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I find myself in this situation very often:

  1. Open gVim with NERDTree from current working directory.
  2. Open a file from NERDTree using <S-T> so it grabs a new tab.
  3. :tabprevious to return to NERDTree.
  4. Explore directories and open a second file using <S-T>.
  5. Close the second file, :q or ZZ.

What I would have expected to happen after 5. is to return to NERDTree, but Vim always collapses the tab and opens the one to the right. This is rarely what I intended to do and would much rather have Vim keep a list of all tabs I have cycled through. So, as I close one, it pops it off the stack and focuses the next.

This can be seen in other editors, mostly IDEs, like Komodo Edit for example.

Is there a plug-in which would do this for Vim?

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To go to the first tab (presumably the one with NERDTree open), do :tabfirst. Vim doesn't keep a list of tabs ordered by "most recently accessed" and :tabprevious/:tabnext only deal with the tabs on the left/right.

The default action for T is precisely to open the selected file in a new tab and come back to the tab where NERDTree is located. So I'm not sure why you have to do :tabprevious after T.

A common way to use NERDTree is to simply open it on the spot, when you need it, and set it to close itself upon opening a file. I don't remember the name of the option but a quick :help nerdtree would be enough.

Also I'm afraid you are making a mistake here: you are using Vim's "tabs" as if they where the same as the tabs found everywhere else. This is a bad idea because they are not designed that way at all. Instead, read up on windows and buffers.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for this comment. I am fairly advanced with Vim, which should have been mentioned in the original post. If no one has indeed came across this sort of behaviour (provided by a plug-in), it would make for a good weekend project. – StanAngeloff May 29 '12 at 4:06

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