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Zeavim, Zeal for Vim

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Description | Installation | Usage | Mapping | Commands | Settings | Notes


Zeavim allows to use the offline documentation browser Zeal from Vim.

Zeavim in use


  • Search for word under cursor, visual selection or the result of a motion/text-object.
  • Search without losing focus in GNU/Linux.
  • Narrow search with a docset or a query.
  • Allow using multiple docsets.
  • Docset names completion.
  • Define you own docsets using patterns.
  • Work on GNU/Linux and Windows.


To use zeavim, you need of course to have Zeal installed. Grab it from here and install it .

Manual installation

Install the distributed files into Vim runtime directory which is usually ~/.vim/, or $HOME/vimfiles on Windows.

Using a plugin manager

With Vim-plug:

Plug 'KabbAmine/zeavim.vim'


There are 3 ways of using zeavim:

  1. <leader>z or :Zeavim\ZeavimV

    Search for the word under cursor or the current visual selection with the docset defined automatically+.

  2. gz{motion/text-object}

    Act like an operator and search for the result of a motion/text-object with the docset defined automatically+ (e.g. gziW will search for the inner Word).

  3. <leader><leader>z or :Zeavim!

    Narrow search with a docset+ and a query (A default docset is provided).

    LeaderLeader-z example

    • Multiple docsets can be defined, just separate them by a comma.
    • Docset name(s) can be completed using tab.

+ The current file type by default.


Use the following to change the mappings:

nmap <leader>z <Plug>Zeavim
vmap <leader>z <Plug>ZVVisSelection
nmap gz <Plug>ZVOperator
nmap <leader><leader>z <Plug>ZVKeyDocset

N.B: The old <Plug>ZVMotion is still available to maintain compatibility.


Main commands

:Zeavim     " NORMAL mode (The same as <Plug>Zeavim)
:ZeavimV    " VISUAL mode (The same as <Plug>ZVVisSelection)
:Zeavim!    " Ask for docset and query (The same as <Plug>ZVKeyDocset)

N.B: The commands ZvV and ZVKeyDocset are still available to maintain compatibility with older versions of the plugin.

Specify manually a docset


If you need a lazy way to specify a docset(s), you can use the command above.
As an example, I'm working on a scss file but I want to get compass documentation when using Zeavim, so I just need to specify manually this docset:

Docset compass

Then Zeavim only for the current buffer will use compass as a docset.
To set back the initial docset, a simple Docset without argument is enough.

Specify manually a docset

  • Note that you can define multiple docsets here, separated by comma(s).
  • The docset name(s) can be completed.


Please refer to the doc file for a full description of the options.

  • g:zv_zeal_executable - Define location of zeal's executable.


    let g:zv_zeal_executable = has('win32')
                \ ? $ProgramFiles . '\Zeal\zeal.exe'
                \ : 'zeal'

  • g:zv_file_type - Map specific regex patterns (file names, file types or file extensions) to docset(s).


    let g:zv_file_types = {
                \   'scss': 'sass',
                \   'sh'  : 'bash',
                \   'tex' : 'latex'
                \ }


    let g:zv_file_types = {
                    \    'css'                      : 'css,foundation',
                    \    '.htaccess'                : 'apache_http_server',
                    \    '\v^(G|g)runt\.'           : 'gulp,javascript,nodejs',
                    \    '\v^(G|g)ulpfile\.'        : 'grunt',
                    \    '\v^(md|mdown|mkd|mkdn)$'  : 'markdown',
                    \ }

  • g:zv_disable_mapping - Disable default mappings.

    default: 0

  • g:zv_get_docset_by - Set in which order and which criteria should be used when trying to match a pattern in g:zv_file_types.

default: ['file', 'ext', 'ft'].


" Find matching pattern to the file type only:
let g:zv_get_docset_by = ['ft']

" Find matching pattern to the extension first, then to the file name 
" and finally to the type.
let g:zv_get_docset_by = ['ext', 'file', 'ft']

  • g:zv_docsets_dir - Directory where are stored zeal's docsets for command completion purpose.


    let g:zv_docsets_dir = has('win32')
      \ ? $LOCALAPPDATA . '\Zeal\Zeal\docsets'
      \ : $HOME . '/.local/share/Zeal/Zeal/docsets'

  • g:zv_keep_focus - Keep or not the focus on vim after executing zeal (Need wmtcrl to be installed and works only on GNU/Linux).

    default: 1

My configuration

nmap gzz <Plug>Zeavim
vmap gzz <Plug>ZVVisSelection
nmap <leader>z <Plug>ZVKeyDocset
nmap gZ <Plug>ZVKeyDocset<CR>
nmap gz <Plug>ZVOperator
let g:zv_keep_focus = 0
let g:zv_file_types = {
            \   'help'                : 'vim',
            \   'javascript'          : 'javascript,nodejs',
            \   'python'              : 'python_3',
            \   '\v^(G|g)ulpfile\.js' : 'gulp,javascript,nodejs',
            \ }
let g:zv_zeal_args = g:has_unix ? '--style=gtk+' : ''


Zeavim was my first vim plugin and it was created in the beginning for a personal use, so please feel free to report issues and submit PR.

Thanks to Jerzy Kozera for creating such wonderful open-source application.

Thanks to Bram Moolenaar for creating the best piece of software in the world ❤️

Thanks to you if you're using zeavim.