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VIM Workshop

Materials for VIM workshops taught by Northwestern IT Research Computing Services.


Setting up VIM

Mac and Linux

On Mac and Linux a small version of Vim is pre-installed and can be accessed via Mac Terminal and Linux Shell. You can verify the installation by issuing "vim --version" command on the terminal or shell.


For this workshop we recommend Windows users to download Git Bash as it provides a basic Unix Shell equipped with Vim. Git Bash is included in Git for Windows. If you do not already have Git installed for Windows, you can download an installer at

During installation, you can use the default options presented except for Adjusting your PATH environment step. For this step, select "Use Git from Git Bash only" option so environment variables are not be modified.

Setting up Python (Optional)

Mac and Linux

The workshop also includes an example where we will run a python script. For most Mac and Linux machines the operating systems have native python versions. Python version can be verified by issuing "python --version" command on the terminal or shell.


We recommend Anaconda Python 3.6 which can be downloaded from if you do not already have it in the Windows device. Do the installation just for your user and UNCHECK any of the options presented in the Advanced Installation Options step so that environmental variables are not modified.

To use Anaconda Python from Git Bash, issue the following commands in the bash shell:

export PATH=$PATH:~/Anaconda3/
alias python='winpty python.exe'
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