I have an ftplugin under &runtimepath/ftplugin/c.vim which sets all my preferred options for c files. However, I would also like to use the same settings for cpp files. I could just copy the settings over, but that seems redundant. Is there a way of loading an ftplugin for more than one filetype?

2 Answers 2


The default ftplugin (/usr/share/vim/vim74/ftplugin/cpp.vim on my system) should already do this:

" Only do this when not done yet for this buffer
if exists("b:did_ftplugin")

" Behaves just like C
runtime! ftplugin/c.vim ftplugin/c_*.vim ftplugin/c/*.vim

runtime should be relative to the runtimepath:

There can be multiple {file} arguments, separated by spaces. Each {file} is searched for in the first directory from 'runtimepath', then in the second directory, etc.

If I create a ~/.vim/ftplugin/c.vim, this also gets executed for C++ files without doing anything!

If you don't have this file in your Vim version,, you can create a new ~/.vim/ftplugin/cpp.vim file with the runtime! statement.

Or, if you're on a UNIX-y system you can use a symlink:

$ ln -s ~/.vim/ftplugin/c.vim ~/.vim/ftplugin/cpp.vim
  • Ah, I didn't realize that! Good observation. I would use the runtime solution if I needed this for other filetypes. May 5, 2015 at 18:24

Within cpp.vim put:

source <sfile>:h/c.vim

<sfile> expands to the currently sourced file, and :h means the head of it.

  • There is nothing to do. As Martin explained, C ftplugins are automatically sourced for C++ buffers May 1, 2020 at 15:46
  • More for other readers, e.g. make .scss handled same was as .css etc May 1, 2020 at 16:09
  • 1
    Then, unless you want to load a very specific file, IMO, :runtime! ftplugin/css*.vim ftplugin/css/*.vim would be a better solution. May 1, 2020 at 16:19

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