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This project adds CoffeeScript support to the vim editor. It supports almost all of CoffeeScript's syntax and indentation style.


Installing and Using

  1. Install tpope's pathogen into ~/.vim/autoload/ and add the following line to your ~/.vimrc:

     call pathogen#runtime_append_all_bundles()

    Be aware that it must be added before any filetype plugin indent on lines according to the install page:

    Note that you need to invoke the pathogen functions before invoking "filetype plugin indent on" if you want it to load ftdetect files. On Debian (and probably other distros), the system vimrc does this early on, so you actually need to "filetype off" before "filetype plugin indent on" to force reloading.

  1. Create, and change into, the ~/.vim/bundle/ directory:

     $ mkdir -p ~/.vim/bundle
     $ cd ~/.vim/bundle
  2. Make a clone of the vim-coffee-script repository:

     $ git clone git://
     $ ls

That's it. Pathogen should handle the rest. Opening a file with a .coffee extension or a Cakefile will load everything.


  1. Change into the ~/.vim/bundle/vim-coffee-script/ directory:

     $ cd ~/.vim/bundle/vim-coffee-script
  2. Pull in the latest changes:

     $ git pull

Everything will then be brought up to date.

Compiling the Current File and Autocompiling

The CoffeeMake command compiles the current file and parses any errors.




By default, CoffeeMake shows all compiler output and jumps to the first line reported as an error by coffee:


Compiler output can be hidden with silent:

:silent CoffeeMake

Line-jumping can be turned off by adding a bang:


Options given to CoffeeMake are passed along to coffee:

:CoffeeMake --bare

The command can be bound to a key like:

nmap KEY :CoffeeMake<CR>


To get autocompiling when a file is written (formerly coffee_compile_on_save), add an autocmd like this to your ~/.vimrc:

autocmd BufWritePost *.coffee silent CoffeeMake!

All of the customizations above can be used, too. This one compiles silently with the -b option, but shows any errors:

autocmd BufWritePost *.coffee silent CoffeeMake! -b | cwindow

Passing options on-the-fly

The CoffeeMake command passes any options in the coffee_make_options variable along to the compiler. This can be used to set options on-the-fly:

:let coffee_make_options = "-n"

Compiling a CoffeeScript Snippet

The CoffeeCompile command shows how the current file or a snippet of CoffeeScript would be compiled to JavaScript. Calling CoffeeCompile without a range compiles the entire file:


and shows an output like:


Calling CoffeeCompile with a range, like in visual mode, compiles the selected snippet of CoffeeScript:

CoffeeCompile Snippet

and shows an output like:

Compiled Snippet

The command can also be mapped to a visual mode key for convenience:

vmap KEY :CoffeeCompile<CR>


These customizations can be enabled or disabled by adding the relevant let statement to your ~/.vimrc.

Fold by indentation

Folding is automatically setup as indent-based:


It's disabled by default, but can be enabled with:

let coffee_folding = 1

Otherwise, it can be quickly toggled per-file with the zi command.

Disable trailing whitespace error

Trailing whitespace is highlighted as an error by default. This can be disabled with:

let coffee_no_trailing_space_error = 1

Disable trailing semicolon error

Trailing semicolons are also considered an error. This can be disabled with:

let coffee_no_trailing_semicolon_error = 1

Disable reserved words error

Reserved words such as function and var are highlighted an error in contexts disallowed by CoffeeScript. This can be disabled with:

let coffee_no_reserved_words_error = 1