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auto-pairs seems like a great feature for vim. As per instructions, I copied the auto-pairs.vim file to ~/.vim/plugin/ and sourced the .vim file by executing :source % in the auto-pairs.vim file according to the most voted instructions. I restarted the terminal, but it doesn't seem to work. Am I missing something?

I am using a Macbook, iterm2 and VIM - Vi IMproved 7.4

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I'll break down my answer in two parts:

  • I'll start with some guidelines:

    1. First of all, most of the time plugins have two or more directories where code resides, not only a root/plugin directory.

    2. Second, you need to place these plugins, in a specified directory and later set the runtimepath from your ~/.vimrc. I've ~/.vim/bundle as my plugin directory and in my vimrc I have set runtimepath+=~/.vim/bundle. Be sure to clone plugin repositories properly.

    3. Observing your obvious lack of info of using plugins and then assuming you're new to vim, I suggest using a package manager for vim. Many would suggest vim-pathogen. But I'd suggest vim-plug. But you should check others out for yourself. Just google it.

  • Now, to get back to the problem you currently have.
    So, if you want to use any plugin manager, then do that. But for first time's sake, do these following:

    1. create ~/.vim/bundle : mkdir -p ~/.vim/bundle
    2. git clone https://github.com/jiangmiao/auto-pairs.git
    3. add this line to vimrc : set runtimepath+=~/.vim/bundle/auto-pairs
    4. Restart vim.

you should get the plugin working now. If you find out anything odd reply here.

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You say "it doesn't seem to work" so I'm assuming this simple test fails: while in Insert mode enter [ and you should see [|] where | is the cursor. If not then let's look at the installation...

:source in the context of plugins is for vimball files and you would do something like this, once, to install the plugin:

    vim someplugin.vba
    :source %
    :q

(Generally speaking :source just executes the Ex commands in a file.)

But, of course, this plugin is not in a vimball. All you should need to do is copy the file to ~/.vim/plugin/ then start vim. I just did exactly that with the current version of auto-pairs and everything is working fine. (I'm not on Mac, though.) Note that by sourcing it you may even be causing problems that wouldn't normally exist.

If you're using a fairly up-to-date version of Vim you could also try copying the entire plugin directory (including docs\, plugin\, etc.) to the following (create the parent directories if you don't have them already):

~/.vim/pack/bundle/start/auto-pairs

(Note: directory "bundle" can actually be named anything you want.)

Alternatively, if you know git you can clone the whole thing into the start/ directory.

The next time you run vim the plugin will be available. One advantage of this is that you'll have local access to the help file.

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