Questions tagged [help-system]

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

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108
votes
2answers
9k views

How do I navigate to topics in Vim's documentation?

In Vim's built-in help system, how do I… search for topics that I want help on? follow hyperlinks? browse around for related material?
35
votes
12answers
12k views

How to “full screen” browse Vim help?

I know I can browse Vim help with :help, but this opens a split. Sometimes, I just like to study documentation. How read documentation in a "full screen" mode?
27
votes
3answers
5k views

Learning Vim after vimtutor

What should the next steps to learning Vim be, after completing vimtutor? I've watched videos on YouTube, read tutorials online and questions/answers on SE, and am busy reading Practical Vim. Are ...
25
votes
5answers
924 views

How can a complete beginner learn Vim using just Vim itself?

As a complete beginner with no vi experience, how can I learn to use Vim using just Vim itself? Is there a built-in tutorial, and how can I access it? Assume I have a laptop with Linux and Vim ...
24
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I make Vim open help in a vertical split?

I usually work in a drop-down terminal, running about 25 characters high. Since I prefer tabs to windows1, usually a lot of horizontal space is wasted - around half of the terminal width. On top of ...
20
votes
1answer
624 views

What is the correct capitalization of 'vim'?

What is the proper way to capitalize 'vim'? I have seen these variants being used: vim Vim ViM VIM Which is the correct one? Or are they all considered correct? If I look at the :help files, I see ...
16
votes
2answers
932 views

How do I generate Vim documentation from Markdown notes or inline comments, or are there better ways to add documentation?

This is kind of two questions in one. Lately I've been spending a lot of time learning vimscript in-depth, learning vim's internals & taking my first steps writing vim plugins. During this process,...
11
votes
3answers
142 views

Shadowed terms in help

Occasionally, when I'm searching the help system for a particular topic, it will be shadowed by a different topic. For example, if I do :h display I get help for something involving "GUI Resources", ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What does `idem` mean in the VIM docs?

One example would be in the List docs: :unlet list[3] "idem
9
votes
1answer
5k 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Change vimtutor language

My vimtutor is in portuguese. I don't know why, because my Windows OS is in english, so as everything else. I don't remember to have chosen "portuguese" anywhere in the vim installing process. How do ...
9
votes
1answer
385 views

reference / documentation in vim

I assume the only documentation that comes with vim are about vim. If I install plugins there will be documentations of the plugins as well. But are there documentations for other languages in vim? ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Does Vim have any hidden “easter eggs” or jokes? If so, which? [closed]

I've heard rumours about Vim having some hidden "easter eggs" and jokes. Is this true? What are they?
8
votes
3answers
839 views

Jump to next identifier in Vim help files

I regularly find myself in the situation that I am reading a help topic and see an identifier (the blue underlined words) that I want to follow with <C-]>. However, most of the time the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Prevent vim closing the editor when the last window/splits are help pages

When I am working in vim, I often have a split, or splits, open containing a help files. If I close other windows using :q such that vim would be left in a state with only help windows open, vim ...
7
votes
1answer
115 views

How to search the help docs from a command prompt

I find my self often, especially after this site was created, opening vim just to type :h ... or :helpgrep .... What I would like to do is to run vim and immediately open the help topic that I want. ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

What does “tag” mean in the context of Vim's help window?

I ran :help index to find out about key mappings and it's great, but there's one thing I don't get. At the top it says... This file contains a list of all commands for each mode, with a tag and a ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

Is there any way to add to the help system without developing a plugin

I have somewhat customised vim to my needs what I would like to do would be to add a cheatsheet, documenting these customisations and other things I often forget to the vim help system. I know that ...
6
votes
2answers
174 views

What prevents the cursor from moving to the first column on some help files?

I recently noticed that on some help files it is not possible to move the cursor to the very first column of some lines. To explain it clearly, here is a screenshot where I have done the following: ...
6
votes
1answer
322 views

What does `*foo* *[foo]*` mean in the vim help system?

When searching the help for "count", :h count I'm shown the help page: *count* *[count]* [count] An optional number that may precede the command to multiply or ...
6
votes
1answer
668 views

Open help windows in new buffer instead of split windows

Some time ago I found an interesting trick on Damian Conway's vimrc which allows to open help files in new tabs instead of split windows. The code is the following: "Only apply to .txt files... ...
5
votes
2answers
899 views

Opening built-in cheat sheet [duplicate]

Every now and then when I try to quit vim, I incidentally open window with command cheat sheet as in attached picture. How do I do this and how is it called?
5
votes
3answers
191 views

How can I quickly convert a Vim help tag to a vimhelp.appspot.com link?

One thing I often do here is to add links to documentation when writing :he foo, and I usually link to http://vimhelp.appspot.com. The problem is, that site's search is about slightly worse than the ...
5
votes
1answer
657 views

Plugin help files not found

I am on windows 10 and installed pathogen into home/vimfiles/autoload, and as far as I know all went well. Following the directions here, I installed nerdcommenter. I restarted gvim, tried :help ...
4
votes
2answers
777 views

How can I switch to filetype=txt when entering insert mode for Vim help files?

When writing a Vim help file, it's often useful to set the filetype to help to show syntax highlighting and such. But I find this annoying to work with when editing the document due to the "concealed" ...
4
votes
4answers
233 views

Randomly select a documentation article

I wanted to know if there is some way of fetching a random "article" (maybe article is not the proper term here) from the vim documentation. I found nearly nothing on the subject on vim documentation ...
4
votes
2answers
106 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
34 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

Is it possible to look up a command that takes no arguments?

Is there a way to use :help to find commands that take arguments vs. no arguments? For example: :map (w/o arguments) can list the key mappings for various modes. However, :help :map leads me to :map ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

What are these `E88` shortcuts in the manual?

I'm using gvim version 7.4.205 for Windows, if that matters. If I type :help :bp, it shows the help for :bN and :bp: :[N]bN[ext][!] [N] *:bN* *:bNext* *:bp* *:bprevious* *E88* :[N]bp[...
3
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
741 views

Modeline folding not working on help file

I'm writing a helpfile for a plugin, i.e. a foo.txt file that goes in the plugin's doc/ directory. At the bottom of that file I placed the following modeline: vim: tw=70 ft=help fdm=marker fmr={{{,}}...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Ctrl-] to open relevant help straight from .vimrc

I am trying to get use the help files more, and therefore I would like to make so I can just put the cursor over a setting in my .vimrc and press Ctrl-] to open the relevant section in the help files. ...
2
votes
2answers
628 views

Setting custom statusline for help window

I've been trying to set a custom statusline for help files. I tried: set statusline=%!StatusLine() function! StatusLine() if &ft == 'help' let b:status = "%#error#[HELP]%*" else ...
2
votes
1answer
256 views

Is there a way to disable Vim from creating a new buffer every time I jump to a hyperlinked page within Vim Help pages?

I have setup my Vim Help to appear as a listed buffer for my ease of quick access and return to same page. The problem I face is that every time I jump around in Vim Help page using Ctrl-] a new Vim-...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

Does vim have a learning mode to help me get used to more advanced operations? [duplicate]

I have been using vim for over 5 years and I only ever use basic cursor movements and character/line replacements. I'm not using multiple windows or buffers or registers or splits. When I want to ...
2
votes
1answer
234 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
32 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
37 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....
2
votes
1answer
342 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
272 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

Helptags has unexpected behavior if tag has hyphen

I'm creating a plugin and I'm writing its documentation according to :helptags. However I cannot link my tags if they have an hyphen in them. The strange thing is that help-writing itself has a hyphen ...
2
votes
2answers
584 views

Piping to vim vs vim -

When I pipe text to vim I discovered that by using: cat somefile | vim - it works properly, whereas: cat somefile | vim makes a mess of the code. For example, type: cat test.pl | vim where test....
2
votes
0answers
112 views

escaping a character included in a conceal command vimscript

I'm playing with conceal in help files to highlight / colour specific text strings which was working fine until I added the :print: example below. Using this concealed all the : as expected so I ...
1
vote
2answers
605 views

vimscript: get result of cmdline-completion Ctrl-a

Need a function that, returns a string, which is result of cmdline-completion Ctrl-a, i.e., a list of words seperated by space. given an input string of partial ex-command. For example, given :h ...
1
vote
2answers
118 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

Full width Vim help text

Is it possible to view the help in Vim at a text width greater than 77 characters? Can Vim reflow the help text?
1
vote
1answer
27 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-...