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Vem Text Editor

Vem is an alternative command layout for the Vim text editor. It provides full keyboard control over the editor while trying to be as simple and intuitive as possible.

Note: To fix error E1208 when launching Vem using the latest versions of Vim, upgrade to the latest Vem release.

Vem Text Editor

Vem is a set of configuration files for the Vim text editor that changes how you interact with it. While Vim is extremely expressive and provides hundreds of commands with their own small grammar, Vem takes the opposite approach and defines a reduced, simplified set of commands that are executed, in most cases, immediately after a single key press. The commands are also distributed spatially across the keyboard, like in a map, optimizing their position according to their frequency.

The result is a different editor, strongly focused on the user experience, that strives to be as simple as possible while still giving you total control using just the keyboard. Since it uses actual Vim as base, you can also make use of its many advanced features.

Vem requires either Vim or Neovim to be installed in the system and supports the QWERTY, QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboard layouts.

You can find more information about Vem here:


To install Vem, just clone the source from GitHub and execute the Makefile inside:

    git clone
    cd vem
    sudo make install

Now the commands:

  • vem for using Vem with Vim
  • nvem for using Vem with NeoVim
  • gvem for using Vem with the graphical version of Vim

should be available in your terminal.

Related projects

Parts of Vem can be used independently of the main project and are released as Vim/Neovim plugins:

  • Vem Tabline: A plugin to show the list of buffers in the tabline.

  • Vem Statusline: A light statusline for Vim.

  • Vem Dark: A dark color scheme for Vim based on Wombat.


Vem makes use of some Vim plugins to power some of its features. Many thanks to the authors of the following great projects:


Vem is open source and free. Vem is released under the MIT license.