I haven't been coding too long, and I've recently switched over to MacVim. I'm starting to see why doing so has a high "learning curve." I'm not familiar with hardcore Vim commands, and I tried adding EasyGrep for searching my codebase:


I successfully installed EasyGrep, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to run a simple search for a string. My terminal freezes up, for example, when I run :Grep searchThisWord with recursive search turned on.

To me, the documentation above isn't too beginner-friendly; for instance, what does <Leader>vv mean? Do I type that into the terminal exactly like :Grep <Leader>vv? It'd be great to get some guidance or advice on how to begin understanding those instructions.

  • 4
    Installing plugin is not recommended for beginners. Learn how to use Vim and you won't have to ask around for help.
    – romainl
    Oct 31, 2016 at 15:03
  • @romainl, makes sense. Does MacVim not do everything that Vim does?
    – fibono
    Oct 31, 2016 at 15:28
  • 1
    The MacVim GUI provides standard Mac shortcuts and dialogues. That's all. Beside that it works exactly like Vim.
    – romainl
    Oct 31, 2016 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Documentation of Vim plugins (rightfully) assumes that you know your way around Vim itself. I would therefore recommend that you start by finding your way around the Vim documentation and Vim itself. A good starting point for Vim itself is the Vim tutor which you can probably find by typing "vimtutor" (without the quotes) in a terminal. To understand what plugins are doing learning vimscript the hard way is a good starting point.

To answer your direct question, <Leader> is a placeholder for your leader key. By default this is a backslash, so you would type \vv to execute the command (in normal mode). More info can be found if you type :help mapleader which tells you how to change it to whatever you like. You will find that the linked page treats leaders in chapter 6.

  • Reason that I jumped (probably too far) into MacVim is that I've been trying to incorporate it into my normal full-time job workflow without losing too much productivity from the learning curve.
    – fibono
    Nov 4, 2016 at 14:33
  • 2
    That is of course entirely understandable. You can use Vim as you would Notepad, but in my view that would make the process of learning Vim longer. If you are serious about giving Vim a go, I would really learn to navigate the help files. They are very good and solve most questions once you are comfortable navigating them. A start could be :help<cr> (<cr> means press enter).
    – Octaviour
    Nov 8, 2016 at 9:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.