Vim: about a year in

After seeing a couple of new blog posts about learning Vim I thought I’d write down my two cents on the topic. This not a fully featured guide on getting started but rather a few pointers that I think can be useful for newcomers.

Experiment, and then experiment some more

I think the most valuable thing is to experiment with your setup. I’d suggest you to look through other people’s .vimrc’s for inspiration and try out every feature that you find interesting or useful. I still do this, probably far too much.

I’d also advise you to use a plugin manager. I used Pathogen and Git submodules for a long time1 and while it works it isn’t optimal when you want to play around with new plugins. I recently switched to Vundle which means that all I have to do is add Bundle "<github-username/plugin-name>" in my .vimrc and run :BundleInstall.

:help is your friend

Seriously. I love Vim’s documentation. If you stumble upon some feature you haven’t heard of or if you’re unsure about how some setting works all you have to do is type :help <anything> and hit Enter. It’s a seriously handy thing to have.

Don’t remap like a crazy person

This is my extreme personal preference, but try to keep remapping keys to a minimum. I only try to do that to keys and commands that are too cumbersome to type. If you use a certain command a dozen times in a day you should go ahead and remap it, but don’t do it just for the sake of doing it.

  1. Well, for the better part of a year. 

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