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Adding Vim to MS-Windows File Explorer Menu

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created 2004 · complexity basic · version 6.0

When Vim is correctly installed on a Windows 32-bit system (for example, using the Vim without Cream distribution), you should see an "Edit with Vim" item in the right-click context menu in Windows Explorer. The same can be achieved on a Windows 64-bit system providing a 64-bit distribution is used (see I'm using 64-bit Windows). This tip shows how to repair or manually add the context menu on a 32-bit system.

WARNING: Editing your Windows registry may cause unintended side effects that render your system inoperable. Although this tip has worked in the past for some people, there is no guarantee that it will work for you. Use with caution, and at your own risk.

From tip 1068

Using gvim under Windows, if you move your Vim folder, you will find that "Edit with Vim" is missing from the context menu when you right click a file in Windows Explorer.

To fix, run regedit and set the following values to the correct paths:

path=C:\Program Files\vim\vim74\gvim.exe

(Default) = C:\Program Files\vim\vim74\gvimext.dll

Original tip

To add "Edit with Vim" to the Windows File Explorer context menu:

  • Save this file as edit-with-vim.reg.
  • Make sure the paths are right for your machine.
  • Double click on it in Explorer to import this file.
  • The double quotes are needed for filenames with spaces.
  • The '*' means 'for all files'.
@="Edit with &Vim"
@="c:\\bin32\\gvim.exe \"%1\""

See also


Why isn't GvimExt (gvimext.dll) used? When is GvimExt needed?

In Windows 7 x64 the 32-bit installer does not successfully add "Edit with Vim" to the right-click context menu. Here's how to do it manually in Windows x64:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\Edit with Vim\command]
@="C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Vim\\vim74\\gvim.exe \"%1\""

Using regedit to edit the registery, browse to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell, then create a new key ("folder") called "Edit with Vim" (without the quotes), and then create a new key ("folder") under that called "command" (without the quotes). In command, edit the "(Default)" value so it contains (exactly as shown, including the four quotes):

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Vim\vim74\gvim.exe" "%1"

Also the value of (Default) in the key ("folder") called "Edit with Vim" should be changed to "Edit with &Vim" (without quotes; <&> is needed to underline <V> to have a shortcut)

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