Jake Worth

My Annotated Vimrc

November 26, 20204 min read

  • vim

I am obsessed with Vim. Folks who’ve programmed with me, or attended the Vim Chicago Meetup when I was an active organizer, can attest. Vim is part of my developer origin story and it’s part of my identity as a developer. Any skill I have as a programmer started with gaining competence in Vim.

Should you learn Vim? I think so. I hope to make that case in an upcoming post.

A Vim developer is only as good as their Vim configuration file, their .vimrc1. In that spirit, here is my personal .vimrc with annotations.

My Vimrc

My .vimrc is broken up into three groups: settings, mappings, and filetype-specific settings. If you open this file in Vim, you’ll see why: it’s long, and it’s folded up by groups as a default. This is one of many tips I picked up reading Learn VimScript The Hard Way by Steve Losh, and the dotfiles of programmers I admire.

"  ____ ____ ____ ____
" ||j |||a |||k |||e ||
" ||__|||__|||__|||__||
" |/__\|/__\|/__\|/__\|
" Jake Worth's .vimrc
" Settings ---------------------- {{{
" Turn on syntax highlighting
syntax on

" Allow customization of indentation by file type
filetype plugin indent on

" Ignore casing of normal letters
set ignorecase

" Ignore casing when using lowercase letters only
set smartcase

" Show line numbers
set number

" Start with all folds folded (like in this file)
set foldlevelstart=0

" Allow a separate .vimrc in any directory
set secure
set exrc

" Use a visual bell instead of beeping
set visualbell

" Command-line completion operates in an enhanced mode
set wildmenu
set wildmode=list:longest,full

" Vertical splits split right
set splitright

" Splits split below
set splitbelow

" Hides buffers instead of closing them
set hidden

" GUI settings (I don't use; duped from Hashrocket Dotmatrix)
set guifont=Monaco:h16
set guioptions-=T guioptions-=e guioptions-=L guioptions-=r

" Use Bash as my shell
set shell=bash

" Use railscasts colorscheme; tried and true
color railscasts

" Allow Vim-JSX to highlight *.js files
let g:jsx_ext_required = 0

" Allow MatchTagAlways to highlight JSX
let g:mta_filetypes = {
    \ 'html' : 1,
    \ 'xhtml' : 1,
    \ 'xml' : 1,
    \ 'jinja' : 1,
    \ 'javascript.jsx' : 1,

" Turn on vim-closetag for JavaScript
let g:closetag_filenames = '*.html,*.xhtml,*.phtml,*.js'

" Configure vim-mix-format
let g:mix_format_on_save = 1
let g:mix_format_options = '--check-equivalent'
let g:mix_format_silent_errors = 1
" }}}

" Mappings ---------------------- {{{
" Disable arrow keys (helped me learn Vim, and I do not use them)
noremap <up> <nop>
noremap <down> <nop>
noremap <left> <nop>
noremap <right> <nop>

" Substitute the word under cursor (h/t u/abraxasknister)
nnoremap <c-r> :%s/<c-r><c-w>//gc<left><left><left>

" Search for word under cursor with RipGrep
nnoremap <leader>g :<C-U>execute "Rg ".expand('<cword>') \| cw<CR>

" Remove ^M linebreaks
nnoremap gsp :e ++ff=dos<cr>:w<cr>

" Open vimrc.local
nnoremap <leader>ev :vsplit $MYVIMRC.local<cr>

" Source vimrc.local
nnoremap <leader>sv :source $MYVIMRC.local<cr>

" Vidal and Dorian Sort™. Sort the highlighted lines
vnoremap <silent> gs :sort<cr>

" Insert a UUID with Ruby
nnoremap ruid :read !ruby -e "require 'securerandom'; p SecureRandom.uuid"<cr>

" Map common FZF commmands
nnoremap <silent> <c-b> :Buffers<cr>
nnoremap <silent> <c-g>g :Rg<cr>
nnoremap <silent> <c-p> :Files<cr>

" Yank file and line number under cursor (great for code reviews)
nnoremap <silent> yfl :let @" = join([expand('%'), line(".")], ':')<cr>

" Show me the Vim highlight for word under a cursor (for writing Vim plugins)
" https://jordanelver.co.uk/blog/2015/05/27/working-with-vim-colorschemes/
nnoremap <leader>sp :call <SID>SynStack()<CR>

function! <SID>SynStack() abort
  if !exists("*synstack")
  echo map(synstack(line('.'), col('.')), 'synIDattr(v:val, "name")')
" }}}

" Filetype settings ---------------------- {{{
augroup filetype_crontab

  " Allow Vim to overwrite the crontab
  autocmd FileType crontab setlocal bkc=yes
augroup END

augroup filetype_docs

  " Turn off numbers and turn on spelling
  autocmd FileType markdown setlocal nonumber spell
augroup END

augroup filetype_vim

  " Fold this file on markers
  autocmd FileType vim setlocal foldmethod=marker
augroup END

augroup filetype_haml

  " Line up HAML linebreak pipes
  autocmd FileType haml vnoremap <silent> ta :Tabularize /\|<cr>
augroup END

augroup filetype_ruby
  " Run Rubocop
  nnoremap <leader>ru :! rubocop -a % <cr>
augroup END

augroup filetype_all

  " Print a quote when Vim opens
  autocmd VimEnter * :echo "\"Real artists ship.\" –Steve Jobs"
augroup END
" }}}

GitHub permalink


What have I missed? What could I be doing better? I welcome pull request on my dotfiles repo. Even if I don’t merge the changes, we’ll both learn something.

Interested in copying this file on your root directory, along with the rest of my dotfiles? That’s not a bad a idea. Alternatively, you could build your own from scratch. You’ll learn more about what you value as a developer in that simple exercise than you’ll learn from a thousand Vim blog posts like this one. Good luck!


I posted this on Reddit and got a lot of attention! Some smart folks helped me improve my workflow; the .vimrc shown here reflects some of their suggestions. I want to give credit to folks who took the time to contribute, and also direct future feedback (which I still welcome) to settings that I’m currently using.

  1. Ever wondered what rc stands for? Here’s my answer.

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