Vim mode for Ace (Github & Cloud9's editor)
CoffeeScript JavaScript
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Jim is a JavaScript library that adds a Vim mode to the excellent in-browser editor Ace. Github uses Ace for its editor, so you can use the Jim bookmarklet to Jimmy rig it with Vim-ness.

Project status

Jim is no longer maintained. Cloud9 IDE now has a built-in Vim mode, but it doesn't work with standalone Ace AFAIK, so fork away if you'd like to continue this project.

I'm not terribly proud of how the code ended up. Using classes for each of the commands is a textbook case of OO being over-applied. For an idea of how to implement a Vim-mode The Right Way, take a look at Sublime Text 2's Vintage mode. I use it on a daily basis and it works great. The way commands are "built" with keystrokes and then executed afterwards with one ViEval command turns out to be a far superior way to write a Vim mode.

Try it out

Embed Jim with Ace in your app

<script src="ace.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="jim-ace.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    var editor = ace.edit('editor');
    // configure Ace

Annotated source

What works so far

  • modes: normal, visual (characterwise and linewise), insert, replace
  • operators: c, d, y, >, and < in normal and visual modes (double operators work as linewise commands in normal mode, too)
  • motions (can be used with counts and/or operators, and in visual mode)
    • h, j, k, l
    • W, E, B, w, e, b
    • 0, ^, $
    • G, gg
    • H, M, L
    • /, ?, n, N, *, #
    • f, F, t, T
  • other commands
    • insert switches: i, a, o, O, I, A, and C
    • commands: D, gJ, J, p, P, r, s, x, X, u, and .
    • visual mode commands: gJ, J, p and P
  • default register (operations yank text in the register for pasting)
  • u works as it does in Vim (Cmd-z and Cmd-y still work as they do in Ace)

If you have a feature request create an issue

Known issues

Take a gander at the issue tracker


git clone git://
cd jim
git submodule update --init

Then just open index.html and you're good to go.

Chrome needs a special command line argument to allow XHRs to files: google-chrome --allow-file-access-from-files

To keep the development js file built while you develop, you'll need CoffeeScript:

npm install coffee-script

Then build your files in the background:

cake build:ace:watch

Open test/test.html to run the tests


Thanks to all contributors. In other words: thanks sourrust.