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Project Hammer.vim
Author Matthias Günther
Former-Author Rob Gleeson


Hammer is a Vim plugin written (mostly) in Ruby. It can be used to transform your markup language of choice to HTML, and open the transformed HTML in whatever your favorite browser is.

It supports a large number of markup languages out of box but it also supports adding custom renderers for markup languages it does not support.

It has support for multiple different layouts (with one styled like the GitHub README layout). You can use your favorite template language to draw up your own layouts (ERB, HAML, …). Layouts are passed the rendered HTML as a partial.

People familiar with Ruby web development should feel right at home with the layout & partial style templates.

Supported Markup

  • .markdown -- gem install redcarpet
  • .textile -- gem install RedCloth
  • .rdoc
  • .org -- gem install org-ruby
  • .creole -- gem install creole
  • .mediawiki -- gem install wikicloth
  • .rst -- easy_install docutils
  • .asciidoc -- brew install asciidoc
  • .pod -- Pod::Simple::HTML comes with Perl >= 5.10. Lower versions should install Pod::Simple from CPAN.
  • .1 -- Requires groff
  • .html
  • .xhtml


The :Hammer command will transform your content to HTML, and open your browser.

Config Variables

  • g:HAMMER_DIRECTORY The path where transformed HTML files are kept. Defaults to /tmp on UNIX, and $TEMP on Windows.
  • g:HAMMER_BROWSER The path to a browser for viewing HTML files. Defaults to open on OSX, start on Windows, and xdg-open on X11 machines.
  • g:HAMMER_TEMPLATE The template to use. Defaults to 'default', a GitHub-esque README template.
  • g:HAMMER_BROWSER_ARGS Optional arguments to pass to the browser command. On OS X, it can be useful to set this to '-g' to open the browser window in the background.


You may need to install other dependencies for your markup language (See Above)

$ [sudo] gem install github-markup tilt
$ git clone git://
$ cp -R hammer.vim/plugin/* $HOME/.vim/plugin

Rvm Users

If you use RVM, it may be the culprit of what appear to be random segmentation faults but they're not random and their cause is easily pin pointed.

RVM sets $GEM_HOME and $GEM_PATH to point at the gems for the currently selected RVM ruby, but Vim may not be built against the Ruby selected by RVM. If Vim were to be built against 1.8 and RVM pointed at gems for 1.9, you'll see Vim try to load 1.9 C extensions, which can end up causing segmentation faults in the worst possible scenario.

The solution proposed by Wayne Seguin (author of RVM) is to define 'vim' as a shell function that unsets $GEM_HOME and $GEM_PATH before the launch of Vim:

  (unset GEM_PATH GEM_HOME; command mvim "$@")

rbenv users

Even if you have set a global ruby, Vim will use your system ruby, so make sure you install the gems above under this path. You can switch to the system Ruby with:

$ rbenv shell system

Then, run:

$ [sudo] gem install github-markup tilt




vim, your markup language of choice, and your browser of choice.







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