As background: I am a beginner in VIM and I want to go through the built-in vim manual, but with my own copy (not the system copy) so that I can practice in the manual text as I go along (I also bought the book Practical VIM and went through vimtutor).

To do this I went to the location where these manuals are located:


and copied the contents to a directory in my documents directory:

sudo cp * ~/Documents/vim_learning/vim_doc

Now, I want to navigate this documentation using ctl-] and ctl-o but I can't in the versions I copied, and also when I just open a copy in the main doc folder using vim. I get E426 tag not found: foo error. Of course can navigate like I want to when I use the :help user-manual command. To get around this I presumed that I had to tell vim to use the tags file tried adding set tags=./tags; to my vimrc, which I verified was working by adding and removing lines to change the color scheme. This did not work. Is there any quick way to make these navigation tags work?

I am running this vim version:

VIM - Vi IMproved 8.2 (2019 Dec 12, compiled Mar  3 2020 12:05:00)
macOS version
Included patches: 1-319
Compiled by [email protected]  

and path_extra feature is enabled. I am running it in the mac terminal with this alias set in my .zshrc:

alias vi='mvim -v'
alias vim='mvim -v'
  • You'll need to run :helptags [dir]
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Apr 22, 2020 at 22:50
  • I just tried this and it did not seem to work. Apr 23, 2020 at 0:03
  • "so that I can practice in the manual text as I go along" Why would you want to practice on the documentation itself? It's really meant to be read and not modified... Not saying it's something you shouldn't be doing, just struck me as a bit odd... Anyways, I'll see if I can reproduce your issue and suggest a way to get tag navigation working.
    – filbranden
    Apr 23, 2020 at 1:30
  • Yeah it would kind of mirror how you edited the vimtutor as you go along. Apr 23, 2020 at 19:19


Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.