For example, if I type ':pwd' to get the current working directory, I can select the text in gvim but I can't figure out how to copy it to the clipboard. If I try the same in console vim, I can't even select it with the mouse. I would like this to work with all vim commands, such as set guifont to copy the guifont=Consolas:h10:cANSI output.

5 Answers 5


Are you looking for this,

:redir @* | set guifont | redir END

:redir command redirects the output of a command to a register (@*). The register @* refers to the clipboard.

For more info on this,

:help :redir
  • didn't work in vim-gtk some clue ? Jan 5, 2017 at 21:32
  • @SergioAbreu try @+ instead of @* (well, it works in gvim).
    – leeand00
    Jan 3, 2018 at 20:45

Try ':r !pwd' to get the current working directory directly in to the GVIM opened file.
You can then copy it to clipboard like you would any other text file contents opened there.

  • This is useful, but can I use this with set guifont for example?
    – Steven
    Jul 27, 2010 at 18:47
  • 1
    No, that is not a shell command so it will not work. Aug 2, 2010 at 19:56

If you're running vim in an xterm, holding the shift key while selecting the text will copy the text to the X equivalent of the clipboard.

  • X has two clipboards (at least); your suggestion will place the text in the PRIMARY selection (paste with middle-click) rather than the CLIPBOARD hselection (paste with Ctrl+V in most apps). Jul 26, 2010 at 11:47

For this particular example you could do (note the "!" which makes it go through the shell):

:!pwd | xclip


:!pwd | xclip -selection secondary

(depending on which X-selection you want).

You might have to install xclip first

sudo apt-get install xclip

(or equivalent)


You could send to a file and copy it from there:

SomeCommand > SomeFile.txt
vim SomeFile.txt

See How do I save terminal output to a file? on AskUbuntu.

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