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Elixir support for vim



  • Syntax highlighting for Elixir and EEx files
  • Filetype detection for .ex, .exs, .eex, .heex, .leex, and .sface files
  • Automatic indentation
  • Integration between Ecto projects and vim-dadbod for running SQL queries on defined Ecto repositories


vim-elixir can be installed either with a plugin manager or by directly copying the files into your vim folders (location varies between platforms)

Plugin Managers

If you are using a plugin manager then add vim-elixir the way you would any other plugin:

# Using vim 8 native package loading
git clone ~/.vim/pack/my-packages/start/vim-elixir

# Using pathogen
git clone ~/.vim/bundle/vim-elixir
" Using vim-plug
Plug 'elixir-editors/vim-elixir'

" Using Vundle
Plugin 'elixir-editors/vim-elixir'

" Using NeoBundle
NeoBundle 'elixir-editors/vim-elixir'

Manual Installation

If you are not using a package manager then you can use the provided script to copy the files into their respective homes.

Run ./ to copy the contents of each directory in the respective directories inside ~/.vim.


You must add the following to your ~/.vimrc:

" Enable syntax highlighting
syntax on

" Enables filetype detection, loads ftplugin, and loads indent
" (Not necessary on nvim and may not be necessary on vim 8.2+)
filetype plugin indent on


mix format Integration

We've decided not to include mix format integration into vim-elixir. If you'd like to set it up yourself, you have the following options:

  • For asynchronous execution of the formatter, have a look at vim-mix-format
  • Add it as a formatprg (e.g. setlocal formatprg=mix\ format\ -)

Why isn't this supported? We've run into two major issues with calling out to mix format. First mix format would not work unless your program compiled. Second mix format added an external process dependency to vim-elixir.

If someone really wanted to try and add this then we might be able to model it after vim-go's go fmt integration which I think could be acceptable to merge into master.


Maintenance Help

vim-elixir is looking for new maintainers. If you get a lot of value from it, know vimscript well, or eager to learn about it then feel free to get in touch with @jbodah (GH issue, elixir-lang Slack)

Running the Tests

The tests depend on having Ruby installed. They also depend on a GUI vim (gvim, mvim) with server support. If you do not have gvim or mvim in your PATH then you can create a .gvim_path file in the vim-elixir root directory which specifies the path to the GUI vim executable.

To run the tests: bundle exec parallel_rspec spec

Developing in Docker

You can spawn a container with vim and your development configs using bin/vim or bin/nvim

Debugging Indent

# Open vim in a container loading this plugin
bin/vim myfile.ex

# Debug statements should be configured to print automatically
# Write/indent some code

# You should see output like the following:
#   ==> Indenting line 3
#   text = '    _ -> :wowo'
#   testing handler elixir#indent#handle_top_of_file
#   testing handler elixir#indent#handle_starts_with_string_continuation
#   testing handler elixir#indent#handle_following_trailing_binary_operator
#   testing handler elixir#indent#handle_starts_with_pipe
#   testing handler elixir#indent#handle_starts_with_binary_operator
#   testing handler elixir#indent#handle_inside_block
#   pattern matching relative to lnum 2
#   current line contains ->; assuming match definition
#   line 3: elixir#indent#handle_inside_block returned 4
#   1 change; before #1  4 seconds ago
# This tells you which line is being inspected as well as which handlers are being run
# and which branches are being exercised by those handlers

Feature Wishlist

Here is a list of features that I think would be great additions to vim-elixir:

  • Regularly merging vim-elixir into vim and keeping the sync up-to-date
  • Fixing our build so it can run regularly on CI
  • Live view support
  • Testing .exs files and ensuring feature compatibility between .ex and .exs
  • Documentation (e.g. :h vim-elixir)
  • README docs for various .vimrc options/flags
  • Identifying and rewriting tests that conflict with mix format
  • Fixes for indentation rule edge cases (e.g. with, see GH issues for examples)
  • Simplifying syntax rules
  • Performance optimizations for syntax/indent rules (especially for determining if something is a string)