Setting file to emulate vim with AutoHotKey
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Setting file/exe file of AutoHotkey for Vim emulation.

vim.ahk is the setting file for AutoHotkey(Autohotkey_L).

vim.exe is a standalone application made from vim.ahk.

This is vim emulation for Windows. If you are interesting in same settings for Mac, try Vim emulation for Karabiner - Software for macOS: Karabiner-Elements complex_modifications rules by rcmdnk.


If you've already installed AutoHotKey, just open vim.ahk with AutoHotkey.

You can also use vim.exe, which can work standalone w/o AutoHotKey.

If you are running AutoHotKey with another script, you can include it in your script using AutoHotKey... Please put vim.ahk in \Users\%username%\Documents or where the script is in, and add the following line in AutoHotkey.ahk or your script:

#Include  %A_LineFile%\..\vim.ahk

at the end of the Auto-execute section.


The default setting enables vim-mode for the following applications:

  • Notepad (メモ帳)
  • Wordpad
  • TeraPad
  • Windows Explorer
  • Thunderbird (only sending window)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Evernote
  • Visual Studio Code
  • OneNote
  • TexWork
  • TexStudio

You can change them from the right click menu of task tray icon (find VimMenu-Settings in the list), or launch the setting window by Ctrl-Alt-Shift-v.

If you want to change applications directly in the script, add GroupAdd VimGroup lines at the top of vim.ahk (Window title/class can be seen by window spy in AutoHotkey), like:

GroupAdd VimGroup, ahk_exe notepad.exe ; NotePad


Option Description Default
VimRestoreIME If 1, IME status is restored at entering insert mode. 1
VimJJ If 1, jj changes mode to Normal from Insert. 0
VimJK If 1, jk changes mode to Normal from Insert. 0
VimSD If 1, sd changes mode to Normal from Insert. 0
VimIcon If 1, task tray icon is changed when mode is changed. 1
VimDisableUnused Disable level of unused keys in Normal mode (see below for details). 3
VimIconCheck If 1, check window periodically and update tray icon. 1
VimIconCheckInterval Interval to check window (ms). 1000
VimVerbose Verbose level (see below for details). 0

Verbose level:

  • 1: Nothing.
  • 2: Minimum tool tips (Mode name only).
  • 3: Tool tips.
  • 4: Msgbox.

Disable level:

  • 1: Do not disable unused keys
  • 2: Disable alphabets (+shift) and symbols
  • 3: Disable all including keys with modifiers (e.g. Ctrl+Z)

You can change these options from the right click menu of task tray icon (find VimMenu-Settings in the list), or launch the setting window by Ctrl-Alt-Shift-v.



If Icon is enabled, the task try icon is changed following the mode.


Main Modes

Here are the main modes.

Mode Description
Insert Mode Normal Windows state
Normal Mode As in vim, a cursor is moved by hjkl, w, etc... and some vim like commands are available.
Visual Mode There are three visual mode: Character-wise, Line-wise, and Block-wise. Block-wise visual mode is valid only for applications which support block-wise selection (such TeraPad).
Command Mode Can be used for saving file/quitting.

The initial state is Insert Mode, then Esc or Ctrl-[ brings you to Normal Mode.

In Normal Mode, i is the key to be back to Insert Mode.

v, V and Ctrl-v are the key to the Character-wise, Line-wise, and Block-wise Visual Mode, respectively.

After pressing :, a few commands to save/quit are available.

Available commands in Insert Mode

Key/Commands Function
ESC/Ctrl-[ Enter Normal Mode. Holding (0.5s) these keys emulate normal ESC.
jj Enter Normal Mode.
jk Enter Normal Mode.
sd Enter Normal Mode.

ESC/Ctrl-[ switch off IME if IME is on. ESC acts as ESC when IME is on and converting instructions. Ctrl-[ switches off IME and enters Normal Mode even if IME is on.

jj, jk or sd is optional one, which is enabled when VimJJ/VimJK/VimSK = 1, respectively.

Available commands in Normal Mode

Mode Change

Key/Commands Function
i/I/a/A/o/O Enter Insert Mode at under the cursor/start of the line/next to the cursor/end of the line/next line/previous line.
v/V/Ctrl-v Enter Visual Mode of Character-wise/Line-wise/Block-wise.
: Enter Command Line Mode


Key/Commands Function
h/j/k/l Left/Down/Up/Right.
0/$ To the start/end of the line.
Ctrl-a/Ctrl-e To the start/end of the line (emacs like).
^ To the starting non-whitespace character of the line.
w/W/e/E Move a word forward (all work the same way: goes to the beginning of the word).
b/B Move a word backward (b/B: the beginning of the word).
Ctrl-u/Ctrl-d Go Up/Down 10 line.
Ctrl-b/Ctrl-f PageUp/PageDown.
gg/G Go to the top/bottom of the file

In addition, Repeat is also available for some commands.

Example Commands Action
4j Down 4 lines
3w Move 3 words forward
100j Down 100 lines


Key/Commands Function
yy, Y Copy the line.
dd Cut the line.
D Cut from here to the end of the line.
cc Change the line (enter Insert Mode).
C Cut from here to the end of the line and enter Insert Mode.
x/X Delete a character under/before the cursor (not registered in the clipboard).
p/P Paste to the next/current place. If copy/cut was done with line-wise Visual Mode, it pastes to the next/current line. Some commands (such yy/dd) also force to paste as line-wise.

y/d/c+Move Command can be used, too.

  • e.g.) yw -> copy next one word.
  • e.g.) d3w -> delete next 3 words.


Key/Commands Function
u/Ctrl-r Undo/Redo.
r/R Replace one character/multiple characters.
J Combine two lines.
. It is fixed to do: Replace a following word with a clipboard (useful to use with a search).
~ Change case.
/ Start search (search box will be opened)
n/N Search next/previous (Some applications support only next search)
* Search the word under the cursor.
ZZ/ZQ Save and Quit/Quit.

Available commands in Visual Mode

Key/Commands Function
ESC/Ctrl-[ Enter Normal Mode.
Move command Most of move commands in the Normal Mode are available.
y/d/x/c Copy/Cut/Cut/Cut and insert (d=x)
Y/D/X/C Move to the end of line, then Copy/Cut/Cut/Cut and Insert Mode (D=X)
* Search the selected word.

Available commands at Command mode

Key/Commands Function
ESC/Ctrl-[ Enter Normal Mode.
w + RETURN Save
w + SPACE Save as
w + q Save and Quit
q Quit
h Open help of the application


vim_ime.exe is an executable file which automatically switches IME off on Vim (when switching from Insert Mode to Normal Mode). The setting file can be found in this gist.

References (Japanese)