I have a quite a few leader mapped keys in my .vimrc, and I use some of them. The mapping that I use the most is to split the vim window to an existing buffer buffer. If I wanted to split to file I have already opened, and I know the buffer number is 2, I could type:

, - 2 CR

This is a simple mapping but I think an effective one since it’s shorter and does not require the shift key.

The mappings look like this:

map <leader>- :sp<bar>b
map <leader>\ :vsp<bar>b

Why \ and not |

When I first made the mapping, I used - for horizontal splits and | for vertical split, since each of those characters look like the type of split they produce. This ended up being annoying since - does not need a shift and | does. To make typing them more constant I settled on \ since it’s the lowercase |.

Open buffer in a new tab

Upon occasion I use vim tabs to separate out different types of files of what I am working on (e.g. Working on Python files in one tab and Javascript and HTML in another). I found that I was wishing for the same quick mapping that I had for vim windows, so I created this mapping:

map <leader>t :tabe<bar>b

What’s the point?

The mappings are quite simple but change a 7 character mixed-case sequence into a 4 character lowercase sequence. I would highly recommend them to anyone who uses vim windows, buffers and tabs.