I wasn't sure how to word this properly in the title..

what I'm looking to do is set variables one way or another depending on how vim is invoked. Specifically I have just discovered the Man plugin, and set my shell's manpager to vim.

When invoked as the manpager, I would like vim to use different default options for things like spell and scrolloff .. is this possible?


1 Answer 1


Yes, you can by working with the filetype.

To determine the filetype execute :set ft?

For the displayed man page this returns man.

If you want to set special settings for this filetype create the file ~/.vim/after/ftplugin/man.vim. All settings in this file will be loaded, when you open a man page.

There is already a default ftplugin (read "filetype plugin") for man pages. By placing your file below the subdir .vim/after/ftplugin, the default ftplugin is read first and then your file from the after-directory is read. This is the way to change or extend settings for a existing filetype.

BTW: On Windows it is $HOME/vimfiles/after/man.vim.

See :h after-directory and :help ftplugin.

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