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created 2004 · complexity basic · author Siegfried Bublitz · version 5.7

In Vim you can edit directories, but sometimes it is more convenient to have the names of all files in the complete subtree listed in one buffer. The netrw plugin which creates the directory listing can be tweaked to show a tree view, by using the g:netrw_liststyle variable in your .vimrc or from the command-line before invoking the directory explorer:

:let g:netrw_liststyle=3

Sometimes though, you may simply want to list out all the files in a directory tree in a buffer. The below function does just this. It globs the file names of the current directory and iterates through all the names, globbing it again if it is a directory. Note, it can be very slow for large directories.

The following mapping abbreviates the invocation to pressing \L':

map <Leader>L :call ListTree('.')<CR>
function! ListTree(dir)
  set buftype=nofile
  set bufhidden=hide
  set noswapfile
  normal i.
  while 1
    let file = getline(".")
    if (file == '')
      normal dd
    elseif (isdirectory(file))
      normal dd
      let @" = glob(file . "/*")
      normal O
      normal P
      let @" = glob(file . "/.[^.]*")
      if (@" != '')
        normal O
        normal P
      if (line('.') == line('$'))
        normal j

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