Use :read command to read from an external sources into the current buffer.

Read from File

Use :read FILENAME to read the content of FILENAME into the current buffer.

Read from Commands

Read can also insert results from external commands. Combine read with :read ! [shell command] to execute the shell command and insert the output into the current buffer.

An example I use for grabbing the salt for a WordPress config:

:read ! curl --silent

Read from curl example

Bash Programming the Vim Way

I will often use the read command to grab a list of files to manipulate. I’m terrible at bash programming and often find it easier to do things the hard way like this:

Not bash programming