Vim documentation: starting

main help file

*starting.txt*  For Vim version 6.3.  Last change: 2004 May 28

		  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Bram Moolenaar

Starting Vim						*starting*

1. Vim arguments		|vim-arguments|
2. Vim on the Amiga		|starting-amiga|
3. Running eVim			|evim-keys|
4. Initialization		|initialization|
6. Suspending			|suspend|
7. Saving settings		|save-settings|
8. Views and Sessions		|views-sessions|
9. The viminfo file		|viminfo-file|


1. Vim arguments					*vim-arguments*

Most often, Vim is started to edit a single file with the command

	vim filename					*-vim*

More generally, Vim is started with:

	vim [option | filename] ..

Option arguments and file name arguments can be mixed, and any number of them
can be given.  However, watch out for options that take an argument.

For compatibility with various Vi versions, see	|cmdline-arguments|.

Exactly one out of the following five items may be used to choose how to
start editing:

							*-file* *---*
filename	One or more file names.  The first one will be the current
		file and read into the buffer.  The cursor will be positioned
		on the first line of the buffer.
		To avoid a file name starting with a '-' being interpreted as
		an option, precede the arglist with "--", e.g.:
			vim -- -filename
 		All arguments after the "--" will be interpreted as file names,
		no other options or "+command" argument can follow.

-		This argument can mean two things, depending on whether Ex
		mode is to be used.

		Starting in Normal mode:
			vim -
			ex -v -
 		Start editing a new buffer, which is filled with text
		that is read from stdin.  The commands that would normally be
		read from stdin will now be read from stderr.  Example:
			find . -name "*.c" -print | vim -
 		The buffer will be marked modified, because it contains text
		that needs to be saved.  Except when in readonly mode, then
		the buffer is not marked modified.  Example:
			ls | view -
		Starting in Ex mode:
			ex -
			vim -e -
			exim -
			vim -E
 		Start editing in silent mode.  See |-s-ex|.

							*-t* *-tag*
-t {tag}	A tag.  "tag" is looked up in the tags file, the associated
		file becomes the current file, and the associated command is
		executed.  Mostly this is used for C programs, in which case
		"tag" often is a function name.  The effect is that the file
		containing that function becomes the current file and the
		cursor is positioned on the start of the function (see

							*-q* *-qf*
-q [errorfile]	QuickFix mode.  The file with the name [errorfile] is read
		and the first error is displayed.  See |quickfix|.
		If [errorfile] is not given, the 'errorfile' option is used
		for the file name.  See 'errorfile' for the default value.
		{not in Vi}

(nothing)	Without one of the four items above, Vim will start editing a
		new buffer.  It's empty and doesn't have a file name.

The startup mode can be changed by using another name instead of "vim", which
is equal to giving options:

ex	vim -e	    Start in Ex mode (see |Ex-mode|).		    *ex*

exim	vim -E	    Start in improved Ex mode (see |Ex-mode|).	    *exim*
			(normally not installed)

view	vim -R	    Start in read-only mode (see |-R|).		    *view*

gvim	vim -g	    Start the GUI (see |gui|).			    *gvim*

gex	vim -eg	    Start the GUI in Ex mode.			    *gex*

gview	vim -Rg	    Start the GUI in read-only mode.		    *gview*

rvim	vim -Z	    Like "vim", but in restricted mode (see |-Z|)   *rvim*

rview	vim -RZ	    Like "view", but in restricted mode.	    *rview*

rgvim	vim -gZ	    Like "gvim", but in restricted mode.	    *rgvim*

rgview	vim -RgZ    Like "gview", but in restricted mode.	    *rgview*

evim    vim -y      Easy Vim: set 'insertmode' (see |-y|)	    *evim*

eview   vim -yR     Like "evim" in read-only mode		    *eview*
vimdiff vim -d	    Start in diff mode |diff-mode|
gvimdiff vim -gd    Start in diff mode |diff-mode|

Additional characters may follow, they are ignored.  For example, you can have
"gvim-5" to start the GUI.  You must have an executable by that name then, of

On Unix, you would normally have one executable called Vim, and links from the
different startup-names to that executable.  If your system does not support
links and you do not want to have several copies of the executable, you could
use an alias instead.  For example:
	alias view   vim -R
	alias gvim   vim -g

The option arguments may be given in any order.  Single-letter options can be
combined after one dash.  There can be no option arguments after the "--"

On VMS all option arguments are assumed to be lowercase, unless preceded with
a slash.  Thus "-R" means recovery and "-/R" readonly.

--help							*-h* *--help*
-h		Give usage (help) message and exit.  {not in Vi}
		See |info-message| about capturing the text.

--version	Print version information and exit.  Same output as for
		|:version| command.  {not in Vi}
		See |info-message| about capturing the text.

--noplugin	Skip loading plugins.  Resets the 'loadplugins' option.
		{not in Vi}
		Note that the |-u| argument may also disable loading plugins:
			argument	load vimrc files	load plugins 
			(nothing)		yes		    yes
			-u NONE			no		    no
			-u NORC			no		    yes
			--noplugin		yes		    no

--literal	Take file names literally, don't expand wildcards.  Not needed
		for Unix, because Vim always takes file names literally (the
		shell expands wildcards).
		Applies to all the names, also the ones that come before this

+[num]		The cursor will be positioned on line "num" for the first
		file being edited.  If "num" is missing, the cursor will be
		positioned on the last line.

+/{pat}		The cursor will be positioned on the first line containing
		"pat" in the first file being edited (see |pattern| for the
		available search patterns).

+{command}						*-+c* *-c*
-c {command}	{command} will be executed after the first file has been
		read (and after autocommands and modelines for that file have
		been processed).  "command" is interpreted as an Ex command.
		If the "command" contains spaces, it must be enclosed in
		double quotes (this depends on the shell that is used).
			vim  "+set si"  main.c
			vim  "+find stdio.h"
			vim  -c "set ff=dos"  -c wq  mine.mak
		Note: You can use up to 10 "+" or "-c" arguments in a Vim
		command.  They are executed in the order given.  A "-S"
		argument counts as a "-c" argument as well.
		{Vi only allows one command}

--cmd {command}						*--cmd*
		{command} will be executed before processing any vimrc file.
		Otherwise it acts like -c {command}.  You can use up to 10 of
		these commands, independently from "-c" commands.
		{not in Vi}

-S {file}	The {file} will be sourced after the first file has been read.
		This is an easy way to do the equivalent of:
			-c "source {file}"
 		It can be mixed with "-c" arguments and repeated like "-c".
		The limit of 10 "-c" arguments applies here as well.
		{file} cannot start with a "-".
		{not in Vi}

-S		Works like "-S Session.vim".  Only when used as the last
		argument or when another "-" option follows.

-r		Recovery mode.  Without a file name argument, a list of
		existing swap files is given.  With a file name, a swap file
		is read to recover a crashed editing session.  See

-L		Same as -r.  {only in some versions of Vi: "List recoverable
		edit sessions"}

-R		Readonly mode.  The 'readonly' option will be set for all the
		files being edited.  You can still edit the buffer, but will
		be prevented from accidentally overwriting a file.  If you
		forgot that you are in View mode and did make some changes,
		you can overwrite a file by adding an exclamation mark to
		the Ex command, as in ":w!".  The 'readonly' option can be
		reset with ":set noro" (see the options chapter, |options|).
		Subsequent edits will not be done in readonly mode.  Calling
		the executable "view" has the same effect as the -R argument.
		The 'updatecount' option will be set to 10000, meaning that
		the swap file will not be updated automatically very often.

-m		Modifications not allowed to be written.  The 'write' option
		will be reset, so that writing files is disabled.  However,
		the 'write' option can be set to enable writing again.
		{not in Vi}

-M		Modifications not allowed.  The 'modifiable' option will be
		reset, so that changes are not allowed.  The 'write' option
		will be reset, so that writing files is disabled.  However,
		the 'modifiable' and 'write' options can be set to enable
		changes and writing.
		{not in Vi}

						*-Z* *restricted-mode* *E145*
-Z		Restricted mode.  All commands that make use of an external
		shell are disabled.  This includes suspending with CTRL-Z,
		":sh", filtering, the system() function, backtick expansion,
		{not in Vi}

-g		Start Vim in GUI mode.  See |gui|.  {not in Vi}

-v		Start Ex in Vi mode.  Only makes a difference when the
		executable is called "ex" or "gvim".  For gvim the GUI is not
		started if possible.

-e		Start Vim in Ex mode |Q|.  Only makes a difference when the
		executable is not called "ex".

-E		Start Vim in improved Ex mode |gQ|.  Only makes a difference
		when the executable is not called "exim".
		{not in Vi}

-s		Silent or batch mode.  Only when Vim was started as "ex" or
		when preceded with the "-e" argument.  Otherwise see |-s|,
		which does take an argument while this use of "-s" doesn't.
		To be used when Vim is used to execute Ex commands from a file
		instead of a terminal.  Switches off most prompts and
		informative messages.  Also warnings and error messages.
		But ":print" output is displayed.  And when 'verbose' is
		non-zero messages are printed (for debugging).
		If Vim appears to be stuck try typing "qa!<Enter>".  You don't
		get a prompt thus you can't see Vim is waiting for you to type
		Initializations are skipped (except the ones given with the
		"-u" argument).
			vim -e -s  < thefilter  thefile

-b		Binary mode.  File I/O will only recognize <NL> to separate
		lines. The 'expandtab' option will be reset.  The 'textwidth'
		option is set to 0.  'modeline' is reset.  The 'binary' option
		is set.  This is done after reading the vimrc/exrc files but
		before reading any file in the arglist.  See also
		|edit-binary|.  {not in Vi}

-l		Lisp mode.  Sets the 'lisp' and 'showmatch' options on.

-A		Arabic mode.  Sets the 'arabic' option on.  (Only when
		compiled with the |+arabic| features (which include
		|+rightleft|), otherwise Vim gives an error message
		and exits.  {not in Vi}

-F		Farsi mode.  Sets the 'fkmap' and 'rightleft' options on.
		(Only when compiled with |+rightleft| and |+farsi| features,
		otherwise Vim gives an error message and exits).  {not in Vi}

-H		Hebrew mode.  Sets the 'hkmap' and 'rightleft' options on.
		(Only when compiled with the |+rightleft| feature, otherwise
		Vim gives an error message and exits).  {not in Vi}

							*-V* *verbose*
-V[N]		Verbose.  Sets the 'verbose' option to [N] (default: 10).
		Messages will be given for each file that is ":source"d and
		for reading or writing a viminfo file.  Can be used to find
		out what is happening upon startup and exit.  {not in Vi}

-D		Debugging.  Go to debugging mode when executing the first
		command from a script. |debug-mode|
		{not available when compiled without the |+eval| feature}
		{not in Vi}

-C		Compatible mode.  Sets the 'compatible' option.  You can use
		this to get 'compatible', even though a .vimrc file exists.
		But the command ":set nocompatible" overrules it anyway.
		Also see |compatible-default|.  {not in Vi}

-N		Not compatible mode.  Resets the 'compatible' option.  You can
		use this to get 'nocompatible', when there is no .vimrc file.
		Also see |compatible-default|.  {not in Vi}

							*-y* *easy*
-y		Easy mode.  Implied for |evim| and |eview|.  Starts with
		'insertmode' set and behaves like a click-and-type editor.
		This sources the script $VIMRUNTIME/evim.vim.  Mappings are
		set up to work like most click-and-type editors, see
		|evim-keys|.  The GUI is started when available.
		{not in Vi}

-n		No swap file will be used.  Recovery after a crash will be
		impossible.  Handy if you want to view or edit a file on a
		very slow medium (e.g., a floppy).
		Can also be done with ":set updatecount=0".  You can switch it
		on again by setting the 'updatecount' option to some value,
		e.g., ":set uc=100".
		'updatecount' is set to 0 AFTER executing commands from a
		vimrc file, but before the GUI initializations.  Thus it
		overrides a setting for 'updatecount' in a vimrc file, but not
		in a gvimrc file.  See |startup|.
		When you want to reduce accesses to the disk (e.g., for a
		laptop), don't use "-n", but set 'updatetime' and
		'updatecount' to very big numbers, and type ":preserve" when
		you want to save your work.  This way you keep the possibility
		for crash recovery.
		{not in Vi}

-o[N]		Open N windows, split horizontally.  If [N] is not given,
		one window is opened for every file given as argument.  If
		there is not enough room, only the first few files get a
		window.  If there are more windows than arguments, the last
		few windows will be editing an empty file.
		{not in Vi}

-O[N]		Open N windows, split vertically.  Otherwise it's like -o.
		If both the -o and the -O option are given, the last one on
		the command line determines how the windows will be split.
		{not in Vi}

-T {terminal}	Set the terminal type to "terminal".  This influences the
		codes that Vim will send to your terminal.  This is normally
		not needed, because Vim will be able to find out what type
		of terminal you are using (See |terminal-info|).  {not in Vi}

-d		Start in diff mode, like |vimdiff|.
		{not in Vi} {not available when compiled without the |+diff|

-d {device}	Only on the Amiga and when not compiled with the |+diff|
		feature.  Works like "-dev".

-dev {device}	Only on the Amiga: The {device} is opened to be used for
		Normally you would use this to set the window position and
		size: "-d con:x/y/width/height", e.g.,
		"-d con:30/10/600/150".  But you can also use it to start
		editing on another device, e.g., AUX:.  {not in Vi}

-f		Amiga: Do not restart Vim to open a new window.  This
		option should be used when Vim is started by a program that
		will wait for the edit session to finish (e.g., mail or
		readnews).  See |amiga-window|.

		GUI: Do not disconnect from the program that started Vim.
		'f' stands for "foreground".  If omitted, the GUI forks a new
		process and exits the current one.  "-f" should be used when
		gvim is started by a program that will wait for the edit
		session to finish (e.g., mail or readnews).  If you want gvim
		never to fork, include 'f' in 'guioptions' in your .gvimrc.
		Careful: You can use "-gf" to start the GUI in the foreground,
		but "-fg" is used to specify the foreground color.  |gui-fork|
		{not in Vi}

--nofork	GUI: Do not fork.  Same as |-f|.

							*-u* *E282*
-u {vimrc}	The file {vimrc} is read for initializations.  Most other
		initializations are skipped; see |initialization|.  This can
		be used to start Vim in a special mode, with special
		mappings and settings.  A shell alias can be used to make
		this easy to use.  For example:
			alias vimc vim -u ~/.c_vimrc !*
 		Also consider using autocommands; see |autocommand|.
		When {vimrc} is equal to "NONE" (all uppercase), all
		initializations from files and environment variables are
		skipped, including reading the .gvimrc file when the GUI
		starts.  Loading plugins is also skipped.
		When {vimrc} is equal to "NORC" (all uppercase), this has the
		same effect as "NONE", but loading plugins is not skipped.
		Using the "-u" argument has the side effect that the
		'compatible' option will be on by default.  This can have
		unexpected effects.  See |'compatible'|.
		{not in Vi}

							*-U* *E230*
-U {gvimrc}	The file "gvimrc" is read for initializations when the GUI
		starts.  Other GUI initializations are skipped. When {gvimrc}
		is equal to "NONE", no file is read for initializations at
		Exception: Reading the system-wide menu file is always done.
		{not in Vi}

-i {viminfo}	The file "viminfo" is used instead of the default viminfo
		file.  If the name "NONE" is used (all uppercase), no viminfo
		file is read or written, even if 'viminfo' is set or when
		":rv" or ":wv" are used.  See also |viminfo-file|.
		{not in Vi}

-x		Use encryption to read/write files.  Will prompt for a key,
		which is then stored in the 'key' option.  All writes will
		then use this key to encrypt the text.  The '-x' argument is
		not needed when reading a file, because there is a check if
		the file that is being read has been encrypted, and Vim asks
		for a key automatically. |encryption|

-X		Do not try connecting to the X server to get the current
		window title and copy/paste using the X clipboard.  This
		avoids a long startup time when running Vim in a terminal
		emulator and the connection to the X server is slow.
		Only makes a difference on Unix or VMS, when compiled with the
		|+X11| feature.  Otherwise it's ignored.
		To disable the connection only for specific terminals, see the
		'clipboard' option.
		When the X11 Session Management Protocol (XSMP) handler has
		been built in, the -X option also disables that connection as
		it, too, may have undesirable delays.
		When the connection is desired later anyway (e.g., for
		client-server messages), call the |serverlist()| function.
		This does not enable the XSMP handler though.
		{not in Vi}

-s {scriptin}	The script file "scriptin" is read.  The characters in the
		file are interpreted as if you had typed them.  The same can
		be done with the command ":source! {scriptin}".  If the end
		of the file is reached before the editor exits, further
		characters are read from the keyboard.  Only works when not
		started in Ex mode, see |-s-ex|.  See also |complex-repeat|.
		{not in Vi}

-w {scriptout}	All the characters that you type are recorded in the file
		"scriptout", until you exit Vim.  This is useful if you want
		to create a script file to be used with "vim -s" or
		":source!".  When the "scriptout" file already exists, new
		characters are appended.  See also |complex-repeat|.
		{not in Vi}

-W {scriptout}	Like -w, but do not append, overwrite an existing file.
		{not in Vi}

-w{number}	Does nothing.  This was included for Vi-compatibility.  In Vi
		it sets the 'window' option, which is not implemented in Vim.

--remote [+{cmd}] {file} ...
		Open the {file} in another Vim that functions as a server.
		Any non-file arguments must come before this.
		See |--remote|. {not in Vi}

--remote-silent [+{cmd}] {file} ...
		Like --remote, but don't complain if there is no server.
		See |--remote-silent|. {not in Vi}

--remote-wait [+{cmd}] {file} ...
		Like --remote, but wait for the server to finish editing the
		See |--remote-wait|. {not in Vi}

--remote-wait-silent [+{cmd}] {file} ...
		Like --remote-wait, but don't complain if there is no server.
		See |--remote-wait-silent|. {not in Vi}

--servername {name}
		Specify the name of the Vim server to send to or to become.
		See |--servername|. {not in Vi}

--remote-send {keys}
		Send {keys} to a Vim server and exit.
		See |--remote-send|. {not in Vi}

--remote-expr {expr}
		Evaluate {expr} in another Vim that functions as a server.
		The result is printed on stdout.
		See |--remote-expr|. {not in Vi}

--serverlist	Output a list of Vim server names and exit.  See
		See |--serverlist|. {not in Vi}

--socketid {id}						*--socketid*
		GTK+ GUI Vim only.  Make gvim try to use GtkPlug mechanism, so
		that it runs inside another window.  See |gui-gtk-socketid|
		for details. {not in Vi}

--echo-wid						*--echo-wid*
		GTK+ GUI Vim only.  Make gvim echo the Window ID on stdout,
		which can be used to run gvim in a kpart widget.  The format
		of the output is:
			WID: 12345\n
 		{not in Vi}

--role {role}						*--role*
		GTK+ 2 GUI only.  Set the role of the main window to {role}.
		The window role can be used by a window manager to uniquely
		identify a window, in order to restore window placement and
		such.  The --role argument is passed automatically when
		restoring the session on login.  See |gui-gnome-session|
		{not in Vi}

-P {parent-title}				*-P* *MDI* *E671* *E672*
		Win32 only: Specify the title of the parent application.  When
		possible, Vim will run in an MDI window inside the
		{parent-title} must appear in the window title of the parent
		application.  Make sure that it is specific enough.
		Note that the implementation is still primitive.  It won't
		work with all applications and the menu doesn't work.

-nb							*-nb*
		Attempt connecting to Netbeans and become an editor server for
		it.  The second form specifies a file to read connection info
		from.  The third form specifies the hostname, address and
		password for connecting to Netbeans. |netbeans-run|

Example for using a script file to change a name in several files:
	Create a file "" containing substitute commands and a :wq
	Execute Vim on all files you want to change:

		foreach i ( *.let ) vim -s $i

If the executable is called "view", Vim will start in Readonly mode.  This is
useful if you can make a hard or symbolic link from "view" to "vim".
Starting in Readonly mode can also be done with "vim -R".

If the executable is called "ex", Vim will start in "Ex" mode.  This means it
will accept only ":" commands.  But when the "-v" argument is given, Vim will
start in Normal mode anyway.

Additional arguments are available on unix like systems when compiled with
X11 GUI support.  See |gui-resources|.


2. Vim on the Amiga					*starting-amiga*

Starting Vim from the Workbench				*workbench*

Vim can be started from the Workbench by clicking on its icon twice.  It will
then start with an empty buffer.

Vim can be started to edit one or more files by using a "Project" icon.  The
"Default Tool" of the icon must be the full pathname of the Vim executable.
The name of the ".info" file must be the same as the name of the text file.
By clicking on this icon twice, Vim will be started with the file name as
current file name, which will be read into the buffer (if it exists).  You can
edit multiple files by pressing the shift key while clicking on icons, and
clicking twice on the last one.  The "Default Tool" for all these icons must
be the same.

It is not possible to give arguments to Vim, other than file names, from the

Vim window						*amiga-window*

Vim will run in the CLI window where it was started.  If Vim was started with
the "run" or "runback" command, or if Vim was started from the workbench, it
will open a window of its own.

Technical detail:
	To open the new window a little trick is used.  As soon as Vim
	recognizes that it does not run in a normal CLI window, it will
	create a script file in "t:".  This script file contains the same
	command as the one Vim was started with, and an "endcli" command.
	This script file is then executed with a "newcli" command (the "c:run"
	and "c:newcli" commands are required for this to work).  The script
	file will hang around until reboot, or until you delete it.  This
	method is required to get the ":sh" and ":!" commands to work
	correctly.  But when Vim was started with the -f option (foreground
	mode), this method is not used.  The reason for this is that
	when a program starts Vim with the -f option it will wait for Vim to
	exit.  With the script trick, the calling program does not know when
	Vim exits.  The -f option can be used when Vim is started by a mail
	program which also waits for the edit session to finish.  As a
	consequence, the ":sh" and ":!" commands are not available when the
	-f option is used.

Vim will automatically recognize the window size and react to window
resizing.  Under Amiga DOS 1.3, it is advised to use the fastfonts program,
"FF", to speed up display redrawing.


3. Running eVim							*evim-keys*

EVim runs Vim as click-and-type editor.  This is very unlike the original Vi
idea.  But it helps for people that don't use Vim often enough to learn the
commands.  Hopefully they will find out that learning to use Normal mode
commands will make their editing much more effective.

In Evim these options are changed from their default value:

	:set nocompatible	Use Vim improvements
	:set insertmode		Remain in Insert mode most of the time
	:set hidden		Keep invisible buffers loaded
	:set backup		Keep backup files (not for VMS)
	:set backspace=2	Backspace over everything
	:set autoindent		auto-indent new lines
	:set history=50		keep 50 lines of Ex commands
	:set ruler		show the cursor position
	:set incsearch		show matches halfway typing a pattern
	:set mouse=a		use the mouse in all modes
	:set hlsearch		highlight all matches for a search pattern
	:set whichwrap+=<,>,[,]  <Left> and <Right> wrap around line breaks
	:set guioptions-=a	non-Unix only: don't do auto-select

Key mappings:
	<Down>		moves by screen lines rather than file lines
	<Up>		idem
	Q		does "gq", formatting, instead of Ex mode
	<BS>		in Visual mode: deletes the selection
	CTRL-X		in Visual mode: Cut to clipboard
	<S-Del>		idem
	CTRL-C		in Visual mode: Copy to clipboard
	<C-Insert>	idem
	CTRL-V		Pastes from the clipboard (in any mode)
	<S-Insert>	idem
	CTRL-Q		do what CTRL-V used to do
	CTRL-Z		undo
	CTRL-Y		redo
	<M-Space>	system menu
	CTRL-A		select all
	<C-Tab>		next window, CTRL-W w
	<C-F4>		close window, CTRL-W c

- ":behave mswin" is used |:behave|
- syntax highlighting is enabled
- filetype detection is enabled, filetype plugins and indenting is enabled
- in a text file 'textwidth' is set to 78

One hint: If you want to go to Normal mode to be able to type a sequence of
commands, use CTRL-L. |i_CTRL-L|


4. Initialization				*initialization* *startup*

This section is about the non-GUI version of Vim.  See |gui-fork| for
additional initialization when starting the GUI.

At startup, Vim checks environment variables and files and sets values
accordingly.  Vim proceeds in this order:

1. Set the 'shell' and 'term' option		*SHELL* *COMSPEC* *TERM*
	The environment variable SHELL, if it exists, is used to set the
	'shell' option.  On MS-DOS and Win32, the COMSPEC variable is used
	if SHELL is not set.
	The environment variable TERM, if it exists, is used to set the 'term'

2. Process the arguments
	The options and file names from the command that start Vim are
	inspected.  Buffers are created for all files (but not loaded yet).

3. Execute Ex commands, from environment variables and/or files
	An environment variable is read as one Ex command line, where multiple
	commands must be separated with '|' or "<NL>".

								*vimrc* *exrc*
	A file that contains initialization commands is called a "vimrc" file.
	Each line in a vimrc file is executed as an Ex command line.  It is
	sometimes also referred to as "exrc" file.  They are the same type of
	file, but "exrc" is what Vi always used, "vimrc" is a Vim specific
	name.  Also see |vimrc-intro|.

	Recommended place for your personal initializations:
		Unix		    $HOME/.vimrc
		OS/2		    $HOME/.vimrc or $VIM/.vimrc (or _vimrc)
		MS-DOS and Win32    $HOME/_vimrc or $VIM/_vimrc
		Amiga		    s:.vimrc or $VIM/.vimrc

	If Vim was started with "-u filename", the file "filename" is used.
	All following initializations until 4. are skipped.
	"vim -u NORC" can be used to skip these initializations without
	reading a file.  "vim -u NONE" also skips loading plugins.  |-u|

	If Vim was started in Ex mode with the "-s" argument, all following
	initializations until 4. are skipped.  Only the "-u" option is

     a. If vim was started as |evim| or |eview| or with the |-y| argument, the
	script $VIMRUNTIME/evim.vim will be loaded.

     b. For Unix, MS-DOS, MS-Windows, OS/2, VMS, Macintosh, RISC-OS and Amiga
	the system vimrc file is read for initializations.  The path of this
	file is shown with the ":version" command.  Mostly it's "$VIM/vimrc".
	Note that this file is ALWAYS read in 'compatible' mode, since the
	automatic resetting of 'compatible' is only done later.  Add a ":set
	nocp" command if you like.

			  *VIMINIT* *.vimrc* *_vimrc* *EXINIT* *.exrc* *_exrc*
     c. Four places are searched for initializations.  The first that exists
	is used, the others are ignored.
	-  The environment variable VIMINIT (see also |compatible-default|) (*)
	   The value of $VIMINIT is used as an Ex command line.
	-  The user vimrc file(s):
		    "$HOME/.vimrc"	(for Unix and OS/2) (*)
		    "s:.vimrc"		(for Amiga) (*)
		    "home:.vimrc"	(for Amiga) (*)
		    "$VIM/.vimrc"	(for OS/2 and Amiga) (*)
		    "$HOME/_vimrc"	(for MS-DOS and Win32) (*)
		    "$VIM\_vimrc"	(for MS-DOS and Win32) (*)
		Note: For Unix, OS/2 and Amiga, when ".vimrc" does not exist,
		"_vimrc" is also tried, in case an MS-DOS compatible file
		system is used.  For MS-DOS and Win32 ".vimrc" is checked
		after "_vimrc", in case long file names are used.
		Note: For MS-DOS and Win32, "$HOME" is checked first.  If no
		"_vimrc" or ".vimrc" is found there, "$VIM" is tried.
		See |$VIM| for when $VIM is not set.
	-  The environment variable EXINIT.
	   The value of $EXINIT is used as an Ex command line.
	-  The user exrc file(s).  Same as for the user vimrc file, but with
	   "vimrc" replaced by "exrc".  But without the (*)!

     d. If the 'exrc' option is on (which is not the default), the current
	directory is searched for four files.  The first that exists is used,
	the others are ignored.
	-  The file ".vimrc" (for Unix, Amiga and OS/2) (*)
		    "_vimrc" (for MS-DOS and Win32) (*)
	-  The file "_vimrc" (for Unix, Amiga and OS/2) (*)
		    ".vimrc" (for MS-DOS and Win32) (*)
	-  The file ".exrc"  (for Unix, Amiga and OS/2)
		    "_exrc"  (for MS-DOS and Win32)
	-  The file "_exrc"  (for Unix, Amiga and OS/2)
		    ".exrc"  (for MS-DOS and Win32)

     (*) Using this file or environment variable will cause 'compatible' to be
	 off by default.  See |compatible-default|.

4. Load the plugin scripts.					*load-plugins*
	This does the same as the command:
		:runtime! plugin/*.vim
 	The result is that all directories in the 'runtimepath' option will be
	searched for the "plugin" sub-directory and all files ending in ".vim"
	will be sourced (in alphabetical order per directory).
	Loading plugins won't be done when:
	- The 'loadplugins' option was reset in a vimrc file.
	- The |--noplugin| command line argument is used.
	- The "-u NONE" command line argument is used |-u|.
	- When Vim was compiled without the |+eval| feature.
	Note that using "-c set noloadplugins" doesn't work, because the
	commands from the command line have not been executed yet.

5. Set 'shellpipe' and 'shellredir'
	The 'shellpipe' and 'shellredir' options are set according to the
	value of the 'shell' option, unless they have been set before.
	This means that Vim will figure out the values of 'shellpipe' and
	'shellredir' for you, unless you have set them yourself.

6. Set 'updatecount' to zero, if "-n" command argument used

7. Set binary options
	If the "-b" flag was given to Vim, the options for binary editing will
	be set now.  See |-b|.

8. Perform GUI initializations
	Only when starting "gvim", the GUI initializations will be done.  See

9. Read the viminfo file
	If the 'viminfo' option is not empty, the viminfo file is read.  See

10. Read the quickfix file
	If the "-q" flag was given to Vim, the quickfix file is read.  If this
	fails, Vim exits.

11. Open all windows
	When the |-o| flag was given, windows will be opened (but not
	displayed yet).
	When switching screens, it happens now.  Redrawing starts.
	If the "-q" flag was given to Vim, the first error is jumped to.
	Buffers for all windows will be loaded.

12. Execute startup commands
	If a "-t" flag was given to Vim, the tag is jumped to.
	The commands given with the |-c| and |+cmd| arguments are executed.
	If the 'insertmode' option is set, Insert mode is entered.
	The |VimEnter| autocommands are executed.

Some hints on using initializations:

Standard setup:
Create a vimrc file to set the default settings and mappings for all your edit
sessions.  Put it in a place so that it will be found by 3b:
	~/.vimrc	(Unix and OS/2)
	s:.vimrc	(Amiga)
	$VIM\_vimrc	(MS-DOS and Win32)
Note that creating a vimrc file will cause the 'compatible' option to be off
by default.  See |compatible-default|.

Local setup:
Put all commands that you need for editing a specific directory only into a
vimrc file and place it in that directory under the name ".vimrc" ("_vimrc"
for MS-DOS and Win32).  NOTE: To make Vim look for these special files you
have to turn on the option 'exrc'.  See |trojan-horse| too.

System setup:
This only applies if you are managing a Unix system with several users and
want to set the defaults for all users.  Create a vimrc file with commands
for default settings and mappings and put it in the place that is given with
the ":version" command.

Saving the current state of Vim to a file:
Whenever you have changed values of options or when you have created a
mapping, then you may want to save them in a vimrc file for later use.  See
|save-settings| about saving the current state of settings to a file.

Avoiding setup problems for Vi users:
Vi uses the variable EXINIT and the file "~/.exrc".  So if you do not want to
interfere with Vi, then use the variable VIMINIT and the file "vimrc" instead.

Amiga environment variables:
On the Amiga, two types of environment variables exist.  The ones set with the
DOS 1.3 (or later) setenv command are recognized.  See the AmigaDos 1.3
manual.  The environment variables set with the old Manx Set command (before
version 5.0) are not recognized.

MS-DOS line separators:
On MS-DOS-like systems (MS-DOS itself, Win32, and OS/2), Vim assumes that all
the vimrc files have <CR> <NL> pairs as line separators.  This will give
problems if you have a file with only <NL>s and have a line like
":map xx yy^M".  The trailing ^M will be ignored.

When Vim starts, the 'compatible' option is on.  This will be used when Vim
starts its initializations.  But as soon as a user vimrc file is found, or a
vimrc file in the current directory, or the "VIMINIT" environment variable is
set, it will be set to 'nocompatible'.  This has the side effect of setting or
resetting other options (see 'compatible').  But only the options that have
not been set or reset will be changed.  This has the same effect like the
value of 'compatible' had this value when starting Vim.  Note that this
doesn't happen for the system-wide vimrc file.

But there is a side effect of setting or resetting 'compatible' at the moment
a .vimrc file is found: Mappings are interpreted the moment they are
encountered.  This makes a difference when using things like "<CR>".  If the
mappings depend on a certain value of 'compatible', set or reset it before
giving the mapping.

The above behavior can be overridden in these ways:
- If the "-N" command line argument is given, 'nocompatible' will be used,
  even when no vimrc file exists.
- If the "-C" command line argument is given, 'compatible' will be used, even
  when a vimrc file exists.
- If the "-u {vimrc}" argument is used, 'compatible' will be used.
- When the name of the executable ends in "ex", then this works like the "-C"
  argument was given: 'compatible' will be used, even when a vimrc file
  exists.  This has been done to make Vim behave like "ex", when it is started
  as "ex".

Avoiding trojan horses:					*trojan-horse*
While reading the "vimrc" or the "exrc" file in the current directory, some
commands can be disabled for security reasons by setting the 'secure' option.
This is always done when executing the command from a tags file.  Otherwise it
would be possible that you accidentally use a vimrc or tags file that somebody
else created and contains nasty commands.  The disabled commands are the ones
that start a shell, the ones that write to a file, and ":autocmd".  The ":map"
commands are echoed, so you can see which keys are being mapped.
	If you want Vim to execute all commands in a local vimrc file, you
can reset the 'secure' option in the EXINIT or VIMINIT environment variable or
in the global "exrc" or "vimrc" file.  This is not possible in "vimrc" or
"exrc" in the current directory, for obvious reasons.
	On Unix systems, this only happens if you are not the owner of the
vimrc file.  Warning: If you unpack an archive that contains a vimrc or exrc
file, it will be owned by you.  You won't have the security protection.  Check
the vimrc file before you start Vim in that directory, or reset the 'exrc'
option.  Some Unix systems allow a user to do "chown" on a file.  This makes
it possible for another user to create a nasty vimrc and make you the owner.
Be careful!
	When using tag search commands, executing the search command (the last
part of the line in the tags file) is always done in secure mode.  This works
just like executing a command from a vimrc/exrc in the current directory.

If Vim takes a long time to start up, there may be a few causes:
- If the Unix version was compiled with the GUI and/or X11 (check the output
  of ":version" for "+GUI" and "+X11"), it may need to load shared libraries
  and connect to the X11 server.  Try compiling a version with GUI and X11
  disabled.  This also should make the executable smaller.
  Use the |-X| command line argument to avoid connecting to the X server when
  running in a terminal.
- If you have "viminfo" enabled, the loading of the viminfo file may take a
  while.  You can find out if this is the problem by disabling viminfo for a
  moment (use the Vim argument "-i NONE", |-i|).  Try reducing the number of
  lines stored in a register with ":set viminfo='20,<50,s10".  |viminfo-file|.

When Vim starts without a file name, an introductory message is displayed (for
those who don't know what Vim is).  It is removed as soon as the display is
redrawn in any way.  To see the message again, use the ":intro" command (if
there is not enough room, you will see only part of it).
   To avoid the intro message on startup, add the 'I' flag to 'shortmess'.

The |--help| and |--version| arguments cause Vim to print a message and then
exit.  Normally the message is send to stdout, thus can be redirected to a
file with:

	vim --help >file

From inside Vim:

	:read !vim --help

When using gvim, it detects that it might have been started from the desktop,
without a terminal to show messages on.  This is detected when both stdout and
stderr are not a tty.  This breaks the ":read" command, as used in the example
above.  To make it work again, set 'shellredir' to ">" instead of the default

	:set shellredir=>
	:read !gvim --help

This still won't work for systems where gvim does not use stdout at all


The environment variable "$VIM" is used to locate various user files for Vim,
such as the user startup script ".vimrc".  This depends on the system, see

To avoid the need for every user to set the $VIM environment variable, Vim
will try to get the value for $VIM in this order:
1. The value defined by the $VIM environment variable.  You can use this to
   make Vim look in a specific directory for its support files.  Example:
	setenv VIM /home/paul/vim
2. The path from 'helpfile' is used, unless it contains some environment
   variable too (the default is "$VIMRUNTIME/doc/help.txt": chicken-egg
   problem).  The file name ("help.txt" or any other) is removed.  Then
   trailing directory names are removed, in this order: "doc", "runtime" and
   "vim{version}" (e.g., "vim54").
3. For MSDOS, Win32 and OS/2 Vim tries to use the directory name of the
   executable.  If it ends in "/src", this is removed.  This is useful if you
   unpacked the .zip file in some directory, and adjusted the search path to
   find the vim executable.  Trailing directory names are removed, in this
   order: "runtime" and "vim{version}" (e.g., "vim54").
4. For Unix the compile-time defined installation directory is used (see the
   output of ":version").

Once Vim has done this once, it will set the $VIM environment variable.  To
change it later, use a ":let" command like this:
	:let $VIM = "/home/paul/vim/"

The environment variable "$VIMRUNTIME" is used to locate various support
files, such as the on-line documentation and files used for syntax
highlighting.  For example, the main help file is normally
You don't normally set $VIMRUNTIME yourself, but let Vim figure it out.  This
is the order used to find the value of $VIMRUNTIME:
1. If the environment variable $VIMRUNTIME is set, it is used.  You can use
   this when the runtime files are in an unusual location.
2. If "$VIM/vim{version}" exists, it is used.  {version} is the version
   number of Vim, without any '-' or '.'.  For example: "$VIM/vim54".  This is
   the normal value for $VIMRUNTIME.
3. If "$VIM/runtime" exists, it is used.
4. The value of $VIM is used.  This is for backwards compatibility with older
5. When the 'helpfile' option is set and doesn't contain a '$', its value is
   used, with "doc/help.txt" removed from the end.

For Unix, when there is a compiled-in default for $VIMRUNTIME (check the
output of ":version"), steps 2, 3 and 4 are skipped, and the compiled-in
default is used after step 5.  This means that the compiled-in default
overrules the value of $VIM.  This is useful if $VIM is "/etc" and the runtime
files are in "/usr/share/vim/vim54".

Once Vim has done this once, it will set the $VIMRUNTIME environment variable.
To change it later, use a ":let" command like this:
	:let $VIMRUNTIME = "/home/piet/vim/vim54"


6. Suspending						*suspend*

					*iconize* *iconise* *CTRL-Z* *v_CTRL-Z*
CTRL-Z			Suspend Vim, like ":stop".
			Works in Normal and in Visual mode.  In Insert and
			Command-line mode, the CTRL-Z is inserted as a normal
			character.  In Visual mode Vim goes back to Normal

:sus[pend][!]	or			*:sus* *:suspend* *:st* *:stop*
:st[op][!]		Suspend Vim.
			If the '!' is not given and 'autowrite' is set, every
			buffer with changes and a file name is written out.
			If the '!' is given or 'autowrite' is not set, changed
			buffers are not written, don't forget to bring Vim
			back to the foreground later!

In the GUI, suspending is implemented as iconising gvim.  In Windows 95/NT,
gvim is minimized.

On many Unix systems, it is possible to suspend Vim with CTRL-Z.  This is only
possible in Normal and Visual mode (see next chapter, |vim-modes|).  Vim will
continue if you make it the foreground job again.  On other systems, CTRL-Z
will start a new shell.  This is the same as the ":sh" command.  Vim will
continue if you exit from the shell.

In X-windows the selection is disowned when Vim suspends.  this means you
can't paste it in another application (since Vim is going to sleep an attempt
to get the selection would make the program hang).


7. Saving settings					*save-settings*

Mostly you will edit your vimrc files manually.  This gives you the greatest
flexibility.  There are a few commands to generate a vimrc file automatically.
You can use these files as they are, or copy/paste lines to include in another
vimrc file.

							*:mk* *:mkexrc*
:mk[exrc] [file]	Write current key mappings and changed options to
			[file] (default ".exrc" in the current directory),
			unless it already exists.  {not in Vi}

:mk[exrc]! [file]	Always write current key mappings and changed
			options to [file] (default ".exrc" in the current
			directory).  {not in Vi}

							*:mkv* *:mkvimrc*
:mkv[imrc][!] [file]	Like ":mkexrc", but the default is ".vimrc" in the
			current directory.  The ":version" command is also
			written to the file.  {not in Vi}

These commands will write ":map" and ":set" commands to a file, in such a way
that when these commands are executed, the current key mappings and options
will be set to the same values.  The options 'columns', 'endofline',
'fileformat', 'key', 'lines', 'modified', 'scroll', 'term', 'textmode',
'ttyfast' and 'ttymouse' are not included, because these are terminal or file
dependent.  Note that the options 'binary', 'paste' and 'readonly' are
included, this might not always be what you want.

When special keys are used in mappings, The 'cpoptions' option will be
temporarily set to its Vim default, to avoid the mappings to be
misinterpreted.  This makes the file incompatible with Vi, but makes sure it
can be used with different terminals.

Only global mappings are stored, not mappings local to a buffer.

A common method is to use a default ".vimrc" file, make some modifications
with ":map" and ":set" commands and write the modified file.  First read the
default ".vimrc" in with a command like ":source ~piet/.vimrc.Cprogs", change
the settings and then save them in the current directory with ":mkvimrc!".  If
you want to make this file your default .vimrc, move it to your home directory
(on Unix), s: (Amiga) or $VIM directory (MS-DOS).  You could also use
autocommands |autocommand| and/or modelines |modeline|.

If you only want to add a single option setting to your vimrc, you can use
these steps:
1. Edit your vimrc file with Vim.
2. Play with the option until it's right.  E.g., try out different values for
3. Append a line to set the value of the option, using the expression register
   '=' to enter the value.  E.g., for the 'guifont' option:
   o:set guifont=<C-R>=&guifont<CR><Esc>
   [<C-R> is a CTRL-R, <CR> is a return, <Esc> is the escape key]

Note that when you create a .vimrc file, this can influence the 'compatible'
option, which has several side effects.  See |'compatible'|.
":mkvimrc", ":mkexrc" and ":mksession" write the command to set or reset the
'compatible' option to the output file first, because of these side effects.


8. Views and Sessions					*views-sessions*

This is introduced in sections |21.4| and |21.5| of the user manual.

						*View* *view-file*
A View is a collection of settings that apply to one window.  You can save a
View and when you restore it later, the text is displayed in the same way.
The options and mappings in this window will also be restored, so that you can
continue editing like when the View was saved.

						*Session* *session-file*
A Session keeps the Views for all windows, plus the global settings.  You can
save a Session and when you restore it later the window layout looks the same.
You can use a Session to quickly switch between different projects,
automatically loading the files you were last working on in that project.

Views and Sessions are a nice addition to viminfo-files, which are used to
remember information for all Views and Sessions together |viminfo-file|.

You can quickly start editing with a previously saved View or Session with the
|-S| argument:
	vim -S Session.vim
All this is {not in Vi} and {not available when compiled without the
|+mksession| feature}.

							*:mks* *:mksession*
:mks[ession][!] [file]	Write a Vim script that restores the current editing
			When [!] is included an existing file is overwritten.
			When [file] is omitted "Session.vim" is used.

The output of ":mksession" is like ":mkvimrc", but additional commands are
added to the file.  Which ones depends on the 'sessionoptions' option.  The
resulting file, when executed with a ":source" command:
1. Restores global mappings and options, if 'sessionoptions' contains
   "options".  Script-local mappings will not be written.
2. Restores global variables that start with an uppercase letter and contain
   at least one lowercase letter, if 'sessionoptions' contains "globals".
3. Unloads all currently loaded buffers.
4. Restores the current directory if 'sessionoptions' contains "curdir", or
   sets the current directory to where the Session file is if 'sessionoptions'
   contains "sesdir".
5. Restores GUI Vim window position, if 'sessionoptions' contains "winpos".
6. Restores screen size, if 'sessionoptions' contains "resize".
7. Reloads the buffer list, with the last cursor positions.  If
   'sessionoptions' contains "buffers" then all buffers are restored,
   including hidden and unloaded buffers.  Otherwise only buffers in windows
   are restored.
8. Restores all windows with the same layout.  If 'sessionoptions' contains
   contains "help", help windows are restored.  If 'sessionoptions' contains
   "blank", windows editing a buffer without a name will be restored.
   If 'sessionoptions' contains "winsize" and no (help/blank) windows were
   left out, the window sizes are restored (relative to the screen size).
   Otherwise, the windows are just given sensible sizes.
9. Restores the Views for all the windows, as with |:mkview|.  But
   'sessionoptions' is used instead of 'viewoptions'.
10. If a file exists with the same name as the Session file, but ending in
   "x.vim" (for eXtra), executes that as well.  You can use *x.vim files to
   specify additional settings and actions associated with a given Session,
   such as creating menu items in the GUI version.

After restoring the Session, the full filename of your current Session is
available in the internal variable "v:this_session" |this_session-variable|.
An example mapping:
  :nmap <F2> :wa<Bar>exe "mksession! " . v:this_session<CR>:so ~/sessions/
This saves the current Session, and starts off the command to load another.

							*:mkvie* *:mkview*
:mkvie[w][!] [file]	Write a Vim script that restores the contents of the
			current window.
			When [!] is included an existing file is overwritten.
			When [file] is omitted or is a number from 1 to 9, a
			name is generated and 'viewdir' prepended.  When last
			directory name in 'viewdir' does not exist, this
			directory is created.
			An existing file is always overwritten then.  Use
			|:loadview| to load this view again.
			When [file] is the name of a file ('viewdir' is not
			used), a command to edit the file is added to the
			generated file.

The output of ":mkview" contains these items:
1. The argument list used in the window.  When the global argument list is
   used it is reset to the global list.
   The index in the argument list is also restored.
2. The file being edited in the window.  If there is no file, the window is
   made empty.
3. Restore mappings, abbreviations and options local to the window if
   'viewoptions' contains "options" or "localoptions".  For the options it
   restores only values that are local to the current buffer and values local
   to the window.
   When storing the view as part of a session and "options" is in
   'sessionoptions', global values for local options will be stored too.
4. Restore folds when using manual folding and 'viewoptions' contains
   "folds".  Restore manually opened and closed folds.
5. The scroll position and the cursor position in the file.  Doesn't work very
   well when there are closed folds.
6. The local current directory, if it is different from the global current

Note that Views and Sessions are not perfect:
- They don't restore everything.  For example, defined functions, autocommands
  and ":syntax on" are not included.  Things like register contents and
  command line history are in viminfo, not in Sessions or Views.
- Global option values are only set when the differ from the default value.
  When the current value is not the default value, loading a Session will not
  set it back to the default value.  Local options will be set back to the
  default value though.
- Existing mappings will be overwritten without warning.  An existing mapping
  may cause an error for ambiguity.
- When storing manual folds and when storing manually opened/closed folds,
  changes in the file between saving and loading the view will mess it up.
- The Vim script is not very efficient.  But still faster than typing the
  commands yourself!

							*:lo* *:loadview*
:lo[adview] [nr]	Load the view for the current file.  When [nr] is
			omitted, the view stored with ":mkview" is loaded.
			When [nr] is specified, the view stored with ":mkview
			[nr]" is loaded.

The combination of ":mkview" and ":loadview" can be used to store up to ten
different views of a file.  These are remembered in the directory specified
with the 'viewdir' option.  The views are stored using the file name.  If a
file is renamed or accessed through a (symbolic) link the view will not be

You might want to clean up your 'viewdir' directory now and then.

To automatically save and restore views for *.c files:
	au BufWinLeave *.c mkview
	au BufWinEnter *.c silent loadview


9. The viminfo file				*viminfo* *viminfo-file* *E136*

						*E575* *E576* *E577*
If you exit Vim and later start it again, you would normally lose a lot of
information.  The viminfo file can be used to remember that information, which
enables you to continue where you left off.

This is introduced in section |21.3| of the user manual.

The viminfo file is used to store:
- The command line history.
- The search string history.
- The input-line history.
- Contents of registers.
- Marks for several files.
- File marks, pointing to locations in files.
- Last search/substitute pattern (for 'n' and '&').
- The buffer list.
- Global variables.

The viminfo file is not supported when the |+viminfo| feature has been
disabled at compile time.

You could also use a Session file.  The difference is that the viminfo file
does not depend on what you are working on.  There normally is only one
viminfo file.  Session files are used to save the state of a specific editing
Session.  You could have several Session files, one for each project you are
working on.  Viminfo and Session files together can be used to effectively
enter Vim and directly start working in your desired setup. |session-file|

When Vim is started and the 'viminfo' option is non-empty, the contents of
the viminfo file are read and the info can be used in the appropriate places.
The marks are not read in at startup (but file marks are).  See
|initialization| for how to set the 'viminfo' option upon startup.

When Vim exits and 'viminfo' is non-empty, the info is stored in the viminfo
file (it's actually merged with the existing one, if one exists).  The
'viminfo' option is a string containing information about what info should be
stored, and contains limits on how much should be stored (see 'viminfo').

Notes for Unix:
- The file protection for the viminfo file will be set to prevent other users
  from being able to read it, because it may contain any text or commands that
  you have worked with.
- If you want to share the viminfo file with other users (e.g. when you "su"
  to another user), you can make the file writable for the group or everybody.
  Vim will preserve this when writing new viminfo files.  Be careful, don't
  allow just anybody to read and write your viminfo file!
- Vim will not overwrite a viminfo file that is not writable by the current
  "real" user.  This helps for when you did "su" to become root, but your
  $HOME is still set to a normal user's home directory.  Otherwise Vim would
  create a viminfo file owned by root that nobody else can read.

Marks are stored for each file separately.  When a file is read and 'viminfo'
is non-empty, the marks for that file are read from the viminfo file.  NOTE:
The marks are only written when exiting Vim, which is fine because marks are
remembered for all the files you have opened in the current editing session,
unless ":bdel" is used.  If you want to save the marks for a file that you are
about to abandon with ":bdel", use ":wv".  The '[' and ']' marks are not
stored, but the '"'' mark is.  The '"'' mark is very useful for jumping to the
cursor position when the file was last exited.  No marks are saved for files
that start with any string given with the "r" flag in 'viminfo'.  This can be
used to avoid saving marks for files on removable media (for MS-DOS you would
use "ra:,rb:", for Amiga "rdf0:,rdf1:,rdf2:").

Uppercase marks ('A to 'Z) are stored when writing the viminfo file.  The
numbered marks ('0 to '9) are a bit special.  When the viminfo file is written
(when exiting or with the ":wviminfo" command), '0 is set to the current cursor
position and file.  The old '0 is moved to '1, '1 to '2, etc.  This
resembles what happens with the "1 to "9 delete registers.  If the current
cursor position is already present in '0 to '9, it is moved to '0, to avoid
having the same position twice.  The result is that with "'0", you can jump
back to the file and line where you exited Vim.  To do that right away, try
using this command:

	vim -c "normal '0"

In a shell you could make an alias for it:

	alias lvim vim -c '"'normal "'"0'"'

Use the "r" flag in 'viminfo' to specify for which files no marks should be

VIMINFO FILE NAME					*viminfo-file-name*

- The default name of the viminfo file is "$HOME/.viminfo" for Unix and OS/2,
  "s:.viminfo" for Amiga, "$HOME\_viminfo" for MS-DOS and Win32.  For the last
  two, when $HOME is not set, "$VIM\_viminfo" is used.  When $VIM is also not
  set, "c:\_viminfo" is used.  For OS/2 "$VIM/.viminfo" is used when $HOME is
  not set and $VIM is set.
- The 'n' flag in the 'viminfo' option can be used to specify another viminfo
  file name |'viminfo'|.
- The "-i" Vim argument can be used to set another file name, |-i|.  When the
  file name given is "NONE" (all uppercase), no viminfo file is ever read or
  written.  Also not for the commands below!
- For the commands below, another file name can be given, overriding the
  default and the name given with 'viminfo' or "-i" (unless it's NONE).

CHARACTER ENCODING					*viminfo-encoding*

The text in the viminfo file is encoded as specified with the 'encoding'
option.  Normally you will always work with the same 'encoding' value, and
this works just fine.  However, if you read the viminfo file with another
value for 'encoding' than what it was written with, some of the text
(non-ASCII characters) may be invalid.  If this is unacceptable, add the 'c'
flag to the 'viminfo' option:
	:set viminfo+=c
Vim will then attempt to convert the text in the viminfo file from the
'encoding' value it was written with to the current 'encoding' value.  This
requires Vim to be compiled with the |+iconv| feature.  Filenames are not


Two commands can be used to read and write the viminfo file manually.  This
can be used to exchange registers between two running Vim programs: First
type ":wv" in one and then ":rv" in the other.  Note that if the register
already contained something, then ":rv!" would be required.  Also note
however that this means everything will be overwritten with information from
the first Vim, including the command line history, etc.

The viminfo file itself can be edited by hand too, although we suggest you
start with an existing one to get the format right.  It is reasonably
self-explanatory once you're in there.  This can be useful in order to
create a second file, say "~/.my_viminfo" which could contain certain
settings that you always want when you first start Vim.  For example, you
can preload registers with particular data, or put certain commands in the
command line history.  A line in your .vimrc file like
	:rviminfo! ~/.my_viminfo
can be used to load this information.  You could even have different viminfos
for different types of files (e.g., C code) and load them based on the file
name, using the ":autocmd" command (see |:autocmd|).

When Vim detects an error while reading a viminfo file, it will not overwrite
that file.  If there are more than 10 errors, Vim stops reading the viminfo
file.  This was done to avoid accidentally destroying a file when the file
name of the viminfo file is wrong.  This could happen when accidentally typing
"vim -i file" when you wanted "vim -R file" (yes, somebody accidentally did
that!).  If you want to overwrite a viminfo file with an error in it, you will
either have to fix the error, or delete the file (while Vim is running, so
most of the information will be restored).

						   *:rv* *:rviminfo* *E195*
:rv[iminfo][!] [file]	Read from viminfo file [file] (default: see above).
			If [!] is given, then any information that is
			already set (registers, marks, etc.) will be
			overwritten.  {not in Vi}

					*:wv* *:wviminfo* *E137* *E138* *E574*
:wv[iminfo][!] [file]	Write to viminfo file [file] (default: see above).
			The information in the file is first read in to make
			a merge between old and new info.  When [!] is used,
			the old information is not read first, only the
			internal info is written.  If 'viminfo' is empty, marks
			for up to 100 files will be written.
			When you get error "E138: Can't write viminfo file"
			check that no old temp files were left behind (e.g.
			~/.viminf*) and that you can write in the directory of
			the .viminfo file.
			{not in Vi}

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