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For the last decade I usually work in a full-screen mode terminal emulator (often xterm), and often with :vsplit in vim.

1280×720 offers 160 columns for typical 16px font (8px wide), just enough for two 80-column session. The same way, 1920×1080 offers 240 columns, just enough for three 80-column session.

But in reality VIM put a vertical bar to separate the sessions. The bar can be hidden or colored as background¹, but the space is taken. That leaves my edit session 79-columns, just one column short for daily work (e.g. coding convention requires each line less than 80 columsn; auto-generated email reports assumed 80-column).

Is there a way to vacate the space of the vsplit bar? If it canot be done with VIM, I wonder what editor can solve this particular need better. Most vi-clones doesn't support multi-window/multi-buffer editing and those who do (e.g. vile) doesn't support vertical split, VIM seems to be the only one capable of vertical split. Can emacs do better?

Note 1: Having switched the bar to a single space (no visible bar), I know it is easy to get used to having no visual split cue. It is not something that has to be there. Here is how to: stackoverflow.com/questions/9001337/vim-split-bar-styling;

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    It's not really a duplicate IMO (although the questions are almost identical), since the solutions will likely be very different (if they exist). It's asking how to do the same thing in two different programs. – user55325 Jan 24 '14 at 3:19
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Unfortunately, you won't be able to achieve that in Vim; the 1-character cell border between vertical splits (as well as the 1-line statusline for horizontal ones) is hard-coded into Vim; you'd have to modify the source code of Vim (which is not trivial) and compile your own binary.

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  • Suits my observation. Not only || (two bars) refused in :set fillchars+=vert:||, but also (double-width single bar), means vim checks that it must be a single single-width char. – Tankman六四 Jan 25 '14 at 5:21
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What happens if you use 2 xterm windows, side-by-side? You can open a vim session in each one, and configure your window manager to switch between them using your preferred key combination. You can use spectrwm, i3wm or any other window manager who can use the entire screen area.

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  • That of course require switching to an alternative window manager, because mainstream window managers don't offer borderless xterms. But then again most alternative window managers doesn't support multi-touch screen which i am using to forgo a mouse... – Tankman六四 Jan 25 '14 at 9:52
  • if you use a wm, just use gVim and make the font smaller, you'll have plenty of space for two 80 columns vertical splits. – VanLaser Jan 26 '14 at 12:03
  • The 7px font option is too obvious for me to write this lengthy study... 14px is too small a size for a functional Chinese font (14 is 2×7 because ideographs are doulbe-width), besides, 8px wide is the smallest that I can work with 6 hours per day job. – Tankman六四 Jan 26 '14 at 16:01

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