3 steps to Vim from Sublime Text 2
2 min read

3 steps to Vim from Sublime Text 2

I've been using Sublime Text 2 since quite a while now and really enjoy spending my most of the time playing around code with it. Since I've a PHP background (where I used to code on Netbeans) I was not motivated to use use on Terminal based editors. However, I gave a try to switch to Vim few months back but the situation was too much demanding at that time. I was learning couple of other new technologies where I didn't wanted them to suffer/compromise and avoided one more constrain on my brain to use Vim. So, I stood beside Sublime Text 2 and it continued to be my IDE in that struggling period. Until recently, I came across this great article by Yehuda Katz which convinced me to give Vim another good try.

This is the basic setup I did to get started using Vim (on MacOSX)

Setting up MacVim

  • Install macvim using homebrew.
brew install macvim
  • After installing macvim, I installed janus-bootstrap which automatically installs and configures required plugins.
curl -Lo- https://bit.ly/janus-bootstrap | bash
  • (Optional) Setting up a nice colorscheme is important. You should checkout solarized it has elegant colors which makes me feel nice while working. Fortunately, Janus has solarized built-in I just activated it. (BTW, my iTerm2 also has this same colorscheme)
echo 'color solarized'  >> ~/.vimrc.after
  • Square has open sourced their in house vim configuration more info here

Bingo! I'm done with configuring vim with all the essential plugins out there within 3 steps. But, Not to forget Vim is not done until you know some required shortcuts. I've compiled the list for my quick reference. Ofcourse, They're available on the internet too.

List of Not to forget Vim Shortcuts

  • :q! quits the file and discard the changes.
  • :wq saves changes and quits the current file.
  • \n toggles the nerdTree on the left hand side.
  • \ew or :e <filename> opens the file in current buffer.
  • \es or :sp <filename> opens the file in horizontal split pane.
  • \ev or :vsp <filename> opens the file in vertical split pane.
  • \et or :tabe <filename> opens the file in new tab.
  • ctrl/cmd + T opens a fuzzy finder in the root of the project (Sublime Text 2 has this feature too.)
  • gt and gT to change tabs.
  • ctrl+w w will move the cursor in multiple split pane (if there are).


I'm making myself comfortable in Vim and hopefully this will be a successful attemp. If you're sailing on same ship I would love to hear from you.

P.S: I'll keep on updating the Shortcuts as I stumble upon them.