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vim-smoothie: Smooth scrolling for Vim done right🥤

This (neo)vim plugin makes scrolling nice and smooth. Find yourself completely lost every time you press Ctrl-D or Ctrl-F? You might want to give vim-smoothie a try!

scrolling demo

Requirements

You will need reasonably new Vim or Neovim. Vim 8.2.1978+ or Neovim 0.3+ should do the trick.

Additionally, since this plugins due to its nature causes frequent screen redraws, it is recommended to use a fast terminal emulator, ideally with GPU acceleration. I personally recommend kitty.

Installation

Install the plugin using your favorite plugin manager, for example vim-plug:

Plug 'psliwka/vim-smoothie'

Customization

vim-smoothie aims for sane defaults, and should work out-of-the-box for most users. In some cases, however, you might want to customize its behavior, by adjusting one or more of the following variables in your vimrc:

  • g:smoothie_enabled: Set it to 0 (or v:false) to disable vim-smoothie. Useful for temporary disabling the plugin, f.ex. when running Vim over extremely slow connections.
  • g:smoothie_no_default_mappings: If true, will prevent the plugin from overriding default scrolling keys (Ctrl-D and friends). You are then supposed to bind keys you like by yourself. Example mapping:
    nnoremap <unique> <C-D> <cmd>call smoothie#do("\<C-D>") <CR>
    vnoremap <unique> <C-D> <cmd>call smoothie#do("\<C-D>") <CR>
    Note that the same key is mapped twice (with nnoremap and vnoremap) to make the binding work in Visual mode too.
  • g:smoothie_remapped_commands: Instead of disabling all mappings with g:smoothie_no_default_mappings, you can disable them selectively by overriding this list with a subset of commands that you'd like to map. Alternatively, you can add extra commands here if you fell extra adventurous ;)
  • g:smoothie_experimental_mappings: Set this to true to enable additional, experimental mappings (currently gg and G). It is not recommended to enable them unless you're ready to fight potential bugs.

The plugin also respects native Vim settings affecting scrolling behavior, such as scrolloff, belloff, startofline, etc.

Alternatives, a.k.a. why create yet another plugin

There are many other Vim plugins attempting to resolve the same problem. The most interesting one is sexy_scroller.vim, which covers way more movement commands than vim-smoothie will ever do. Unfortunately, it also suffers from frequent visual artifacts, such as erratic screen jumps and animation jittering, impairing visual orientation and breaking the user experience. Many of these bugs are nearly impossible to fix due to the plugin's internal design. Hence, vim-smoothie was born, focusing on stable, bug-free, smooth experience, at a cost of smaller feature set.

The table below summarizes key differences between vim-smoothie and three other popular smooth scrolling plugins I've used in the past: sexy_scroller.vim, comfortable-motion.vim, and vim-smooth-scroll.

vim-smoothie sexy_scroller.vim comfortable-motion.vim vim-smooth-scroll
Supported commands All window scrolling commands (^D ^U ^F ^B zz zt zb etc.), gg1 G1 Almost all window and cursor movement commands ❤️ ^D ^U ^F ^B ^D ^U ^F ^B
Erratic screen jumps and jittering now and then Nope A lot💔 Nope Nope
Scrolling distance is proportional to window height
Easing out (soft-stop)
Supports setting [count] before movement (f.ex. 3^F to scroll down 3 pages)
Respects scroll and startofline options
^D and ^U behave correctly near buffer ends, just moving the cursor instead of scrolling the window
Terminal bell support
Pun in name

Notes:

  1. these commands are experimental and disabled by default

Credits

Created by Piotr Śliwka. Improved by Klas Segeljakt and Subhaditya Nath.

Many thanks to authors of vim-smooth-scroll, comfortable-motion.vim, and sexy_scroller.vim for inspiration!

License

MIT