Skip to content
View and grep man pages in vim
Branch: master
Clone or download
Latest commit cfdc78f Feb 18, 2017


View man pages in vim. Grep for the man pages.

Features and Usage

Viewing man pages
  • :Man printf - open printf(1) man page in a split
  • :Vman 3 putc - open putc(3) man page in a vertical split (read more here on what the manual page numbers mean, they are really useful)
  • :Man pri<Tab> - command completion for man page names
  • :Man 3 pri<Tab> - completion "respects" the man page section argument
  • :Man 6 <Ctrl-D> - list all man pages from section 6
When editing nroff files
  • :Man - (without arguments) open a current nroff file as a man page
When inside a man page buffer
  • [[ and ]] - jump to prev/next section heading
  • Ctrl-] - jump to man page for a word under cursor (works nicely with specially highlighted references to other man pages i.e. printf(3)), also defined for other tag mappings like g_Ctrl-], Ctrl-W_Ctrl-] etc.
  • K - same as Ctrl-]
  • Ctrl-T - jump *back* to the previous man page
  • g/ - start option search (useful for quickly jumping to man page option description, example --quiet or -q)
  • gx - open a link under cursor in a browser (vim feature)
  • gf - jump to a file under cursor (vim feature, works nicely with C header files often found in section 2 and 3 man pages i.e. <sys/socket.h>)
  • q - quit vim-man buffer
Using from the shell

You can use vim-man from the shell (instead of standard man program) using the following script:

#! /bin/sh
vim -c "Man $1 $2" -c 'silent only'

Save it in /usr/bin/ as a file named viman, give it execution permission with:

$ chmod +x /usr/bin/viman

Then from your shell you can read a DOC with:

$ viman doc

Or you can use the alias alias man=viman so you can do (as usual):

$ man doc
Searching/grepping man pages

Also see About Mangrep

  • :Mangrep 1 foobar - search for "foobar" in all section 1 man pages
  • :Mangrep foobar - same as :Mangrep 1 foobar (grepping all man sections by default would take too long)
  • :Mangrep * foobar - force search *all* man sections
  • :Mangrep -i 6 foobar - case insensitive search
  • :Mangrep 6 '(foo|bar|baz)' - regex search (Mangrep uses grep -E), just remember to quote the search pattern
Defining mappings in .vimrc

No mappings are defined by default.

  • map <leader>k <Plug>(Man) - open man page for word under cursor in a horizontal split
  • map <leader>v <Plug>(Vman) - open man page for word under cursor in a vertical split

About Mangrep

This feature is still in beta. Please help fix the issues.

Mangrep populates quickfix list with the results. While they should be accurate, you might experience hiccups when opening those results.

Running Mangrep:

  • the command runs in the background if you use neovim
  • The command runs in the background if you have vim-dispatch installed. Access the results with :Copen command (may be called before the process is finished).
  • If you have vanilla vim the command will *block* and make vim unusable until done (and it can take a while).
    Installing vim-dispatch is recommended. Or at least run Mangrep in another vim so your working vim instance stays usable.


Just use your favorite plugin manager.

If you were previously using man.vim that comes with vim by default, please remove this line runtime! ftplugin/man.vim from your .vimrc. It's known to be causing issues with this plugin.


Contributing and bug fixes are welcome. If you have an idea for a new feature please get in touch by opening an issue so we can discuss it first.


Vim by default comes with man page viewer, as decribed in find-manpage. This work is the improvement of vim's original man page plugin. The list of improvements is here.

These people created and maintain (or maintained) man.vim that comes with vim itself:

  • SungHyun Nam
  • Gautam H. Mudunuri
  • Johannes Tanzler


Vim license, see :help license.

You can’t perform that action at this time.