Is it possible to edit a directory inside Vim? (Some commands are working for directories).

I want to know what kind of operations can be done in a directory inside Vim. Vim can open the directories for editing, I believe it will have commands also to work with. But usual commands behave differently for directories.

For example, pressing I and typing a filename and saving the directory. When I give ls, it should show that file.

  • I would love the ability to rename files when viewing a directory listing as a text file. I don't see anything out there :( Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 4:19
  • Actually you can do :e some/directory. I'm not sure what it does though... Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 21:17

2 Answers 2


I'm assuming you are using netrw here, as it's the default action when you do vim . or vim some/directory/.

You can create a file/directory from netrw with the following commands:

d : create a directory, you will be prompted to input the directory name
% : create a file, same workflow

Have a look at :h netrw for more informations.

  • See :h netrw-quickmap for bindings.
    – mcp
    Commented May 14, 2023 at 1:49

Totally a different angle, but it works without having to install any plugins ...

When I want to create or rename a directory from a running Vim session, I'll simply type :! followed by the appropriate shell command, doing something like the following:

For Linux

  • :! mkdir newdir to create a directory
  • :! mv newdir renamed_dir to rename a directory

For Windows

  • :! mkdir newdir to create a directory
  • :! move newdir renamed_dir to rename a directory

As far as I know, you can literally execute whatever shell command you like this way without having to exit from Vim or having to open a separate terminal window.

  • Thanks. but I am not asking about shell commands. I want to explore the options related to editing directory, like we edit a file.
    – SibiCoder
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 13:44
  • 3
    It's worth knowing the github.com/tpope/vim-eunuch plugin also.
    – nobe4
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 13:51

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