Some, indeed many, may say this is counter-productive or even sacrilegious. But Vim is a lot more than just a keybinding paradigm; firstly it has one of the richest plugin ecosystems of any editor, but also it is a -if not the most- ubiquitous text editor that's been battle tested for over 25 years. There are more reasons to use it than merely its famous shortcut vocabulary.
This plugin is an attempt to expose everything else about Vim without the overhead of cultivating Normal Mode fluency. This is not a rebellion, it is merely a manifestation of the distinction between Vim the editor and Vim the keybinding paradigm. Please do not dismiss Normal Mode just because this plugin exists, give
vimtutor a try, modal editing is popular for a reason.
Vim itself already has support for something similar in its optional
mswin.vim config file. However it still assumes the necessity of Normal Mode and such heritage as
SHIFT+INSERT-style combinations. This plugin however, attempts to avoid Normal Mode unless absolutely necessary, say for interacting with the NERDTree buffer, wherein Insert Mode has no purpose.
novim-mode is a nod to the prevalence of 'vim-mode' plugins and extensions available in environments outside the editor, such as web browsers. In the same way that the love of Vim has led to efforts to export it elsewhere, 'novim-mode' is the love of 'conventional' editing imported into Vim.
Use your favourite plugin manager, eg, for vim-plug;
Note that Vim before v7.5 and Neovim before v0.1.5 have a bug where Insert Mode is inappropriately set for some panes.
Most keybindings should work as you might expect from, say Atom or Sublime Text;
SHIFT+ARROW to select and
CTRL+C/V to copy/paste. But don't expect Vim to completely bend to your will, it is still useful to familiarise yourself with some of Vim's basic concepts. For instance you may on occasion find yourself stuck in a particular Vim mode, like when pasting text without 'Paste Mode' then inserted text can trigger random mappings. In such case
CTRL+Q may not kill Vim and you'll need to find a way of getting to Normal Mode and typing
<RETURN>. Such is life with Vim, this plugin is highly unlikely to ever change that. (BTW conventional pasting is on by default, but to exit an errant 'Paste Mode' use
If you are new to Vim, then perhaps the only remaining confusion after installing this plugin will be about where files go when you open new ones. This question will be answered by Vim's concept of 'buffers'. You may wish to install something like vim-buftabline to give a familiar list of open files along the top of the editor.
Vim in the terminal
Both Vim and Neovim can be used both as GUI apps and in the terminal. However, original Vim in the terminal has problems with many key combinations - essentially most combinations that are not a plain
CTRL+KEY. To get around this you can use the vim-fixkey plugin. It does have some caveats, which you can read about in its docs, but basically it just makes recording macros a little bit more tricky because of the timing between
vim-fixkey also doesn't enable
ALT+non-alphanumeric combinations, but
novim-mode usually has alphanumeric siblings which you can still use. However, if you are not particularly tied to Vim, you can use Neovim in the terminal which has much better support for key combinations and will work without the need for
vim-fixkey. Note that the GUI versions of both Vim and Neovim also don't have these key combination problems.
Most terminal emulators (ie.
PuTTY, etc) default to intercepting
CTRL+S to suspend output (
CTRL+Q unsuspends if you're wondering), if so you will need to disable this behaviour to use
novim-mode's shortcuts for saving and quitting. Most often you simply need to add the following to your
~/.zshrc or similar:
stty -ixon stty stop undef
However some GUI terminals also have their own settings for suspension. For instance Konsole, which can be unset by going to
Settings -> Configure Profile -> Choose current profile -> Edit Profile -> Advanced Tab and disabling
Enable flow control using Ctrl+S and Ctrl+Q
One further common problem is that
tmux can change key combination behaviour, most notably for
SHIFT+ARROW combinations, to overcome this add
set-window-option -g xterm-keys to your
General editor shortcuts
CTRL+N: Open a new file.
CTRL+O: Open an existing file.
CTRL+S: Saves the current file.
CTRL+G: Goto line.
ALT+c: Vim's command prompt.
ALT+o: Replaces native
CTRL+Oto give one-off Normal Mode commands.
ALT+ARROW: Change pane/buffer focus.
CTRL+W: Closes current pane-like thing. Also closes associated quickfix and location panes.
Selecting, copy and paste
SHIFT+ARROW: Select text
CTRL+C: Copy selection or copy line if no selection.
CTRL+X: Cut selection or cut line if no selection.
CTRL+V: Paste current selection.
CTRL+A: Select all.
CTRL+D: Select word under cursor. Use something like vim-multicursors for multi cursor support.
CTRL+L: Select line under cursor, repetition selects more lines.
ALT+]: Indent current line or selected text.
TABcurrently broken for Neovim
ALT+[: Unindent current line or selected text.
CTRL+F: Find text. When text is selected that selection is searched for.
SHIFT+F3: Find next and previous occurences.
CTRL+H: Find and replace.
Other text manipulation tricks
CTRL+LEFT/RIGHT: Move cursor per word (works in selection as well).
CTRL+ALT+k: Delete current line. Currently broken in terminal Vim
CTRL+ALT+d: Duplicate current line. Currently broken in terminal Vim
CTRL+UP/DOWN: Move current line or selected text up/down.
CTRL-based shortcuts are paired with uppercase letters in these docs because
Vim does not recognise the difference between cases when using
CTRL combinations and
documenting in uppercase implies something of this distinction.
When adding a new binding of your own that needs Normal mode, you should use
<C-O> before the targeted command, for example;
" Ensure CtrlP doesn't get overridden by autocomplete in insertmode inoremap <C-P> <C-O>:CtrlP<CR>
Overriding or disabling shortcuts in this plugin can be done in several ways. The simplest way is to use:
let g:novim_mode_use_shortcuts = 0 inoremap ... custom mapping ... call novim_mode#StartNoVimMode()
Shortcuts are also grouped roughly under the headings described above, so you may be able to disable one of the following:
let g:novim_mode_use_general_app_shortcuts = 1 let g:novim_mode_use_pane_controls = 1 let g:novim_mode_use_copypasting = 1 let g:novim_mode_use_indenting = 1 let g:novim_mode_use_finding = 1 let g:novim_mode_use_undoing = 1 let g:novim_mode_use_text_tricks = 1 " Small fixes to HOME and PAGEUP behaviour let g:novim_mode_use_editor_fixes = 1 " Allows scrolling through wrapped lines one visual line at a time let g:novim_mode_use_better_wrap_navigation = 1
Lastly you can unmap a mapping using commands such as
- Because a lot of the keybindings trigger brief switches to NORMAL mode in the background, then be careful of plugins that cause a delay between switching modes. I know that
vim-airlinein particular has this problem.
- In Neovim there seems to be a bug where only
TABworks for indenting during selection mode.
<CTRL+M>internally means mapping
<RETURN>. This is a throwback to Vim's days as a pure terminal application.
<CTRL+H>, which can be annoying. Again this is a throwback to Vim's days as a pure terminal application.