Control Your Vim Editor

I have created my own vimfiles and you should too. By doing so:

  • you will control your editor
  • you will learn to better config it
  • you will select mappings that works best for you
  • you will select only the plugins you use

I started using Vim about 2-3 years ago, using this vimfiles package. For most of the time I didn't changed anything, but over the time I come into following issues with it:

  1. it has lots of plugins that I never used (and my vim editor was slow)
  2. it has mappings that I wanted to change (which is easy, except when some plugin steals key)
  3. I wanted to further customize it / have my own config

Here is how I have organized my vimfiles (which is same as the ones I used):

First, create ~/.vim folder where your vimfiles will be stored (eventually it will be the future git repo if you want to share it). In ~/.vim/vimrc file you will enter all your vim configuration, and source it from ~/.vimrc file.

mkdir ~/.vim
cd ~/.vim
touch vimrc
echo "source ~/.vim/vimrc" > ~/.vimrc

For installing vim plugins, it's easiest to install the pathogen plugin (instructions on github) which will simplify the process of installing (and updating) other vim plugins.In my case all plugins are on Github and I have installed them as submodules, which allows me to easily update them at any point. Here is how to add plugins as submodules:

git submodule add git://github.com/tpope/vim-rails.git bundle/vim-rails
git submodule add git://github.com/tpope/vim-vividchalk.git bundle/vim-vividchalk
git submodule add git://github.com/wincent/Command-T.git bundle/Command-T
git submodule add git://github.com/vim-ruby/vim-ruby.git bundle/vim-ruby
...

I stole lots of configuration stuff from here, here and here and placed it into the ~/.vim/vimrc file.

At the end, I wanted to share some interesting mappings that I find extremely useful. I was very happy to dig them out very recently in the above configurations files:

" Switch between buffers
noremap <tab> :bn<CR>
noremap <S-tab> :bp<CR>

" Close buffer
nmap <leader>d :bprevious<CR>:bdelete #<CR>

" Close all buffers
nmap <leader>D :bufdo bd<CR>

" Switch between last two buffers
nnoremap <leader><leader> <C-^>

" Map ESC
imap jj <ESC>

" Clear the search buffer when hitting return
:nnoremap <CR> :nohlsearch<CR>

What's the very last Vim tip that you have learned?

Posted by Dalibor Nasevic on and tagged with: and .