Last Updated: January 26, 2021
· jaredonline

Switch from SublimeText/TextMate to Vim

It's not as hard as you think, and the benefits are amazing. You only need three resources:

  1. MacVim - Vim on steroids... for the Mac. Most importantly, it gives you the mouse, arrow keys and Apple keyboard shortcuts back.

  2. Janus - A bundle of plugins that make Vim really easy to use and quite similar to ST/TM (like comman+T to jump to a file, or Shift+Command+F to search the project).

  3. PragProg's Practical Vim - A great intro and in depth set of lessons to learn Vim.

You'll experience a week or two of slightly less productive programming, but after that time, you're ability to edit text will soar.

If you ever work on servers, you'll now have the same text editing experience on the server as on your desktop, no need to switch contexts.

Give it a try!

8 Responses
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Sublime Text 2 also has a vim plugin. Is there anything missing from it that makes it very 'un-vim?'

over 1 year ago ·

Sumblime Text 2 uses their macro/key-binding system to emulate Vim behavior, but it's not Vim. After switching from ST2 to Vim, I tried to go back. In my experience, the Vim keybindings in ST2 were just plain slow. There was noticeable lag between when I'd push "dd" and have the line disappear.

It's also not a full implementation. It was a few months ago that I tried to switch back to ST2, so I don't remember all the details, but several commands weren't working so I didn't stick around too long.

over 1 year ago ·

I'm a Vim user, have been for many years. It's my go-to editor for most things. However, I spend most of my day in ST2 now. The one key feature that ST2 has that keeps me from going back to Vim on a regular basis is the multiple cursor. I don't know a good way of accomplishing this Vim. I can use CTRL+SHIFT+V to get a column based cursor, but it's somewhat rare that I need column-based editing. It's more likely that I want to use the multiple cursor feature for pattern-based editing.

over 1 year ago ·

Hey jacaetevha, have you seen Vim Multiple Cursors?

over 1 year ago ·
over 1 year ago ·

@vetal4eg Thanks! Definitely will check this out.

over 1 year ago ·

as someone who just made the switch from janus to vundle i'd highly recommend using vundle to manage your vim plugins. way more simpler and keeps you in control as your jedi skills grow

over 1 year ago ·

Check out It is like vim combined with TextMate and Sublime. Pretty slick.

over 1 year ago ·