Want to instantly preview finnicky markdown files, but don't want to leave your favorite editor, or have to do it in some crappy browser textarea? vim-instant-markdown is your friend! When you open a markdown file in vim, a browser window will open which shows the compiled markdown in real-time, and closes once you close the file in vim.
As a bonus, github-flavored-markdown is supported, and styles used while previewing are the same as those github uses!
You first need to have node.js with npm installed. Then:
[sudo] npm -g install instant-markdown-d
- If you're on Linux, ensure the following packages are installed:
nodejs-legacy(for Debian-based systems)
- Copy the
after/ftplugin/markdown/instant-markdown.vimfile from this repo into your
~/.vim/after/ftplugin/markdown/(creating directories as necessary), or follow your vim package manager's instructions.
- Ensure you have the line
filetype plugin onin your
- Open a markdown file in vim and enjoy!
By default, vim-instant-markdown will update the display in realtime. If that taxes your system too much, you can specify
let g:instant_markdown_slow = 1
before loading the plugin (for example place that in your
~/.vimrc). This will cause vim-instant-markdown to only refresh on the following events:
- No keys have been pressed for a while
- A while after you leave insert mode
- You save the file being edited
By default, vim-instant-markdown will automatically launch the preview window when you open a markdown file. If you want to manually control this behavior, you can specify
let g:instant_markdown_autostart = 0
in your .vimrc. You can then manually trigger preview via the command
:InstantMarkdownPreview. This command is only available inside markdown buffers and when the autostart option is turned off.
OSX and Unix/Linuxes*.
*: One annoyance in Linux is that there's no way to reliably open a browser page in the background, so you'll likely have to manually refocus your vim session everytime you open a Markdown file. If you have ideas on how to address this I'd love to know!
It's not working!
- Make sure
instant-markdown-dwas installed as a global module (e.g. using
npm -g install)
- If you're on OSX and are using zsh, try to add
set shell=bash\ -iin your
.vimrcto set interactive bash as the default vim shell. (See this issue)
Why don't my
<bla>.mdfiles trigger this plugin?
By default, vim versions before 7.4.480 only recognize files ending with
README.md as markdown files. If you want
<anything>.md to be recognized, I recommend installing one of many markdown plugins available, such as this one.
If you're curious, the code for the mini-server component for this plugin can be found at http://github.com/suan/instant-markdown-d. A plugin can easily be written for any editor to interface with the server to get the same functionality found here.