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.

7 Answers 7


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
  • Didn't work. Had to :redir @", paste in a buffer and copy to clipboard, "*Y, from there
    – CervEd
    May 5, 2023 at 9:16

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.

  • 1
    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.


let @*=execute('set guifont') will copy the output into the * register which corresponds to the clipboard.


I'm so late to the party... I've been looking for a way to pipe that list to my fzf-powered shell goodies for some time, and today this post allowed me to finish!

I got this nice one-liner, it could be done better but it works!

env _FILE="/tmp/.vim$RANDOM"  vim +":redir > ${_FILE} | oldfiles | redir END" +:q && cat  $_FILE | awk '{print $2}' | fzf

Now, it's easy to pipe that into any fzf-consuming pipe command, or whatever I need!


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