My Favorite Vim Plugins

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I use Vim and Visual Studio Code as my main text editors, and I have found multiple plugins to both which add nice features to the respective program. In this post, I will go over my favorite Vim plugins. I install these plugins as part of my dotfiles setup, so it is easy to set up Vim with plugins on each system I use.

Core Plugins

These plugins are ones that I highly recommend and add what I would consider core features to Vim.

vim-commentary

url: https://github.com/tpope/vim-commentary.git

Comment stuff out. Use gcc to comment out a line and gc to comment out a motion.

vim-gitgutter

url: https://github.com/airblade/vim-gitgutter.git

Show the file’s git diff status in the gutter.

vim-vinegar

url: https://github.com/tpope/vim-vinegar.git

Makes netrw work much better. The main addition is - to go up a directory.

vim-unimpaired

url: https://github.com/tpope/vim-unimpaired.git

Pairs of handy bracket mappings. They allow [ or ] followed by a character to jump forward or backward. ]q is :cnext. [q is :cprevious. ]a is :next. [b is :bprevious. See the documentation for the full set of 20 mappings and mnemonics.

vim-rename

url: https://github.com/wojtekmach/vim-rename.git

Rename a buffer within vim and on disk. Use :saveas <newfile> to rename the file and remove the old file from disk.

vim-textobj-entire

url: https://github.com/kana/vim-textobj-entire.git

Provides text objects ae and ie which represent the entire buffer.

vim-capslock

url: https://github.com/tpope/vim-capslock.git

Press <C-G>c in insert mode to toggle a temporary software caps lock. I used this when I didn’t have a caps lock since I rebound it to control. Now I don’t use this as much since pressing both shift keys is my caps lock.

vim-textobj-user

url: https://github.com/kana/vim-textobj-user.git

Create your own text objects easily. Used by other plugins.

vim-repeat

url: https://github.com/tpope/vim-repeat.git

Enables repeating supported plugin maps with ..

vim-surround

url: https://github.com/tpope/vim-surround.git

Adds surround text mapping with s. I.e., cs"' to change " to ' surrounding text.

url: https://github.com/nelstrom/vim-visual-star-search.git

Start a * or # search from a visual block.

vim-abolish

url: https://github.com/tpope/vim-abolish.git

Easily search for, substitute, and abbreviate multiple variants of a word.

calendar-vim

url: https://github.com/mattn/calendar-vim.git

Open a calendar within Vim. Use :Calendar to open.

vim-exchange

url: https://github.com/tommcdo/vim-exchange.git

Easy text exchange operator for Vim.

Mappings

cx

On the first use, define the first {motion} to exchange. On the second use, define the second {motion} and perform the exchange.

cxx

Like cx, but use the current line.

X

Like cx, but for Visual mode.

cxc

Clear any {motion} pending for exchange.

Some notes

If you’re using the same motion again (e.g. exchanging two words using cxiw), you can use . the second time. If one region is fully contained within the other, it will replace the containing region.

vim-textobj-sentence

url: https://github.com/reedes/vim-textobj-sentence.git

Improving on Vim’s native sentence text object and motion.

Taboo

url: https://github.com/gcmt/taboo.vim

Few utilities for pretty tabs. :TabooRename <name> to rename a tab.

Awesome Added Features

These plugins add cool new features to Vim.

tabular

url: https://github.com/godlygeek/tabular.git

Vim script for text filtering and alignment. Amazing plugin for aligning LaTeX tables and assignment lists.

ctrlp.vim

url: https://github.com/ctrlpvim/ctrlp.vim.git

Use <c-p> for a fuzzy finder. Easily search for files.

vim-buffergator

url: https://github.com/jeetsukumaran/vim-buffergator.git

List, select, and switch between buffers. Use <Leader>b to open the buffer side panel.

tagbar

url: https://github.com/majutsushi/tagbar.git

Display tags in a window, ordered by scope. Used to navigate quickly within a file. Use <Leader>cc to open.

supertab

url: https://github.com/ervandew/supertab.git

Perform all your vim insert mode completions with Tab.

undotree

url: https://github.com/mbbill/undotree.git

Undo history visualizer for Vim. Use :UndotreeToggle to start. This has saved me in the cases where I undid some changes, then accidentally made a new change but wanted to redo it to the previous state.

vim-autocorrect

url: https://github.com/panozzaj/vim-autocorrect.git

Correct common typos and misspellings as you type in Vim. Note: this plugin is slow to load, but I still find it super helpful and less annoying than Word’s autocorrect.

Cheat.sh-vim

url: https://github.com/dbeniamine/cheat.sh-vim

Browse cheat sheets from cheat.sh directly from vim.

Note-taking

These are plugins that go alone with taking notes in vim. See Personal Knowledge Base and Productivity Presentation for more information on note-taking.

vimwiki

url: https://github.com/geekdude/vimwiki.git

A Personal Wiki for Vim. I used this as my primary note-taking tool before switching to OneNote. See Personal Knowledge Base and Productivity Presentation for more information on my note-taking system.

vim-zettel

url: https://github.com/michal-h21/vim-zettel

Vim plugin to implement Zettelkasten with Vimwiki.

fzf

url: https://github.com/junegunn/fzf.vim

fzf wrappers for vim.

notational-fzf-vim

url: https://github.com/alok/notational-fzf-vim

Notational Velocity for Vim. It is used to fuzzy search through a Vimwiki.

Writing Tools

These are the plugins that help with the paper writing process in Vim.

vimtex

url: https://github.com/lervag/vimtex.git

A Vim plugin for editing LaTeX files. This is my favorite of the many LaTeX plugins.

vim-dict

url: https://github.com/szw/vim-dict.git

Dictionary lookup inside Vim. To lookup a work use the :Dict command.

vim-online-thesaurus

url: https://github.com/Ron89/thesaurus_query.vim

Online thesaurus lookup. Use <Leader>cs to query and replace the current word.

vim-instant-markdown

url: https://github.com/suan/vim-instant-markdown.git

Instant Markdown previews with Vim. Use :InstantMarkdownPreview to start.

LanguageTool

url: https://github.com/vim-scripts/LanguageTool.git

Grammar checker using LanguageTool for Vim.

vim-pencil

url: https://github.com/reedes/vim-pencil

Plugin to help Vim be more friendly for writing prose. It handles automatic wrapping of text.

goyo.vim

url: https://github.com/junegunn/goyo.vim.git

Distraction-free writing in Vim.

Coding or Language Support

vim-flake8

url: https://github.com/nvie/vim-flake8.git

Verify Python syntax with flake8. To use press <F7>.

vim-scala

url: https://github.com/derekwyatt/vim-scala.git

Add Scala programming language support to Vim.

vim-fish

url: https://github.com/dag/vim-fish.git

Vim support for editing fish scripts.

DoxygenToolkit.vim

url: https://github.com/vim-scripts/DoxygenToolkit.vim.git

Simplify Doxygen documentation in C, C++, Python.

vim-gdscript3

url: https://github.com/calviken/vim-gdscript3

Support syntax for Godot script.

Plugins used for code and colorscheme debugging

vim-HiLinkTrace

url: https://github.com/gerw/vim-HiLinkTrace.git

Trace highlighting with \hlt.

xterm-color-table.vim

url: https://github.com/guns/xterm-color-table.vim.git

Displays all 256 terminal colors with the command :XtermColorTable.

hexHighlight

GVim plugin to highlight hex codes to help with tweaking colors.

Conque-GDB

url: https://github.com/vim-scripts/Conque-GDB.git

GDB command-line interface and terminal emulator in Vim.

Color Themes

Note: I don’t use these color schemes since I created my own color scheme.

palenight.vim

url: https://github.com/drewtempelmeyer/palenight.vim.git

Soothing color scheme for vim. Recommended by https://blog.pabuisson.com/2018/06/favorite-color-schemes-modern-vim-neovim/

vim-one

url: https://github.com/rakr/vim-one.git

Adaptation of one-light and one-dark (Atom) colorschemes for vim. Recommended by https://blog.pabuisson.com/2018/06/favorite-color-schemes-modern-vim-neovim/

molokai

url: https://github.com/tomasr/molokai.git

Molokai color scheme for Vim. Recommended by https://www.slant.co/topics/480/~best-vim-color-schemes

gruvbox

url: https://github.com/morhetz/gruvbox.git

Retro groove color scheme for Vim. Recommended by https://www.slant.co/topics/480/~best-vim-color-schemes

Unused but still might be helpful

These are plugins that I no longer use.

vim-fugitive

url: https://github.com/tpope/vim-fugitive.git

A git wrapper for Vim.

YouCompleteMe

url: https://github.com/Valloric/YouCompleteMe.git

A code-completion engine for vim. Note: I don’t use this one anymore since it was a bigger pain to set up than the benefit of using it.

vim-smooth-scroll

url: https://github.com/terryma/vim-smooth-scroll.git

Makes scrolling in Vim nice and smooth. (Currently, I do not have this plugin mapped.)

vim-qargs

url: https://github.com/nelstrom/vim-qargs.git

Adds a Qargs utility command to populate the argument list from the files in the quickfix list. Note: The functionality provided by this project has been made largely obsolete in recent versions of Vim.

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