If I open a file that isn't in the current directly, when I used Vim to autocomplete a filename, Vim provides files relative to the location where I launched Vim, not the currently edited file.


$ find .
$ vim xml/messy-file.xml

Now if I type Ctrl+x,Ctrl+f, Vim provides "nice-file.xml" as a complete option. It doesn't offer ok-file.xml, even though it's in the same directory as the file I'm currently editing.

I'd like Vim to complete filenames relative to whatever file I'm editing. Is that possible?

1 Answer 1


You can :cd in Vim to change the current directory:

:cd xml

Or more generally, if you want to set it sometimes:

nnoremap gp :cd %:p:h<CR>

Or if you want to always be in the current file's directory:

set autochdir

Please note that this may break some plugins, because they may rely on the current directory, you can use in place:

autocmd BufEnter * silent! lcd %:p:h

If you don't want to change the current directory, you can also add the current folder to your completion path:

autocmd BufRead *
  \ let s:tempPath=escape(escape(expand("%:p:h"), ' '), '\ ') |
  \ exec "set path+=".s:tempPath
  • 2
    I cringe at overriding the wonderfully useful gf mapping. I would suggest overriding something like gs or maybe using a <leader> mapping Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 18:13
  • if a plugin does not handle acd it better be fixed. But that BufEnter workaround shouldn't be neccessary anymore Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 19:06
  • 1
    autochdir was exactly what I was looking for. It doesn't seem to be conflicting at all with my modest plugin selection. Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 11:27

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