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SCVim (> 3.5)

A vim plugin for supercollider (tested on Linux and Mac OSX).

This is based of the original scvim by Alex Norman.


  • Syntax Highlighting
  • A faked REPL via the terminal
  • Code Navigation (jump to definitions) via a global tags file "~/.sctags"
  • Auto-Completion of known words via tag completion
  • Launch the SuperCollider QT Help System
  • tmux and screen support


  • ruby
  • supercollider


scvim plugin installation

It is highly recommended to use either Vim 8+'s native packages or a plugin manager to install scvim.

The most common package manager addons are:

To find help about vim's native packages, in vim, type :help packages

The plugin folder is expected to be found in ~/.vim/pack/*/*/scvim or somewhere below ~/.vim, at a maximum depth of two folders and with the word scvim in it (which should in theory cover all use-cases for the above plugin managers).

Using Vim's native package management

To automatically enable scvim when you use vim. Assuming that your vim pack package directory is called my


mkdir -p ~/.vim/pack/my/start/
git clone ~/.vim/pack/my/start/scvim

If you would like to only enable scvim when you first start editing a SuperCollider file. Assuming that your vim pack package directory is called my


mkdir -p ~/.vim/pack/my/opt/
git clone ~/.vim/pack/my/opt/scvim

Then, add the following to your ~/.vimrc

au BufEnter,BufWinEnter,BufNewFile,BufRead *.sc,*.scd set filetype=supercollider
au Filetype supercollider packadd scvim

If your SuperCollider version was not build with vim support (i.e. the class SCVim does not exist yet), you'll need to either symlink sc/ somewhere where SuperCollider can find it (typically that would be in Platform.userExtensionDir from within SuperCollider), or add (the absolute path to) scvim/sc to includePaths: in your sclang_conf.yaml.


ENV variables:

Path to the tags file export SCVIM_TAGFILE=/your/path this defaults to ~/.sctags

Configurable VIM variables:

The following variables are available for configuration in your .vimrc file:

Variable Description Default
g:sclangTerm Command to open a terminal window "open -a" on macOS,
"x-terminal-emulator -e $SHELL -ic" on Linux
g:sclangPipeApp Absolute path to start_pipe script "~/.vim/bundle/scvim/bin/start_pipe"
g:sclangDispatcher Absolute path to sc_dispatcher script "~/.vim/bundle/scvim/bin/sc_dispatcher"
g:scFlash Highlighting of evaluated code 0
g:scSplitDirection Default window orientation when using a terminal multiplexer "h"
g:scSplitSize Post window size (% of screen) when using a terminal multiplexer 50
g:scTerminalBuffer If set to "on" use vim's :term to launch g:sclangTerm "off"

Example .vimrc line for gnome-terminal users:

let g:sclangTerm = "gnome-terminal -x $SHELL -ic"

To enable highlighting of evaluated code:

let g:scFlash = 1


To start open a file with the right extension :e Enter :SClangStart and a terminal should open with a running sclang session.

See the commands reference for general usage.

ctags support:

run :SCtags from vim or SCVim.generateTagsFile() from sclang

This gives you a couple of things:

  • You can jump to any known class or method
  • You get tags completion with ctrl-x ctrl-] (use the vim supertab plugin if this is too bothersome to type)


  • :SClangStart launch sclang
  • :SClangRecompile recompile
  • :SClangKill what it says

Key commands:

in normal mode:

  • <leader>sk recompiles the sc library
  • K on a word opens the corresponding helpfile inside the supercollider help
  • ^] jumps to a tagfile (this works for classes only so far but will be extended)

in normal/insert mode:

  • F5 to execute a block of code scvim will attempt to find the outermost bracket
  • F6 to execute the current line of code
  • F12 is a hard stop

Terminal Multiplexer Options

Supported Terminal Multiplexers are tmux and screen. To use with scvim, open the multiplexer before opening vim. For example:

$> tmux new -s sc $> vim mySCfile.scd

Default settings for window orienation and window size can be set in your .vimrc.

Window orientation options are "h" for horizontal and "v" for vertical (double quotes are required).

The window size option for tmux is the percentage of the screen you want the post window to take up. For example, to have your main window taking up 70% of the left of the screen and your post window the remaining 30% at the right:

let g:scSplitDirection = "h"
let g:scSplitSize = 30`

Changing Multiplexor Options on SClangStart:

Options for the multiplexer of your choice can be set on the fly when you use the SClangStart command:

:call SClangStart("h", 30)