This post is the follow up of vim adventures I.

At this stage you should be able to move around inside a file, search for strings and insert text. You can probably even exit the damn thing without setting the house on fire.

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Now you’d like to make Vim pretty, to make it your own. But before going down the rabbit hole of customisation, check out romainl’s list of best practices to get you started: idiomatic-vimrc.


A good font makes all the difference for code readability and general terminal aesthetics. I like Termsyn (ask me if you want the OSX version) because of its crisp appearance on LCD screens and its stocky letters that remain extremely readable in densely packed text. There are plenty of others which are also popular: Tamsyn (osx dfonts), Gohufont, Terminus, Inconsolata, Fira…

When it comes to plugins, there’s an overwhelming number available, so it’s best to ease yourself in with these popular ones to get started:

Some day, you might ditch most of those plugins. But for now, take your time and allow the plugins to assist you in hiking the steep learning curve. Chances are, Vim will eventually become the only editor you’ll ever need.

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Vimus maximus

Once you’ve customized vim, you may want to use the modal style of control for everything. In that case, there are two main approaches to choose from:

Approach I: Omnipotent VIM

You may even find some plugins for web browsing or mail reading but I think spacemacs is probably more appropriate as an OS-like experience.

Approach II: Omnipresent VIM

Alternatively, if you want to keep your vim small and pretty, you can ‘vimify’ the rest of your workflow:

Although I was happy to try out vim-like controls for my IDE, web browsing and zsh, I ultimately found that using the native shortcuts for each application is more pleasant and a good mental exercise.

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A few more tips for the road

This post is part II of the Vim Adventures series, here is part III.

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