I am relatively new to vim. I made my .vimrc file watching different tutorial in order to use vim mainly as a python IDE. I am using pathogen as plugin manager and I have recently installed python-mode. However when typying :Helptags pymode or :Helptags NerdTree I get:

E488: Trailing characters

I suspect something is not right with my .vimrc..Here is what I am using:

 1 " Enable syntax highlight
 0 syntax on
 1 let python_highlight_all=1
 2 " Highlight your search
 3 set hlsearch
 4 set number relativenumber
 5 " Rebind <Leader> Key
 6 let mapleader = ","
 8 noremap <Leader>l :nohl<CR>
 10 " Quicksave command
 11 noremap <Leader>m :update<CR>
 13 " Quickquit command
 14 noremap <Leader>e :quit<CR> "Quit current wind
 15 noremap <Leader>E :qa!<CR> "Quit all wind
 16 nnoremap <leader>b :ls<cr>:b<space>
 19 execute pathogen#infect()
 20 call pathogen#helptags()
 22 filetype plugin indent on
 23 set number
 25 " Setting vim-colors-solarized
 26 " cd ~/.vim/bundle
 27 " git clone git://github.com/altercation/vim-colors-solarized.git
 28 " It worked with this: cp .vim/bundle/solarized/vim-colors-solarized  /colors/solarized.vim ~/.vim/colors/
 29 let g:solarized_termcolors=256
 30 set t_Co=256
 31 set background=dark
 32 " Highlight useless white spaces
 33 autocmd ColorScheme * highlight ExtraWhitespace ctermbg=red guibg=red
 34 au InsertLeave * match ExtraWhitespace /\s\+$/
 35 colorscheme solarized
 37 let g:pymode_python='python3'
 39 " Setting for NERDTree
 40 " cd ~/.vim/bundle
 41 " git clone https://github.com/scrooloose/nerdtree.git
 42 " toggle NERDtree
 43 map <Leader>n :NERDTreeToggle<CR>

Can somebody help me out? Thanks

1 Answer 1


UPDATE: It looks like you were trying to get help on plug-ins.

For that, you can simply call :help. Vim will look for help files in the plug-in directories, so something like :help pymode will work.

If you build the help tags for plug-ins (for instance, with the :Helptags command of pathogen, or :helptags ALL if you're simply using packages), then the commands and bindings of plug-ins will be available through the help system as well.

For instance, you'll be able to use :help :NERDTreeToggle to get help on that specific command of the NERDTree plug-in.

You should call :Helptags on its own, without any additional arguments.

The point of :Helptags in vim-pathogen is that it will figure out which plugins have doc/ directories that need help tags generated, and generate them for all of those.

From the README:

Normally to generate documentation, Vim expects you to run :helptags on each directory with documentation (e.g., :helptags ~/.vim/doc). Provided with pathogen.vim is a :Helptags command that does this on every directory in your 'runtimepath'.

Also consider just using packages instead of pathogen, if you're using Vim 8 or later, or NeoVim. Packages are built-in to Vim and work very similarly to how pathogen does.

If you use native packages, then you can use :helptags ALL to create tags for all your plug-ins (so you don't need pathogen's :Helptags either.)

Pathogen itself recommends using packages instead. From the README:

For new users, I recommend using Vim's built-in package management instead. :help packages

  • Thanks for your help. Yes, :Helptags alone actually does not give errors. But how can I get help on a particular plugin so?
    – diegus
    Aug 28, 2019 at 11:26
  • Ah! Just use :help directly, such as :help pymode or on a specific command :help :NERDTreeToggle.
    – filbranden
    Aug 28, 2019 at 11:29
  • 1
    You can usually also use :helptags ALL, which is handy since I got rid of pathogen
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Aug 28, 2019 at 12:22
  • @D.BenKnoble Added info on :helptags ALL and more recommendation towards using packages!
    – filbranden
    Aug 28, 2019 at 13:49

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