A terminal in your editor in your terminal

I discovered today that since version 8.1, Vim apparently supports spawning a terminal from within the Vim editor. This is a handy little feature that could make life easier for checking documentation, running tests, and so on.

From box.matto.nl:

With “:terminal” you open a terminal in the current window.

To create a vertical split, with a terminal in the newly opened window, use “:vertical terminal”.

With some easy Vim scripting you can open the external URL that is under the cursor with the awesome textmode browser w3m in a Vim terminal. I liked to have that in a vertical split.

I have modified their function slightly to open horizontal, and automatically close the terminal when the w3m command exits:

function s:vertopen_url()
     normal! "uyiW
     let mycommand = "w3m " . @u
     execute "terminal++close " . mycommand

I have utilized the use of tmux and its builtin send-keys commands to send interactions between terminals in my development environment. Scripting and integrating with a terminal from Vim is a different twist on the same use-case. I have only started to play with this functionality, but I’m interested to see what I can improve with :terminal.