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Oct 16, 2020
May 19, 2016

Nim language support for Vim

This provides Nim language support for Vim:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Auto-indent
  • Build/jump to errors within Vim
  • Project navigation and Jump to Definition (cgats or compiler-assisted idetools).

The source of this script comes mainly from, which comes from a modified python.vim (


Installing nim.vim is easy but first you need to have either pathogen plugin or vundle installed. If you already have one working then skip to the final step. It is also recommened that you use the syntastic plugin for best results.


Step 1: Install pathogen.vim

First I'll show you how to install tpope's pathogen.vim so that it's easy to install nimrod.vim. Do this in your Terminal so that you get the pathogen.vim file and the directories it needs:

mkdir -p ~/.vim/autoload ~/.vim/bundle; \
curl -so ~/.vim/autoload/pathogen.vim \

Next you need to add this to your ~/.vimrc:

call pathogen#infect()

Step 2: Install nimrod.vim as a pathogen bundle

You now have pathogen installed and can put nimrod.vim into ~/.vim/bundle like this:

cd ~/.vim/bundle
git clone git://

You may also want to install synastic by calling

git clone


Vundle is a more automatic way to install vim plugins that works by cloning the git reposotory.

Step 1: Install Vundle

Add the vundle script to your vim:

git clone ~/.vim/bundle/vundle

Modify your ~/.vimrc to get vundle running, lightly adapted from Vundle's readme

set nocompatible              " be iMproved, required
filetype off                  " required

" set the runtime path to include Vundle and initialize
set rtp+=~/.vim/bundle/vundle/
call vundle#rc()
" alternatively, pass a path where Vundle should install bundles
"let path = '~/some/path/here'
"call vundle#rc(path)

" let Vundle manage Vundle, required
Bundle 'gmarik/vundle'

filetype plugin indent on     " required

Step 2: Install nim.vim

On the line after Bundle 'gmarik/vundle', add Bundle 'zah/nim.vim'. You may also want to add Bundle 'scrooloose/syntastic'. Save ~/.vimrc and restart vim. Execute :BundleInstall and wait for nim.vim to be installed.

Final Step

Next you need to add this to your ~/.vimrc:

fun! JumpToDef()
  if exists("*GotoDefinition_" . &filetype)
    call GotoDefinition_{&filetype}()
    exe "norm! \<C-]>"

" Jump to tag
nn <M-g> :call JumpToDef()<cr>
ino <M-g> <esc>:call JumpToDef()<cr>i

The JumpToDef function hooks the nim.vim plugin to invoke the nim compiler with the appropriate idetools command. Pressing meta+g will then jump to the definition of the word your cursor is on. This uses the nim compiler instead of ctags, so it works on any nimrod file which is compilable without requiring you to maintain a database file.

Other recomended Vim plugins

If something goes wrong

Since you are using vim, on source code which might have syntax problems, invoking an external tool which may have its own share of bugs, sometimes stuff just doesn't work as expected. In these situations if you want to debug the issue you can type :e log://nim and a buffer will open with the log of the plugin's invocations and nim's idetool answers.

This can give you a hint of where the problem is and allow you to easily reproduce on the commandline the idetool parameters the vim plugin is generating so you can prepare a test case for either this plugin or the nimrod compiler.


Nim language plugin for vim




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