I have html settings set up in my ~/.vim/ftplugin/html.vim file. I would like these settings to apply to Rhtml files as well. I made a symbolic link with

ln -s ~/.vim/ftplugin/html.vim ~/.vim/ftplugin/Rhtml.vim

Why doesn't this load my html settings when I open a .Rhtml file?

  • 2
    I don't know why a symlink doesn't work, but the usual approach for this is to create a rhtml.vim file which uses runtime! ftplugin/html.vim. Here's an example. Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 15:33
  • @Carpetsmoker I like the runtime! ftplugin/html.vim idea, but I can't get that to work either. I copied your example to ftplugin/rhtml.vim but it doesn't work. When I open a .Rhtml file, the default vim settings apply. When I try set ft=html, the html settings load. What could I be doing wrong? Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 15:54
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    Are you sure that the filetype is set correct? What does verbose set filetype? say? Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 15:56
  • You mean enter :verbose set filetype as a command from within vim? I get filetype=. This means there is no filetype set for my .Rhtml file, right? Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 16:02
  • Yeah, I meant as a command. How are you setting the filetype? Is it possible you forgot to add a ftdetect script? (like this one?) Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


The symlink you've created at ~/.vim/ftplugin/Rhtml.vim tells Vim how to handle files with the RHTML filetype, but you haven't told Vim how to recognise which files should have this filetype.

Instructions for how to do so can be found in the documentation by running the command :help new-filetype.

You can use either the technique described in section A or the one from section C for your purposes. (The former is arguably simpler, but has a couple of disadvantages compared to the latter, which are described in the docs.)


Create ~/.vim/ftdetect/SOME_EXTENSION.vim and add this line to it:

autocmd BufNewFile,BufRead *.SOME_EXTENSION set filetype=SOME_FILETYPE

So if you wanted vim to use the filetype html for all files with an .Rhtml extension you would add this to ~/.vim/ftdetect/rhtml.vim:

autocmd BufNewFile,BufRead *.Rhtml set filetype=html
  • 5
    I'm glad to see an answer that spells out how to actually accomplish what the OP wanted! Welcome to Vi and Vim!
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 1:58

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