Vim bindings for Google Chrome.
JavaScript HTML CSS Python VimL Shell

What is cVim?

Vim for Google Chrome. I hate using the mouse, especially after learning Vim. With my desktop (Linux), I have a lot of key bindings that make doing things easier: I open Chrome with Alt+w, I close a window with Alt+Shift+d, I open a terminal with Alt+t. This is harder to do with Chrome because it has no section for customizing keyboard shortcuts, and it is still necessary to use the mouse to do things like click links. cVim aims to eliminate this problem as best as the Chrome extensions API will allow it to.

Where can I get cVim?

  • There are two ways:
    • You can install it through the Chrome web store
    • You can download the .zip file here and enable cVim by going to the chrome://extensions URL and checking developer mode, then pointing Chrome to the unzipped folder via the Load unpacked extensions... button.

Why is this different than Vimium, ViChrome, or Vrome?

These extensions do a wonderful job of adding Vim-like keybindings to Google Chrome, but they lack many of the features that Firefox Addon, Pentadactyl, have.

  • What features does cVim add to Chrome?
    • Google/IMDB/Wikipedia/Amazon/Duckduckgo/Yahoo/Bing search completion
    • Support for custom search engines
    • History and Bookmark search/completion with bookmark folder support
    • Caret/Visual mode
    • Efficient link hints (with support for custom mappings)
    • Support for custom keyboard mappings
    • Regex page search with highlighting
    • Command bar with tab-completion
    • Smooth scrolling

cVim Help


  • Boolean cVimrc settings are enabled with the command 'set' + <SETTING_NAME> and disabled with the command 'set' + no<SETTING_NAME> (for example, set regexp and set noregexp)
  • Boolean cVimrc settings can be inversed by adding "!" to the end
  • Other settings are defined with = used as a separator and are prefixed by let (for example, let hintcharacters="abc")
setting type description default
searchlimit integer set the amount of results displayed in the command bar 25
scrollstep integer set the amount of pixels scrolled when using the scrollUp and scrollDown commands 70
timeoutlen integer The amount of time to wait for a <Leader> mapping in milliseconds 1000
fullpagescrollpercent integer set the percent of the page to be scrolled by when using the scrollFullPageUp and scrollFullPageDown commands 0
typelinkhintsdelay integer the amount of time (in milliseconds) to wait before taking input after opening a link hint with typelinkhints and numerichints enabled 300
scrollduration integer the duration of smooth scrolling 500
vimport integer set the port to be used with the editWithVim insert mode command 8001
zoomfactor integer / double the step size when zooming the page in/out 0.1
scalehints boolean animate link hints as they appear false
hud boolean show the heads-up-display true
regexp boolean use regexp in find mode true
ignorecase boolean ignore search case in find mode true
linkanimations boolean show fade effect when link hints open and close false
numerichints boolean use numbers for link hints instead of a set of characters false
dimhintcharacters boolean dim letter matches in hint characters rather than remove them from the hint true
defaultnewtabpage boolean use the default chrome://newtab page instead of a blank page false
cncpcompletion boolean use <C-n> and <C-p> to cycle through completion results (requires you to set the nextCompletionResult keybinding in the chrome://extensions page (bottom right) false
smartcase boolean case-insensitive find mode searches except when input contains a capital letter true
incsearch boolean begin auto-highlighting find mode matches when input length is greater thant two characters true
typelinkhints boolean (numerichints required) type text in the link to narrow down numeric hints false
autohidecursor boolean hide the mouse cursor when scrolling (useful for Linux, which doesn't auto-hide the cursor on keydown) false
autofocus boolean allows websites to automatically focus an input box when they are first loaded true
insertmappings boolean use insert mappings to navigate the cursor in text boxes (see bindings below) true
smoothscroll boolean use smooth scrolling false
autoupdategist boolean if a GitHub Gist is used to sync settings, pull updates every hour (and when Chrome restarts) false
nativelinkorder boolean Open new tabs like Chrome does rather than next to the currently opened tab false
showtabindices boolean Display the tab index in the tab's title false
sortlinkhints boolean Sort link hint lettering by the link's distance from the top-left corner of the page false
localconfig boolean Read the cVimrc config from configpath (when this is set, you connot save from cVim's options page false
completeonopen boolean Automatically show a list of command completions when the command bar is opened false
configpath string Read the cVimrc from this local file when configpath is set ""
changelog boolean Auto open the changelog when cVim is updated true
completionengines array of strings use only the specified search engines ["google", "duckduckgo", "wikipedia", "amazon"]
blacklists array of strings disable cVim on the sites matching one of the patterns []
mapleader string The default <Leader> key \
defaultengine string set the default search engine "google"
locale string set the locale of the site being completed/searched on (see example configuration below) ""
homedirectory string the directory to replace ~ when using the file command ""
qmark <alphanumeric charcter> string add a persistent QuickMark (e.g. let qmark a = ["", ""]) none
previousmatchpattern string (regexp) the pattern looked for when navigating a page's back button ((?!last)(prev(ious)?|newer|back|«|less|<|‹| )+)
nextmatchpattern string (regexp) the pattern looked for when navigation a page's next button ((?!first)(next|older|more|>|›|»|forward| )+)
hintcharacters string (alphanumeric) set the default characters to be used in link hint mode "asdfgqwertzxcvb"
barposition string ["top", "bottom"] set the default position of the command bar "top"
vimcommand string set the command to be issued with the editWithVim command "gvim -f"
langmap string set a list of characters to be remapped (see vims langmap) ""

Example configuration

" Settings
set nohud
set nosmoothscroll
set noautofocus " The opposite of autofocus; this setting stops
                " sites from focusing on an input box when they load
set typelinkhints
let searchlimit = 30
let scrollstep = 70
let barposition = "bottom"

let locale = "uk" " Current choices are 'jp' and 'uk'. This allows cVim to use sites like
                  " or to search rather than Support is currently limited.
                  " Let me know if you need a different locale for one of the completion/search engines
let hintcharacters = "abc123"

let searchengine dogpile = "" " If you leave out the '%s' at the end of the URL,
                                                                    " your query will be appended to the link.
                                                                    " Otherwise, your query will replace the '%s'.

" This will do the same thing as above, except typing ':tabnew withbase' into to command bar
" without any search parameters will open ''
let searchengine withbase = ["", ""]

" alias ':g' to ':tabnew google'
command g tabnew google

let completionengines = ["google", "amazon", "imdb", "dogpile"]

let searchalias g = "google" " Create a shortcut for search engines.
                             " For example, typing ':tabnew g example'
                             " would act the same way as ':tabnew google example'

" Open all of these in a tab with `gnb` or open one of these with <N>goa where <N>
let qmark a = ["", "", ""]

let blacklists = ["*", "*://*", "@*"]
" blacklists prefixed by '@' act as a whitelist

let mapleader = ","

" Mappings

map <Leader>r reloadTabUncached
map <Leader>x :restore<Space>

" This remaps the default 'j' mapping
map j scrollUp

" You can use <Space>, which is interpreted as a
" literal " " character, to enter buffer completion mode
map gb :buffer<Space>

" This unmaps the default 'k' mapping
unmap k

" This unmaps the default 'h', 'j', 'k', and 'l' mappings
unmap h j k l

" This remaps the default 'f' mapping to the current 'F' mapping
map f F

" Toggle the current HUD display value
map <C-h> :set hud!<CR>

" Switch between alphabetical hint characters and numeric hints
map <C-i> :set numerichints!<CR>

map <C-u> rootFrame
map <M-h> previousTab
map <C-d> scrollPageDown
map <C-e> scrollPageUp
iunmap <C-y>
imap <C-m> deleteWord

" Create a variable that can be used/referenced in the command bar
let @@reddit_prog = ''
let @@top_all = 'top?sort=top&t=all'
let @@top_day = 'top?sort=top&t=day'

" TA binding opens '' in a new tab
map TA :to @@reddit_prog/@@top_all<CR>
map TD :to @@reddit_prog/@@top_day<CR>

" Code blocks (see below for more info)
getIP() -> {{
httpRequest({url: '', json: true},
            function(res) { Status.setMessage('IP: ' + res.ip); });
" Displays your public IP address in the status bar
map ci :call getIP<CR>

" Script hints
echo(link) -> {{
map <C-f> createScriptHint(echo)

let configpath = '/path/to/your/.cvimrc'
set localconfig " Update settings via a local file (and the `:source` command) rather
                " than the default options page in chrome
" As long as localconfig is set in the .cvimrc file. cVim will continue to read
" settings from there


Site-specific Configuration

  • You can enable certain rc settings for sites using the blacklist match pattern as described above
" this will enable the config block below on the domain ''
site '*://**' {
      unmap j
      unmap k
      set numerichints

Running commands when a page loads

  • In a similar fashion to the site-specific configuration described above, cVim can run commands when a page is loaded with the call keyword
" In this case, when pages with a file ending in '.js' are loaded,
" cVim will pin the tab and then scroll down
site '*://*/*.js' {
      call :pintab
      call scrollDown


  • Normal mappings are defined with the following structure: map <KEY> <MAPPING_NAME>
  • Insert mappings use the same structure, but use the command "imap" instead of "map"
  • Control, meta, and alt can be used also:
<C-u> " Ctrl + u
<M-u> " Meta + u
<A-u> " Alt  + u
  • It is also possible to unmap default bindings with unmap <KEY> and insert bindings with iunmap <KEY>
  • To unmap all default keybindings, use unmapAll. To unmap all default insert bindings, use iunmapAll


  • Commands that open links (:tabnew and :open) have three different properties
    • ! => Open in a new tab
    • $ => Open in a new window
    • | => Open in an incognito window
    • & => Open in a new tab (inactive/unfocused)
    • * => Pin the tab
    • ? => Treat the query as a search
    • = => Treat the query as a URL
  • The use of these properties are best explained with examples:
:open! google<CR> " This is the same as :tabnew google<CR>

:open google!<CR> " This is another way of writing the above
                  " (these flags can can be added to either
                  " the base command or the end of the final command)

:open& google<CR> " This will open Google in a new inactive tab

:open$ google<CR> " This will open Google in a new window

:open&* google<CR> " The will open Google in a new inactive, pinned tab

:tabnew google&*<CR> " Once again, this will do the same thing as the above command

:open google&*<CR> " Again, same as above

:open google!& " Here, the & flag will cancel out the ! flag,
               " opening Google in a new inactive tab

" More examples
:bookmarks  " inactive,new tab
:bookmarks&* " inactive,pinned,new tab
:bookmarks!  " new tab
:bookmarks$  " new window
:bookmarks   " same tab

Code blocks

  • Code blocks allow you to interact with cVim's content scripts via the cVimrc.
  • Since code blocks use eval(...), you should only use them if you know what you're doing.
" To be used by the code block
set hintset_a

" Create a code block named switchHintCharacters
switchHintCharacters -> {{
  // We are now in JavaScript mode

  // Settings are contained in an object named settings
  settings.hintset_a = !settings.hintset_a;
  if (settings.hintset_a) {
    settings.hintcharacters = 'abc'; // equivalent to "let hintcharacters = 'abc'"
  } else {
    settings.hintcharacters = 'xyz';

  // Propagate the current settings to all tabs for the
  // rest of the session
  PORT('syncSettings', { settings: settings });

  // Display cVim's status bar for 2 seconds.
  Status.setMessage('Hint Set: ' + (true ? 'a' : 'b'), 2);

" Run the JavaScript block
map <Tab> :call switchHintCharacters<CR>

Completion Engines

  • These are a list of completion engines that can be used in the command bar. They can be set by assigning their names to an array with the completionengines variable.
    • google, wikipedia, youtube, imdb, amazon, google-maps, wolframalpha, google-image, ebay, webster, wictionary, urbandictionary, duckduckgo, answers, google-trends, google-finance, yahoo, bing, themoviedb
  • Example usage:
let completionengines = ['google', 'google-image', 'youtube'] " Show only these engines in the command bar


Movement Mapping name
j, s scroll down scrollDown
k, w scroll up scrollUp
h scroll left scrollLeft
l scroll right scrollRight
d scroll half-page down scrollPageDown
unmapped scroll full-page down scrollFullPageDown
u, e scroll half-page up scrollPageUp
unmapped scroll full-page up scrollFullPageUp
gg scroll to the top of the page scrollToTop
G scroll to the bottom of the page scrollToBottom
0 scroll to the left of the page scrollToLeft
$ scroll to the right of the page scrollToRight
# reset the scroll focus to the main page resetScrollFocus
gi go to first input box goToInput
gI go to the last focused input box by gi goToLastInput
zz center page to current search match (middle) centerMatchH
zt center page to current search match (top) centerMatchT
zb center page to current search match (bottom) centerMatchB
Link Hints
f open link in current tab createHint
F open link in new tab createTabbedHint
unmapped open link in new tab (active) createActiveTabbedHint
W open link in new window createHintWindow
A repeat last hint command openLastHint
q trigger a hover event (mouseover + mouseenter) createHoverHint
Q trigger a unhover event (mouseout + mouseleave) createUnhoverHint
mf open multiple links createMultiHint
unmapped edit text with external editor createEditHint
unmapped call a code block with the link as the first argument createScriptHint(<FUNCTION_NAME>)
unmapped opens images in a new tab fullImageHint
mr reverse image search multiple links multiReverseImage
my yank multiple links (open the list of links with P) multiYankUrl
gy copy URL from link to clipboard yankUrl
gr reverse image search (google images) reverseImage
; change the link hint focus
M<*> create quickmark <*> addQuickMark
go<*> open quickmark <*> in the current tab openQuickMark
gn<*> open quickmark <*> in a new tab openQuickMarkTabbed
gw<*> open quickmark <*> in a new window openQuickMarkWindowed
a alias to ":tabnew google " :tabnew google
. repeat the last command repeatCommand
: open command bar openCommandBar
/ open search bar openSearchBar
? open search bar (reverse search) openSearchBarReverse
unmapped open link search bar (same as pressing /?) openLinkSearchBar
I search through browser history :history
<N>g% scroll <N> percent down the page percentScroll
<N>unmapped pass <N> keys through to the current page passKeys
zr restart Google Chrome :chrome://restart<CR>
i enter insert mode (escape to exit) insertMode
r reload the current tab reloadTab
gR reload the current tab + local cache reloadTabUncached
;<*> create mark <*> setMark
'' go to last scroll position lastScrollPosition
'<*> go to mark <*> goToMark
cm mute/unmute a tab muteTab
none reload all tabs reloadAllTabs
cr reload all tabs but current reloadAllButCurrent
zi zoom page in zoomPageIn
zo zoom page out zoomPageOut
z0 zoom page to original size zoomOrig
z<Enter> toggle image zoom (same as clicking the image on image-only pages) toggleImageZoom
gd alias to :chrome://downloads<CR> :chrome://downloads<CR>
ge alias to :chrome://extensions<CR> :chrome://extensions<CR>
yy copy the URL of the current page to the clipboard yankDocumentUrl
yY copy the URL of the current frame to the clipboard yankRootUrl
ya copy the URLs in the current window yankWindowUrls
yh copy the currently matched text from find mode (if any) yankHighlight
b search through bookmarks :bookmarks
p open the clipboard selection openPaste
P open the clipboard selection in a new tab openPasteTab
gj hide the download shelf hideDownloadsShelf
gf cycle through iframes nextFrame
gF go to the root frame rootFrame
gq stop the current tab from loading cancelWebRequest
gQ stop all tabs from loading cancelAllWebRequests
gu go up one path in the URL goUpUrl
gU go to to the base URL goToRootUrl
gs go to the view-source:// page for the current Url :viewsource!
<C-b> create or toggle a bookmark for the current URL createBookmark
unmapped close all browser windows quitChrome
g- decrement the first number in the URL path (e.g => decrementURLPath
g+ increment the first number in the URL path incrementURLPath
Tab Navigation
gt, K, R navigate to the next tab nextTab
gT, J, E navigate to the previous tab previousTab
g0, g$ go to the first/last tab firstTab, lastTab
<C-S-h>, gh open the last URL in the current tab's history in a new tab openLastLinkInTab
<C-S-l>, gl open the next URL from the current tab's history in a new tab openNextLinkInTab
x close the current tab closeTab
gxT close the tab to the left of the current tab closeTabLeft
gxt close the tab to the right of the current tab closeTabRight
gx0 close all tabs to the left of the current tab closeTabsToLeft
gx$ close all tabs to the right of the current tab closeTabsToRight
X open the last closed tab lastClosedTab
t :tabnew :tabnew
T :tabnew <CURRENT URL> :tabnew @%
O :open <CURRENT URL> :open @%
<N>% switch to tab <N> goToTab
H, S go back goBack
L, D go forward goForward
B search for another active tab :buffer
< move current tab left moveTabLeft
> move current tab right moveTabRight
]] click the "next" link on the page (see nextmatchpattern above) nextMatchPattern
[[ click the "back" link on the page (see previousmatchpattern above) previousMatchPattern
gp pin/unpin the current tab pinTab
<C-6> toggle the focus between the last used tabs lastUsedTab
Find Mode
n next search result nextSearchResult
N previous search result previousSearchResult
v enter visual/caret mode (highlight current search/selection) toggleVisualMode
V enter visual line mode from caret mode/currently highlighted search toggleVisualLineMode
unmapped clear search mode highlighting clearSearchHighlight
Visual/Caret Mode
<Esc> exit visual mode to caret mode/exit caret mode to normal mode
v toggle between visual/caret mode
h, j, k, l move the caret position/extend the visual selection
y copys the current selection
n select the next search result
N select the previous search result
p open highlighted text in current tab
P open highlighted text in new tab
Text boxes
<C-i> move cursor to the beginning of the line beginningOfLine
<C-e> move cursor to the end of the line endOfLine
<C-u> delete to the beginning of the line deleteToBeginning
<C-o> delete to the end of the line deleteToEnd
<C-y> delete back one word deleteWord
<C-p> delete forward one word deleteForwardWord
unmapped delete back one character deleteChar
unmapped delete forward one character deleteForwardChar
<C-h> move cursor back one word backwardWord
<C-l> move cursor forward one word forwardWord
<C-f> move cursor forward one letter forwardChar
<C-b> move cursor back one letter backwardChar
<C-j> move cursor forward one line forwardLine
<C-k> move cursor back one line backwardLine
unmapped select input text (equivalent to <C-a>) selectAll
unmapped edit with Vim in a terminal (need the script running for this to work) editWithVim

Command Mode

Command Description
:tabnew (autocomplete) open a new tab with the typed/completed search
:new (autocomplete) open a new window with the typed/completed search
:open (autocomplete) open the typed/completed URL/google search
:history (autocomplete) search through browser history
:bookmarks (autocomplete) search through bookmarks
:bookmarks /<folder> (autocomplete) browse bookmarks by folder/open all bookmarks from folder
:set (autocomplete) temporarily change a cVim setting
:chrome:// (autocomplete) open a chrome:// URL
:tabhistory (autocomplete) browse the different history states of the current tab
:command <NAME> <ACTION> aliases :<NAME> to :<ACTION>
:quit close the current tab
:qall close the current window
:restore (autocomplete) restore a previously closed tab (newer versions of Chrome only)
:tabattach (autocomplete) move the current tab to another open window
:tabdetach move the current tab to a new window
:file (autocomplete) open a local file
:source (autocomplete) load a cVimrc file into memory (this will overwrite the settings in the options page if the localconfig setting had been set previously
:duplicate duplicate the current tab
:settings open the settings page
:nohlsearch clear the highlighted text from the last search
:execute execute a sequence of keys (Useful for mappings. For example, "map j :execute 2j")
:buffer (autocomplete) change to a different tab
:mksession create a new session from the current tabs in the active window
:delsession (autocomplete) delete a saved session
:session (autocomplete) open the tabs from a saved session in a new window
:script run JavaScript on the current page
:togglepin toggle the pin state of the current tab
:pintab pin the current tab
:unpintab unpin the current tab


  • You can use @% in "open" commands to specify the current URL. For example, :open @% would essentially refresh the current page.
  • Prepend a number to the command to repeat that command N times
  • Use the up/down arrows in command/find mode to navigate through previously executed commands/searches -- you can also use this to search for previously executed commands starting with a certain combination of letters (for example, entering ta in the command bar and pressing the up arrow will search command history for all matches beginning with ta


Nice that you want to spend some time improving this extension. Solving issues is always appreciated. If you're going to add a feature, it would be best to submit an issue. You'll get feedback whether it will likely be merged.

  1. Run npm install in the repository's root folder
  2. Run make
  3. Navigate to chrome://extensions
  4. Toggle into Developer Mode
  5. Click on "Load Unpacked Extension..."
  6. Select the cVim directory.