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When I open a new tab with different path from the previous file in VIM, NERDTree will still remains the same directory hierarchy of the previous file.

Is there a sync shortcut to change the current root directory to the new opened file's directory?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'm not sure if there's a NERDTree-specific way to do that, but you can always configure Vim so that it sets the working directory to the current file's directory:

autocmd BufEnter * lcd %:p:h

Now all what you have to do after opening a file in a new tab is :NERDTreeToggle in the new tab itself.

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I use the following mapping to view the current buffer in NERDTree:

 map <leader>r :NERDTreeFind<cr>
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I find this very usefull, and i went to my .vimrc. I wanted to use some other binding to make it easier to me to remember. And i found out that there is already a binding for this with NERDTree <Leader>f – benzen Feb 18 '15 at 18:16
Awesome! Example what I was looking for. – mawaldne Apr 28 '15 at 2:32

I found both the existing answers educational, and successfully combined the two so that the behavior is more like many people would expect from an IDE: Click on an open window/buffer, and have that file highlighted in the NERDTree. I put this in my ~/.vimrc:

autocmd BufEnter * if &modifiable | NERDTreeFind | wincmd p | endif

What this does:

  1. autocmd BufEnter - runs every time you focus on a buffer (including the NERDTree window)
  2. if &modifiable - when you do click the NERDTree window, do nothing else (the NERDTree window is not modifiable)
  3. wincmd p - NERDTreeFind leaves the cursor focused on the NERDTree; this switches back to the window you'd originally focused on

Note that this won't work on any other buffer that isn't modifiable -- but that's generally a good thing; otherwise (for example) any time you got :help in vim, NERDTree would find and focus the directory where help files are stored--probably not something you want it to do.

That one-line solution worked great for me at first, but I soon found that it causes NERDTree to activate any time I opened a file--and as a result, it prevents NERDTree from ever being closed! If you don't want to use NERDTree full-time, put this in your .vimrc instead:

" returns true iff is NERDTree open/active
function! rc:isNTOpen()        
  return exists("t:NERDTreeBufName") && (bufwinnr(t:NERDTreeBufName) != -1)

" calls NERDTreeFind iff NERDTree is active, current window contains a modifiable file, and we're not in vimdiff
function! rc:syncTree()
  if &modifiable && rc:isNTOpen() && strlen(expand('%')) > 0 && !&diff
    wincmd p

autocmd BufEnter * call rc:syncTree()
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What is the purpose of isNTFocused()? Doesn't the &modifiable check cover that case? – jrdioko Jun 28 '13 at 19:28
@jrdioko yes, I think you are right, that's a bit redundant. I can't think of any good reason to have that there, and simpler is always better. I'll edit it out, thanks! – Lambart Dec 21 '13 at 19:02
Ran into a lot of issues being unable to navigate windows because of the wincmd p (I literally could not get back into certain windows). I ended up doing let l:curwinnr = winnr() before NERDTreeFind and exec l:curwnum . "wincmd w" after it. Solved all the issues. – Patrick Jun 23 '14 at 4:04

throw a % sign on the end like a boss

:NERDTree %

i have this in my .vimrc, it maps Ctrl+o to toggle nerdtree in the dir of the current buffer:

map <C-o> :NERDTreeToggle %<CR>

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You know I was skeptical. Something in the way you said it :D. But this is the only thing that worked like I needed it to, well done. – Hugo Nov 25 '13 at 2:26

I came across this question yesterday, after a few hours of digging, I submited a Pull Request to scrooloose's nerdtree repo introducing a NERDTreeCWDcommand that change NERD tree root to current working directory(Update on 2012-11-12: The PR has been merged into the upstream master,it should be usable on an updated version). With this change, this question can be simply solved by the following code.

autocmd BufEnter * silent! if bufname('%') !~# 'NERD_tree_' | cd %:p:h | NERDTreeCWD | wincmd p | endif

Compare to @shinzui's and @Lambart's NERDTreeFind approach, this does exactly what the question asked. Using NERDTreeFind will change the scroll position of the nerdtree and the result are not always the same(If CWD is in NERD tree root, it just simply expands the node instead changing into it).

Compare to @Yaser Sulaiman's answer, this solution alwys have a NERD tree window opened and can be easily codable. If a NERD tree window has already been opened, using NERDTreeToggle will need to be fired twice(first close the existing one,then open it again), unfortunately, the second openning will skip the whole cwd processing.

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This behaves like :NERDTreeToggle but will show the currently opened file in NERDTree. If you haven't opened a file yet (i.e., you just entered vim in your commandline) NERDTree shows /home.

Put this in your .vimrc:

" Open NERDTree in the directory of the current file (or /home if no file is open)
nmap <silent> <C-i> :call NERDTreeToggleInCurDir()<cr>
function! NERDTreeToggleInCurDir()
  " If NERDTree is open in the current buffer
  if (exists("t:NERDTreeBufName") && bufwinnr(t:NERDTreeBufName) != -1)
    exe ":NERDTreeClose"
    exe ":NERDTreeFind"
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I think this plugin is what you want

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Welcome to Super User! Whilst having the link is nice, it would be preferable to include a bit of context here, and explain what the plugin does, how it should be used, etc. Thanks! – slhck Aug 30 '13 at 5:04

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