Vim switch one window to full-screen

I use vim/tmux daily and love the combination, in spite of the occasional quirks (Thanks, Thoughtbot for getting me going with tmux!).

I have multiple tmux windows, one for each sub-project, and each window has 1-3 panes. My top/largest pane is vim, and I have multiple vim windows arranged, usually showing the specific files for that sub-project that I normally work on; the currently-active file buffer automatically resizes when I move into it. All that works great as I have created a number of vim & tmux & shell shortcuts to assist.

One use case I have is that occasionally even my resized windows aren’t big enough and I want to switch that one vim window to full-screen. I finally found a quick, easy way to do that; here it is in case anyone is looking for this [or maybe it’s just obvious and it took me a while to catch up :-].

When in the window you want to resize, just type:

  :tabnew %

and that buffer is automatically opened as a new full-size tab. When you’re done with your edits, just type:


and the tab is closed and you’re back in your original window in that same window with all the updates.

I’ve remapped the zoom command to: ,,z with my <Leader> so that’s is easy to get to. Maybe this will help someone else.


That is handy. Thanks!

Nice hack! There’s also a vim plugin called zoom-win that I use to do this. It’s a little different in that the fact that you’re zoomed isn’t maybe as obvious as with your scenario, but that might be more desirable too, depending on your preference.

You can also do <C-w>T (that is, control-w followed by shift-T), which has the same effect as :tabnew %.

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Thanks, @nelstrom. Only issue I have with this is that it removes that window from my initial layout. Once you close the new window, you’ll have to reopen that file again.

Ctrl-w o does the trick. Then Ctrl-w o again to return to the previous layout. Same answer on stackoverflow.