i just started using Vi/Vim editor and while i m checking the list of active buffers for the buffer i m using i get this line:

1 %a + "buffername"                   line 16    

What does %a + represent in the line?

I know that:

  • 1 - represents the numbered buffer
  • "buffername" - represents the named buffer
  • line 16 - how many lines there are in the file under that buffer.

Thanks :)

  • 1
    By the way, there's a Stack Exchange dedicated to Vim: Vi and Vim
    – muru
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


See :h :ls:

:ls[!] [flags]
    Show all buffers.  Example:

            1 #h   "/test/text"             line 1 
            2u     "asdf"                   line 0 
            3 %a + "version.c"              line 1 

    Indicators (chars in the same column are mutually exclusive):
    u       an unlisted buffer (only displayed when [!] is used)
     %      the buffer in the current window
     #      the alternate buffer for ":e #" and CTRL-^
      a     an active buffer: it is loaded and visible
      h     a hidden buffer: It is loaded, but currently not
               displayed in a window hidden-buffer
       -    a buffer with 'modifiable' off
       =    a readonly buffer
       R    a terminal buffer with a running job
       F    a terminal buffer with a finished job
       ?    a terminal buffer without a job: `:terminal NONE`
        +   a modified buffer
        x   a buffer with read errors

So %a + indicates that that buffer is:

  • the buffer in the active window
  • an active buffer
  • a modified buffer
  • 1
    Thank you very much Muru. That solved my question :) Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 15:41

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