I am breaking apart some files, and I'd like to paste what I cut into a brand new file, which I specify the name of. Something like:

:c file-that-doesnt-exist.txt

Where c is a key command.

Edit I've found :e, but that just takes me to a new buffer with the same clipboard. I would just like to magically dump the clipboard into a new file and continue editing the original file, without seeing a new buffer.

2 Answers 2


A fast way, working on entire lines, is to visually select the lines to move (V ...), then:

:'<,'>write! >> the_other_file.txt

... where '<,'> is automatically appended by Vim after you press :. This will append the range to that file, creating it if it doesn't exist. Then, a gv in normal mode will reselect the range, so you can easily delete it (d).

Then, it's even easier - select another range (V ...), hit : to open command-line, Ctrl-P to bring back the last command, Enter to copy the lines 1. Then gvd to delete them locally; rinse and repeat.

Alternatively, you could "cut" to a named register by appending to it (using the capital letter), e.g. on first text selection to cut: "ad, then (repeatedly): "Ad (on other selected text). At the end, edit the new file and paste from that register ("ap).

1Even better, use @: to repeat the last command (as Karl Yngve Lervåg suggests in the 1st comment below).

  • 1
    Even easier: Use @: to repeat last ex command. Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 6:09
  • Nice! I modified the post accordingly, even if its position is quite close to your comment :)
    – VanLaser
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 10:04
  • @KarlYngveLervåg what is an 'ex' command?
    – user151841
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 15:46
  • 1
    @user151841 Ex commands are commands you enter in command-line mode with :. See :help cmdline.txt. Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 17:58
  • 1
    @user151841 >> is used to append lines (concatenate, yes), and ! to create the file if it doesn't exist. To overwrite a file instead, use '<,'>write! the_other_file.txt (without >>, and no, without a > - it's not shell scripting). See :h :w! and :h :write_a.
    – VanLaser
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 19:36

An alternative is, assuming you want to store register a:

sp +0put\ a c:\temp\split.txt

Alternatively, you can use :e or :tabedit or even :new if you want a new unnamed buffer.

See the help

:h :put
:h +cmd
:h :new
:h :split_f

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