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vim.help: An online mirror of Vim's help, adapted for a better reading experience 📖✨

cheapglitch profile image cheap glitch ・2 min read

Hello, fellow Vim users!

Vim has a fantastic built-in documentation, but it's often overlooked even by long-time users. I've used Vim exclusively for the past six years or so myself, and I didn't know until recently that it contained a complete, beginner-friendly user manual (betcha you didn't know that too!)

But monospace text in a terminal makes for a poor reading experience, and you don't always have access to Vim either. There already exists a mirror of the doc online, but it's not much more than plain black text on a white background with a few hyperlinks.

vim.help takes the idea a bit further and try to make Vim's documentation more pleasant and efficient to browse and peruse. The text has been formatted towards improving legibility, there's also a few display options available (including several dark & light colorschemes), and I'm working on adding search capabilities and improving navigation.

Before and after

Left: in Vim, right: on vim.help

Turns out parsing the raw help files was much trickier than I first anticipated, but writing a parser was a lot of fun too! The result is not yet perfect, as there are still plenty of edge cases to catch, so contributions are welcomed!

GitHub logo cheap-glitch / vim.help

📔 A mirror of Vim’s built-in documentation, adapted and improved for the web.

Notes:

  • For now, only the user manual is available, as almost each page of the reference manual need a special parser to really be made legible on a web page. Again, contributions are welcomed!
  • In keeping with the leanness and speed of Vim, I chose against using tools like VuePress, Hexo, mdBook et al. and so the build chain is purposefully basic and the site very bare-bone.

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