What is this? (hide)

Vim is great, but not perfect. The default settings are not always useful. To make Vim useful almost everyone needs to make a vimrc file with a few settings.

This is why ‘Vim distributions’ such as spf13, janus, and others exist. These setups provide people with a useful and ‘modern’ Vim experience in a short amount of time, at the price of complexity.

My first vimrc is a tool to help people set up a simple but effective vimrc for every-day use in an interactive and educational way.

This doesn’t list all possible options or things you can stick in your vimrc, only the most useful and common ones that a reasonable percentage of new(-ish) users may want to use. All options come with a detailed description of what they do. Read the descriptions!

Completely new to Vim? Start with vimtutor.

Vim’s help pages should be your first stop if you’re confused about something. See :help help-summary for instructions on how to use Vim’s excellent help system. A great many questions can be solved by effective searching and reading of the help pages.

Still stuck or want to learn more? These places might be of help:

This list does not contain any plugins yet. This is not because I am opposed to them, but rather because I haven't had the time to create a curated list. In the meanwhile, there are already a number of ‘best Vim plugins’ out there already.

You can save this webpage to your computer for offline use. It is a single HTML page.

How to use the output

Copy the output file to $HOME/.vim/vimrc. Make the directory if it doesn’t exist yet.

Vim will also load $HOME/.vimrc, but the above locations are recommended. You may want to check if your system has this file already to make sure you’ve got only one vimrc file.

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In “wizard mode” you will step through all the settings one-by-one, asking you for your choice. This is great if you really want to learn about Vim and grok what all the settings do. It is recommended you also read through all the related help pages, as they will often contain more information or links to related settings.

The current wizard step and selected options are saved in the URL, so if you save/bookmark it you will be able to continue from where you stopped.

You can also switch back to “list mode” at any time. You will continue from the step where you left when going back to “wizard mode”.

Source code – contributions welcome!
Download – see the intro on how to use the file.