Is there any way to display the reading time estimate in Vim? For example "this will take about 4 minutes to read".

The closest that I know of is g<C-g>, which gives:

Col 29 of 75; Line 68 of 132; Word 285 of 520; Byte 2187 of 3977

But no reading time.

1 Answer 1


As far as I know there is no built-in method for this, but I extended g<C-g> using the following function:

fun! s:readtime()
    let l:status = v:statusmsg
        exe "silent normal! g\<C-g>"
        echo printf('%s; About %.0f minutes',
                    \ v:statusmsg, ceil(wordcount()['words'] / 200.0))
        let v:statusmsg = l:status
nnoremap g<C-g> :call <SID>readtime()<CR>

I opted to extend the <C-g>g output with an estimate of the reading time:

Col 1 of 17; Line 62 of 131; Word 261 of 510; Byte 1967 of 3920; About 3 minutes

This assumes a reading speed of 200 words per minute.

The trick is that you can read and write v:statusmsg to display a message in the commandline, so this first runs the default g<C-g>, captures the output, get the word count, adds the reading time, and sets the statusmsg again.

You can do the same but not set v:statusmsg at the end if you want it mapped to a separate key, or run it as a command.

Note that this will only give you a naïve estimate which us unaware of syntax. It should be accurate enough for simple markup languages like Markdown, but it won't work well for more verbose markup such as HTML.


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