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Vim plugin manager


Using Vim, the popular text editor, feels a little like the marketing slogan for the strategy game, Othello – "a minute to learn, a lifetime to master." And one route to Vim mastery is using plugins to enhance and augment the editor in ways that suit your usage and style. Plugins are really just scripts that are loaded automatically when Vim starts, adding whatever features they provide dynamically. But Vim doesn't have a specific unified standard for managing these plugins, which means many users simply add them manually by downloading the required scripts and adding them to their (undoubtedly) sprawling configuration file. But there is a better way, and that's to use a plugin manager. This being Vim and open source, you have several from which to choose.

My current favorite is Vundle, because it makes managing plugins easy, especially from within Vim itself. It allows you to install, update, and clean plugins without knowing anything more than their GitHub URL, and you don't even need this with its excellent search facility. Vitally, Vundle always provides sensible interactive output for what it's doing, updates the help, and features quick shortcuts rather than typing commands. After adding Vundle to your configuration file, which is the last time you'll need to do this for a plugin, the plugin is run by typing :PluginInstall. The view will split to show you exactly what Vundle has found, and the :PluginSearch command can be used to search for new plugins and install them, all without having to leave Vim or edit the configuration file. Updates are handled, too, with the :PluginUpdate command, downloading and installing updates directly from a plugins repository if needed. If you've been looking for a plugin manager but have worried about the extra brain cells adding yet another feature to Vim will consume, Vundle is the answer.

Project Website

Vundle can work just like a package manager, letting you search for, install, and remove plugins from within Vim itself.

Vim plugin

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