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Is there any way to hide the vim command-line (ideally, automatically) when it's not being used? On small screens it takes up one valuable line. I'm thinking it would be 'normally' hidden, and appear when :, /, etc. are typed.

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No, that is not possible. The command line is always present and there's no way to hide it without changing vim's sources. It's not only used if you type : or / but also for status messages (try ctrl-g, for instance).

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