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Browsing directories using Vim's wildmenu

October 8, 2012
[vim] [file-management]

Today I accidentally found a very unexpected thing in Vim. While trying to make wildmenu disappear I hit some of arrow keys and great truth was uncovered to me:

one can browse file system in wildmenu using arrow keys!

They work like this:

  • left arrow - go to left
  • right arrow - go to right
  • up arrow - enter directory
  • down arrow - go to parent directory

I know its not a big deal, but it was really unexpected to me. And in fact one can find this in the documentation (see :help 'wildmenu'):

<Left> <Right>  - select previous/next match (like CTRL-P/CTRL-N)
<Down>          - in filename/menu name completion: move into a
                  subdirectory or submenu.
<CR>            - in menu completion, when the cursor is just after a
                  dot: move into a submenu.
<Up>            - in filename/menu name completion: move up into
                  parent directory or parent menu.

So do read the documentation!

There is also a note:

This makes the menus accessible from the console |console-menus|.

So it may work with file system as a side effect of working for menus in the console.