tested it in gVim but I get "shell returned 1" and an empty buffer, but similar :command! -nargs=1 Filter %y z|tabnew|0put=@z|%!grep -n <args> works perfect (a little bit slow though). That's what I needed! Thanks again.
    – lewiatan
    Aug 22, 2015 at 10:47

First clear an register: qaq second, append all matching lines using the :g command:

:g/pattern/y A

Third, put all matches on a new page

:tabnew +$put\ A

If you want to be able to make changes on those filtered mached, have a look at my NrrwRgn Plugin. The advantage is, once you save the narrowed buffer, the changes will be taken back into the original buffer.

  • ok. this works. but I don't get what qaq does? it simply starts recording macro and then leave it. what's the purpose here?
    – lewiatan
    Aug 21, 2015 at 8:07
  • As I said, clear a register Aug 21, 2015 at 8:50

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