When a variable on which a statusline depends changes, I see the result only in statuslines of active windows. Can inactive ones be made to see those changes too?

  • 2
    Nothing happens in an inactive window so there's no reason for the status line of an inactive window to change.
    – romainl
    Apr 23, 2016 at 14:04
  • @romainl true, but things might happen outside: a git repo might no longer have modifications, a file might have been changed externally, etc.
    – muru
    Apr 25, 2016 at 1:21
  • @muru, all things that have nothing to do with the status of the current window/buffer.
    – romainl
    Apr 25, 2016 at 5:22
  • @romainl so? The inactive window can have status lines.
    – muru
    Apr 25, 2016 at 5:23

1 Answer 1


Edit: As @Christian Brabandt mentioned in this comment, the Ex command :redrawstatus does the same thing as the 'readonly' hack, and is probably even better. From :help redraws:

                        *:redraws* *:redrawstatus*
:redraws[tatus][!]  Redraw the status line of the current window.  When !
            is included all status lines are redrawn.
            Useful to update the status line(s) when 'statusline'
            includes an item that doesn't cause automatic

So, after assigning a new value to your variable you could add | redraws! like this:

:let g:myvar='bar' | redraws!

The bang is necessary to update all the status lines, and not just the one of the current window.

I don't know why but it seems that setting the value of the 'readonly' option has also the side-effect of updating the status lines.

In :help 'statusline', they mention this:

If the statusline is not updated when you want it (e.g., after setting
a variable that's used in an expression), you can force an update by
setting an option without changing its value.  Example: >
    :let &ro = &ro

So, suppose you have a variable g:myvar whose value is 'foo' and appears in your status line:

let g:myvar='foo'
set stl+=%{g:myvar}

And you want to change its value to 'bar' as well as the change to be reflected in every status line. Maybe you could type:

:let g:myvar='bar' | let &l:ro = &l:ro

(&l:ro is the local-buffer value of 'readonly')

To make it a little easier, you could install a custom command:

command! -nargs=1 Let exe 'let ' . <q-args> | let &l:ro = &l:ro

And then, type:

:Let g:myvar='bar'

Alternatively, you could remap <CR> in command-line mode to parse the command before its execution, check whether it matches a certain pattern (let one_of_your_vars=), and substitute the end of the command to add | let &l:ro = &l:ro.

  • 1
    there is also the ":redrawstatus" command. Apr 25, 2016 at 13:35

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