Most GUI text editors have a "project pane" that's just a directory tree that you use to choose what file you're currently editing.

What's a terminal text editor (or a VIM/emacs plugin) with this feature?

4 Answers 4


For Vim, the NERD tree plugin does this pretty well.


You can use slap - a Sublime-like terminal-based text editor.

  • this slap is good, lots of features
    – Dan D.
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 4:53

Vim commonly ships with the netrw.vim script, which, amongst other things, supports both local and remote directory browsing. It is triggered by simply editing a directory, e.g. :edit ..

As Greg Hewgill pointed out, Nerd Tree is another popular directory browsing plugin. It essentially replaces the directory browsing features of the netrw.vim script when installed, i.e. :edit . will trigger Nerd Tree instead. Nerd Tree also offers configuration options for, for instance, automatically opening a directory pane on startup and adjusting the placement of the split window it opens in.

If you make use of tabs in Vim, and would prefer NerdTree to be persistent across tabs, there's a script for that as well.


There are a lot of this kind of emacs plugins.
you'll need choose one of your own liking.
check this page out:

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