This is a draft, quarantined as a subpage of my own userpage until (and if) it is ready to face the world. Feel free to edit it.
man is a standard Unix and Linux command to view the manual page for given command. Man page can be viewed using Vim in two ways: through a function called from within Vim, and as a pager given to the man command itself. There are several advantages to using Vim to view man pages: the page will be colored, you could fold by indentation, you could jump to man pages mentioned in the text using tags (<Ctrl-]>), and you'll have all of Vim's search capabilities at your fingertips.
Viewing man pages from within VimEdit
To view man pages from within Vim, you need to load the man.vim plugin, found in $VIMRUNTIME/ftplugin. You can do this by adding the following to your .vimrc:
Once this is done, you can load a man page simply by typing (in insert mode):
Using Vim as a man pagerEdit
For this to work, you need to create a script inside a directory in your $PATH, and make it executable. We'll call this script _man2vim. These should be its contents:
col -b | vim -c 'set ft=man nomod' -
Now, wherever it is you add aliases (.basrc, .zshrc, or anywhere else), add the following alias:
alias man='man --pager=_man2vim'
You can now view a man page using Vim by typing (in the shell) the following:
The man filetypeEdit
Vim recognizes a man filetype. Thus, if you'd like to be able to exit a man page simply by pressing q, you can add the following to your .vimrc:
autocmd FileType man nnoremap <buffer> q :quit