In NERDTree, if I select a file node and hit o, it opens the file in a window in the current tab. However, if that particular file is already open in another tab, NERDTree switches to that tab. I find this quite disorienting in my workflow.

Is there an option to tell NERDTree to stay in the current tab?

Update: I opened a pull request on the NERDTree repo at Github to add an option to prevent this tab-switching: https://github.com/scrooloose/nerdtree/pull/417

3 Answers 3


There is currently no way to do this.

From the source code (ref. lib/nerdtree/opener.vim line 238):

function! s:Opener._openFile()
    if self._reuse && self._reuseWindow()

And the _reuseWindow() function (ref. line 309):

function! s:Opener._reuseWindow()
    "check the current tab for the window
    let winnr = bufwinnr('^' . self._path.str() . '$')
    if winnr != -1
        call nerdtree#exec(winnr . "wincmd w")
        call self._checkToCloseTree(0)
        return 1
        "check other tabs
        let tabnr = self._path.tabnr()
        if tabnr
            call self._checkToCloseTree(1)
            call nerdtree#exec('normal! ' . tabnr . 'gt')
            let winnr = bufwinnr('^' . self._path.str() . '$')
            call nerdtree#exec(winnr . "wincmd w")
            return 1
    return 0

It wouldn't be too hard, however, to simply remove the entire else block in the code above (or comment it out). Since we're on the Vim site, why not do it with Vim:

vim "+/function! s:Opener._reuseWindow()" "+/else" "+normal d9j" "+wq" lib/nerdtree/opener.vim

Run this command from the directory in which the NERDTree plugin is located to automagically remove this functionality.

  • Thanks very much. I was hoping there would be a better way or that someone had already forked NERDTree on Github to add such an option, but I'll modify my copy of NERDTree.
    – Morton Fox
    Feb 12, 2015 at 19:22

Yes there is a way! It's called silent open. In NERDTree focus your cursor on the file you want to open in new tab then press T. this will open it silently in a new tab without switching to it.

In NERDTree press ? to check out all the mappings available for you.

  • No, I actually want NERDTree to open the file in the current tab and only the current tab, without switching to an existing open buffer in a different tab. What T does is open the file in a new tab.
    – Morton Fox
    Apr 23, 2015 at 20:28
  • Yes! Sorry I didn't get it the first time; however, this is not implemented by default in NERDTree. By default NERDTree will switch you to the file if it already exist. Which is - to most of us - is the natural required behavior of any editor. According to my experience with NERDTree and its complement NERDTreeTabs (NERDTreeTabs makes NERDTree tab-aware, you have to install them both), you can have the same file open in multiple tab. Right now I can open a file in multiple tabs using T and t, but I have to explicitly tell NERDTree to do that.
    – moeabdol
    Apr 24, 2015 at 8:18
  • 1
    Actually I came looking for exactly this answer, even if it doesn't answer the OP question! Apr 23, 2020 at 19:05

you can try go , also you can add a new keymapping.

I just map gg key to do this, here is my config

call NERDTreeAddKeyMap({
        \ 'key': 'gg',
        \ 'callback': 'NERDTreeOpenHandler',
        \ 'quickhelpText': 'open in current tab',
        \ 'scope': 'FileNode' })

func! NERDTreeOpenHandler(node)
    call a:node.open({'stay': 1, 'where': 'p', 'keepopen': 1})

English is not my mother tongue; please excuse any errors on my part.

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