Sometimes you need to fetch some data or the results of a shell command and insert it into your current buffer of vim. You could copy and paste this from one window to another or use tmux to copy to the clipboard and paste into vim. Or… You could do it straight from vim - like so…

:read !ls -lah
  • : – VIM colon command prompt
  • read – insert what comes to the right of the read command into the current buffer
  • ! – execute shell command
  • ls -lah – directory listing on a *nix OS

And for something spiffy, insert the result of a math calculation!

:read !expr 160170 / 2


:read !echo "like a boss!"