Get VI in your favourite IDE or code editor

Post published 11 months ago - Suggest Changes

After getting started with (Neo)VI(m), you noticed that it was the best thing you learned in your developer life. All are getting so easy and so fast, that you have the feeling to code faster than ever. But for your job, or school purposes, you have to use an IDE like Visual Studio or even Jetbrains IDEs. But even if it looks unbelievable, it is possible to use VIM without your own favourite IDE or code editor.

What's VI(M)?

Vi, Vim, or Neovim is a text editor mainly used on Unix systems. It is often known together with its rival cousin Emacs. Or maybe you have already heard the famous $25 million question about leaving the editor? Many people only swear by the supremacy of VIM, although it is a very little used editor, a fork more or less known by our generation has been created: Neovim. It has considerable additions and improvements. VIM is a fully configurable editor, from themes to LSPs. It is both a powerful tool and customized to your taste. Although it is complicated to start with the tool, learning VIM is bound to benefit you in the furthest ways.

VI official website

My personal experience with VI

Although I am a mostly Windows-based user, I had the opportunity to use Linux for my studies and still do. Although most people use big IDEs like Intellij IDEA or Visual Studio at school, very few people except old-school teachers use code editors like VI or Emacs. Once I installed the code editor on my Linux system, my first steps were catastrophic. Coding using only my keyboard? Moving between lines of code without the directional arrows? The shortcuts and movements were complicated to master directly. Even today, I'm learning super efficient moves that make my life easier now. Although I'm not a guru VI user yet, I'm very proud to have mastered the editor and to be able to benefit from its many advantages. I've even had the opportunity to improve with my own hands and create my plugins, isn't that great? But we can't use this incredible code editor all the time, at the university, for example, we are led to use Intellij IDEA exclusively and completely and to abandon our code editors, that's why extensions have been created to be able to find our friend wherever we go.

VIM on Visual Studio Code

  1. Open Visual Studio Code
  2. Go to the Extensions tab (CTRL+SHIFT+X)
  3. Search for vim in the Marketplace search bar
  4. Select the first one by vscodevim with more than 4M downloads
  5. Click on the Install button Now you have the power of VI directly in your favorite editor Visual Studio Code, you can even type the commands :q :w.

VI on Jetbrains IDEs

  1. Open your IDE through Jetbrains (Intellij IDEA, Rider, Goland, PHPStorm, WebStorm, DataGrip, etc.)
  2. Click on the File menu at the top left.
  3. Then select Settings (CTRL+ALT+S)
  4. Select Plugins.
  5. Search for IdeaVim in the search bar by selecting the Marketplace tab
  6. Choose the very first one by Jetbrains s.r.o.
  7. Restart your IDE Now you have the same power on your Jetbrains product, enjoy the mix of power that these two tools offer with harmony.

VI on Visual Studio


This concludes this article on installing VI in your favorite editors and IDEs. It is a side article that will participate in the next article on how to install and prepare its workspace to develop with the dotnet ecosystem and especially the C# language on your daily projects. Stay tuned.