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Top 15 Best Vim Plugins for Programmers and Developers

Now, before we dive into the most used and popular Vim plugins, let us first understand what Vim really is. Basically, Vim is just another text editor that we can use to write and edit the text, just like Sublime Text, which we commonly use for Windows or Mac, or even Notepad that we use for Windows. Vim allows efficient text editing, and it is sometimes even considered as an entire IDE for programmers. Editing existing code for software engineers becomes very time-consuming and mundane. Since Vim is all about efficiency, it allows us to handle repetitive tasks using existing keyboard shortcuts or even customize and create our own.

Vim is one of the oldest text editors, yet it is still going strong! It is full-grown, steady, and expandable, with all the ground-breaking plugins accessible everywhere throughout the web. What a Vim plugin does is that it helps to extend the functionality of Vim by supercharging our workflow with it.

A vim plugin is basically a plethora of Vimscript records spread out in a specific catalog structure. Vim plugins were typically circulated as tarballs before the plugin managers got famous among people.

Vim plugins incorporate additional features in Vim – those that are not native to the editor. On account of Vim, there are various plugins accessible for a wide range of purposes. Truth be told, plugins are perhaps the most grounded purpose of Vim.

01. Nerd-tree

nerdtreeOne of the widely used vim plugins includes Nerd-tree. This works best while working for bigger ventures or projects as it tends to be elusive to find the name and area of the one document that incorporates the one line you have to alter.

Thus, using this plugin, you can perform basic file system operations, easily browse through complex catalog chains of importance and even peruse and alter documents at whatever point you need by rapidly opening those records.

With a brisk keystroke, an explorer window opens in a vertical split, and you can, without much of a stretch, peruse to the record you need and open it. It is an absolute necessity for huge assortments of code. And then again, also for those individuals who find it hard to remember filenames.

Get Nerd-tree

02. MatchIt

matchitThis Vim plugin allows us to make matches between characters, strings, words, and even regular expressions. MatchIt expands the current usefulness of the “%” key (percent key). The original “%” key enables you to hop between different sets of characters and some programming constructs. For instance, it hops between sets of enclosure ( )’s, { }’s, [ ]’s.

MatchIt vim plugin expands this usefulness. It adds support to the cycle between if, else if, else, endif catchphrases in different programming dialects. Another improvement it has made is the capacity to discover sets of HTML labels, for example, <p> … </p>.

Get MatchIt

03. Tag list

taglistWhile programming in a file of any critical size, losing track of where you are and thus winding up and down looking for something specific is anything but difficult. Here comes the Tag list plugin as your savior. With the Tag List plugin, you can just type: Tlist and get a vertical split with variables, types, classes, and functions that you can, without much of a stretch, bounce to.

Get Tag list

04. Vim rainbow

vim_rainbowAlmost all major programming languages use brackets for different intents and purposes – square, round and curly brackets. Frequently it is the case that brackets are used as multiple pairs installed inside one another. This, sometimes, becomes very hectic to understand with closing bracket belongs to which opening bracket.

Here comes the Vim Rainbow plugin to the rescue as it gives each pair of brackets a different shade of color, thereby making it super easy and fun to handle. Hence, it is anything but difficult to recognize which brackets belong to one another. It’s exceptionally helpful and extremely vivid, as well.

Get Vim Rainbow

05. Nerd commenter

nerd_commenterNerd commenter is one of the most useful vim plugins and what it basically does is a comment on a particular area of code. If you select a code and press Leader+cc, your code will be commented on. For uncommenting,  press Leader+cn, and your code will be uncommented. This adds a useful asset to your work process, permitting you to remark out just as remark in lines exceptionally quick.

Get Nerd commenter

06. Gitgutter

gitgutterGitgutter is a very famous and widely used Vim plugin by top programmers. The Gitgutter plugin prepares a column beside the line numbers (on the left side of the screen) that displays lines (along with signs) that were added (+), altered (~), or eliminated (-). The signs and line highlights are fully customizable using Gitgutter.

Moreover, Gitgutter also allows users to jump quickly between blocks of changed lines called “hunks”. We can also display stage, as well as undo singular hunks, and stage partial hunks. The module additionally gives a hunk content item and consistently guarantees the signs are forward-thinking.

Get Gitgutter 

07. Lightline

lightlineOne of the best Vim plugins includes Lightline. Several users prefer lightline as a plugin to replace their default status line, even though there are a lot of other plugins that are available which works in the same way. However, Lightline provides a more vivid and attractive bar to work with.

This particular Vim plugin provides light as well as a configurable status line (also called tab line) for Vim. Not only does it lay out several color schemes to match the editor color scheme, but it also replaces vim’s dull and monotonous retro-looking status bar with a much prettier and colorful one.

Get Lightline

08. Auto pairs

auto_pairsAuto Pairs is one of the common Vim plugins used by users. This specific one is used to insert and delete pairs of characters, such as brackets, parentheses, or even quotation marks.

It is very helpful for programmers to use Auto Pairs during coding as most of the programming languages use several pairs of characters in their syntax, for instance, parentheses for function calls or quotation marks for string definitions. Also, auto pairs place the corresponding closing character when we type an opening character.

Get Auto Pairs

09. Ack


Ack is one of the popular Vim plugins used by programmers all over the world. This specific plugin basically acts as a search tool for programmers while coding in Vim. Every now and then, we would like to search for a particular file containing a specific line or even just a word, and ack is just the right plugin for Vim users.

Not only does it allow us to search files within Vim, but it also displays results in a separate and split window for our betterment. Above all, it also shows the line number of the occurrence, once for each occurrence.

Get Ack

10. Vim fugitive

vim_fugitiveVim Fugitive is one of the best Vim plugins used by top programmers, and it is created by Tim Pope. It is a very useful plugin for us as it is the best Git wrapper of all time which lets us carry out Git commands directly from Vim and also integrates with Vim’s interface. Everything in Vim is reversible within vim buffer using Vim Fugitive.

Some of the commands of Fugitive are:

  • :Gstatus – Bring up an improvised version of git status.
  • :Gwrite – Stages the present record to the file.
  • :Gremove – Deletes the current file and the corresponding Vim buff
  • :Gread – Reverts current file to last checked.
  • :Gmove – Renames the present record and the relating Vim buff

Get Vim Fugitive

11. Fzf

fzfFzf (also called ‘fuzzy finder’) is an interactive Unix filter for command-line and is not a Vim plugin itself. It can be used with any list. The lists are like files, command history, hostnames, bookmarks, processes,  git commits, and so on. For Vim, the official assortment only gives the basic wrapper function.

It depends on the users what commands they want to enter with it. It is one of the best plugins to use because it is Portable, with no dependencies. Then again, it is blazingly quick. Fzf has one of the most comprehensive features set with a Flexible layout, and there are batteries included.

Get Fzf 

12. ALE

aleALE (also called as ‘Asynchronous Lint Engine’) is one of the best Vim plugins. ALE provides syntax checking and semantic errors (an error in logic or arithmetic that must be detected in run time) while you edit your text files, which is called “linting” in NeoVim 0.2.0+ and Vim 8. It acts as a Vim Language Server convention customer.

ALE can convey required help for fixing code writings with order line instruments utilizing a non-blocking way with the: ALEFix feature. It is likewise ready to help devices in numerous dialects, similar to model: prettier, autopep8, eslint, and some more.

Get ALE 

13. Vim surround

vim surroundVim Surround (used as ‘Surround.vim’) is another frequently used Vim plugin. This plugin is all about “surroundings” mostly used for parentheses, brackets, quotes, XML tags, and many more. The plugin is able to provide mappings to edit, delete, change and add such surroundings in pairs as a command.

This plugin is very useful for editing HTML and XML. Using this plugin, the task of adding, changing, and removing pairs of tags simultaneously is very comfortable and lenient.

Example: If we Press ‘cs’, it will be able to transform the text,


” Vim Plugin!”


‘ Vim Plugin!’

Get Vim Surround

14. Vim-multiple-cursors

multiple cursorsVim-multiple-cursors is a very useful Vim plugin for selecting multiple texts at a time and also a great attempt to increase the use of multiple text selection. Already there were numerous endeavors seen at presenting to Sublime Text’s splendid various determination highlights into Vim. As for use with full functionality and tools, it requires vim 7.4 or newer.

For an existing Vim user, no plugin has so far been a trusted port other than Vim-Multiple-cursors, as it is quite easy to use yet powerful and also intuitive enough. It even works on Mac OS, where it is known as MacVim.

Get Vim-multiple-cursors

15. Solarized

solarized‘Solarized’ is a shading palette that includes 16 hues (eight monotones, eight complement hues) intended for use with terminal and GUI applications and Vim. This Vim plugin has several singular and incom[arable properties with various collections of themes. These color palettes in the themes are sometimes exactly the same as in Solarized.

Some highlight groups are seen slightly differently due to various text colors. One of the latest solarized plugins for Vim is Solarized 8: True colors. This is a Solarized topic for Vim, set somewhere between the first Solarized and the Flattened variation module.

Get Solarized

Final Thoughts

The ultra-stable feature of Vim plugins is probably the best part of the Vim plugin feature. With each new plugin coming out every other day, you can improve your experience using Vim tremendously. Not only has a vim plugin made our jobs easier while working on Vim, but it has also made things very interesting and appealing.

These were only some of our picks of the various vim plugins available out there. We hope that it was helpful to you in some way. Please do not forget to share our article and help others with this knowledge.

Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan is a passionate enthusiast for technology. He admires all things tech and loves to help others understand the fundamentals of Linux, servers, networking, and computer security in an understandable way without overwhelming beginners. His articles are carefully crafted with this goal in mind - making complex topics more accessible.



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