VIM Editor on Windows


How to install VIM Editor on Windows

The VIM editor is considered the original rock under Linux and Unix and is the standard editor under POSIX, even Mac OS X gives us the VIM editor, which can be called from the terminal.

Vim (Vi IMproved) is an evolution of the vi. The free open source program was released in 1991 by Bram Moolenaar. A powerful syntax highlight editor, widely used by developers when working with code and scripts, who works with Regex expressions has a versatile tool with VIM, which is now more advanced editor is available for almost any operating system.

Unix admins who work with Windows do not have to do without the usual editor, here you can also help with VIM for Windows. To install the VIM editor on Windows, the best obtained way is to get from with Download – PC: MS-DOS and MS-Windows. Who wants to can perform the installation automatically with the Self-installing executable Binary. If you prefer, copy the Runtime files and the Win32 console executable itself into the path C:\Program Files (x86)\vim\vim80.

VIM configuration file vimrc

The VIM configuration takes place via environment variables. The entries are inserted with the key Windows+X under System -> Advanced System Settings -> environment variables. Then under System Variables the path is added, here it is C:\Program Files (x86)\vim. Then add the variable VIM, as the value is entered „C:\Program Files (x86)\vim“.

VIM Editor on Windows, VIM system variables
VIM system variables

The configuration file_vimrcmust come to the program folder under C:\Program Files (x86)\vim. This according to the value of the environment variable – VIM. If user setting, the file under the user profile path is at %USERPROFILE%.

With a symlink on VIM, the vi command becomes available. To do this, mklink from an administrator opened command prompt, use the Win + R = cmd key.

mklink %systemroot%\System32\vi.exe "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\vim\vim80\vim.exe"

For example: _vimrc (starting with underscore) must be for all users under C:\Program Files (x86)\vim. If user settings are to apply place _vimrc to %USERPROFILE%.

" Maintainer:Don Matteo <>
" Last change:2016 Dec 26
" To use it, copy it to
"     for Unix and OS/2:  ~/.vimrc
"      for Amiga:  s:.vimrc
"  for MS-DOS and Win32:  $VIM\_vimrc
"    for OpenVMS:  sys$login:.vimrc
" When started as "evim", evim.vim will already have done these settings.
if v:progname =~? "evim"
" Use Vim settings, rather than Vi settings (much better!).
" This must be first, because it changes other options as a side effect.
set nocompatible
" allow backspacing over everything in insert mode
set backspace=indent,eol,start
" shortmess=aoOtI
set cmdheight=2
set history=50
set ruler
set incsearch
set number
set wildmenu
set showcmd
set hlsearch
set ignorecase
set smartcase
set autoindent
set laststatus=2
set visualbell
set t_vb=
set shell=powershell
set shellcmdflag=-command
syntax on
color industry
" For Win32 GUI: remove 't' flag from 'guioptions': no tearoff menu entries
" let &guioptions = substitute(&guioptions, "t", "", "g")
" Don't use Ex mode, use Q for formatting
map Q gq
" CTRL-U in insert mode deletes a lot.  Use CTRL-G u to first break undo,
" so that you can undo CTRL-U after inserting a line break.
inoremap  u
" In many terminal emulators the mouse works just fine, thus enable it.
if has('mouse')
  set mouse=a
if has("gui_running")
  " Set a nicer font
  set guifont=Consolas:h11:cDEFAULT
  " Hide the toolbar
  set guioptions-=T
  " GUI is running or is about to start.
  " Maximize gvim window (for an alternative on Windows, see simalt below).
  set lines=38 columns=133
  " This is console Vim.
  if exists("+lines")
    set lines=45
  if exists("+columns")
    set columns=110

Tip: With a Windows Explorer context menu extension you can create an open with VIM Editor menu entry. This procedure is shown in my Post Explorer Expand Context Menu.

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