I am working on split (using ^w+v, ^w+s) buffers, but sometimes I would like to widen a current split or change its height. How can I achieve that?

6 Answers 6


There are several window commands that allow you to do this:

  • Ctrl+W +/-: increase/decrease height (ex. 20<C-w>+)
  • Ctrl+W >/<: increase/decrease width (ex. 30<C-w><)
  • Ctrl+W _: set height (ex. 50<C-w>_)
  • Ctrl+W |: set width (ex. 50<C-w>|)
  • Ctrl+W =: equalize width and height of all windows

See also: :help CTRL-W

  • 12
    Might also be worth noting that the 3rd and 4th options can take no count to resize to the maximum height/width. Dec 2, 2016 at 15:27
  • on windows, Cygwin, vim : when you vimdiff -o bigfile1.bash bigfile2.bash : ctrl-w = : opens a MiniBufExplorer 3rd window on top (and the 3 windows are now equal in size), and closing that one makes the first .bash file's window 2 timse bigger than the 2nd .bash file window. Same operation with 2 .vim files gives same results. :( Same with vim -o Oct 25, 2017 at 17:03
  • Asking for shortcut for the first two options vi.stackexchange.com/questions/16786/…
    – KcFnMi
    Jul 18, 2018 at 11:43
  • @Michael: It doesn't work, I have to put a large constant like 200 before them to maximize the window. Apr 3, 2021 at 4:30
  • @job_start I don't know what to tell you. I wrote a script using it in 2016, and it's still in use today with no complaints. execute "norm! \<c-W>_" Apr 3, 2021 at 19:42

You can also use the resize commands:

  • :resize [+-]N - resize a horizontal split, increasing or decreasing height by N characters.
  • :vertical resize [+-]N - resize a vertical split, increasing or decreasing height by N characters.
  • :resize N - resize a horizontal split, setting height to N characters.
  • :vertical resize N - resize a vertical split, setting width to N characters.

These are equivalent to the Ctrlw commands. See :help window-resize.

  • Similar to: vim.wikia.com/wiki/Resize_splits_more_quickly
    – FilBot3
    Nov 27, 2018 at 15:43
  • 1
    I am so happy I finally found the easiest way to do this is resize command. Control commands are a menace, I keep playing ping pong without resizing any frame with it.. thank you @muru
    – nitinr708
    Mar 10, 2020 at 14:55

This is one of the few reasons I like to use vim's mouse mode.

If you use the GUI version, or your terminal supports sending drag events (such as xterm or rxvt-unicode) you can click on the split line and drag to resize the window exactly where you want, without a lot of guess work using the ctrl-w plus,minus,less,greater combinations.

In terminal versions, you have to set mouse mode properly for this to work

:set mouse=n

(I use 'n', but 'a' also works)

and you have to set the tty mouse type

:set ttymouse=xterm2

A lot of people say that a lot of time is wasted using the mouse (mostly due to the time it takes to move your hand from the keyboard to the mouse and back), but I find that, in this case, the time saved by having immediate feedback while adjusting the window sizes and the quickness of re-resizing (keep moving the mouse instead of typing another key sequence) outweighs the delay of moving my hand.

  • 12
    I couldn't agree more, I found in Gnome-terminal :set mouse=n is enough, but to enable when inside tmux :set ttymouse=xterm2 is needed. Nov 26, 2015 at 3:17
  • 1
    Absolutely true, I love keyboard, but this kind of things are better with mouse.
    – calbertts
    Jun 26, 2017 at 15:28
  • 2
    Totally agree with "but I find that, in this case, the time saved by having immediate feedback while adjusting window sized and the quickness of re-resizing (keep movving the mouse instead of typing another key sequence) outweighs the delay of moingmy hand.". Apr 9, 2019 at 2:46

Seems no one mentioned z{nr}<CR>.

If you :h ^w_, then will see z{nr}<CR> just below it, which have same effect as CTRL-W_.

If you do not need z= for spell check, and added below to .vimrc,

" vertical resize, z0<CR> minimize, z= equalize, z99<CR> maximize.
nnoremap z= <C-w>=

Then for change window height:

  • z0<CR> to minimize height of current window
  • z99<CR> to maxmize height of current window
  • z= to make them all equal
  • 5
    this use of z is a little unintuitive. I think we should stick to C-W mappings. It's nice to know what's out there though.
    – 3N4N
    May 21, 2018 at 3:32

Resize splits more quickly

You can use the :resize command or its shortcut :res to change the height of the window. To change the height to 60 rows, use:

:resize 60

You can also change the height in increments. To change the height by increments of 5, use:

:res +5
:res -5

You can use :vertical resize to change the width of the current window. To change the width to 80 columns, use:

:vertical resize 80

You can also change the width in increments. To change the width by increments of 5, use:

:vertical resize +5
:vertical resize -5
  • 1
    This is very unlikely to be Resize splits more quickly, unless these commands are bound to keybindings, which has been done out of the box
    – 3N4N
    May 21, 2018 at 3:34
  • Don't entirely agree Enan's statement. I like this answer imho
    – craft
    Dec 23, 2018 at 14:53

For some reason (likely a plugin) the standard C-w > (etc.) did not work in my ~/.vimrc.

These .vimrc additions worked (Ctrl-Shift-Left ... where Left | Right = left and right arrow keys, respectively.

" noremap <silent> <C-S-Left> :vertical resize +5<CR>
" noremap <silent> <C-S-Right> :vertical resize -5<CR>
noremap <silent> <C-S-Left> :vertical resize +1<CR>
noremap <silent> <C-S-Right> :vertical resize -1<CR>
  • I just tried this and got an error message when trying C-S-Left: "E16: Invalid range".
    – Magnus
    Jun 15, 2020 at 14:11
  • @Magnus : just looked at my ~/.vimrc : as above. Tested on :vs in Vim 8.2 (Linux system): works. Perhaps you have an error in your lines (or some other issue)? imgur.com/gallery/h7lGYhK Jun 15, 2020 at 15:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.