Questions tagged [help-system]

Questions about Vim's built-in help system, which is accessible through the :help command

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How to create an index that lists topics from multiple help files?

I started writing a help file for various vim commands that I know I'll forget. Over the last 7+ years it's grown to ~1600 lines and is starting to become unwieldy I've been trying to split it into ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to Interpret Syntax in VIM Help Pages

I have difficulty understanding syntax provided in man pages. I realize that the syntax is trying to tell me the range of things you can do, but I often can't distinguish between characters that are &...
0 votes
0 answers
26 views

How to make VIM Use the Whole Screen While Reading Help? [duplicate]

Why is it, when I search for help, that so much of my screen's vertical space is wasted by default in vim? How can I make it use the whole screen instead. See below:
0 votes
0 answers
19 views

Managing a README.md and vim help for plugins [duplicate]

Is there a way to generate vim help files and a markdown readme for github from the same text file? Or what is the usual strategy for this? I'm maintaining a small plugin that is only used by like ...
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1 vote
2 answers
29 views

Where's the documentation for Ctrl-C while in [Command Line] buffer?

Long ago I discovered that q: opens a [Command Line] buffer where I can enter and edit an ex command line using all the power of Vim. Next, some time ago, I discovered that I can access that mode even ...
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4 votes
1 answer
130 views

When was getcharstr() introduced? And how could I have found the answer my self from :help?

Yesterday I made a change to my plugin which essentially consisted in using getcharstr() instead of nr2char(getchar()). That was Vim 8.2.4106. Today at work I updated my plugin and got an error, ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is Vim9 mentioned at all in the doc of Vim 8?

Looking for lambda in the doc, I've found out (to my surprise) that they do exist in vimscript, and they use the syntax {args -> expr1}. But I've also discovered that there's Vim9, the doc of which ...
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3 votes
2 answers
268 views

Complete list of all VIM commands

I know the title should have been "God can you share all the knowledge in the Universe please ?" But anyway it doesn't hurt if I ask... Is there any compiled complete list of all VIM ...
0 votes
0 answers
15 views

":h command" doesn't work with some commads. How to deal with such cases? [duplicate]

When it comes to some commands, getting help is hard. For example, the display command. I know I can use, for example, set display=truncate or set display=lastline, but when I use :h display to read ...
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0 votes
1 answer
21 views

Need an explaination for CTRL-A help doc , "... or alphabetic character"

CTRL-A Add [count] to the number or alphabetic character at or after the cursor. CTRL-X Subtract [count] from the number or alphabetic character at or after ...
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4 votes
2 answers
526 views

On string concatenation, what's the difference between . and .. (single dot and double dot)?

From the :execute help (:h :exe): *:exe* *:execute* :exe[cute] {expr1} .. Executes the string that results from the evaluation of {expr1} as an Ex command. ...
0 votes
1 answer
100 views

Make Line Numbers Appear in Documentation

I have set number in my init.vim (I am using neovim) and it works fine for any buffers I'm editing. However, I have to enter :set number into the command line to make line numbers appear in the ...
0 votes
0 answers
43 views

Disabling Help menu in ubuntu vi

There have been many postings on this issue but none have worked for me. I'm running vim 8.2 on linux ubuntu 20.04, which maybe why some of the postings haven't worked. Like many, I'd like to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
49 views

What are the E tags in vim help?

I've been browsing vim's help and noticed there are some topics which have multiple E### tags and others with just a single E### tag. I'm curious as to what the significance of these E### tags are. My ...
0 votes
1 answer
26 views

"auto-complete" normal mode command?

Once I press g (or anything that enters operator pending mode), is there a way to see what keys could follow (e.g. gf, ga etc)? Alternatively, is there a way to search builtin + mapped keys by regex? ...
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4 votes
1 answer
116 views

Buffers that are neither active nor hidden

Both :ls and :buffers display a list with buffer information, giving indicators for each buffer. For example, # means the alternate buffer, and % means the current buffer. The meaning of each ...
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1 vote
1 answer
54 views

What exactly Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow does? How can I remap it or find help on this key combination?

I've noticed that pressing Ctrl+ Shift+ Right deletes text until some criteria are met but I can't figure out exactly what that is. I'm also unsure how to find help when a character doesn't have a ...
0 votes
2 answers
83 views

Automatically resize window based on filetype

I have a nifty autocommand in my vimrc that automatically maximizes any :help window: augroup LargeHelpWindow autocmd! autocmd BufWinEnter * if &l:buftype ==# 'help' | wincmd _ | endif ...
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0 votes
1 answer
28 views

Prevent help page folds from being lost

When I open a help page, create a manual fold, set bufhidden=hide and buflisted, then navigate away from that page, the fold is not restored upon returning. $ vim -u NONE :help " create a manual ...
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0 votes
0 answers
42 views

Why some shortcuts aren't listed on index.txt ? Is there a complete list?

The file index.txt is claiming to be a list of all commands, but some keyboard shortcuts are listed on other files and not here. And sometimes, the definition is a bit different in other files. Are ...
2 votes
1 answer
252 views

Is it safe to define more than 120 signs?

I am working on a plugin that could potentially define more than 120 different signs. The vim / neovim documentation specifies that you can define about 120 signs (not sure why this number and why so ...
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0 votes
0 answers
113 views

How to find next match by ":help"?

For example, you are using "mattn/emmet.vim", and command :help todo, it shows emmet-todo. Not vim side's todo. I'd like to find vim side's todo, but can't go to next match... how can I go ...
0 votes
0 answers
89 views

CTRL-] keys not working with very specific tags

So, I'm trying to use vim's help tags in my notes files, so that i can easily reach them (without using ex command or making a new keymapping). For that, i used: set tags=$VIMRUNTIME/doc/tags to set ...
1 vote
1 answer
31 views

Single page version of docs

I would like to read the Vim user guide and reference docs and man pages on my Kindle Paperwhite. Does anyone know of a single page web readable version of the docs? Or even a PDF? Https://vim.help is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
65 views

How to add translated help to vim?

I have vim 8.1 installed. I want to use the help files translated into french. The debian package vimhelp-fr is not maintained any more, the compressed tar is unavailable, so I installed the version 6....
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1 vote
1 answer
48 views

Where is vim man-page online and within vim help? (e.g., in vimhelp.org, and from :help)

Q1: Where can I find the vim man page online? (an up-to-date version) Q2: Where can I find the vim man page within the vim help system? (i.e., :help) http://vimhelp.org looks like the canonical up-to-...
3 votes
1 answer
487 views

How to list all help subjects and help files?

Q1: How can I list all vim help subjects (topics)? i.e., the {subject} argument for :h[elp] {subject} Q2: How can I list all vim help files? My particular use case is that I want to see help for my ...
2 votes
1 answer
34 views

Where is the help function defined or located?

I'm trying to find where the help function/command is defined. So far I tried: :verbose function help but since the h isn't in uppercase, it doesn't work (not sure if it's even a function at this ...
0 votes
1 answer
95 views

How to cycle through all "tags" matching `:h {subject}`?

Suppose :h {subject} results in multiple matches for the tag {subject}. The :h entry says that the "best" match will be used, which is not very useful, If I don't know exactly what to search ...
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1 vote
1 answer
71 views

How to search for documentation on an option which is also a vim command argument? [duplicate]

When a Vim option is also a Vim command argument, :help opens the command argument help page. How can I direct :help to get the option page? For example, trying :help verbose opens the -V verbose ...
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4 votes
0 answers
44 views

Convert VIM doc (vim help) to Markdown or vice versa [duplicate]

Suppose you are writing a vim plugin hosted on Github (which seems to be a standard for now). You don't want to maintain two help files: README.md (Markdown) and doc/your_plugin.txt (vim help) with ...
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0 votes
1 answer
75 views

Help navigating help files

In the case below, how would I find what the definition of [cmd] or [range] or {pattern} is ? I have tried CTRL-] with my cursor on these, but this does not do anything.
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

`:help` returns an “E432: Tags file not sorted” error

I am attempting to use to the :help command in Neovim however the following error is returned: E432: Tags file not sorted: /Users/seeker/.config/nvim/plugged/nerdtree/doc/tags E432: Tags file not ...
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2 votes
2 answers
188 views

:help - is there something like apropos?

A very helpful comment led me to investigate :help mode-switching where after typing :help mode I used autocomplete to explore which additional help topics contained mode. This was a very large ...
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1 vote
1 answer
151 views

How to show the name of a help buffer in the tabline of the airline?

I use :h command to open a help buffer. When I switch to other buffers, I can't go back to the opened help buffer. How can I show the name of a help buffer in the tabline of the airline?
2 votes
2 answers
481 views

Can the temp gzip decompression location for the integrated help documents be changed from /tmp?

Is it possible to configure vi to use a different location, say my home directory, for the uncompressed help files (or maybe to open them in RO if that's the problem)? When attempting to open a help ...
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does `idem` mean in the VIM docs?

One example would be in the List docs: :unlet list[3] "idem
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2 votes
1 answer
110 views

help {subject} path precedence

:h {subject} reads If there is no full match for the pattern, or there are several matches, the "best" match will be used. A sophisticated algorithm is used to decide which match is better than ...
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3 votes
2 answers
516 views

Why are helptags not shipped with plugins?

Part of the job performed by virtually all plugin managers in Vim is to create helptags, which will index the help files shipped with the plugins and will allow searching for commands and mappings ...
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1 vote
0 answers
56 views

Ctrl-] matching single word in custom tags

When using vim's help I can jump to multi-word tags, but when creating my own tags Ctrl-] tries to match individual words. Consider the following example: file.txt |a-tag| *a-tag* When ...
0 votes
0 answers
104 views

How do I create the help system for Vim?

I built Vim from source and unfortunately when doing this the help system is not created (in other words you get an error if you execute :h). What is the procedure for creating the help system? This ...
  • 1,911
0 votes
0 answers
124 views

BufRead autocmd error for "*.*" and E45

I have vim version 7.4.1689. It was running quite smoothly. But recently I noticed a problem that I didn't have before. Whenever I run :help <something> in command mode the following error shows ...
0 votes
0 answers
61 views

install / repair help system

I built vim from source on Arch Linux and the help system is not present. I do not see any help-related options when I do vim --version. I assume it is either broken somehow or not installed. How can ...
  • 1,911
0 votes
2 answers
46 views

How to go to different matching entry in vim's help [duplicate]

Example: I tried finding out about foldclose because it sounded strange to me that it isn't a binary setting but still only knows the value "all". I typed :h foldclose and landed on a description of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
195 views

Best practices and tools for documenting vimscript functions?

I have quickly skimmed through :h user-functions and a couple random vim plugins and all I could find were patterns like " one-line short function description function foo() <function body here&...
0 votes
2 answers
234 views

Help for filetype specifics

I often find myself jotting notes in Vim using an empty buffer which in this case has 'no ft' (status line). I know I could set the filetype with :setfiletype text but I honestly wonder what that ...
  • 353
19 votes
1 answer
8k views

Generating help tags for packages that are loaded by Vim 8's package management

I have a few packages installed in my ~/.vim/pack/default/start directory, for example Tabular and Unicode. After starting up vim I can use these packages but cannot access their help information. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
159 views

How to create man-pages and link them like in vim help system?

I would like to create documentation just like vim-help system . Multiple .txt files with links and cross references and where I can jump foreward CTRL+] and back using CTRL+T. How is it done?
4 votes
2 answers
157 views

Where are the French help files?

Background: I'm an english-speaking, francophone student. In an effort to improve my vocabulary, my MacBook has been running in French since January, when I arrived in France. Incidentally, this means ...
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0 votes
2 answers
131 views

How do you get help with operators?

How can I get help on operators as opposed to normal mode commands? For example, if I type the following: :h . Then I will get the help on the normal mode dot command, not on the string ...
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