Vim Things

Stoyan Shukerov
- March 25, 2019

I have taken up the challenge to be better at Vim. I love Vim, and the productivity boost it has given me. It honestly just gets me excited about writing code every day. Taking up Vim however also means that I am taking up the challenge to endlessly configure and tweak it.

This blog post is by no means a comprehensive guide or anything like that, it is more of a place where I dump vim commands, and tricks I found useful at some point.

Check out my vimrc.

Use the links below to jump to different sections:

Below you can see a picture of my vim setup in action. Vim Screenshot

Random Vim Tips and Tricks

Useful and simple commands

  • <C-a> & <C-x> – increment and respectively decrement a number on the line, your cursor is on
  • :earlier 2m – is basically time travel. This specific command takes you back in time 2 minutes
  • gx – when your cursor is over a link, opens the link in your browser
  • gqq – break up single line to multiple based on the column width you have set
  • gq – same a as above but just for a selection of lines


  • :setlocal spell to turn on spellcheck
  • :setlocal nospell to turn off spellcheck
  • ]s & [s for jumping between misspelled words.
  • z= when cursor is over misspelled word will give you suggestions to fix it


To repeat last vim command use @:, and for further repeats just hit @@

How does that work? Well in vim @ just accesses a vim register. In the case above the column register is called.

To view the contents of your registers type :reg.

Text objects

Text objects are an awesome way to manipulate text. Combine them with the usual commands. You can find some more information on text objects by typing :h text-objects.

  • iw – inner word
  • aw – a word (includes a space)
  • ip – inner paragraph
  • ap – a paragraph (includes an empty line)
  • i<) ' " } * > – inner parenthesis, single quote, double quote or brace
  • it, at – inner tag, a tag (includes the open and closing tag)


Are awesome. Getting them wrong is not awesome. Here is a quick list showing how to edit your VIM macro.

  • Type :let @a='
  • Press Ctrl-R Ctrl-R a to insert the current contents of register a (type Ctrl-R twice to insert the register exactly).
  • Edit the text as required.
  • Append an apostrophe (') to finish the command, and press Enter.
  • Enter :reg a to view the new value in the register.
  • Type @a to execute the contents of register a.

Macros can be of course executed on multiple or all lines. Here is how to do that:

Execute the macro stored in register a on lines 5 through 10.

:5,10norm! @a

Execute the macro stored in register a on lines 5 through the end of the file.

:5,$norm! @a

Execute the macro stored in register a on all lines.

:%norm! @a

Execute the macro store in register a on all lines matching pattern.

:g/pattern/norm! @a

To execute the macro on visually selected lines, press V and the j or k until the desired region is selected. Then type :norm! @a and observe the that following input line is shown.

:'<,'>norm! @a credit to Judge Maygarden.


Want to unwrap some html? Check out this handy regex:


Select everything and hit = to autoindent it.


I am not a vim purist. I manage plugins with Vundle. Here are the most useful ones (for a full list check vimrc):

My Favorites

  • ctrlp – lets you search and open files easily with fuzzy find
  • traces.vim – highlights search and replace as you go
  • vim-highlightedyank – highlights when you yank something, a must have
  • vim-esearch – lets you search through entire project. It also does search and replace in a “sublime-like” fashion
  • comittia.vim – if you have vim set up as your default text editor for git, this will give you an awesome split
  • nerdtree – a very nice side menu, that shows directory trees. I toggle it with <leader>kb, so it doesn’t take screen space while I code
  • coc – is an intellisense engine for Vim

Plugin Tips and Tricks

Some useful tricks, specific to plugins.


Allows you to open multiple files. Search with <C-p> as usual. Then you can use <C-z> to mark files. Once marked press <C-o> to open them all.


Creating a new file and it doesn’t pop up in NerdTree?

Can be annoying, but all I have to do is press r over the directory where you expect you file. The NerdTree directory will refresh, showing you your ‘lost’ file!


  • <leader> ff – starts your search
  • s & t – opens a file in a new tab, or a split buffer respectively
  • ESubstitute/word-to-replace/replacement-word/gc – will search and replace across multiple files after search.
Top | Back