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Vim customized to be like SublimeText
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Latest commit 241b6d1 May 2, 2014

This Project is closed and not maintained anymore. I don't find any value in creating a Vim distribution any more. I believe using Vim with plugins and settings for your own need is much more scalable and better in long term. I will occasionally push changes when I have time but don't expect any maintenance or future contributions. Thanks everyone for using and supporting this project, feel free to fork and use it on your own.

     _______. __    __  .______   ____    ____  __  .___  ___. 
    /       ||  |  |  | |   _  \  \   \  /   / |  | |   \/   | 
   |   (----`|  |  |  | |  |_)  |  \   \/   /  |  | |  \  /  | 
    \   \    |  |  |  | |   _  <    \      /   |  | |  |\/|  | 
.----)   |   |  `--'  | |  |_)  |    \    /    |  | |  |  |  | 
|_______/     \______/  |______/      \__/     |__| |__|  |__| 

Customized to be awesome by default. It is improved to be used on Mac OS X and MacVim. (note: Linux version is on the todo list, I'll work on it asap)

If used with MacVim you will get SublimeText-like features with the same shortcuts without installing or compiling any external library:

subvim screenhhost

  • cmd + p -> Goto Anything...
  • cmd + t -> Goto File...
  • cmd + r -> Goto Symbol on current file...
  • cmd + shift + r -> Goto Symbol on all files...
  • cmd + d -> Select words for multiple selection editing
  • cmd + k -> Show side bar
  • cmd + / -> Toggle comment
  • cmd + [ -> Indent
  • cmd + ] -> Unindent
  • cmd + <number> -> Jump to tab 1, tab 2, ...
  • cmd + alt + left -> Move to next tab
  • cmd + alt + right -> Move to previous tab
  • cmd + z -> Undo
  • cmd + shift + z -> Redo
  • cmd + n -> New File
  • cmd + shift + n -> New Window
  • cmd + s -> Save File
  • cmd + w -> Close File
  • cmd + f -> Search and replace
  • ctrl + tab -> Cycle through tabs
  • ctrl + shift + tab -> Cycle through tabs (backwards)

Some more awesome features:

  • SublimeText like colorscheme
  • Multiple Selections/Cursor feature. Use cmd+d for selecting words, cmd+u for undo, cmd+k for skipping words and esc to quit the multi cursor mode.
  • On the fly "Goto symbol, definition" feature. 41 languages, including Go, Rust, Coffeescript, Objective-C and Markdown, are supported. No need to install external plugins or binaries.
  • Full featured autocompletion via YCM. No need to compile the YCM plugin, subvim has already pre-compiled binaries included.
  • Snippet system with over 40 languages and configurable
  • Restore latest state (tab, files) when quitting and restarting again.
  • Automatic closing of quotes, parenthesis, brackets and etc..
  • ... many other fixes and improvements.

Install & Update

Be sure you are using the latest OS X 10.8 and MacVim. Currently only these two options are supported. Just clone the repo and execute make:

git clone
cd subvim

This will create symlinks from the subvim folder to ~/.vim, ~/.vimrc, ~/.gvimrc and ~/.ctags. Thus you can put the subvim folder in your favorite place.

And finally you can always update it easily with:

git pull origin master


This will just remove the symlinks created previously:

cd subvim
make clean


How do I add my own settings and plugins?

All custom settings are stored in the folder vim/custom/. You have to create it for the first time.

  • For settings, add your custom vimrc settings to the file vim/custom/vimrc (or vim/custom/gvimrc). An example file might be:
" ~/.vim/custom/vimrc own custom settings
let mapleader = ","
set indent
set tabstop=4
  • For plugins, just clone your favorite plugin into vim/custom/. Below is an example of installing vim-fugitive:
cd vim/custom
git clone git://

That's it! subvim will automatically start your settings and plugins after you restart vim again.

There are million other vim distributions, why should I use subvim?

subvim tries to be simple as possible. Only plugins that are worth and are accepted to be usable are integrated (like autocomplete, autosave sessions, etc..). It means you just start subvim and benefit from all the features explained above. There is no binary compiling or installing extra stuff. All these are integrated.

subvim has some very nice shortcuts that gives you the same experience as using SublimeText. These shortcuts do not interfere with any default vim shortcuts. It's aimed for a full Mac OS X experience. I'm thinking about making subvim Linux compatible (gvim) in the future.

There are:

  • No custom shortcuts
  • No leader keybindings that breaks your stuff
  • No unnecessary plugins that makes your life harder than easier.
  • No automatic downloading of integrated plugins. Because what works will always works. You always will get the same experience. That means if an integrated plugin is not superior, it will replaced by superior ones.

What people say about subvim

  • romainl: we don't like your project much but we provide help anyway. That's the vim spirit. (#vim on freenode)
  • a friend: an awesome project, thank you!
  • addy osmani: So hot. If you're a hardcore Vim user that's been tempted by Sublime, Subvim gives you SublimeText-like features including shortcuts, color scheme, support for 41 languages, state, autocompletion via YMC and more, Great work +Fatih Arslan!

Improvements (TODO)

  • Add Linux-compatible option
  • Autoload of vimrc settings (no need for restart anymore)
  • Make it always as simple as possible without breaking any plugins. Users should custoimize and add plugins theirself.
  • Create a dedicated page to usage and shortcuts


  • All vim plugins authors. An extended list with authors and plugins will be created.
  • romainl, osse, rking, etc.. on #vim - freenode


Same as VIM license. For more info see :help license.