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I use vim in a tiling window manager, i3-gaps. I have some aesthetic configuration settings, which do things like alter the opacity of unfocussed windows, change the gaps between windows, and so on. As such, when I have multiple buffers open, I tend to have them open in multiple disconnected windows.

But this has some disadvantages: Each window has a different buffer list; it's hard to close multiple windows simultaneously, and so on. So I would prefer to move back to using vim panes.

But I don't want to give up the aesthetic appeal of the windows 'looking' disjoint, and having nice graphical configuration. To what extent is it possible to configure the graphical appearance of vim panes? I'm particularly interested in how to get the two things I mentioned above: transparent gaps between panes, and variable opacity for unfocussed panes. But I'd be happy to know about other possibilities.

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I'm afraid that Vim isn't that supporting with regards to your aesthetics:

You can influence the character used for the vertical window separator via the :help 'fillchars' option (including setting it to a space), and the horizontal separator rendering is based on 'statusline'. But these will always be one screen cell wide / have a height of one line.

The same background color is shared by all Vim windows; there are some hacks (e.g. defining signs with highlighting for every line in a buffer, or 'colorcolumn' for every column) to have different background colors, but they are cumbersome and may slow down the display. In any case, Vim doesn't deal with opacity at all.

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