Use Vim along with your project git repository to have all project-oriented IDEs cool features
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Use Vim along with your project git repository to have all project-oriented IDEs cool features.

Features demo


  • Integrated with git at project-level repository
  • Project explorer
  • File outline
  • Auto-completion
  • Jump to methods, classes, functions... (definitions and uses of them) using keyboard or mouse
  • Syntax checking and highlighting
  • Project level search (git grep or cscope)
  • Comment/uncomment lines quickly
  • Easy system copy & paste (depends on clipboard, see Requirements)
  • Keyboard and mouse mappings for common actions
  • Fuzzy search
  • Quick add echo "" based on the cursor line
  • (Don't be scared by the time it takes the first time you open a project file, is gathering the project references and is only the first time)

By default the vim-IDE mode is only automatically enabled when opening supported languages files, but it is easy to add more languages (read Adding new languages section for more info).


You should run Vim from your project root directory, all /my/project/root files will be parsed to get the available tags.

cd /my/project/root
vim any/of/my/project/files.file

A few usual customisations are available when using Vim to open not fully supported languages files.


Vim 7.3 and higher (not tested on lower versions)

(Optional) But really recommended, is to install ctags (project-scope tags, jump to definitions, auto-completion...) and cscope (list of tags uses). Vim should also be compiled with --enable-cscope option (you can just install vim-gtk package).

# Linux (apt-get)
sudo apt-get install ctags cscope vim-gtk

# OSx
brew install ctags cscope

(Optional) For easy copy & paste to the system clipboard, Vim should be compiled with clipboard support (also included in vim-gtk package).

(Optional) You can use alternatively for better support.


Backup your ~/.vimrc and/or your ~/.vim dir.

cd ~/.vim
git clone git:// .
ln -s ~/.vim/.vimrc ~/.vimrc
git submodule init
git submodule update

If you are later interested in using part of your previous ~/.vimrc you can do it in ~/.vim/custom.vim.

Note that it uses a dark colour scheme (jellybeans) but respecting your command line interface background colour configuration; if you are using a bash "black on white" colour scheme you might want to change it to something darker.


# Replace origin if you used a different remote name.
git fetch origin && git rebase origin/master

Note that your ~/.vim/custom.vim changes will be preserved but if you hacked ~/.vimrc directly you would have to backup your changes and restore them after last vim-IDE changes are pulled. It is better to add your customisations to ~/.vim/custom.vim.

Fully supported languages

Mostly the ones I use:

  • Shell
  • PHP
  • Javascript
  • Python
  • Vim
  • Markdown
  • LaTeX
  • HTML
  • Text

Languages can be easily added, more info in next section. Feel free to contribute.

Adding new languages

  • Create the filetype specifics in ftplugin/FILETYPE.vim you can base it on the existing filetypes (ftplugin/sh.vim for example)
  • Add a line with "autocmd vimenter * IDEOpen" in your ftplugin/FILETYPENAME.vim to add IDE features
  • Create a fttags/ to write the ctags command, use fttags/ template


  • Auto-complete: <Tab> in "Insert mode" while writing
  • Fuzzy search: <C-p>, select the file and select file
  • Jump to methods, classes or functions
    • Cursor on the method or class and select file
    • Cursor on the method or class and <C-v> to open a list of references to that tag
    • <C-LeftMouse> over the method or class name to jump to its definition
    • <C-RightMouse> over the method or class name to jump to its definition, splitting the window horizontally
    • <C-MiddleMouse> over the method or class name to jump to its definition, splitting the window vertically
  • Open a file from the project explorer: select file
  • Select a file from file outline: select file
  • To toggle the "File outline" visibility: <F8>
  • To toggle the "Project explorer" visibility: <F7>
  • Comment/uncomment the current line: <leader>c<space> in non-Insert mode to comment/uncomment
  • Comment/uncomment a bunch of lines: Select lines in "Visual mode" and <leader>c to comment/uncomment
  • To paste without indentation problems: <F9> and <C-S-P>
  • To copy: Select the text and <C-c> (only if the system clipboard is available)
  • To echo "": <F5> and <F6> to prepend/append a new line with an echo (language dependant) to the cursor line

More info about all the supported commands/mappings below, in options section or in each vim plugin's page

To overwrite these mapping with your own preferences see custom.vim.dist

Selecting files

These are the mappings to select files (you can customise them) to open files or tags. They are used on multiple commands:

  • <C-a> open in the current buffer
  • <C-c> open new buffer splitting the window horizontally
  • <C-f> open new buffer splitting the window vertically


You can set your own preferences and extensions in ~/.vim/custom.vim, which you can create from ~/.vim/custom.vim.dist, it will be included just after ~/.vimrc is loaded.

These are the global variables you can overwrite in ~/.vim/custom.vim:

  • let g:IDEOnlyEditor if you want only want to display the editor window (I use this one)
  • let g:IDEAlways if you want to use the IDE mode for all files opened with Vim, not only the fully supported ones
  • let g:IDESplitWindowKey to redefine which key opens a file (or the current word) splitting the window horizontally, defaults to "c"
  • let g:IDEVSplitWindowKey to redefine which key opens a file (or the current word) splitting the window vertically, defaults to "f"
  • let g:IDEOpenCurrentWindowKey to redefine which key opens a file (or the current word) in the current window, defaults to "a"
  • let g:IDEFindUsesKey to redefine which key opens the list of uses of the current work splitting the window horizontally, defaults to "v"
  • let g:IDENERDTreeToggleKey to redefine the key to toggle the project explorer window, defaults to "F7"
  • let g:IDETagListToggleKey to redefine the key to toggle the file outline window, defaults to "F8"
  • let g:IDEPasteModeKey to redefine the key to enter to "paste mode", defaults to "F9"

These are the vim-IDE commands:

  • :IDEOpen to add IDE features
  • :IDEClose to return to normal Vim file edition mode
  • :IDERebuildTags to rebuild the project tags (gets the filetype from the current window)
  • :IDES open the shell command output in a sp window (e.g. :IDES ls -la)

Here you can also customise the other Vim plugins included here.

Vim quick info

  • Enter Insert mode with i to edit text
  • In "Normal mode" press : to enter into Command-line mode
  • Navigate through windows using <C-w> and <Up>, <Down>, <Left> or <Right> depending on where is the window you want to focus
  • Create a new file splitting the current window :sp /path/to/new/file horizontally, and :vsp /path/to/new/file vertically, in "Command-line mode"

More info / dependencies / credits

Dependencies are automatically installed following the 'Install' section steps.

Most of the project features are part of different plugins, only the basic ones have been explained here; refer to them for more info / options / maps / commands.

If I've missed someone/something, please, let me know.