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Chapter 14: Plugins

Here’s an overview of some of the most popular Vim plugins.


Pathogen is a plugin manager for Vim. It automatically sources all of the files that come with a plugin.

Once you have Pathogen installed, simply put your plugins in ~/.vim/bundle to have them sourced.


SuperTab is a great plugin for text completion. Vim comes with text completion built in, but SuperTab is much more intuitive – you simply press tab to autocomplete.

Vim Surround

Vim Surround provides mappings to easily add, modify, or delete characters that surround words like (, [, ', and ". This comes in handy all the time when writing code.


Eunuch.vim provides useful ex commands for Vim like :Remove and :Move.

Rails Vim

If you’re writing Rails apps with Vim then Rails Vim is indispensable. It provides ex commands to help you quickly open the right file from anywhere within your app, among many other features.

Vim Airline

Vim Airline makes your status line more useful. For example it changes colors depending on what mode you are in. It’s also highly configurable.


Tmux isn’t a Vim plugin, but it needs mentioning because it works so well with Vim.

Tmux is a terminal multiplexer, meaning that it allows you to have multiple terminal sessions running in one terminal window. It provides keystroke mappings to open, close, and cycle through terminal windows. I highly recommend checking it out if you want to improve your virtual workspace.

Tmux, like Vim, is highly configurable. Between Tmux and Vim, you may never need to use your mouse again while coding.

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