Instant Markdown previews from VIm!
Vim script
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Pull request Compare This branch is 24 commits behind suan:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


Want to instantly preview finnicky markdown files, but don't want to leave your favorite editor, or have to do it in some crappy browser textarea? vim-instant-markdown is your friend! When you open a markdown file in vim, a browser window will open which shows the compiled markdown in real-time, and closes once you close the file in vim.

As a bonus, github-flavored-markdown is supported, and styles used while previewing are the same as those github uses!



You first need to have Ruby with RubyGems, and node.js with npm installed. (In the future there might be a version which won't require node.js at all, making installation easier)

  • [sudo] gem install redcarpet pygments.rb
  • [sudo] npm -g install instant-markdown-d
  • If you're on Linux, the xdg-utils package needs to be installed (is installed by default on Ubuntu).
  • Copy the after/ftplugin/markdown/instant-markdown.vim file from this repo into your ~/.vim/after/ftplugin/markdown/ (creating directories as necessary), or use pathogen.
  • Open a markdown file in vim and enjoy!


By default, vim-instant-markdown will update the display in realtime. If that taxes your system too much, you can specify

let g:instant_markdown_slow = 1

before loading the plugin (for example place that in your ~/.vimrc). This will cause vim-instant-markdown to only refresh on the following events:

  • No keys have been pressed for a while
  • A while after you leave insert mode
  • You save the file being edited

Supported Platforms

OSX and Unix/Linuxes*.

*: One annoyance in Linux is that there's no way to reliably open a browser page in the background, so you'll likely have to manually refocus your vim session everytime you open a Markdown file. If you have ideas on how to address this I'd love to know!


Why don't my <bla>.md files trigger this plugin?

By default, vim (7.3 and above) only recognizes files ending with .markdown, .mdown, and as makrdown files. If you want <anything>.md to be recognized, I recommend installing one of many markdown plugins available, such as this one.


If you're curious, the code for the mini-server component for this plugin can be found at A plugin can easily be written for any editor to interface with the server to get the same functionality found here.