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If I open a collection of files in vim tabs using a glob pattern, I'd like to be warned if the number of files matching the pattern exceeds the value of tabpagemax. For example, if the following,

$ vi -p `find . -type f -name "*.tex"`

matches more files than tabpagemax, only tabpagemax tabbed documents are opened. I'd like a warning or error in this case. Can it be done?

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I'm not finding any method where vim can emit a warning when the tabpagemax is exceeded, so the next best thing is to check, prior to running vim.

Potential solution

Here we're running the find first, storing the results in a variable, $tfiles. We then only invoke vim -p if the number of files we've found is less than or equal to the $guard value, 20.

$ guard=20
$ tfiles=$(find . -type f -name "*.tex")
$ [ $(echo $tfiles | wc -w) -le $guard ] && vim -p $tfiles || echo "too many"

This can be converted to a oneliner like so:

$ guard=20; \
tfiles=$(find . -type f -name "*.tex"); \
[ $(echo $tfiles | wc -w) -le $guard ] && vim -p $tfiles || echo "too many"


When we have more than say 3 files returned we'll get this type of experience:

$ guard=3; \
  tfiles=$(find . -type f -name "*.txt"); \
  [ $(echo $tfiles | wc -w) -le $guard ] && vim -p $tfiles || echo "too many"
too many

If we have less then 3 files, they'll be opened up in vim in separate tabs.

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Thanks - yes, I had thought of that, but it's handy to see it worked through. I guess this could then also be wrapped up in a vimrc script; use tabpagemax etc. – user7543 Sep 24 '13 at 6:51
@user7543 - correct you could get fancy and get the tabpagemax in .vimrc, and have the $guard parse the file to get that setting. guard=$(grep tabpagemax ~/.vimrc | cut -d"=" -f2). – slm Sep 24 '13 at 11:26

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