Vi Mode for LibreOffice/OpenOffice
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(Unfortunately, vibreoffice is still in an experimental stage, and I no longer have much time to work on it. Hope you enjoy it anyway!)

vibreoffice is an extension for Libreoffice and OpenOffice that brings some of your favorite key bindings from vi/vim to your favorite office suite. It is obviously not meant to be feature-complete, but hopefully will be useful to both vi/vim neophytes and experts alike.


The easiest way to install is to download the latest extension file and open it with LibreOffice/OpenOffice.

To enable/disable vibreoffice, simply select Tools -> Add-Ons -> vibreoffice.

If you really want to, you can build the .oxt file yourself by running

# replace 0.0.0 with your desired version number
VIBREOFFICE_VERSION="0.0.0" make extension

This will simply build the extension file from the template files in extension/template. These template files were auto-generated using Extension Compiler.


vibreoffice currently supports:

  • Insert (i, I, a, A, o, O), Visual (v), Normal modes
  • Movement keys: hjkl, w, W, b, B, e, $, ^, {}, (), C-d, C-u
    • Search movement: f, F, t, T
  • Number modifiers: e.g. 5w, 4fa
  • Replace: r
  • Deletion: x, d, c, s, D, C, S, dd, cc
    • Plus movement and number modifiers: e.g. 5dw, c3j, 2dfe
    • Delete a/inner block: e.g. di(, da{, ci[, ci", ca', dit
  • Undo/redo: u, C-r
  • Copy/paste: y, p, P (using system clipboard, not vim-like registers)

Known differences/issues

If you are familiar with vi/vim, then vibreoffice should give very few surprises. However, there are some differences, primarily due to word processor-text editor differences or limitations of the LibreOffice API and/or my patience.

  • Currently, I am using LibreOffice's built-in word/sentence movement which differs from vi's. It's sort of broken now but I plan to fix it eventually.
  • The concept of lines in a text editor is not quite analogous to that of a word processor. I made my best effort to incorporate the line analogy while keeping the spirit of word processing.
    • Unlike vi/vim, movement keys will wrap to the next line
    • Due to line wrapping, you may find your cursor move up/down a line for commands that would otherwise leave you in the same position (such as dd)
  • vibreoffice does not have contextual awareness. What I mean by that is that it does not keep track of which parentheses/braces match. Hence, you may have unexpected behavior (using commands such as di() if your document has syntatically uneven parentheses/braces or nesting of such symbols. I don't intend to fix this for now, as I don't believe this is a critical feature for word processing.
  • Using d, c (or any of their variants) will temporarily bring you into Visual mode. This is intentional and should not have any noticeable effects.

vibreoffice is new, so it is bound to have plenty of bugs. Please let me know if you run into anything!


vibreoffice is released under the MIT License.