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I am currently using gvim in an MS-Windows environment.

As part of a vim script function, I need to open a pdf file. So I call system like so:

call system(l:pdf_file)

This opens and displays the pdf_file. Yet, the problem is, that the script hangs until I close the pdf viewer application. I'd rather have the script to continue with its execution.

So, I tried changing the function call to, in order to open and display my pdf file asynchronously:

call system('start ' . l:pdf_file)

Now, I get an E371: Command not found error.

I am not sure why this is and more importantly, how I can achieve what I want.

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Not sure why this happens. What works is to use :call system('start /b '.l:pdf_file) I guess you want the '/b' parameter anyhow, since this will prevent popping up a cmd windows. Also you probably want to use :sil! to prevent an error message, because vim tries to read back the result of this call. Perhaps it is easier to use :! start /b foobar.pdf

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