Vim documentation: starting

main help file
*starting.txt*  For Vim version 7.2.  Last change: 2008 Nov 09

		  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Bram Moolenaar

Starting Vim						*starting*

1. Vim arguments		|vim-arguments|
2. Vim on the Amiga		|starting-amiga|
3. Running eVim			|evim-keys|
4. Initialization		|initialization|
6. Suspending			|suspend|
7. Saving settings		|save-settings|
8. Views and Sessions		|views-sessions|
9. The viminfo file		|viminfo-file|

1. Vim arguments *vim-arguments* Most often, Vim is started to edit a single file with the command vim filename *-vim* More generally, Vim is started with: vim [option | filename] .. Option arguments and file name arguments can be mixed, and any number of them can be given. However, watch out for options that take an argument. For compatibility with various Vi versions, see |cmdline-arguments|. Exactly one out of the following five items may be used to choose how to start editing: *-file* *---* filename One or more file names. The first one will be the current file and read into the buffer. The cursor will be positioned on the first line of the buffer. To avoid a file name starting with a '-' being interpreted as an option, precede the arglist with "--", e.g.: vim -- -filename All arguments after the "--" will be interpreted as file names, no other options or "+command" argument can follow. *--* - This argument can mean two things, depending on whether Ex mode is to be used. Starting in Normal mode: vim - ex -v - Start editing a new buffer, which is filled with text that is read from stdin. The commands that would normally be read from stdin will now be read from stderr. Example: find . -name "*.c" -print | vim - The buffer will be marked modified, because it contains text that needs to be saved. Except when in readonly mode, then the buffer is not marked modified. Example: ls | view - Starting in Ex mode: ex - vim -e - exim - vim -E Start editing in silent mode. See |-s-ex|. *-t* *-tag* -t {tag} A tag. "tag" is looked up in the tags file, the associated file becomes the current file, and the associated command is executed. Mostly this is used for C programs, in which case "tag" often is a function name. The effect is that the file containing that function becomes the current file and the cursor is positioned on the start of the function (see |tags|). *-q* *-qf* -q [errorfile] QuickFix mode. The file with the name [errorfile] is read and the first error is displayed. See |quickfix|. If [errorfile] is not given, the 'errorfile' option is used for the file name. See 'errorfile' for the default value. {not in Vi} (nothing) Without one of the four items above, Vim will start editing a new buffer. It's empty and doesn't have a file name. The startup mode can be changed by using another name instead of "vim", which is equal to giving options: ex vim -e Start in Ex mode (see |Ex-mode|). *ex* exim vim -E Start in improved Ex mode (see |Ex-mode|). *exim* (normally not installed) view vim -R Start in read-only mode (see |-R|). *view* gvim vim -g Start the GUI (see |gui|). *gvim* gex vim -eg Start the GUI in Ex mode. *gex* gview vim -Rg Start the GUI in read-only mode. *gview* rvim vim -Z Like "vim", but in restricted mode (see |-Z|) *rvim* rview vim -RZ Like "view", but in restricted mode. *rview* rgvim vim -gZ Like "gvim", but in restricted mode. *rgvim* rgview vim -RgZ Like "gview", but in restricted mode. *rgview* evim vim -y Easy Vim: set 'insertmode' (see |-y|) *evim* eview vim -yR Like "evim" in read-only mode *eview* vimdiff vim -d Start in diff mode |diff-mode| gvimdiff vim -gd Start in diff mode |diff-mode| Additional characters may follow, they are ignored. For example, you can have "gvim-5" to start the GUI. You must have an executable by that name then, of course. On Unix, you would normally have one executable called Vim, and links from the different startup-names to that executable. If your system does not support links and you do not want to have several copies of the executable, you could use an alias instead. For example: alias view vim -R alias gvim vim -g *startup-options* The option arguments may be given in any order. Single-letter options can be combined after one dash. There can be no option arguments after the "--" argument. On VMS all option arguments are assumed to be lowercase, unless preceded with a slash. Thus "-R" means recovery and "-/R" readonly. --help *-h* *--help* -h Give usage (help) message and exit. {not in Vi} See |info-message| about capturing the text. *--version* --version Print version information and exit. Same output as for |:version| command. {not in Vi} See |info-message| about capturing the text. *--noplugin* --noplugin Skip loading plugins. Resets the 'loadplugins' option. {not in Vi} Note that the |-u| argument may also disable loading plugins: argument load vimrc files load plugins (nothing) yes yes -u NONE no no -u NORC no yes --noplugin yes no *--literal* --literal Take file names literally, don't expand wildcards. Not needed for Unix, because Vim always takes file names literally (the shell expands wildcards). Applies to all the names, also the ones that come before this argument. *-+* +[num] The cursor will be positioned on line "num" for the first file being edited. If "num" is missing, the cursor will be positioned on the last line. *-+/* +/{pat} The cursor will be positioned on the first line containing "pat" in the first file being edited (see |pattern| for the available search patterns). +{command} *-+c* *-c* -c {command} {command} will be executed after the first file has been read (and after autocommands and modelines for that file have been processed). "command" is interpreted as an Ex command. If the "command" contains spaces, it must be enclosed in double quotes (this depends on the shell that is used). Example: vim "+set si" main.c vim "+find stdio.h" vim -c "set ff=dos" -c wq mine.mak Note: You can use up to 10 "+" or "-c" arguments in a Vim command. They are executed in the order given. A "-S" argument counts as a "-c" argument as well. {Vi only allows one command} --cmd {command} *--cmd* {command} will be executed before processing any vimrc file. Otherwise it acts like -c {command}. You can use up to 10 of these commands, independently from "-c" commands. {not in Vi} *-S* -S {file} The {file} will be sourced after the first file has been read. This is an easy way to do the equivalent of: -c "source {file}" It can be mixed with "-c" arguments and repeated like "-c". The limit of 10 "-c" arguments applies here as well. {file} cannot start with a "-". {not in Vi} -S Works like "-S Session.vim". Only when used as the last argument or when another "-" option follows. *-r* -r Recovery mode. Without a file name argument, a list of existing swap files is given. With a file name, a swap file is read to recover a crashed editing session. See |crash-recovery|. *-L* -L Same as -r. {only in some versions of Vi: "List recoverable edit sessions"} *-R* -R Readonly mode. The 'readonly' option will be set for all the files being edited. You can still edit the buffer, but will be prevented from accidentally overwriting a file. If you forgot that you are in View mode and did make some changes, you can overwrite a file by adding an exclamation mark to the Ex command, as in ":w!". The 'readonly' option can be reset with ":set noro" (see the options chapter, |options|). Subsequent edits will not be done in readonly mode. Calling the executable "view" has the same effect as the -R argument. The 'updatecount' option will be set to 10000, meaning that the swap file will not be updated automatically very often. *-m* -m Modifications not allowed to be written. The 'write' option will be reset, so that writing files is disabled. However, the 'write' option can be set to enable writing again. {not in Vi} *-M* -M Modifications not allowed. The 'modifiable' option will be reset, so that changes are not allowed. The 'write' option will be reset, so that writing files is disabled. However, the 'modifiable' and 'write' options can be set to enable changes and writing. {not in Vi} *-Z* *restricted-mode* *E145* -Z Restricted mode. All commands that make use of an external shell are disabled. This includes suspending with CTRL-Z, ":sh", filtering, the system() function, backtick expansion, etc. {not in Vi} *-g* -g Start Vim in GUI mode. See |gui|. {not in Vi} *-v* -v Start Ex in Vi mode. Only makes a difference when the executable is called "ex" or "gvim". For gvim the GUI is not started if possible. *-e* -e Start Vim in Ex mode |Q|. Only makes a difference when the executable is not called "ex". *-E* -E Start Vim in improved Ex mode |gQ|. Only makes a difference when the executable is not called "exim". {not in Vi} *-s-ex* -s Silent or batch mode. Only when Vim was started as "ex" or when preceded with the "-e" argument. Otherwise see |-s|, which does take an argument while this use of "-s" doesn't. To be used when Vim is used to execute Ex commands from a file instead of a terminal. Switches off most prompts and informative messages. Also warnings and error messages. The output of these commands is displayed (to stdout): :print :list :number :set to display option values. When 'verbose' is non-zero messages are printed (for debugging, to stderr). 'term' and $TERM are not used. If Vim appears to be stuck try typing "qa!<Enter>". You don't get a prompt thus you can't see Vim is waiting for you to type something. Initializations are skipped (except the ones given with the "-u" argument). Example: vim -e -s < thefilter thefile *-b* -b Binary mode. File I/O will only recognize <NL> to separate lines. The 'expandtab' option will be reset. The 'textwidth' option is set to 0. 'modeline' is reset. The 'binary' option is set. This is done after reading the vimrc/exrc files but before reading any file in the arglist. See also |edit-binary|. {not in Vi} *-l* -l Lisp mode. Sets the 'lisp' and 'showmatch' options on. *-A* -A Arabic mode. Sets the 'arabic' option on. (Only when compiled with the |+arabic| features (which include |+rightleft|), otherwise Vim gives an error message and exits.) {not in Vi} *-F* -F Farsi mode. Sets the 'fkmap' and 'rightleft' options on. (Only when compiled with |+rightleft| and |+farsi| features, otherwise Vim gives an error message and exits.) {not in Vi} *-H* -H Hebrew mode. Sets the 'hkmap' and 'rightleft' options on. (Only when compiled with the |+rightleft| feature, otherwise Vim gives an error message and exits.) {not in Vi} *-V* *verbose* -V[N] Verbose. Sets the 'verbose' option to [N] (default: 10). Messages will be given for each file that is ":source"d and for reading or writing a viminfo file. Can be used to find out what is happening upon startup and exit. {not in Vi} Example: vim -V8 foobar -V[N]{filename} Like -V and set 'verbosefile' to {filename}. The result is that messages are not displayed but written to the file {filename}. {filename} must not start with a digit. Example: vim -V20vimlog foobar *-D* -D Debugging. Go to debugging mode when executing the first command from a script. |debug-mode| {not available when compiled without the |+eval| feature} {not in Vi} *-C* -C Compatible mode. Sets the 'compatible' option. You can use this to get 'compatible', even though a .vimrc file exists. But the command ":set nocompatible" overrules it anyway. Also see |compatible-default|. {not in Vi} *-N* -N Not compatible mode. Resets the 'compatible' option. You can use this to get 'nocompatible', when there is no .vimrc file. Also see |compatible-default|. {not in Vi} *-y* *easy* -y Easy mode. Implied for |evim| and |eview|. Starts with 'insertmode' set and behaves like a click-and-type editor. This sources the script $VIMRUNTIME/evim.vim. Mappings are set up to work like most click-and-type editors, see |evim-keys|. The GUI is started when available. {not in Vi} *-n* -n No swap file will be used. Recovery after a crash will be impossible. Handy if you want to view or edit a file on a very slow medium (e.g., a floppy). Can also be done with ":set updatecount=0". You can switch it on again by setting the 'updatecount' option to some value, e.g., ":set uc=100". 'updatecount' is set to 0 AFTER executing commands from a vimrc file, but before the GUI initializations. Thus it overrides a setting for 'updatecount' in a vimrc file, but not in a gvimrc file. See |startup|. When you want to reduce accesses to the disk (e.g., for a laptop), don't use "-n", but set 'updatetime' and 'updatecount' to very big numbers, and type ":preserve" when you want to save your work. This way you keep the possibility for crash recovery. {not in Vi} *-o* -o[N] Open N windows, split horizontally. If [N] is not given, one window is opened for every file given as argument. If there is not enough room, only the first few files get a window. If there are more windows than arguments, the last few windows will be editing an empty file. {not in Vi} *-O* -O[N] Open N windows, split vertically. Otherwise it's like -o. If both the -o and the -O option are given, the last one on the command line determines how the windows will be split. {not in Vi} *-p* -p[N] Open N tab pages. If [N] is not given, one tab page is opened for every file given as argument. The maximum is set with 'tabpagemax' pages (default 10). If there are more tab pages than arguments, the last few tab pages will be editing an empty file. Also see |tabpage|. {not in Vi} *-T* -T {terminal} Set the terminal type to "terminal". This influences the codes that Vim will send to your terminal. This is normally not needed, because Vim will be able to find out what type of terminal you are using. (See |terminal-info|.) {not in Vi} *-d* -d Start in diff mode, like |vimdiff|. {not in Vi} {not available when compiled without the |+diff| feature} -d {device} Only on the Amiga and when not compiled with the |+diff| feature. Works like "-dev". *-dev* -dev {device} Only on the Amiga: The {device} is opened to be used for editing. Normally you would use this to set the window position and size: "-d con:x/y/width/height", e.g., "-d con:30/10/600/150". But you can also use it to start editing on another device, e.g., AUX:. {not in Vi} *-f* -f Amiga: Do not restart Vim to open a new window. This option should be used when Vim is started by a program that will wait for the edit session to finish (e.g., mail or readnews). See |amiga-window|. GUI: Do not disconnect from the program that started Vim. 'f' stands for "foreground". If omitted, the GUI forks a new process and exits the current one. "-f" should be used when gvim is started by a program that will wait for the edit session to finish (e.g., mail or readnews). If you want gvim never to fork, include 'f' in 'guioptions' in your |gvimrc|. Careful: You can use "-gf" to start the GUI in the foreground, but "-fg" is used to specify the foreground color. |gui-fork| {not in Vi} *--nofork* --nofork GUI: Do not fork. Same as |-f|. *-u* *E282* -u {vimrc} The file {vimrc} is read for initializations. Most other initializations are skipped; see |initialization|. This can be used to start Vim in a special mode, with special mappings and settings. A shell alias can be used to make this easy to use. For example: alias vimc vim -u ~/.c_vimrc !* Also consider using autocommands; see |autocommand|. When {vimrc} is equal to "NONE" (all uppercase), all initializations from files and environment variables are skipped, including reading the |gvimrc| file when the GUI starts. Loading plugins is also skipped. When {vimrc} is equal to "NORC" (all uppercase), this has the same effect as "NONE", but loading plugins is not skipped. Using the "-u" argument has the side effect that the 'compatible' option will be on by default. This can have unexpected effects. See |'compatible'|. {not in Vi} *-U* *E230* -U {gvimrc} The file {gvimrc} is read for initializations when the GUI starts. Other GUI initializations are skipped. When {gvimrc} is equal to "NONE", no file is read for GUI initializations at all. |gui-init| Exception: Reading the system-wide menu file is always done. {not in Vi} *-i* -i {viminfo} The file "viminfo" is used instead of the default viminfo file. If the name "NONE" is used (all uppercase), no viminfo file is read or written, even if 'viminfo' is set or when ":rv" or ":wv" are used. See also |viminfo-file|. {not in Vi} *-x* -x Use encryption to read/write files. Will prompt for a key, which is then stored in the 'key' option. All writes will then use this key to encrypt the text. The '-x' argument is not needed when reading a file, because there is a check if the file that is being read has been encrypted, and Vim asks for a key automatically. |encryption| *-X* -X Do not try connecting to the X server to get the current window title and copy/paste using the X clipboard. This avoids a long startup time when running Vim in a terminal emulator and the connection to the X server is slow. Only makes a difference on Unix or VMS, when compiled with the |+X11| feature. Otherwise it's ignored. To disable the connection only for specific terminals, see the 'clipboard' option. When the X11 Session Management Protocol (XSMP) handler has been built in, the -X option also disables that connection as it, too, may have undesirable delays. When the connection is desired later anyway (e.g., for client-server messages), call the |serverlist()| function. This does not enable the XSMP handler though. {not in Vi} *-s* -s {scriptin} The script file "scriptin" is read. The characters in the file are interpreted as if you had typed them. The same can be done with the command ":source! {scriptin}". If the end of the file is reached before the editor exits, further characters are read from the keyboard. Only works when not started in Ex mode, see |-s-ex|. See also |complex-repeat|. {not in Vi} *-w_nr* -w {number} -w{number} Set the 'window' option to {number}. *-w* -w {scriptout} All the characters that you type are recorded in the file "scriptout", until you exit Vim. This is useful if you want to create a script file to be used with "vim -s" or ":source!". When the "scriptout" file already exists, new characters are appended. See also |complex-repeat|. {scriptout} cannot start with a digit. {not in Vi} *-W* -W {scriptout} Like -w, but do not append, overwrite an existing file. {not in Vi} --remote [+{cmd}] {file} ... Open the {file} in another Vim that functions as a server. Any non-file arguments must come before this. See |--remote|. {not in Vi} --remote-silent [+{cmd}] {file} ... Like --remote, but don't complain if there is no server. See |--remote-silent|. {not in Vi} --remote-wait [+{cmd}] {file} ... Like --remote, but wait for the server to finish editing the file(s). See |--remote-wait|. {not in Vi} --remote-wait-silent [+{cmd}] {file} ... Like --remote-wait, but don't complain if there is no server. See |--remote-wait-silent|. {not in Vi} --servername {name} Specify the name of the Vim server to send to or to become. See |--servername|. {not in Vi} --remote-send {keys} Send {keys} to a Vim server and exit. See |--remote-send|. {not in Vi} --remote-expr {expr} Evaluate {expr} in another Vim that functions as a server. The result is printed on stdout. See |--remote-expr|. {not in Vi} --serverlist Output a list of Vim server names and exit. See |--serverlist|. {not in Vi} --socketid {id} *--socketid* GTK+ GUI Vim only. Make gvim try to use GtkPlug mechanism, so that it runs inside another window. See |gui-gtk-socketid| for details. {not in Vi} --windowid {id} *--windowid* Win32 GUI Vim only. Make gvim try to use the window {id} as a parent, so that it runs inside that window. See |gui-w32-windowid| for details. {not in Vi} --echo-wid *--echo-wid* GTK+ GUI Vim only. Make gvim echo the Window ID on stdout, which can be used to run gvim in a kpart widget. The format of the output is: WID: 12345\n {not in Vi} --role {role} *--role* GTK+ 2 GUI only. Set the role of the main window to {role}. The window role can be used by a window manager to uniquely identify a window, in order to restore window placement and such. The --role argument is passed automatically when restoring the session on login. See |gui-gnome-session| {not in Vi} -P {parent-title} *-P* *MDI* *E671* *E672* Win32 only: Specify the title of the parent application. When possible, Vim will run in an MDI window inside the application. {parent-title} must appear in the window title of the parent application. Make sure that it is specific enough. Note that the implementation is still primitive. It won't work with all applications and the menu doesn't work. -nb *-nb* -nb={fname} -nb:{hostname}:{addr}:{password} Attempt connecting to Netbeans and become an editor server for it. The second form specifies a file to read connection info from. The third form specifies the hostname, address and password for connecting to Netbeans. |netbeans-run| Example for using a script file to change a name in several files: Create a file "" containing substitute commands and a :wq command: :%s/Jones/Smith/g :%s/Allen/Peter/g :wq Execute Vim on all files you want to change: foreach i ( *.let ) vim -s $i If the executable is called "view", Vim will start in Readonly mode. This is useful if you can make a hard or symbolic link from "view" to "vim". Starting in Readonly mode can also be done with "vim -R". If the executable is called "ex", Vim will start in "Ex" mode. This means it will accept only ":" commands. But when the "-v" argument is given, Vim will start in Normal mode anyway. Additional arguments are available on unix like systems when compiled with X11 GUI support. See |gui-resources|.
2. Vim on the Amiga *starting-amiga* Starting Vim from the Workbench *workbench* Vim can be started from the Workbench by clicking on its icon twice. It will then start with an empty buffer. Vim can be started to edit one or more files by using a "Project" icon. The "Default Tool" of the icon must be the full pathname of the Vim executable. The name of the ".info" file must be the same as the name of the text file. By clicking on this icon twice, Vim will be started with the file name as current file name, which will be read into the buffer (if it exists). You can edit multiple files by pressing the shift key while clicking on icons, and clicking twice on the last one. The "Default Tool" for all these icons must be the same. It is not possible to give arguments to Vim, other than file names, from the workbench. Vim window *amiga-window* Vim will run in the CLI window where it was started. If Vim was started with the "run" or "runback" command, or if Vim was started from the workbench, it will open a window of its own. Technical detail: To open the new window a little trick is used. As soon as Vim recognizes that it does not run in a normal CLI window, it will create a script file in "t:". This script file contains the same command as the one Vim was started with, and an "endcli" command. This script file is then executed with a "newcli" command (the "c:run" and "c:newcli" commands are required for this to work). The script file will hang around until reboot, or until you delete it. This method is required to get the ":sh" and ":!" commands to work correctly. But when Vim was started with the -f option (foreground mode), this method is not used. The reason for this is that when a program starts Vim with the -f option it will wait for Vim to exit. With the script trick, the calling program does not know when Vim exits. The -f option can be used when Vim is started by a mail program which also waits for the edit session to finish. As a consequence, the ":sh" and ":!" commands are not available when the -f option is used. Vim will automatically recognize the window size and react to window resizing. Under Amiga DOS 1.3, it is advised to use the fastfonts program, "FF", to speed up display redrawing.
3. Running eVim *evim-keys* EVim runs Vim as click-and-type editor. This is very unlike the original Vi idea. But it helps for people that don't use Vim often enough to learn the commands. Hopefully they will find out that learning to use Normal mode commands will make their editing much more effective. In Evim these options are changed from their default value: :set nocompatible Use Vim improvements :set insertmode Remain in Insert mode most of the time :set hidden Keep invisible buffers loaded :set backup Keep backup files (not for VMS) :set backspace=2 Backspace over everything :set autoindent auto-indent new lines :set history=50 keep 50 lines of Ex commands :set ruler show the cursor position :set incsearch show matches halfway typing a pattern :set mouse=a use the mouse in all modes :set hlsearch highlight all matches for a search pattern :set whichwrap+=<,>,[,] <Left> and <Right> wrap around line breaks :set guioptions-=a non-Unix only: don't do auto-select Key mappings: <Down> moves by screen lines rather than file lines <Up> idem Q does "gq", formatting, instead of Ex mode <BS> in Visual mode: deletes the selection CTRL-X in Visual mode: Cut to clipboard <S-Del> idem CTRL-C in Visual mode: Copy to clipboard <C-Insert> idem CTRL-V Pastes from the clipboard (in any mode) <S-Insert> idem CTRL-Q do what CTRL-V used to do CTRL-Z undo CTRL-Y redo <M-Space> system menu CTRL-A select all <C-Tab> next window, CTRL-W w <C-F4> close window, CTRL-W c Additionally: - ":behave mswin" is used |:behave| - syntax highlighting is enabled - filetype detection is enabled, filetype plugins and indenting is enabled - in a text file 'textwidth' is set to 78 One hint: If you want to go to Normal mode to be able to type a sequence of commands, use CTRL-L. |i_CTRL-L|
4. Initialization *initialization* *startup* This section is about the non-GUI version of Vim. See |gui-fork| for additional initialization when starting the GUI. At startup, Vim checks environment variables and files and sets values accordingly. Vim proceeds in this order: 1. Set the 'shell' and 'term' option *SHELL* *COMSPEC* *TERM* The environment variable SHELL, if it exists, is used to set the 'shell' option. On MS-DOS and Win32, the COMSPEC variable is used if SHELL is not set. The environment variable TERM, if it exists, is used to set the 'term' option. However, 'term' will change later when starting the GUI (step 8 below). 2. Process the arguments The options and file names from the command that start Vim are inspected. Buffers are created for all files (but not loaded yet). The |-V| argument can be used to display or log what happens next, useful for debugging the initializations. 3. Execute Ex commands, from environment variables and/or files An environment variable is read as one Ex command line, where multiple commands must be separated with '|' or "<NL>". *vimrc* *exrc* A file that contains initialization commands is called a "vimrc" file. Each line in a vimrc file is executed as an Ex command line. It is sometimes also referred to as "exrc" file. They are the same type of file, but "exrc" is what Vi always used, "vimrc" is a Vim specific name. Also see |vimrc-intro|. Recommended place for your personal initializations: Unix $HOME/.vimrc OS/2 $HOME/.vimrc or $VIM/.vimrc (or _vimrc) MS-DOS and Win32 $HOME/_vimrc or $VIM/_vimrc Amiga s:.vimrc or $VIM/.vimrc If Vim was started with "-u filename", the file "filename" is used. All following initializations until 4. are skipped. "vim -u NORC" can be used to skip these initializations without reading a file. "vim -u NONE" also skips loading plugins. |-u| If Vim was started in Ex mode with the "-s" argument, all following initializations until 4. are skipped. Only the "-u" option is interpreted. *evim.vim* a. If vim was started as |evim| or |eview| or with the |-y| argument, the script $VIMRUNTIME/evim.vim will be loaded. *system-vimrc* b. For Unix, MS-DOS, MS-Windows, OS/2, VMS, Macintosh, RISC-OS and Amiga the system vimrc file is read for initializations. The path of this file is shown with the ":version" command. Mostly it's "$VIM/vimrc". Note that this file is ALWAYS read in 'compatible' mode, since the automatic resetting of 'compatible' is only done later. Add a ":set nocp" command if you like. For the Macintosh the $VIMRUNTIME/macmap.vim is read. *VIMINIT* *.vimrc* *_vimrc* *EXINIT* *.exrc* *_exrc* c. Four places are searched for initializations. The first that exists is used, the others are ignored. The $MYVIMRC environment variable is set to the file that was first found, unless $MYVIMRC was already set. - The environment variable VIMINIT (see also |compatible-default|) (*) The value of $VIMINIT is used as an Ex command line. - The user vimrc file(s): "$HOME/.vimrc" (for Unix and OS/2) (*) "s:.vimrc" (for Amiga) (*) "home:.vimrc" (for Amiga) (*) "$VIM/.vimrc" (for OS/2 and Amiga) (*) "$HOME/_vimrc" (for MS-DOS and Win32) (*) "$VIM/_vimrc" (for MS-DOS and Win32) (*) Note: For Unix, OS/2 and Amiga, when ".vimrc" does not exist, "_vimrc" is also tried, in case an MS-DOS compatible file system is used. For MS-DOS and Win32 ".vimrc" is checked after "_vimrc", in case long file names are used. Note: For MS-DOS and Win32, "$HOME" is checked first. If no "_vimrc" or ".vimrc" is found there, "$VIM" is tried. See |$VIM| for when $VIM is not set. - The environment variable EXINIT. The value of $EXINIT is used as an Ex command line. - The user exrc file(s). Same as for the user vimrc file, but with "vimrc" replaced by "exrc". But only one of ".exrc" and "_exrc" is used, depending on the system. And without the (*)! d. If the 'exrc' option is on (which is not the default), the current directory is searched for three files. The first that exists is used, the others are ignored. - The file ".vimrc" (for Unix, Amiga and OS/2) (*) "_vimrc" (for MS-DOS and Win32) (*) - The file "_vimrc" (for Unix, Amiga and OS/2) (*) ".vimrc" (for MS-DOS and Win32) (*) - The file ".exrc" (for Unix, Amiga and OS/2) "_exrc" (for MS-DOS and Win32) (*) Using this file or environment variable will cause 'compatible' to be off by default. See |compatible-default|. 4. Load the plugin scripts. *load-plugins* This does the same as the command: :runtime! plugin/**/*.vim The result is that all directories in the 'runtimepath' option will be searched for the "plugin" sub-directory and all files ending in ".vim" will be sourced (in alphabetical order per directory), also in subdirectories. Loading plugins won't be done when: - The 'loadplugins' option was reset in a vimrc file. - The |--noplugin| command line argument is used. - The "-u NONE" command line argument is used |-u|. - When Vim was compiled without the |+eval| feature. Note that using "-c 'set noloadplugins'"' doesn't work, because the commands from the command line have not been executed yet. You can use "--cmd 'set noloadplugins'"' |--cmd|. 5. Set 'shellpipe' and 'shellredir' The 'shellpipe' and 'shellredir' options are set according to the value of the 'shell' option, unless they have been set before. This means that Vim will figure out the values of 'shellpipe' and 'shellredir' for you, unless you have set them yourself. 6. Set 'updatecount' to zero, if "-n" command argument used 7. Set binary options If the "-b" flag was given to Vim, the options for binary editing will be set now. See |-b|. 8. Perform GUI initializations Only when starting "gvim", the GUI initializations will be done. See |gui-init|. 9. Read the viminfo file If the 'viminfo' option is not empty, the viminfo file is read. See |viminfo-file|. 10. Read the quickfix file If the "-q" flag was given to Vim, the quickfix file is read. If this fails, Vim exits. 11. Open all windows When the |-o| flag was given, windows will be opened (but not displayed yet). When the |-p| flag was given, tab pages will be created (but not displayed yet). When switching screens, it happens now. Redrawing starts. If the "-q" flag was given to Vim, the first error is jumped to. Buffers for all windows will be loaded. 12. Execute startup commands If a "-t" flag was given to Vim, the tag is jumped to. The commands given with the |-c| and |+cmd| arguments are executed. If the 'insertmode' option is set, Insert mode is entered. The |VimEnter| autocommands are executed. Some hints on using initializations: Standard setup: Create a vimrc file to set the default settings and mappings for all your edit sessions. Put it in a place so that it will be found by 3b: ~/.vimrc (Unix and OS/2) s:.vimrc (Amiga) $VIM\_vimrc (MS-DOS and Win32) Note that creating a vimrc file will cause the 'compatible' option to be off by default. See |compatible-default|. Local setup: Put all commands that you need for editing a specific directory only into a vimrc file and place it in that directory under the name ".vimrc" ("_vimrc" for MS-DOS and Win32). NOTE: To make Vim look for these special files you have to turn on the option 'exrc'. See |trojan-horse| too. System setup: This only applies if you are managing a Unix system with several users and want to set the defaults for all users. Create a vimrc file with commands for default settings and mappings and put it in the place that is given with the ":version" command. Saving the current state of Vim to a file: Whenever you have changed values of options or when you have created a mapping, then you may want to save them in a vimrc file for later use. See |save-settings| about saving the current state of settings to a file. Avoiding setup problems for Vi users: Vi uses the variable EXINIT and the file "~/.exrc". So if you do not want to interfere with Vi, then use the variable VIMINIT and the file "vimrc" instead. Amiga environment variables: On the Amiga, two types of environment variables exist. The ones set with the DOS 1.3 (or later) setenv command are recognized. See the AmigaDos 1.3 manual. The environment variables set with the old Manx Set command (before version 5.0) are not recognized. MS-DOS line separators: On MS-DOS-like systems (MS-DOS itself, Win32, and OS/2), Vim assumes that all the vimrc files have <CR> <NL> pairs as line separators. This will give problems if you have a file with only <NL>s and have a line like ":map xx yy^M". The trailing ^M will be ignored. *compatible-default* When Vim starts, the 'compatible' option is on. This will be used when Vim starts its initializations. But as soon as a user vimrc file is found, or a vimrc file in the current directory, or the "VIMINIT" environment variable is set, it will be set to 'nocompatible'. This has the side effect of setting or resetting other options (see 'compatible'). But only the options that have not been set or reset will be changed. This has the same effect like the value of 'compatible' had this value when starting Vim. Note that this doesn't happen for the system-wide vimrc file nor when Vim was started with the |-u| command line argument. It does also happen for gvimrc files. The $MYVIMRC or $MYGVIMRC file will be set to the first found vimrc and/or gvimrc file. But there is a side effect of setting or resetting 'compatible' at the moment a .vimrc file is found: Mappings are interpreted the moment they are encountered. This makes a difference when using things like "<CR>". If the mappings depend on a certain value of 'compatible', set or reset it before giving the mapping. The above behavior can be overridden in these ways: - If the "-N" command line argument is given, 'nocompatible' will be used, even when no vimrc file exists. - If the "-C" command line argument is given, 'compatible' will be used, even when a vimrc file exists. - If the "-u {vimrc}" argument is used, 'compatible' will be used. - When the name of the executable ends in "ex", then this works like the "-C" argument was given: 'compatible' will be used, even when a vimrc file exists. This has been done to make Vim behave like "ex", when it is started as "ex". Avoiding trojan horses: *trojan-horse* While reading the "vimrc" or the "exrc" file in the current directory, some commands can be disabled for security reasons by setting the 'secure' option. This is always done when executing the command from a tags file. Otherwise it would be possible that you accidentally use a vimrc or tags file that somebody else created and contains nasty commands. The disabled commands are the ones that start a shell, the ones that write to a file, and ":autocmd". The ":map" commands are echoed, so you can see which keys are being mapped. If you want Vim to execute all commands in a local vimrc file, you can reset the 'secure' option in the EXINIT or VIMINIT environment variable or in the global "exrc" or "vimrc" file. This is not possible in "vimrc" or "exrc" in the current directory, for obvious reasons. On Unix systems, this only happens if you are not the owner of the vimrc file. Warning: If you unpack an archive that contains a vimrc or exrc file, it will be owned by you. You won't have the security protection. Check the vimrc file before you start Vim in that directory, or reset the 'exrc' option. Some Unix systems allow a user to do "chown" on a file. This makes it possible for another user to create a nasty vimrc and make you the owner. Be careful! When using tag search commands, executing the search command (the last part of the line in the tags file) is always done in secure mode. This works just like executing a command from a vimrc/exrc in the current directory. *slow-start* If Vim takes a long time to start up, there may be a few causes: - If the Unix version was compiled with the GUI and/or X11 (check the output of ":version" for "+GUI" and "+X11"), it may need to load shared libraries and connect to the X11 server. Try compiling a version with GUI and X11 disabled. This also should make the executable smaller. Use the |-X| command line argument to avoid connecting to the X server when running in a terminal. - If you have "viminfo" enabled, the loading of the viminfo file may take a while. You can find out if this is the problem by disabling viminfo for a moment (use the Vim argument "-i NONE", |-i|). Try reducing the number of lines stored in a register with ":set viminfo='20,<50,s10". |viminfo-file|. *:intro* When Vim starts without a file name, an introductory message is displayed (for those who don't know what Vim is). It is removed as soon as the display is redrawn in any way. To see the message again, use the ":intro" command (if there is not enough room, you will see only part of it). To avoid the intro message on startup, add the 'I' flag to 'shortmess'. *info-message* The |--help| and |--version| arguments cause Vim to print a message and then exit. Normally the message is send to stdout, thus can be redirected to a file with: vim --help >file From inside Vim: :read !vim --help When using gvim, it detects that it might have been started from the desktop, without a terminal to show messages on. This is detected when both stdout and stderr are not a tty. This breaks the ":read" command, as used in the example above. To make it work again, set 'shellredir' to ">" instead of the default ">&": :set shellredir=> :read !gvim --help This still won't work for systems where gvim does not use stdout at all though.
5. $VIM and $VIMRUNTIME *$VIM* The environment variable "$VIM" is used to locate various user files for Vim, such as the user startup script ".vimrc". This depends on the system, see |startup|. To avoid the need for every user to set the $VIM environment variable, Vim will try to get the value for $VIM in this order: 1. The value defined by the $VIM environment variable. You can use this to make Vim look in a specific directory for its support files. Example: setenv VIM /home/paul/vim 2. The path from 'helpfile' is used, unless it contains some environment variable too (the default is "$VIMRUNTIME/doc/help.txt": chicken-egg problem). The file name ("help.txt" or any other) is removed. Then trailing directory names are removed, in this order: "doc", "runtime" and "vim{version}" (e.g., "vim54"). 3. For MSDOS, Win32 and OS/2 Vim tries to use the directory name of the executable. If it ends in "/src", this is removed. This is useful if you unpacked the .zip file in some directory, and adjusted the search path to find the vim executable. Trailing directory names are removed, in this order: "runtime" and "vim{version}" (e.g., "vim54"). 4. For Unix the compile-time defined installation directory is used (see the output of ":version"). Once Vim has done this once, it will set the $VIM environment variable. To change it later, use a ":let" command like this: :let $VIM = "/home/paul/vim/" *$VIMRUNTIME* The environment variable "$VIMRUNTIME" is used to locate various support files, such as the on-line documentation and files used for syntax highlighting. For example, the main help file is normally "$VIMRUNTIME/doc/help.txt". You don't normally set $VIMRUNTIME yourself, but let Vim figure it out. This is the order used to find the value of $VIMRUNTIME: 1. If the environment variable $VIMRUNTIME is set, it is used. You can use this when the runtime files are in an unusual location. 2. If "$VIM/vim{version}" exists, it is used. {version} is the version number of Vim, without any '-' or '.'. For example: "$VIM/vim54". This is the normal value for $VIMRUNTIME. 3. If "$VIM/runtime" exists, it is used. 4. The value of $VIM is used. This is for backwards compatibility with older versions. 5. When the 'helpfile' option is set and doesn't contain a '$', its value is used, with "doc/help.txt" removed from the end. For Unix, when there is a compiled-in default for $VIMRUNTIME (check the output of ":version"), steps 2, 3 and 4 are skipped, and the compiled-in default is used after step 5. This means that the compiled-in default overrules the value of $VIM. This is useful if $VIM is "/etc" and the runtime files are in "/usr/share/vim/vim54". Once Vim has done this once, it will set the $VIMRUNTIME environment variable. To change it later, use a ":let" command like this: :let $VIMRUNTIME = "/home/piet/vim/vim54" In case you need the value of $VIMRUNTIME in a shell (e.g., for a script that greps in the help files) you might be able to use this: VIMRUNTIME=`vim -e -T dumb --cmd 'exe "set t_cm=\<C-M>"|echo $VIMRUNTIME|quit' | tr -d '\015' `
6. Suspending *suspend* *iconize* *iconise* *CTRL-Z* *v_CTRL-Z* CTRL-Z Suspend Vim, like ":stop". Works in Normal and in Visual mode. In Insert and Command-line mode, the CTRL-Z is inserted as a normal character. In Visual mode Vim goes back to Normal mode. Note: if CTRL-Z undoes a change see |mswin.vim|. :sus[pend][!] or *:sus* *:suspend* *:st* *:stop* :st[op][!] Suspend Vim. If the '!' is not given and 'autowrite' is set, every buffer with changes and a file name is written out. If the '!' is given or 'autowrite' is not set, changed buffers are not written, don't forget to bring Vim back to the foreground later! In the GUI, suspending is implemented as iconising gvim. In Windows 95/NT, gvim is minimized. On many Unix systems, it is possible to suspend Vim with CTRL-Z. This is only possible in Normal and Visual mode (see next chapter, |vim-modes|). Vim will continue if you make it the foreground job again. On other systems, CTRL-Z will start a new shell. This is the same as the ":sh" command. Vim will continue if you exit from the shell. In X-windows the selection is disowned when Vim suspends. this means you can't paste it in another application (since Vim is going to sleep an attempt to get the selection would make the program hang).
7. Saving settings *save-settings* Mostly you will edit your vimrc files manually. This gives you the greatest flexibility. There are a few commands to generate a vimrc file automatically. You can use these files as they are, or copy/paste lines to include in another vimrc file. *:mk* *:mkexrc* :mk[exrc] [file] Write current key mappings and changed options to [file] (default ".exrc" in the current directory), unless it already exists. {not in Vi} :mk[exrc]! [file] Always write current key mappings and changed options to [file] (default ".exrc" in the current directory). {not in Vi} *:mkv* *:mkvimrc* :mkv[imrc][!] [file] Like ":mkexrc", but the default is ".vimrc" in the current directory. The ":version" command is also written to the file. {not in Vi} These commands will write ":map" and ":set" commands to a file, in such a way that when these commands are executed, the current key mappings and options will be set to the same values. The options 'columns', 'endofline', 'fileformat', 'key', 'lines', 'modified', 'scroll', 'term', 'textmode', 'ttyfast' and 'ttymouse' are not included, because these are terminal or file dependent. Note that the options 'binary', 'paste' and 'readonly' are included, this might not always be what you want. When special keys are used in mappings, The 'cpoptions' option will be temporarily set to its Vim default, to avoid the mappings to be misinterpreted. This makes the file incompatible with Vi, but makes sure it can be used with different terminals. Only global mappings are stored, not mappings local to a buffer. A common method is to use a default ".vimrc" file, make some modifications with ":map" and ":set" commands and write the modified file. First read the default ".vimrc" in with a command like ":source ~piet/.vimrc.Cprogs", change the settings and then save them in the current directory with ":mkvimrc!". If you want to make this file your default .vimrc, move it to your home directory (on Unix), s: (Amiga) or $VIM directory (MS-DOS). You could also use autocommands |autocommand| and/or modelines |modeline|. *vimrc-option-example* If you only want to add a single option setting to your vimrc, you can use these steps: 1. Edit your vimrc file with Vim. 2. Play with the option until it's right. E.g., try out different values for 'guifont'. 3. Append a line to set the value of the option, using the expression register '=' to enter the value. E.g., for the 'guifont' option: o:set guifont=<C-R>=&guifont<CR><Esc> [<C-R> is a CTRL-R, <CR> is a return, <Esc> is the escape key] You need to escape special characters, esp. spaces. Note that when you create a .vimrc file, this can influence the 'compatible' option, which has several side effects. See |'compatible'|. ":mkvimrc", ":mkexrc" and ":mksession" write the command to set or reset the 'compatible' option to the output file first, because of these side effects.
8. Views and Sessions *views-sessions* This is introduced in sections |21.4| and |21.5| of the user manual. *View* *view-file* A View is a collection of settings that apply to one window. You can save a View and when you restore it later, the text is displayed in the same way. The options and mappings in this window will also be restored, so that you can continue editing like when the View was saved. *Session* *session-file* A Session keeps the Views for all windows, plus the global settings. You can save a Session and when you restore it later the window layout looks the same. You can use a Session to quickly switch between different projects, automatically loading the files you were last working on in that project. Views and Sessions are a nice addition to viminfo-files, which are used to remember information for all Views and Sessions together |viminfo-file|. You can quickly start editing with a previously saved View or Session with the |-S| argument: vim -S Session.vim All this is {not in Vi} and {not available when compiled without the |+mksession| feature}. *:mks* *:mksession* :mks[ession][!] [file] Write a Vim script that restores the current editing session. When [!] is included an existing file is overwritten. When [file] is omitted "Session.vim" is used. The output of ":mksession" is like ":mkvimrc", but additional commands are added to the file. Which ones depends on the 'sessionoptions' option. The resulting file, when executed with a ":source" command: 1. Restores global mappings and options, if 'sessionoptions' contains "options". Script-local mappings will not be written. 2. Restores global variables that start with an uppercase letter and contain at least one lowercase letter, if 'sessionoptions' contains "globals". 3. Unloads all currently loaded buffers. 4. Restores the current directory if 'sessionoptions' contains "curdir", or sets the current directory to where the Session file is if 'sessionoptions' contains "sesdir". 5. Restores GUI Vim window position, if 'sessionoptions' contains "winpos". 6. Restores screen size, if 'sessionoptions' contains "resize". 7. Reloads the buffer list, with the last cursor positions. If 'sessionoptions' contains "buffers" then all buffers are restored, including hidden and unloaded buffers. Otherwise only buffers in windows are restored. 8. Restores all windows with the same layout. If 'sessionoptions' contains "help", help windows are restored. If 'sessionoptions' contains "blank", windows editing a buffer without a name will be restored. If 'sessionoptions' contains "winsize" and no (help/blank) windows were left out, the window sizes are restored (relative to the screen size). Otherwise, the windows are just given sensible sizes. 9. Restores the Views for all the windows, as with |:mkview|. But 'sessionoptions' is used instead of 'viewoptions'. 10. If a file exists with the same name as the Session file, but ending in "x.vim" (for eXtra), executes that as well. You can use *x.vim files to specify additional settings and actions associated with a given Session, such as creating menu items in the GUI version. After restoring the Session, the full filename of your current Session is available in the internal variable "v:this_session" |this_session-variable|. An example mapping: :nmap <F2> :wa<Bar>exe "mksession! " . v:this_session<CR>:so ~/sessions/ This saves the current Session, and starts off the command to load another. A session includes all tab pages, unless "tabpages" was removed from 'sessionoptions'. |tab-page| The |SessionLoadPost| autocmd event is triggered after a session file is loaded/sourced. *SessionLoad-variable* While the session file is loading the SessionLoad global variable is set to 1. Plugins can use this to postpone some work until the SessionLoadPost event is triggered. *:mkvie* *:mkview* :mkvie[w][!] [file] Write a Vim script that restores the contents of the current window. When [!] is included an existing file is overwritten. When [file] is omitted or is a number from 1 to 9, a name is generated and 'viewdir' prepended. When the last directory name in 'viewdir' does not exist, this directory is created. An existing file is always overwritten then. Use |:loadview| to load this view again. When [file] is the name of a file ('viewdir' is not used), a command to edit the file is added to the generated file. The output of ":mkview" contains these items: 1. The argument list used in the window. When the global argument list is used it is reset to the global list. The index in the argument list is also restored. 2. The file being edited in the window. If there is no file, the window is made empty. 3. Restore mappings, abbreviations and options local to the window if 'viewoptions' contains "options" or "localoptions". For the options it restores only values that are local to the current buffer and values local to the window. When storing the view as part of a session and "options" is in 'sessionoptions', global values for local options will be stored too. 4. Restore folds when using manual folding and 'viewoptions' contains "folds". Restore manually opened and closed folds. 5. The scroll position and the cursor position in the file. Doesn't work very well when there are closed folds. 6. The local current directory, if it is different from the global current directory. Note that Views and Sessions are not perfect: - They don't restore everything. For example, defined functions, autocommands and ":syntax on" are not included. Things like register contents and command line history are in viminfo, not in Sessions or Views. - Global option values are only set when they differ from the default value. When the current value is not the default value, loading a Session will not set it back to the default value. Local options will be set back to the default value though. - Existing mappings will be overwritten without warning. An existing mapping may cause an error for ambiguity. - When storing manual folds and when storing manually opened/closed folds, changes in the file between saving and loading the view will mess it up. - The Vim script is not very efficient. But still faster than typing the commands yourself! *:lo* *:loadview* :lo[adview] [nr] Load the view for the current file. When [nr] is omitted, the view stored with ":mkview" is loaded. When [nr] is specified, the view stored with ":mkview [nr]" is loaded. The combination of ":mkview" and ":loadview" can be used to store up to ten different views of a file. These are remembered in the directory specified with the 'viewdir' option. The views are stored using the file name. If a file is renamed or accessed through a (symbolic) link the view will not be found. You might want to clean up your 'viewdir' directory now and then. To automatically save and restore views for *.c files: au BufWinLeave *.c mkview au BufWinEnter *.c silent loadview
9. The viminfo file *viminfo* *viminfo-file* *E136* *E575* *E576* *E577* If you exit Vim and later start it again, you would normally lose a lot of information. The viminfo file can be used to remember that information, which enables you to continue where you left off. This is introduced in section |21.3| of the user manual. The viminfo file is used to store: - The command line history. - The search string history. - The input-line history. - Contents of non-empty registers. - Marks for several files. - File marks, pointing to locations in files. - Last search/substitute pattern (for 'n' and '&'). - The buffer list. - Global variables. The viminfo file is not supported when the |+viminfo| feature has been disabled at compile time. You could also use a Session file. The difference is that the viminfo file does not depend on what you are working on. There normally is only one viminfo file. Session files are used to save the state of a specific editing Session. You could have several Session files, one for each project you are working on. Viminfo and Session files together can be used to effectively enter Vim and directly start working in your desired setup. |session-file| *viminfo-read* When Vim is started and the 'viminfo' option is non-empty, the contents of the viminfo file are read and the info can be used in the appropriate places. The |v:oldfiles| variable is filled. The marks are not read in at startup (but file marks are). See |initialization| for how to set the 'viminfo' option upon startup. *viminfo-write* When Vim exits and 'viminfo' is non-empty, the info is stored in the viminfo file (it's actually merged with the existing one, if one exists). The 'viminfo' option is a string containing information about what info should be stored, and contains limits on how much should be stored (see 'viminfo'). Notes for Unix: - The file protection for the viminfo file will be set to prevent other users from being able to read it, because it may contain any text or commands that you have worked with. - If you want to share the viminfo file with other users (e.g. when you "su" to another user), you can make the file writable for the group or everybody. Vim will preserve this when writing new viminfo files. Be careful, don't allow just anybody to read and write your viminfo file! - Vim will not overwrite a viminfo file that is not writable by the current "real" user. This helps for when you did "su" to become root, but your $HOME is still set to a normal user's home directory. Otherwise Vim would create a viminfo file owned by root that nobody else can read. - The viminfo file cannot be a symbolic link. This is to avoid security issues. Marks are stored for each file separately. When a file is read and 'viminfo' is non-empty, the marks for that file are read from the viminfo file. NOTE: The marks are only written when exiting Vim, which is fine because marks are remembered for all the files you have opened in the current editing session, unless ":bdel" is used. If you want to save the marks for a file that you are about to abandon with ":bdel", use ":wv". The '[' and ']' marks are not stored, but the '"'' mark is. The '"'' mark is very useful for jumping to the cursor position when the file was last exited. No marks are saved for files that start with any string given with the "r" flag in 'viminfo'. This can be used to avoid saving marks for files on removable media (for MS-DOS you would use "ra:,rb:", for Amiga "rdf0:,rdf1:,rdf2:"). The |v:oldfiles| variable is filled with the file names that the viminfo file has marks for. *viminfo-file-marks* Uppercase marks ('A to 'Z) are stored when writing the viminfo file. The numbered marks ('0 to '9) are a bit special. When the viminfo file is written (when exiting or with the ":wviminfo" command), '0 is set to the current cursor position and file. The old '0 is moved to '1, '1 to '2, etc. This resembles what happens with the "1 to "9 delete registers. If the current cursor position is already present in '0 to '9, it is moved to '0, to avoid having the same position twice. The result is that with "'0", you can jump back to the file and line where you exited Vim. To do that right away, try using this command: vim -c "normal '0" In a csh compatible shell you could make an alias for it: alias lvim vim -c '"'normal "'"0'"' For a bash-like shell: alias lvim='vim -c "normal '\''0"' Use the "r" flag in 'viminfo' to specify for which files no marks should be remembered. VIMINFO FILE NAME *viminfo-file-name* - The default name of the viminfo file is "$HOME/.viminfo" for Unix and OS/2, "s:.viminfo" for Amiga, "$HOME\_viminfo" for MS-DOS and Win32. For the last two, when $HOME is not set, "$VIM\_viminfo" is used. When $VIM is also not set, "c:\_viminfo" is used. For OS/2 "$VIM/.viminfo" is used when $HOME is not set and $VIM is set. - The 'n' flag in the 'viminfo' option can be used to specify another viminfo file name |'viminfo'|. - The "-i" Vim argument can be used to set another file name, |-i|. When the file name given is "NONE" (all uppercase), no viminfo file is ever read or written. Also not for the commands below! - For the commands below, another file name can be given, overriding the default and the name given with 'viminfo' or "-i" (unless it's NONE). CHARACTER ENCODING *viminfo-encoding* The text in the viminfo file is encoded as specified with the 'encoding' option. Normally you will always work with the same 'encoding' value, and this works just fine. However, if you read the viminfo file with another value for 'encoding' than what it was written with, some of the text (non-ASCII characters) may be invalid. If this is unacceptable, add the 'c' flag to the 'viminfo' option: :set viminfo+=c Vim will then attempt to convert the text in the viminfo file from the 'encoding' value it was written with to the current 'encoding' value. This requires Vim to be compiled with the |+iconv| feature. Filenames are not converted. MANUALLY READING AND WRITING Two commands can be used to read and write the viminfo file manually. This can be used to exchange registers between two running Vim programs: First type ":wv" in one and then ":rv" in the other. Note that if the register already contained something, then ":rv!" would be required. Also note however that this means everything will be overwritten with information from the first Vim, including the command line history, etc. The viminfo file itself can be edited by hand too, although we suggest you start with an existing one to get the format right. It is reasonably self-explanatory once you're in there. This can be useful in order to create a second file, say "~/.my_viminfo" which could contain certain settings that you always want when you first start Vim. For example, you can preload registers with particular data, or put certain commands in the command line history. A line in your .vimrc file like :rviminfo! ~/.my_viminfo can be used to load this information. You could even have different viminfos for different types of files (e.g., C code) and load them based on the file name, using the ":autocmd" command (see |:autocmd|). *viminfo-errors* When Vim detects an error while reading a viminfo file, it will not overwrite that file. If there are more than 10 errors, Vim stops reading the viminfo file. This was done to avoid accidentally destroying a file when the file name of the viminfo file is wrong. This could happen when accidentally typing "vim -i file" when you wanted "vim -R file" (yes, somebody accidentally did that!). If you want to overwrite a viminfo file with an error in it, you will either have to fix the error, or delete the file (while Vim is running, so most of the information will be restored). *:rv* *:rviminfo* *E195* :rv[iminfo][!] [file] Read from viminfo file [file] (default: see above). If [!] is given, then any information that is already set (registers, marks, |v:oldfiles|, etc.) will be overwritten {not in Vi} *:wv* *:wviminfo* *E137* *E138* *E574* :wv[iminfo][!] [file] Write to viminfo file [file] (default: see above). The information in the file is first read in to make a merge between old and new info. When [!] is used, the old information is not read first, only the internal info is written. If 'viminfo' is empty, marks for up to 100 files will be written. When you get error "E138: Can't write viminfo file" check that no old temp files were left behind (e.g. ~/.viminf*) and that you can write in the directory of the .viminfo file. {not in Vi} *:ol* *:oldfiles* :ol[dfiles] List the files that have marks stored in the viminfo file. This list is read on startup and only changes afterwards with ":rviminfo!". Also see |v:oldfiles|. The number can be used with |c_#<|. {not in Vi, only when compiled with the +eval feature} :bro[wse] ol[dfiles][!] List file names as with |:oldfiles|, and then prompt for a number. When the number is valid that file from the list is edited. If you get the |press-enter| prompt you can press "q" and still get the prompt to enter a file number. Use ! to abondon a modified buffer. |abandon| {not when compiled with tiny or small features} top - main help file