Creating Buffers

Vim can open files and create buffers using a variety of commands:

:editedit a file:edit [path/to/file]
:readread file into the text:read [path/to/file]
:newcreate a new empty window
:enewedit a new, unnamed buffer
:writewrite to a file:w[rite] [path/to/file]

Commands that take paths generally accept both relative and absolute paths.

The commands summarized above each perform similar tasks, but the :read command offers and extra bit of functionality that can be useful in some situations: in addition to accepting a path as an argument, :read can also insert the output of shell commands into the current buffer. For example, to insert the current time into Vim one might execute:

:read !date '%T'

which inserts the current time at the current cursor location.

No-Name Buffers

You might have noticed that when a file is loaded into a buffer, the buffer takes the name of the file. So what happens when an empty buffer is opened? In that case, the buffer is called a "no-name" buffer.

No-name buffers are just like any other buffers, and the content can be saved to a file or simply thrown away.

To save the content from a no-name buffer to a file, simply add a filename to the :write command:

:write /path/to/file

This saves the current buffer content into the specified path, then updates the buffer to reflect the filename.