External.exe allows using an external editor from any Windows application. It was originally developed by Ben Collerson, starting from discussions around Vim tip 805.
With version 0.3 and with permission from Ben, External.exe has been updated from GPLv2 to GPLv3 and hosting has moved.
Example Use Case
In a web browser's text entry box you hit a keyboard shortcut, such as Windows-V.
The current contents of the text entry box open in a text editor, for example Notepad.
You edit the text and save your changes.
After exiting Notepad, the edited text is automatically copied back into the browser's text area.
The key combination as well as the text editor may be freely configured.
Installation and Configuration
After downloading and unpacking the software, ensure that the files
external.ini are in a directory together.
external.ini in a text editor and set the options
!EditorBinding as explained in the comments in the file.
The program can be started by manually running the
external.exe command. But
once you get a configuration you like you may want to place a shortcut in your
Start/Programs/Startup folder so it will be automatically executed.
Tip: When configuring
external.exe it can be useful to use the Restart
(Shift-Ctrl-Alt-R) and Exit (Shift-Ctrl-Alt-X) bindings to reconfigure your
To use the program, once it is configured and running, move the cursor to the
text area of an application and type your
(Windows-V, for example)
Provided with the program is a Vim script
external.vim. This file can be
installed by putting it in your Vim plugin folder. With an appropriately
Editor option in
external.ini Vim will be able to recognize the
filetype of the text you are editing by using the application window title as a
external.vim has so far only been tested on a small number of applications
and filetypes, but it should be relatively easy to add new filetypes by
External() function in the script.
Compilation from source code
Install AutoIt v3 or compatible.
Aut2exe.exe /in external.au3 /out external.exe /icon logo.ico /x86 /gui
And/Or compile a version for 64 bits:
Aut2exe_x64.exe /in external.au3 /out external_x64.exe /icon logo.ico ^ /x64 /gui
Copyright (C) 2005–2015 Ben Collerson <benc at bur dot st>, Felix E. Klee
This file is part of External.exe.
External.exe is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.