How can we display a program execution output from stdout or stderr as a overlay from inside VIM?

I get that we can have keyboard shortcut mapping to compile and run, but I'm looking to display the output as overlay as shown in below videos

stdout overlay example : https://youtu.be/cRPz405LWgE?&t=2296

stdout overlay

stderr overlay example : https://youtu.be/cRPz405LWgE?&t=912

enter image description here

  • Need help with tags
    – mtk
    Apr 22, 2022 at 7:27
  • 2
    Popups might be of interest: :help popup. I think you can make them transparent?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Apr 22, 2022 at 17:13
  • What is shown in the video has nothing to do with vim, it is something other.
    – Maxim Kim
    Jun 5, 2022 at 8:41
  • @MaximKim ok, can you please shed light on how to configure it in neovim, or it's a easy setting.
    – mtk
    Jun 7, 2022 at 7:36
  • 1
    @mtk, I don't think neovim has this kind of overlays as in video. For me it looks like something pre-created with other software to show it over the neovim window
    – Maxim Kim
    Jun 7, 2022 at 8:11

1 Answer 1


Overlays as in video you have linked have nothing to do with vim (and probably neovim).

The only way vim can have something like overlay is to use popup windows. And they would only be able to show text with the same font as main vim window (no bigger font, no proportional font etc).

With the popup you could have something like this:

enter image description here

Here I use the output of git command to show commit information for the current line. (I wouldn't include the whole source, check it here if interested)

If you want to use popup windows to show output of some external command, you could have it but to accomodate your exact needs you would have to program it yourself. Or find some plugin that would do it.

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