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From MacVim is there a command to open the currently edited HTML file in a web browser?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

To do it just once, you can

:!open %

which will call the shell command open with the path to the current file as argument. I don't use Mac myself, but open seems appropriate to me. If it isn't, replace with whatever program you wish the file be opened with.

Of course you can bind a key, if you'll need it frequently:

:map <silent> <F5> :!open %<CR>

And you may want to

:set nowarn

to suppress warnings about unsaved file changes.


  • :help :!
  • :help cmdline-special
  • :help 'warn'

Note that you can get arbitrarily sophisticated with Vim scripting. For example, this function lets you view the current unsaved changes by use of an intermediate file:

function! BrowserPreview()
    if &modified
        let tmpfile = tempname()
        execute "silent write " . tmpfile
        call system("firefox " . shellescape(tmpfile))
        if delete(tmpfile) != 0
            echoerr "could not remove " . tmpfile
        call system("firefox " . shellescape(expand("%:p")))

map <silent> <F5> :call BrowserPreview()<CR>

(Replace both occurrences of firefox with open if that worked earlier.)

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Perfect, thanks! – Florent2 May 12 '11 at 14:59
Just be sure that your file names don't have spaces. Otherwise, vim tries to open every space-delimited word as its own page. It's pretty annoying, in my opinion. – dylnmc Oct 19 '15 at 13:06

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