VimL: Opinionated VIM Configuration
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This Vim configuration is meant to make Vim feel more like an IDE than a simple console-based text editor. I use it mostly under with MacVIM and Linux GVim though I occasionally run it directly in a terminal.


Clone with GIT

Run these commands to get this Vim configuration working on your OS X or Linux machine. You can run git pull inside of ~/.vim if you'd ever like to grab the latest version.

cd ~
git clone git:// .vim
ln -s ~/.vim/vimrc ~/.vimrc # Optional, needed for some VIM installations

One Time Download

This method might be more sane. Simply downlaod the latest version, extract to ~/.vim, and configure to your liking.



  • Edit many files at the same time
  • File Browser on left side of screen
  • Move between files in center screen
  • View status of the current GIT repo, if applicable
  • Additional features when running under MacVIM
  • Quickly navigate to files using a fuzzy finder

Leader Key

As of v0.2.0, the Leader key is now bound to Space (used to be Comma)

Switching between files (Buffers)

  • Use <Leader>q to close the current file (a different file will appear in its place)
  • Use Ctrl h Ctrl l to move between open files
  • Ctrl Left Ctrl Right also works for switching between files
  • While in MacVIM, you can swipe left and right to switch between open files
  • Use Cmd Shift N (or Alt n in Linux GVim) to open a new empty buffer

Viewports (Windows/Splits)

  • Use <Leader>h <Leader>j <Leader>k <Leader>l to navigate between viewports
  • Use <Leader>Q to close the current window (you probably won't ever need to do this)
  • Use <Leader>n to toggle the file browser
  • Use Ctrl P to perform a recursive fuzzy filename search
  • Use <Leader>a and type a phrase to search to search based on content within your files (quote and escape if needed)
  • Use <Leader>A to close the open ack search results at the bottom of the screen

File Browser (NERDTree)

  • Use <Leader>n to toggle the file browser
  • Use standard movement keys to move around
  • Use Ctrl j and Ctrl k to move between siblings (aka skip over children in expanded folders)
  • Use C to make the highlighted node the current working directory
  • Use :Bookmark BookmarkName to bookmark the current selection
  • Use B to toggle the bookmark menu
  • Use ? if you'd like some NERDTree documentation
  • Use o to open the selected file in a new buffer
  • Use t to open the selected file in a new tab


  • Use Cmd t (or Alt t in Linux GVim) to open a new tab
  • Use Cmd w (or Alt w in Linux GVim) to close the current tab
  • Use Cmd 1 to Cmd 9 (or Alt 1 to Alt 9 in Linux GVim) to navigate to the specified tab

Themes (ColorSchemes)

There is a very large collection of colorschemes in this repository. Many of them can be seen here. Set the scheme using :colorscheme NAME.

  • Use <Leader>x to switch to a random theme.

Text Navigation

Other than the myriad of built-in methods for navigating text...

  • Use <Leader><Leader>b to highlight and jump to previous words
  • Use <Leader><Leader>w to highlight and jump to following words

Copying and Pasting between OS

  • Use <Leader>c to copy the highlighted text into the OS clipboard
  • Use <Leader>v to paste the OS clipboard into the document