I found out about printing using the :hardcopy command, and on my Mac it opens up the output in a PDF named "0.pdf", then the next printing from that file opens "1.pdf", etc.

I can save these files, of course, but I'm wondering: Where are these files stored on disk? Is there a setting which controls it somewhere?

I haven't been able to find the output files anywhere, including checking /tmp. Appreciate any tips in the right direction.

:set printexpr? yields system('open -a Preview '.v:fname_in) + v:shell_error

The PDF viewer can't be made to show the file as being anywhere. All usual methods for finding where the currently open file is aren't working at all.

  • Where does your PDF viewer show them as being located?
    – muru
    Mar 15 '16 at 6:26
  • 1
    The printexpr setting should be used for this; so using :set printexpr? might yield some useful information? Mar 15 '16 at 6:47
  • @Carpetsmoker, I updated the question with the answers to your and muru's questions.
    – Wildcard
    Mar 15 '16 at 8:34

I found it using lsof:


And then I found the other files alongside it using find:

find /private/var/folders/cr/jsb8dl_50lbdy05hj7v2l9wr0000gn/T/com.apple.Preview -type f

I still don't know why it was put here, but at least I found it.

  • 1
    You could have found it by dragging the icon in the title bar to a terminal window.
    – romainl
    Mar 15 '16 at 8:44
  • @romainl, indeed! Usually right click on the icon will show the parent directories, but not in this case. Dragging did the trick and is much faster than lsof; thanks!
    – Wildcard
    Mar 15 '16 at 8:50

From :help pexpr-option:

Expression that is evaluated to print the PostScript produced with :hardcopy. The file name to be printed is in v:fname_in.

It's a bit of a hack, but you can simply echo the v:fname_in variable to a file:

:let &printexpr = "system('echo '.v:fname_in.'>> /home/martin/hardcopy')"

And then examine the created hardcopy file, I found that on my Linux system it's /tmp/vVLcfMS/6, which indeed looks like a postscript file with the contents of my buffer ;-)

For OS X you probably want to use a path like /Users/Wildcard/hardcopy...

Pretty sure there's an easier way than this in OS X somehow, unless Saint Jobs the Magnificent decided that this was somehow not required for his petty mortal users (would not surprise me)... In any case, it's a useful lesson in basic "printf debugging" ;-)

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