I took some screenshots to accompany my Vim as an IDE repo on GitHub. This is by no means a complete walkthrough! It’s just a reference for those who are curious if they installed everything correctly. This is what my system looks like for me after each step.
This is what Vim should look like immediately after opening it:
And right after adding the two lines:
After you add these settings, your
~/.vimrc should look like this when opened
To enable the mouse, you’ll have to figure out where the appropriate setting is in your terminal emulator. Here’s a screenshot of where it is in iTerm2 on OS X.
If you add the changes introduced at this step before installing Vundle, you’ll get an error that looks like this:
Otherwise, this should be the result of running
vim +PluginInstall to install
Vundle for the first time:
Remember, you can use
:qall to quit Vim after installing plugins.
Your experience might diverge a little bit from these screenshots if you choose a different colorscheme because I’ll assume you’re setting everything up using Solarized Dark. If you’re on a Mac and you’ve imported the iTerm2 colorschemes, you should be able to find the Solarized Dark theme here:
Making that change should make Vim turn these colors:
Next up is changing your font to a Powerline patched font. If you downloaded and installed Menlo for Powerline correctly, you should be able to set it using this panel in the preferences:
vim +PluginInstall to install the Solarized Vim colorscheme
Here’s what the Vim solarized plugind does to our
If you chose to install a Powerline patched font, you can let vim-airline use cooler arrows by uncommenting the line highlighted in this screenshot above, to make Vim look like this:
This will be the last time that I demonstrate running
because they’ll all basically look the same from here on out:
Once you’ve installed NERDTree and NERDTree Tabs (and added the settings I
listed for them), you should be able to type
\t to bring up something that
looks like this:
Once you’ve installed Syntastic, it should syntax highlight your errors by displaying little marks next to the offending lines:
You can see that we’ve forgotten a semi-colon, and Syntastic is pointing that out for us.
As I was making these screenshots, I realized that I forgot to include a setting
in the right place. It’s fine if you work through the whole workshop, but if you
pick and choose things, namely if you don’t follow the steps for
eventually, you’ll end up with this weird highlighting in the sign column. To
disable this highlighting, you can either wait until the
(coming right up in 4 steps), or you can run this command (the one at the bottom
of the screenshot):
To make the change permanent, you’ll have to add that line (
SignColumn) to your
After this step, you should be able to bring up a split pane view that shows
your functions, variables, and other identifiers by pressing
If you enabled mouse reporting, you should be able to click on the things in the pane and jump to the appropriate place in the file. I’d strongly recommend that you read the help for all the keybindings and actions you can use with it.
9. Plugin ctrlp
CtrlP is installed, you can press
Ctrl + P to bring up a list of files.
As you type, the list will be filtered to only those that “fuzzy match” what
you’ve typed in. As you can see, I typed in
mc, which matched
10. Plugin A.vim
This plugin introduces a number of commands that you can read in the
documentation that enable opening “alternate” files, like C/C++ header files,
really quickly. I’ve run
:AV here as an example of one of the commands it
installs, which opens the alternate file in a vertical split pane.
vim-gitgutter is really handy: it shows you a
~ next to lines
that have been added, removed, or modified. This is good for both identifying
the pieces of code that have changed while you’re working on a file as well as
reminding yourself that you have changes that need to be commited.
Speaking of committing files,
vim-fugitive lets you make Git commits from
right within Vim. Simply run
:Gcommit to bring up a split pane where you can
craft your commit message:
vim-fugitive can do much more than just make commits. Be sure to read the
appropriate documentation to figure out what sorts of cool things you can do!
delimitMate you should be able to type an opening delimiter and
have the closing one be inserted automatically. Here’s an example on
Once you’ve added the appropriate function to your shell initialization file
~/.bashrc, etc.), you should be able to run
vman <command> to open man
pages. Here’s an example on
vman 3 printf:
There’s not much to show here, as this step is mostly just introducing
keybindings. If you use
tmux, make sure to copy the appropriate snippet into
~/.tmux.conf to be able to jump between tmux and Vim splits with no added
15. Syntax plugins
No screenshots again. What syntax highlighting plugins you end up installing is largely up to you.
For these plugins, be sure to check the documentation. Most of them have screenshots that show what they look like when installed and configured correctly.
That’s it! I can only take you so far in making your Vim awesome. You have to take yourself the rest of the way by investing a little bit of effort into reading the documentation for the plugins you think could be useful to you so that you can fully utilize them. Be sure to comment on the commits with questions if you’re stuck or are wondering why your setup doesn’t look similar to one of the above!
Jake on the Web
If you cared enough to read that far, you should consider following me on GitHub or paying a visit to my homepage. If this post was about one of my open source projects, make sure to star it on GitHub! I love hearing what people think, so feel free to comment, open an issue, or send me an email.