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(References: add :help and :help helphelp.txt)
(Change <tt> to <code>, perhaps also minor tweak.)
 
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==Getting started==
 
==Getting started==
 
Try these examples:
 
Try these examples:
*Enter <tt>:help</tt> to browse help. Scroll down the help page to see the quickref and tutor links, and the table of contents.
+
*Enter <code>:help</code> to browse help. Scroll down the help page to see the quickref and tutor links, and the table of contents.
 
*Enter {{help|pattern}} for help on the topic ''pattern'' (for example).
 
*Enter {{help|pattern}} for help on the topic ''pattern'' (for example).
*<tt>:h pattern</tt> is the same (the <tt>:help</tt> command can be abbreviated).
+
*<code>:h pattern</code> is the same (the <code>:help</code> command can be abbreviated).
   
 
Command completion can be used when entering a help topic:
 
Command completion can be used when entering a help topic:
*Type <tt>:h patt</tt> then press Ctrl-D to list all topics that contain "<tt>patt</tt>".
+
*Type <code>:h patt</code> then press Ctrl-D to list all topics that contain "<code>patt</code>".
*Type <tt>:h patt</tt> then press Tab to scroll through the topics that start with "<tt>patt</tt>".
+
*Type <code>:h patt</code> then press Tab to scroll through the topics that start with "<code>patt</code>".
*If you have set the <tt>{{help|'wildmenu'|prefix=no}}</tt> option (e.g. by using <tt>:set wildmenu</tt>), then <tt>:h patt</tt> followed by <tt><Tab></tt> opens a menu on the statusline, with all help topics containing "<tt>patt</tt>". You can select any item in the menu with the arrow keys or more presses of the <tt><Tab></tt> key to fill in the rest of your command line.
+
*If you have set the <code>{{help|'wildmenu'|prefix=no}}</code> option (e.g. by using <code>:set wildmenu</code>), then <code>:h patt</code> followed by <code><Tab></code> opens a menu on the statusline, with all help topics containing "<code>patt</code>". You can select any item in the menu with the arrow keys or more presses of the <code><Tab></code> key to fill in the rest of your command line.
   
 
Links:
 
Links:
*Enter <tt>:h</tt> to open the main help page.
+
*Enter <code>:h</code> to open the main help page.
*Type <tt>/quick</tt> to search for "quick" (should find the <tt>quickref</tt> link).
+
*Type <code>/quick</code> to search for "quick" (should find the <code>quickref</code> link).
 
*Press Ctrl-] to follow the link (jump to the quickref topic).
 
*Press Ctrl-] to follow the link (jump to the quickref topic).
 
*After browsing the quickref topic, press Ctrl-T to go back to the previous topic.
 
*After browsing the quickref topic, press Ctrl-T to go back to the previous topic.
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Searching:
 
Searching:
*Search within a help file using <tt>/</tt> like you would when searching any file.
+
*Search within a help file using <code>/</code> like you would when searching any file.
*Search all the help files with the <tt>:helpgrep</tt> command, for example:
+
*Search all the help files with the <code>:helpgrep</code> command, for example:
::<tt>:helpgrep \csearch.\{,12}file</tt>
+
::<code>:helpgrep \csearch.\{,12}file</code>
::<tt>\c</tt> means the pattern is case insensitive.
+
::<code>\c</code> means the pattern is case insensitive.
 
::The pattern finds "search" then up to 12 characters followed by "file".
 
::The pattern finds "search" then up to 12 characters followed by "file".
 
:You will then see the first match. To see other matches for the same pattern, use:
 
:You will then see the first match. To see other matches for the same pattern, use:
::<tt>:cnext</tt>
+
::<code>:cnext</code>
::<tt>:cprev</tt>
+
::<code>:cprev</code>
::<tt>:cnfile</tt>
+
::<code>:cnfile</code>
::<tt>:cpfile</tt>
+
::<code>:cpfile</code>
::<tt>:cfirst</tt>
+
::<code>:cfirst</code>
::<tt>:clast</tt>
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::<code>:clast</code>
 
:and even
 
:and even
::<tt>:cc</tt>
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::<code>:cc</code>
 
:which brings you back to the current match after you scrolled the helpfile, or
 
:which brings you back to the current match after you scrolled the helpfile, or
::<tt>:copen</tt>
+
::<code>:copen</code>
:which will list out all the matches in a separate window. Read up on these commands with the <tt>:help</tt> entry for each of them!
+
:which will list out all the matches in a separate window. Read up on these commands with the <code>:help</code> entry for each of them!
   
Each week (or more often if you prefer), read a new section from the <tt>:help</tt> page to learn something new!
+
Each week (or more often if you prefer), read a new section from the <code>:help</code> page to learn something new!
   
 
==Context==
 
==Context==
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! style="width:4em" | Prefix !! style="width:8em" | Example !! Context
 
! style="width:4em" | Prefix !! style="width:8em" | Example !! Context
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>:</tt> || <tt>:h :r</tt> || ex command (command starting with a colon)
+
|<code>:</code> || <code>:h :r</code> || ex command (command starting with a colon)
 
|-
 
|-
|''none'' || <tt>:h r</tt> || normal mode
+
|''none'' || <code>:h r</code> || normal mode
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>v_</tt> || <tt>:h v_r</tt> || visual mode
+
|<code>v_</code> || <code>:h v_r</code> || visual mode
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>i_</tt> || <tt>:h i_CTRL-W</tt> || insert mode
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|<code>i_</code> || <code>:h i_CTRL-W</code> || insert mode
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>c_</tt> || <tt>:h c_CTRL-R</tt> || ex command line
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|<code>c_</code> || <code>:h c_CTRL-R</code> || ex command line
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>/</tt> || <tt>:h /\r</tt> || search pattern (in this case, <tt>:h \r</tt> also works)
+
|<code>/</code> || <code>:h /\r</code> || search pattern (in this case, <code>:h \r</code> also works)
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>'</tt> || <tt>:h 'ro'</tt> || option
+
|<code>'</code> || <code>:h 'ro'</code> || option
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>-</tt> || <tt>:h -r</tt> || Vim argument (starting Vim)
+
|<code>-</code> || <code>:h -r</code> || Vim argument (starting Vim)
 
|}
 
|}
   
Sometimes you want to know what a particular control key means to Vim. For example, to see all help topics containing "ctrl-r", type <tt>:h&nbsp;ctrl-r</tt> then press Ctrl-D. The following examples show the help for pressing various keys in different contexts.
+
Sometimes you want to know what a particular control key means to Vim. For example, to see all help topics containing "ctrl-r", type <code>:h&nbsp;ctrl-r</code> then press Ctrl-D. The following examples show the help for pressing various keys in different contexts.
 
{| class="cleartable"
 
{| class="cleartable"
 
! style="width:8em" | Example !! Help for key
 
! style="width:8em" | Example !! Help for key
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>:h CTRL-R</tt> || Ctrl-R in normal mode
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|<code>:h CTRL-R</code> || Ctrl-R in normal mode
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>:h i_CTRL-R</tt> || Ctrl-R in insert mode
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|<code>:h i_CTRL-R</code> || Ctrl-R in insert mode
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>:h c_CTRL-R</tt> || Ctrl-R in command mode
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|<code>:h c_CTRL-R</code> || Ctrl-R in command mode
 
|-
 
|-
|<tt>:h v_CTRL-V</tt> || Ctrl-V in visual mode
+
|<code>:h v_CTRL-V</code> || Ctrl-V in visual mode
 
|}
 
|}
   
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*Press Enter to jump to the subject (topic) under the cursor.
 
*Press Enter to jump to the subject (topic) under the cursor.
 
*Press Backspace to return from the last jump.
 
*Press Backspace to return from the last jump.
*Press <tt>s</tt> to find the next subject, or <tt>S</tt> to find the previous subject.
+
*Press <code>s</code> to find the next subject, or <code>S</code> to find the previous subject.
*Press <tt>o</tt> to find the next option, or <tt>O</tt> to find the previous option.
+
*Press <code>o</code> to find the next option, or <code>O</code> to find the previous option.
   
Create file <tt>~/.vim/ftplugin/help.vim</tt> (Unix) or <tt>$HOME/vimfiles/ftplugin/help.vim</tt> (Windows) containing:
+
Create file <code>~/.vim/ftplugin/help.vim</code> (Unix) or <code>$HOME/vimfiles/ftplugin/help.vim</code> (Windows) containing:
 
<pre>
 
<pre>
 
nnoremap <buffer> <CR> <C-]>
 
nnoremap <buffer> <CR> <C-]>
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nnoremap <buffer> S ?\|\zs\S\+\ze\|<CR>
 
nnoremap <buffer> S ?\|\zs\S\+\ze\|<CR>
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The following mappings (which can go in your vimrc) simplify navigating the results of {{help|quickfix|prefix=no}} commands such as (among others) <tt>:helpgrep</tt>
+
The following mappings (which can go in your vimrc) simplify navigating the results of {{help|quickfix|prefix=no}} commands such as (among others) <code>:helpgrep</code>
 
<pre>
 
<pre>
 
:nnoremap <S-F1> :cc<CR>
 
:nnoremap <S-F1> :cc<CR>

Latest revision as of 07:53, July 11, 2012

Tip 882 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2005 · complexity basic · author David S · version 6.0


Vim's help is remarkably helpful, but in order to use it effectively you need to spend a few minutes learning how it is organised.

Getting startedEdit

Try these examples:

  • Enter :help to browse help. Scroll down the help page to see the quickref and tutor links, and the table of contents.
  • Enter :help pattern for help on the topic pattern (for example).
  • :h pattern is the same (the :help command can be abbreviated).

Command completion can be used when entering a help topic:

  • Type :h patt then press Ctrl-D to list all topics that contain "patt".
  • Type :h patt then press Tab to scroll through the topics that start with "patt".
  • If you have set the 'wildmenu' option (e.g. by using :set wildmenu), then :h patt followed by <Tab> opens a menu on the statusline, with all help topics containing "patt". You can select any item in the menu with the arrow keys or more presses of the <Tab> key to fill in the rest of your command line.

Links:

  • Enter :h to open the main help page.
  • Type /quick to search for "quick" (should find the quickref link).
  • Press Ctrl-] to follow the link (jump to the quickref topic).
  • After browsing the quickref topic, press Ctrl-T to go back to the previous topic.
  • You can also press Ctrl-O to jump to older locations, or Ctrl-I to jump to newer locations.

Searching:

  • Search within a help file using / like you would when searching any file.
  • Search all the help files with the :helpgrep command, for example:
:helpgrep \csearch.\{,12}file
\c means the pattern is case insensitive.
The pattern finds "search" then up to 12 characters followed by "file".
You will then see the first match. To see other matches for the same pattern, use:
:cnext
:cprev
:cnfile
:cpfile
:cfirst
:clast
and even
:cc
which brings you back to the current match after you scrolled the helpfile, or
:copen
which will list out all the matches in a separate window. Read up on these commands with the :help entry for each of them!

Each week (or more often if you prefer), read a new section from the :help page to learn something new!

ContextEdit

Each help topic has a context:

Prefix Example Context
: :h :r ex command (command starting with a colon)
none :h r normal mode
v_ :h v_r visual mode
i_ :h i_CTRL-W insert mode
c_ :h c_CTRL-R ex command line
/ :h /\r search pattern (in this case, :h \r also works)
' :h 'ro' option
- :h -r Vim argument (starting Vim)

Sometimes you want to know what a particular control key means to Vim. For example, to see all help topics containing "ctrl-r", type :h ctrl-r then press Ctrl-D. The following examples show the help for pressing various keys in different contexts.

Example Help for key
:h CTRL-R Ctrl-R in normal mode
:h i_CTRL-R Ctrl-R in insert mode
:h c_CTRL-R Ctrl-R in command mode
:h v_CTRL-V Ctrl-V in visual mode

Simplify help navigationEdit

The following mappings simplify navigation when viewing help:

  • Press Enter to jump to the subject (topic) under the cursor.
  • Press Backspace to return from the last jump.
  • Press s to find the next subject, or S to find the previous subject.
  • Press o to find the next option, or O to find the previous option.

Create file ~/.vim/ftplugin/help.vim (Unix) or $HOME/vimfiles/ftplugin/help.vim (Windows) containing:

nnoremap <buffer> <CR> <C-]>
nnoremap <buffer> <BS> <C-T>
nnoremap <buffer> o /'\l\{2,\}'<CR>
nnoremap <buffer> O ?'\l\{2,\}'<CR>
nnoremap <buffer> s /\|\zs\S\+\ze\|<CR>
nnoremap <buffer> S ?\|\zs\S\+\ze\|<CR>

The following mappings (which can go in your vimrc) simplify navigating the results of quickfix commands such as (among others) :helpgrep

:nnoremap <S-F1>  :cc<CR>
:nnoremap <F2>    :cnext<CR>
:nnoremap <S-F2>  :cprev<CR>
:nnoremap <F3>    :cnfile<CR>
:nnoremap <S-F3>  :cpfile<CR>
:nnoremap <F4>    :cfirst<CR>
:nnoremap <S-F4>  :clast<CR>

ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit

CommentsEdit

Also see the wildmenu. My settings:

set wildmenu wildmode=longest:full,full

What it does:

  • First tab: longest match, list in the statusbar.
  • Following tabs: cycle through matches.

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