The netrw Style Options

I use netrw a fair bit mainly because of Tim Pope's vinegar.vim plugin. I press - to see a list of files in the current directory, and then navigate around using Vim shortcuts and search. You can open netrw in a similar way without installing vinegar.vim, just type :e . and you'll see a list of files.

The way Vim displays files in this view is actually configurable -- you can press i to toggle through the available view types. This is what the "long" view looks like:

netrw long

I like this mode, so to make it permanent I added the following line to my .vimrc:

let g:netrw_liststyle=1

The available options are:

  • 0: Thin, one file per line
  • 1: Long, one file per line with file size and time stamp
  • 2: Wide, which is files in columns
  • 3: Tree style

The tree works well if you're working on a project with nested folders and you want to jump around a lot. Again, you can press i to toggle between modes, so you can switch to the one that's right for the task at hand.

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