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I often use grep with the -n option to list line numbers, e.g.

$ grep -n xyz .*
/ext1/acheong/foo/bar/    inline bool abc(int xyz);
/ext1/acheong/foo/bar/    inline bool def(int xyz);
/ext1/acheong/foo/bar/            int xyz = result;
/ext1/acheong/foo/bar/                xyz += result;

Would it be possible to alias vim in such a way that doing

vim /ext1/acheong/foo/bar/

would open the file and seek line 415 automatically?

Is it possible in csh? (Yes, yes, csh brings out the devil and all that is unholy; but I've no choice...) An answer for other shells would be useful, too.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Well, it's not an alias, you can use vim like this:

vim +<LineNumberHere> fileName

So, for example

vim +150 .bash_history

opens your .bash_history file (for bash), and navigates to line 150.

Incidentally, you can also do this with search terms. For example

vim +/MyTerm MyFile

opens MyFile and navigates to the first occurrence of MyTerm from the top.


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that should be "vim +/MyTerm MyFile" – Uwe Apr 19 '13 at 20:32
thanks for this – sdjuan Apr 20 '13 at 6:44
Thanks, I updated the text. – David Moye Apr 21 '13 at 15:07
Apologies for the late accept; I'd been wanting to make a csh alias that would map to the above form, but never got around to it. – Andrew Cheong Aug 27 '13 at 19:36
this is great. It works with commands inside vim too: :tabe +150 file, :tabe +/FooBar file – Dvir Azulay Jul 8 '15 at 10:19

One solution to this is to use the file_line.vim plugin, which lets you specify a file name and line number as an argument to Vim or on Vim's command line, just as you've shown.

Another is this script,

$ cat $(which vimgrep)


cat > $tmp
exec < /dev/tty
vim --cmd 'let &efm=&gfm' -q $tmp "$@"
rm $tmp

which can be used like this:

$ grep -Hn xyz .* | vimgrep

and which loads all the matches into Vim's quickfix error list. See

:help quickfix.txt

Note the -H option to grep to ensure that the file name is included in grep's output even if .* expands to only one file name.

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Due to the ad appearing right at the bottom of my screenheight for this thread, I never even saw this answer until today; apologies. I've already accepted the other answer, but Karma is on its way :) – Andrew Cheong Aug 27 '13 at 19:38

You could do your grepping from Vim itself:

:grep xyz *

then open the quickfix window:

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