A Vim Plugin for indicating changes as colored bars using signs.
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Changes plugin

A Vim plugin for displaying changes in a buffer

This plugin was written to help visualize which lines have been changed since editing started for a file. The plugin was inspired by so called changed-bars, available at other editors, such as Embarcadero C++ Builder (there it is called Change Bars or Visual Studio where it is called indicator margin.

ChangesPlugin.vim uses the diff-feature of vim and compares the actual buffer with it's saved state (or possibly against a state in a VCS repository). In order to highlight the indicator signs at the first column, its using signs.

See also the following screencast, that shows several features available: screencast of the plugin

Note, that a '-' indicates, that at least one line was deleted between that particular line and the following line.


  • Shows signs for added, modified, and deleted lines.
  • Quick jumping between changed blocks ("hunks").
  • Tries to updated signs as fast as possible
  • Optional line highlighting.
  • Customisable
  • Many different Commands (fold all non changed lines, show changed lines in Quickfix window, opens a diff split...)
  • Preserves signs from other plugins.
  • Built-in integration with vim-airline.
  • good documentation
  • quick response
  • Nice icons for gvim
  • Uses Vim 8 async feature for parsing the diff

Why another git-gutter/vim-signify clone?

To be fair, there were a lot of other vim plugins, that offered the same functionality as those two. They just didn't get the same attention as those two. ChangesPlugin was one of those plugins.


Use the plugin manager of your choice. For example with pathogen use:

cd ~/.vim/bundle
git clone https://github.com/chrisbra/changesPlugin.git

Vundle users do add Plugin 'chrisbra/changesPlugin' to your ~/.vimrc and then issue :PluginInstall from within Vim.


Once installed, take a look at the help at :h ChangesPlugin

Here is a short overview of the functionality provided by the plugin:

Ex commands:

:EC  - Active the plugin (displays indicators of changes for the current buffer
:DC  - Disable the plugin
:TCV - Toggles the plugin
:CC  - Show a small help window
:CL  - Opens the Quickfix window with all changes for the current buffer
:CD  - Opens a diff view for the current buffer
:CF  - Folds away all non-changed lines
:CT  - Toggles how the highlighting is displayed


]h   - Moves forward to the next changed line
[h   - Moves backwards to the previous changed line
ah   - Selects the current hunk (TextObject)
<Leader>h - Stage the hunk, the cursor is on (works only for git)


g:changes_autocmd (default: 1) - update automatically the signs using InsertLeave and TextChanged autocommands.

g:changes_vcs_check (default: 0)

g:changes_vcs_system (default: '') - Check against a version in a repository (e.g. git/mercurial) and specify VCS to use (if not specified, will try to autodetect).

g:changes_diff_preview (default: 0) - Display diff in the preview window

g:changes_respect_SignColumn (default 0) - If not set, will reset the SignColumn highlighting to that of the Normal Highlighting group

g:changes_sign_text_utf8 (default 1) - If set, will display nice little utf-8 signs.

g:changes_linehi_diff (default: 0) - If set, will overlay the text with a highlighting for the actual difference within the line.

g:changes_use_icons (default: 1) - If set, will display graphical icons if support is available.

Similar Work

vim-gitgutter Only works for git, only updates the signs on write

vim-signify supports several VCS, only updates the sign on write

License & Copyright

© 2009-2014 by Christian Brabandt. The Vim License applies. See :h license