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View different branch file inside VIM

Over the past few months, VIM has become my goto text editor at both the workplace and at home. I still use Visual Studio Code when I want to inspect the project from a bird's eye view. There will come a time when you will want to view the contents of the same file or a different file from another branch. This could be for comparing the changes or just for checking the contents of another file. Note that I am not an advanced Git user.

In VIM, there is a plugin named vim-fugitive for performing Git operations from within the editor. Refer to its docs for its usage and commands.


To inspect the contents of a file for a supplied path.

:Gvsplit branch_name:path_of_file

To view the contents of the same file as the working file.

:Gvsplit branch_name:%

To compare files.

:Gvdiffsplit branch_name:%


  • :Gvsplit : Opens file in a vertical split window
  • :Gvdiffsplit : Opens a file in a vertical split window and compares the file
  • branch_name : Name of the branch
  • % : This 'percentage' symbol holds the path of the file from the root of the project

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