Fast help in full window

From Vim Tips Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search
Tip 265 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2002 · complexity basic · author Mikolaj Machowski · version 6.0

You can get fast access to read Vim's help by writing a small script. This can be particularly helpful if you have written your own documentation using Vim's help file type.

[edit] Suggestion 1

vim -c "help $1" -c only

Now name it, for example, vih and from the command line:

$ vih makeprg

[edit] Suggestion 2

Make an alias or shortcut to the command:

gvim -c ":h MyKeyWord" -c :only

This will open gvim, jump to your help text in help mode and close all the rest. You only see your help text, just what you wanted to read.

[edit] From 200904 tip (now removed)

Sometimes you may want to start Vim to look at a specific help page. I have these two functions in my ~/.bashrc for this purpose.

To open the help page for a given word from the command line:

  view -c "help $1" -c on -c "au! VimEnter *"

and the same with helpgrep (you need the command Vim, not view because of the quickfix window)

  vim -c "helpgrep $1" -c on -c copen -c "au! VimEnter *"

Now you can invoke the function with your search and Vim opens the desired help page. With the ;vimhelpgrep function it opens an additional quickfix window and goes to the first hit.


  • The two commands above include "au! VimEnter *" which removes all VimEnter autocommands.
  • That is probably to remove the effect of something in the author's vimrc, but is not required in general.
  • Think about whether to remove it, or perhaps replace with something like:
view -u '$VIMRUNTIME/vimrc_example.vim' -c "help $1" -c only

[edit] See also

These tips attempt to deal with making your own help text:

These tips relate to using vim -c:

[edit] Comments

Personal tools