Vim 101: Decoding Tab Titles

If you've managed to fit tabs into your workflow, then you've probably noticed curious numbers and signs that appear alongside the truncated filename. It's very easy to read this information once you know how: the number refers to the number of split windows in a tab, and the + means there is an unsaved file in the tab.

Decoding tabs

The tab bar itself is known as the 'tabline' (:help 'tabline'). If you executed :set tabline=hello then 'hello' would be displayed instead of the standard content. You can switch back to the default by typing :set tabline=.

The 'showtabline' (:help 'showtabline') option allows the tabline to be turned off, on, or always on:

  • :set showtabline=0: Hide the tabline
  • :set showtabline=1: Show the tabline
  • :set showtabline=2: Always show the tabline
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