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gui.txt       For Vim version 9.1.  Last change: 2024 May 11

                  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Bram Moolenaar

Vim's Graphical User Interface                          gui GUI

1. Starting the GUI             gui-start
2. Scrollbars                   gui-scrollbars
3. Mouse Control                gui-mouse
4. Making GUI Selections        gui-selections
5. Menus                        menus
6. Font                         gui-font
7. Extras                       gui-extras
8. Shell Commands               gui-shell

Other GUI documentation:
gui_x11.txt   For specific items of the X11 GUI.
gui_w32.txt   For specific items of the Win32 GUI.

1. Starting the GUI                             gui-start E229 E233

First you must make sure you actually have a version of Vim with the GUI code
included.  You can check this with the ":version" command, it says "with xxx
GUI", where "xxx" is X11-Motif, Photon, GTK2, GTK3, etc., or
"MS-Windows 32 bit GUI version".

How to start the GUI depends on the system used.  Mostly you can run the
GUI version of Vim with:
    gvim [options] [files...]

The X11 version of Vim can run both in GUI and in non-GUI mode.  See

                        gui-init gvimrc .gvimrc _gvimrc $MYGVIMRC
The gvimrc file is where GUI-specific startup commands should be placed.  It
is always sourced after the vimrc file.  If you have one then the $MYGVIMRC
environment variable has its name.

When the GUI starts up initializations are carried out, in this order:
- The 'term' option is set to "builtin_gui" and terminal options are reset to
  their default value for the GUI terminal-options.
- If the system menu file exists, it is sourced.  The name of this file is
  normally "$VIMRUNTIME/menu.vim".  You can check this with ":version".  Also
  see $VIMRUNTIME.  To skip loading the system menu include 'M' in
  'guioptions'.                         buffers-menu no_buffers_menu
  The system menu file includes a "Buffers" menu.  If you don't want this, set
  the "no_buffers_menu" variable in your .vimrc (not .gvimrc!):
        :let no_buffers_menu = 1
  NOTE: Switching on syntax highlighting also loads the menu file, thus
  disabling the Buffers menu must be done before ":syntax on".
  The path names are truncated to 35 characters.  You can truncate them at a
  different length, for example 50, like this:
        :let bmenu_max_pathlen = 50
- If the "-U {gvimrc}" command-line option has been used when starting Vim,
  the {gvimrc} file will be read for initializations.  The following
  initializations are skipped.  When {gvimrc} is "NONE" no file will be read
  for initializations.
- For Unix and MS-Windows, if the system gvimrc exists, it is sourced.  The
  name of this file is normally "$VIM/gvimrc".  You can check this with
  ":version".  Also see $VIM.
- The following are tried, and only the first one that exists is used:
  - If the GVIMINIT environment variable exists and is not empty, it is
    executed as an Ex command.
  - If the user gvimrc file exists, it is sourced.  The name of this file is
    normally "$HOME/.gvimrc".  You can check this with ":version".
  - For Win32, $HOME is set by Vim if needed, see $HOME-windows.
  - When a "_gvimrc" file is not found, ".gvimrc" is tried too.  And vice
  - On Unix, if "~/.config/vim/gvimrc" or "$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/vim/gvimrc"
    exists, it is sourced.  You can check this with ":version".
  The name of the first file found is stored in $MYGVIMRC, unless it was
  already set.
- If the 'exrc' option is set (which is NOT the default) the file ./.gvimrc
  is sourced, if it exists and isn't the same file as the system or user
  gvimrc file.  If this file is not owned by you, some security restrictions
  apply.  When ".gvimrc" is not found, "_gvimrc" is tried too.  For Macintosh
  and DOS/Win32 "_gvimrc" is tried first.

NOTE: All but the first one are not carried out if Vim was started with
"-u NONE" or "-u DEFAULTS" and no "-U" argument was given, or when started
with "-U NONE".

All this happens AFTER the normal Vim initializations, like reading your
.vimrc file.  See initialization.
But the GUI window is only opened after all the initializations have been
carried out.  If you want some commands to be executed just after opening the
GUI window, use the GUIEnter autocommand event.  Example:
        :autocmd GUIEnter * winpos 100 50

You can use the gvimrc files to set up your own customized menus (see :menu)
and initialize other things that you may want to set up differently from the
terminal version.

Recommended place for your personal GUI initializations:
        Unix                $HOME/.gvimrc or $HOME/.vim/gvimrc
        Win32               $HOME/_gvimrc, $HOME/vimfiles/gvimrc
                            or $VIM/_gvimrc
        Amiga               s:.gvimrc, home:.gvimrc, home:vimfiles:gvimrc
                            or $VIM/.gvimrc
        Haiku               $HOME/config/settings/vim/gvimrc

The personal initialization files are searched in the order specified above
and only the first one that is found is read.

There are a number of options which only have meaning in the GUI version of
Vim.  These are 'guicursor''guifont''guipty' and 'guioptions'.  They are
documented in options.txt with all the other options.

If using the Motif version of the GUI (but not for the GTK+ or
Win32 version), a number of X resources are available.  See gui-resources.

Another way to set the colors for different occasions is with highlight
groups.  The "Normal" group is used to set the background and foreground
colors.  Example (which looks nice):

        :highlight Normal guibg=grey90

The "guibg" and "guifg" settings override the normal background and
foreground settings.  The other settings for the Normal highlight group are
not used.  Use the 'guifont' option to set the font.

Also check out the 'guicursor' option, to set the colors for the cursor in
various modes.

Vim tries to make the window fit on the screen when it starts up.  This avoids
that you can't see part of it.  On the X Window System this requires a bit of
guesswork.  You can change the height that is used for the window title and a
task bar with the 'guiheadroom' option.

                                                :winp :winpos E188
                Display current position of the top left corner of the GUI vim
                window in pixels.  Does not work in all versions.
                Also see getwinpos()getwinposx() and getwinposy().

:winp[os] {X} {Y}                                                       E466
                Put the GUI vim window at the given {X} and {Y} coordinates.
                The coordinates should specify the position in pixels of the
                top left corner of the window.  Does not work in all versions.
                Does work in an (new) xterm xterm-color.
                When the GUI window has not been opened yet, the values are
                remembered until the window is opened.  The position is
                adjusted to make the window fit on the screen (if possible).

                                            :wi :win :winsize E465
:win[size] {width} {height}
                Set the window height to {width} by {height} characters.
                It is recommended to use :set lines=11 columns=22 instead,
                since it's easy to see what the numbers mean.
                If you get less lines than expected, check the 'guiheadroom'

If you are running the X Window System, you can get information about the
window Vim is running in with these commands:
        :!xwininfo -id $WINDOWID
        :!xprop -id $WINDOWID
        :execute '!xwininfo -id ' .. v:windowid
        :execute '!xprop -id ' .. v:windowid

                                                        gui-IME iBus
Input methods for international characters in X that rely on the XIM
framework, most notably iBus, have been known to produce undesirable results
in gvim. These may include an inability to enter spaces, or long delays
between typing a character and it being recognized by the application.

One workaround that has been successful, for unknown reasons, is to prevent
gvim from forking into the background by starting it with the -f argument.

2. Scrollbars                                           gui-scrollbars

There are vertical scrollbars and a horizontal scrollbar.  You may
configure which ones appear with the 'guioptions' option.

The interface looks like this (with ":set guioptions=mlrb"):

                       | File  Edit              Help | <- Menu bar (m) 
                       |^|                          |^| 
                       |#| Text area.               |#| 
                       | |                          | | 
 Normal status line -> |-+ File.c              5,2  +-| 
 between Vim windows   |^|""""""""""""""""""""""""""|^| 
                       | |                          | | 
                       | | Another file buffer.     | | 
                       | |                          | | 
                       |#|                          |#| 
 Left scrollbar (l) -> |#|                          |#| <- Right 
                       |#|                          |#|    scrollbar (r) 
                       | |                          | | 
                       |v|                          |v| 
                       | |< ####                   >| | <- Bottom 
                       +-+--------------------------+-+    scrollbar (b) 

Any of the scrollbar or menu components may be turned off by not putting the
appropriate letter in the 'guioptions' string.  The bottom scrollbar is
only useful when 'nowrap' is set.

VERTICAL SCROLLBARS                                     gui-vert-scroll

Each Vim window has a scrollbar next to it which may be scrolled up and down
to move through the text in that buffer.  The size of the scrollbar-thumb
indicates the fraction of the buffer which can be seen in the window.
When the scrollbar is dragged all the way down, the last line of the file
will appear in the top of the window.

If a window is shrunk to zero height (by the growth of another window) its
scrollbar disappears.  It reappears when the window is restored.

If a window is vertically split, it will get a scrollbar when it is the
current window and when, taking the middle of the current window and drawing a
vertical line, this line goes through the window.
When there are scrollbars on both sides, and the middle of the current window
is on the left half, the right scrollbar column will contain scrollbars for
the rightmost windows.  The same happens on the other side.

HORIZONTAL SCROLLBARS                                   gui-horiz-scroll

The horizontal scrollbar (at the bottom of the Vim GUI) may be used to
scroll text sideways when the 'wrap' option is turned off.  The
scrollbar-thumb size is such that the text of the longest visible line may be
scrolled as far as possible left and right.  The cursor is moved when
necessary, it must remain on a visible character (unless 'virtualedit' is

Computing the length of the longest visible line takes quite a bit of
computation, and it has to be done every time something changes.  If this
takes too much time or you don't like the cursor jumping to another line,
include the 'h' flag in 'guioptions'.  Then the scrolling is limited by the
text of the current cursor line.

If you have an Intellimouse and an X server that supports using the wheel,
then you can use the wheel to scroll the text up and down in gvim.  This works
with XFree86 4.0 and later, and with some older versions when you add patches.
See scroll-mouse-wheel.

For older versions of XFree86 you must patch your X server.  The following
page has a bit of information about using the Intellimouse on Linux as well as
links to the patches and X server binaries (may not have the one you need

3. Mouse Control                                        gui-mouse

The mouse only works if the appropriate flag in the 'mouse' option is set.
When the GUI is switched on, and 'mouse' wasn't set yet, the 'mouse' option is
automatically set to "a", enabling it for all modes except for the
hit-enter prompt.  If you don't want this, a good place to change the
'mouse' option is the "gvimrc" file.

Other options that are relevant:
'mousefocus'    window focus follows mouse pointer gui-mouse-focus
'mousemodel'    what mouse button does which action
'mousehide'     hide mouse pointer while typing text
'mousemoveevent' enable mouse move events so that <MouseMove> can be mapped
'selectmode'    whether to start Select mode or Visual mode

A quick way to set these is with the ":behave" command.
                                                        :behave :be
:be[have] {model}       Set behavior for mouse and selection.  Valid
                        arguments are:
                           mswin        MS-Windows behavior
                           xterm        Xterm behavior

                        Using ":behave" changes these options:
                        option          mswin                   xterm
                        'selectmode'    "mouse,key"             ""
                        'mousemodel'    "popup"                 "extend"
                        'keymodel'      "startsel,stopsel"      ""
                        'selection'     "exclusive"             "inclusive"

In the $VIMRUNTIME directory, there is a script called mswin.vim, which will
also map a few keys to the MS-Windows cut/copy/paste commands.  This is NOT
compatible, since it uses the CTRL-VCTRL-X and CTRL-C keys.  If you don't
mind, use this command:
        :so $VIMRUNTIME/mswin.vim

For scrolling with a wheel on a mouse, see scroll-mouse-wheel.

3.1 Moving Cursor with Mouse                            gui-mouse-move

Click the left mouse button somewhere in a text buffer where you want the
cursor to go, and it does!
This works in       when 'mouse' contains
Normal mode         'n' or 'a'
Visual mode         'v' or 'a'
Insert mode         'i' or 'a'

Select mode is handled like Visual mode.

You may use this with an operator such as 'd' to delete text from the current
cursor position to the position you point to with the mouse.  That is, you hit
'd' and then click the mouse somewhere.

The 'mousefocus' option can be set to make the keyboard focus follow the
mouse pointer.  This means that the window where the mouse pointer is, is the
active window.  Warning: this doesn't work very well when using a menu,
because the menu command will always be applied to the top window.

If you are on the ':' line (or '/' or '?'), then clicking the left or right
mouse button will position the cursor on the ':' line (if 'mouse' contains
'c' or 'a').

In any situation the middle mouse button may be clicked to paste the current

3.2 Selection with Mouse                                gui-mouse-select

The mouse can be used to start a selection.  How depends on the 'mousemodel'
'mousemodel' is "extend": use the right mouse button
'mousemodel' is "popup":  use the left mouse button, while keeping the Shift
key pressed.

If there was no selection yet, this starts a selection from the old cursor
position to the position pointed to with the mouse.  If there already is a
selection then the closest end will be extended.

If 'selectmode' contains "mouse", then the selection will be in Select mode.
This means that typing normal text will replace the selection.  See
Select-mode.  Otherwise, the selection will be in Visual mode.

Double clicking may be done to make the selection word-wise, triple clicking
makes it line-wise, and quadruple clicking makes it rectangular block-wise.

See gui-selections on how the selection is used.

3.3 Other Text Selection with Mouse             gui-mouse-modeless
A different kind of selection is used when:
- in Command-line mode
- in the Command-line window and pointing in another window
- at the hit-enter prompt
- whenever the current mode is not in the 'mouse' option
- when holding the CTRL and SHIFT keys in the GUI

Since Vim continues like the selection isn't there, and there is no mode
associated with the selection, this is called modeless selection.  Any text in
the Vim window can be selected.  Select the text by pressing the left mouse
button at the start, drag to the end and release.  To extend the selection,
use the right mouse button when 'mousemodel' is "extend", or the left mouse
button with the shift key pressed when 'mousemodel' is "popup".
The selection is removed when the selected text is scrolled or changed.

On the command line CTRL-Y can be used to copy the selection into the
clipboard.  To do this from Insert mode, use CTRL-O : CTRL-Y <CR>.  When
'guioptions' contains a or A (default on X11), the selection is automatically
copied to the "* register.

The middle mouse button can then paste the text.  On non-X11 systems, you can
use CTRL-R +.

3.4 Using Mouse on Status Lines                         gui-mouse-status

Clicking the left or right mouse button on the status line below a Vim
window makes that window the current window.  This actually happens on button
release (to be able to distinguish a click from a drag action).

With the left mouse button a status line can be dragged up and down, thus
resizing the windows above and below it.  This does not change window focus.

The same can be used on the vertical separator: click to give the window left
of it focus, drag left and right to make windows wider and narrower.

3.5 Various Mouse Clicks                                gui-mouse-various

    <S-LeftMouse>       Search forward for the word under the mouse click.
                        When 'mousemodel' is "popup" this starts or extends a
    <S-RightMouse>      Search backward for the word under the mouse click.
    <C-LeftMouse>       Jump to the tag name under the mouse click.
    <C-RightMouse>      Jump back to position before the previous tag jump
                        (same as "CTRL-T")

3.6 Mouse Mappings                                      gui-mouse-mapping

The mouse events, complete with modifiers, may be mapped.  Eg:
   :map <S-LeftMouse>     <RightMouse>
   :map <S-LeftDrag>      <RightDrag>
   :map <S-LeftRelease>   <RightRelease>
   :map <2-S-LeftMouse>   <2-RightMouse>
   :map <2-S-LeftDrag>    <2-RightDrag>
   :map <2-S-LeftRelease> <2-RightRelease>
   :map <3-S-LeftMouse>   <3-RightMouse>
   :map <3-S-LeftDrag>    <3-RightDrag>
   :map <3-S-LeftRelease> <3-RightRelease>
   :map <4-S-LeftMouse>   <4-RightMouse>
   :map <4-S-LeftDrag>    <4-RightDrag>
   :map <4-S-LeftRelease> <4-RightRelease>
These mappings make selection work the way it probably should in a Motif
application, with shift-left mouse allowing for extending the visual area
rather than the right mouse button.

<MouseMove> may be mapped, but 'mousemoveevent' must be enabled to use the

Mouse mapping with modifiers does not work for modeless selection.

3.7 Drag and drop                                               drag-n-drop

You can drag and drop one or more files into the Vim window, where they will
be opened as if a :drop command was used.  You can check if this is
supported with the drop_file feature: has('drop_file').

If you hold down Shift while doing this, Vim changes to the first dropped
file's directory.  If you hold Ctrl Vim will always split a new window for the
file.  Otherwise it's only done if the current buffer has been changed.

You can also drop a directory on Vim.  This starts the explorer plugin for
that directory (assuming it was enabled, otherwise you'll get an error
message).  Keep Shift pressed to change to the directory instead.

If Vim happens to be editing a command line, the names of the dropped files
and directories will be inserted at the cursor.  This allows you to use these
names with any Ex command.  Special characters (space, tab, double quote and
'|'; backslash on non-MS-Windows systems) will be escaped.

4. Making GUI Selections                                gui-selections

You may make selections with the mouse (see gui-mouse-select), or by using
Vim's Visual mode (see v).  If 'a' is present in 'guioptions', then
whenever a selection is started (Visual or Select mode), or when the selection
is changed, Vim becomes the owner of the windowing system's primary selection
(on MS-Windows the gui-clipboard is used; under X11, the x11-selection is
used - you should read whichever of these is appropriate now).

There is a special register for storing this selection, it is the "*
register.  Nothing is put in here unless the information about what text is
selected is about to change (e.g. with a left mouse click somewhere), or when
another application wants to paste the selected text.  Then the text is put
in the "* register.  For example, to cut a line and make it the current
selection/put it on the clipboard:


Similarly, when you want to paste a selection from another application, e.g.,
by clicking the middle mouse button, the selection is put in the "* register
first, and then 'put' like any other register.  For example, to put the
selection (contents of the clipboard):


When using this register under X11, also see x11-selection.  This also
explains the related "+ register.

Note that when pasting text from one Vim into another separate Vim, the type
of selection (character, line, or block) will also be copied.  For other
applications the type is always character.  However, if the text gets
transferred via the x11-cut-buffer, the selection type is ALWAYS lost.

When the "unnamed" string is included in the 'clipboard' option, the unnamed
register is the same as the "* register.  Thus you can yank to and paste the
selection without prepending "* to commands.

5. Menus                                                menus

For an introduction see usr_42.txt in the user manual.

5.1 Using Menus                                         using-menus

Basically, menus can be used just like mappings.  You can define your own
menus, as many as you like.
Long-time Vim users won't use menus much.  But the power is in adding your own
menus and menu items.  They are most useful for things that you can't remember
what the key sequence was.

For creating menus in a different language, see :menutrans.
If you don't want to use menus at all, see 'go-M'.

The default menus are read from the file "$VIMRUNTIME/menu.vim".  See
$VIMRUNTIME for where the path comes from.  You can set up your own menus.
Starting off with the default set is a good idea.  You can add more items, or,
if you don't like the defaults at all, start with removing all menus
:unmenu-all.  You can also avoid the default menus being loaded by adding
this line to your .vimrc file (NOT your .gvimrc file!):
        :let g:did_install_default_menus = 1
If you also want to avoid the Syntax menu:
        :let g:did_install_syntax_menu = 1
The first item in the Syntax menu can be used to show all available filetypes
in the menu (which can take a bit of time to load).  If you want to have all
filetypes already present at startup, add:
        :let g:do_syntax_sel_menu = 1
                                    menu-lazyload g:do_no_lazyload_menus
The following menuitems show all available color schemes, keymaps and compiler
        Edit > Color Scheme
        Edit > Keymap
        Tools > Set Compiler
However, they can also take a bit of time to load, because they search all
related files from the directories in 'runtimepath'.  Therefore they are
loaded lazily (by the CursorHold event), or you can also load them manually.
If you want to have all these items already present at startup, add:
        :let g:do_no_lazyload_menus = 1

Note that the menu.vim is sourced when :syntax on or :filetype on is
executed or after your .vimrc file is sourced.  This means that the 'encoding'
option and the language of messages (:language messages) must be set before
that (if you want to change them).

Although this documentation is in the GUI section, you can actually use menus
in console mode too.  You will have to load menu.vim explicitly then, it is
not done by default.  You can use the :emenu command and command-line
completion with 'wildmenu' to access the menu entries almost like a real menu
system.  To do this, put these commands in your .vimrc file:
        :source $VIMRUNTIME/menu.vim
        :set wildmenu
        :set cpo-=<
        :set wcm=<C-Z>
        :map <F4> :emenu <C-Z>
Pressing <F4> will start the menu.  You can now use the cursor keys to select
a menu entry.  Hit <Enter> to execute it.  Hit <Esc> if you want to cancel.
This does require the +menu feature enabled at compile time.

GTK+ 2 and Motif support Tear-off menus.  These are sort of sticky menus or
pop-up menus that are present all the time.  If the resizing does not work
correctly, this may be caused by using something like "Vim*geometry" in the
defaults.  Use "Vim.geometry" instead.

As to GTK+ 3, tear-off menus have been deprecated since GTK+ 3.4.
Accordingly, they are disabled if gvim is linked against GTK+ 3.4 or later.

The Win32 GUI version emulates Motif's tear-off menus.  Actually, a Motif user
will spot the differences easily, but hopefully they're just as useful.  You
can also use the :tearoff command together with hidden-menus to create
floating menus that do not appear on the main menu bar.

5.2 Creating New Menus                                  creating-menus

                                :me  :menu   :noreme  :noremenu
                                E330 E327 E331 E336 E333
                                E328 E329 E337 E792
To create a new menu item, use the ":menu" commands.  They are mostly like
the ":map" set of commands (see map-modes), but the first argument is a menu
item name, given as a path of menus and submenus with a '.' between them,

   :menu File.Save  :w<CR>
   :inoremenu File.Save  <C-O>:w<CR>
   :menu Edit.Big\ Changes.Delete\ All\ Spaces  :%s/[ ^I]//g<CR>

This last one will create a new item in the menu bar called "Edit", holding
the mouse button down on this will pop up a menu containing the item
"Big Changes", which is a sub-menu containing the item "Delete All Spaces",
which when selected, performs the operation.

To create a menu for terminal mode, use :tlmenu instead of :tmenu unlike
key mapping (:tmap). This is because :tmenu is already used for defining
tooltips for menus. See terminal-typing.

Special characters in a menu name:

        &       The next character is the shortcut key.  Make sure each
                shortcut key is only used once in a (sub)menu.  If you want to
                insert a literal "&" in the menu name use "&&".
        <Tab>   Separates the menu name from right-aligned text.  This can be
                used to show the equivalent typed command.  The text "<Tab>"
                can be used here for convenience.  If you are using a real
                tab, don't forget to put a backslash before it!

   :amenu &File.&Open<Tab>:e  :browse e<CR>

[typed literally]
With the shortcut "F" (while keeping the <Alt> key pressed), and then "O",
this menu can be used.  The second part is shown as "Open     :e".  The ":e"
is right aligned, and the "O" is underlined, to indicate it is the shortcut.

                                        :am  :amenu  :an      :anoremenu
The ":amenu" command can be used to define menu entries for all modes at once,
except for Terminal mode.  To make the command work correctly, a character is
automatically inserted for some modes:
        mode            inserted        appended
        Normal          nothing         nothing
        Visual          <C-C>           <C-\><C-G>
        Insert          <C-\><C-O>
        Cmdline         <C-C>           <C-\><C-G>
        Op-pending      <C-C>           <C-\><C-G>

Appending CTRL-\ CTRL-G is for going back to insert mode when 'insertmode' is
set. CTRL-\_CTRL-G


   :amenu File.Next     :next^M

is equal to:

   :nmenu File.Next     :next^M
   :vmenu File.Next     ^C:next^M^\^G
   :imenu File.Next     ^\^O:next^M
   :cmenu File.Next     ^C:next^M^\^G
   :omenu File.Next     ^C:next^M^\^G

Careful: In Insert mode this only works for a SINGLE Normal mode command,
because of the CTRL-O.  If you have two or more commands, you will need to use
the ":imenu" command.  For inserting text in any mode, you can use the
expression register:

   :amenu Insert.foobar   "='foobar'<CR>P

The special text <Cmd> begins a "command menu", it executes the command
directly without changing modes.  Where you might use ":...<CR>" you can
instead use "<Cmd>...<CR>".  See <Cmd> for more info.  Example:
        anoremenu File.Next <Cmd>next<CR>

Note that the '<' and 'k' flags in 'cpoptions' also apply here (when
included they make the <> form and raw key codes not being recognized).

Note that <Esc> in Cmdline mode executes the command, like in a mapping.  This
is Vi compatible.  Use CTRL-C to quit Cmdline mode.

                :nme :nmenu  :nnoreme :nnoremenu :nunme :nunmenu
Menu commands starting with "n" work in Normal mode. mapmode-n

                :ome :omenu  :onoreme :onoremenu :ounme :ounmenu
Menu commands starting with "o" work in Operator-pending mode. mapmode-o

                :vme :vmenu  :vnoreme :vnoremenu :vunme :vunmenu
Menu commands starting with "v" work in Visual mode. mapmode-v

                :xme :xmenu  :xnoreme :xnoremenu :xunme :xunmenu
Menu commands starting with "x" work in Visual and Select mode. mapmode-x

                :sme :smenu  :snoreme :snoremenu :sunme :sunmenu
Menu commands starting with "s" work in Select mode. mapmode-s

                :ime :imenu  :inoreme :inoremenu :iunme :iunmenu
Menu commands starting with "i" work in Insert mode. mapmode-i

                :cme :cmenu  :cnoreme :cnoremenu :cunme :cunmenu
Menu commands starting with "c" work in Cmdline mode. mapmode-c

                :tlm :tlmenu :tln     :tlnoremenu :tlu   :tlunmenu
Menu commands starting with "tl" work in Terminal mode. mapmode-t

                                                :menu-<silent> :menu-silent
To define a menu which will not be echoed on the command line, add
"<silent>" as the first argument.  Example:
        :menu <silent> Settings.Ignore\ case  :set ic<CR>
The ":set ic" will not be echoed when using this menu.  Messages from the
executed command are still given though.  To shut them up too, add a ":silent"
in the executed command:
        :menu <silent> Search.Header :exe ":silent normal /Header\r"<CR>
"<silent>" may also appear just after "<special>" or "<script>".

                                        :menu-<special> :menu-special
Define a menu with <> notation for special keys, even though the "<" flag
may appear in 'cpoptions'.  This is useful if the side effect of setting
'cpoptions' is not desired.  Example:
        :menu <special> Search.Header /Header<CR>
"<special>" must appear as the very first argument to the ":menu" command or
just after "<silent>" or "<script>".

                                                :menu-<script> :menu-script
The "to" part of the menu will be inspected for mappings.  If you don't want
this, use the ":noremenu" command (or the similar one for a specific mode).
If you do want to use script-local mappings, add "<script>" as the very first
argument to the ":menu" command or just after "<silent>" or "<special>".

You can give a priority to a menu.  Menus with a higher priority go more to
the right.  The priority is given as a number before the ":menu" command.
        :80menu :bn<CR>

The default menus have these priorities:
        File            10
        Edit            20
        Tools           40
        Syntax          50
        Buffers         60
        Window          70
        Help            9999

When no or zero priority is given, 500 is used.
The priority for the PopUp menu is not used.

The Help menu will be placed on the far right side of the menu bar on systems
which support this (Motif and GTK+).  For GTK+ 2 and 3, this is not done
anymore because right-aligning the Help menu is now discouraged UI design.

You can use a priority higher than 9999, to make it go after the Help menu,
but that is non-standard and is discouraged.  The highest possible priority is
about 32000.  The lowest is 1.

The same mechanism can be used to position a sub-menu.  The priority is then
given as a dot-separated list of priorities, before the menu name:
        :menu 80.500 :bn<CR>
Giving the sub-menu priority is only needed when the item is not to be put
in a normal position.  For example, to put a sub-menu before the other items:
        :menu 80.100 Buffer.first :brew<CR>
Or to put a sub-menu after the other items, and further items with default
priority will be put before it:
        :menu 80.900 Buffer.last :blast<CR>
When a number is missing, the default value 500 will be used:
        :menu .900 myMenu.test :echo "text"<CR>
The menu priority is only used when creating a new menu.  When it already
existed, e.g., in another mode, the priority will not change.  Thus, the
priority only needs to be given the first time a menu is used.
An exception is the PopUp menu.  There is a separate menu for each mode
(Normal, Op-pending, Visual, Insert, Cmdline).  The order in each of these
menus can be different.  This is different from menu-bar menus, which have
the same order for all modes.
NOTE: sub-menu priorities currently don't work for all versions of the GUI.

                                                        menu-separator E332
Menu items can be separated by a special item that inserts some space between
items.  Depending on the system this is displayed as a line or a dotted line.
These items must start with a '-' and end in a '-'.  The part in between is
used to give it a unique name.  Priorities can be used as with normal items.
        :menu Example.item1     :do something
        :menu Example.-Sep-     :
        :menu Example.item2     :do something different
Note that the separator also requires a rhs.  It doesn't matter what it is,
because the item will never be selected.  Use a single colon to keep it

The toolbar is currently available in the Win32, Motif, GTK+ (X11),
and Photon GUI.  It should turn up in other GUIs in due course.  The
default toolbar is setup in menu.vim.
The display of the toolbar is controlled by the 'guioptions' letter 'T'.  You
can thus have menu & toolbar together, or either on its own, or neither.
The appearance is controlled by the 'toolbar' option.  You can choose between
an image, text or both.

The toolbar is defined as a special menu called ToolBar, which only has one
level.  Vim interprets the items in this menu as follows:
1)  If an "icon=" argument was specified, the file with this name is used.
    The file can either be specified with the full path or with the base name.
    In the last case it is searched for in the "bitmaps" directory in
    'runtimepath', like in point 3.  Examples:
        :amenu icon=/usr/local/pixmaps/foo_icon.xpm ToolBar.Foo :echo "Foo"<CR>
        :amenu icon=FooIcon ToolBar.Foo :echo "Foo"<CR>
    Note that in the first case the extension is included, while in the second
    case it is omitted.
    If the file cannot be opened the next points are tried.
    A space in the file name must be escaped with a backslash.
    A menu priority must come _after_ the icon argument:
        :amenu icon=foo 1.42 ToolBar.Foo :echo "42!"<CR>
2)  An item called 'BuiltIn##', where ## is a number, is taken as number ## of
    the built-in bitmaps available in Vim.  Currently there are 31 numbered
    from 0 to 30 which cover most common editing operations builtin-tools.
        :amenu ToolBar.BuiltIn22 :call SearchNext("back")<CR>
3)  An item with another name is first searched for in the directory
    "bitmaps" in 'runtimepath'.  If found, the bitmap file is used as the
    toolbar button image.  Note that the exact filename is OS-specific: For
    example, under Win32 the command
        :amenu ToolBar.Hello :echo "hello"<CR>
    would find the file 'hello.bmp'.  Under GTK+/X11 it is 'Hello.xpm'.  With
    GTK+ 2 the files 'Hello.png', 'Hello.xpm' and 'Hello.bmp' are checked for
    existence, and the first one found would be used.
    For MS-Windows and GTK+ 2 the bitmap is scaled to fit the button.  For
    MS-Windows a size of 18 by 18 pixels works best.
    For MS-Windows the bitmap should have 16 colors with the standard palette.
    The light grey pixels will be changed to the Window frame color and the
    dark grey pixels to the window shadow color.  More colors might also work,
    depending on your system.
4)  If the bitmap is still not found, Vim checks for a match against its list
    of built-in names.  Each built-in button image has a name.
    So the command
        :amenu ToolBar.Open :e
    will show the built-in "open a file" button image if no open.bmp exists.
    All the built-in names can be seen used in menu.vim.
5)  If all else fails, a blank, but functioning, button is displayed.

nr  Name                Normal action 
00  New                 open new window
01  Open                browse for file to open in current window
02  Save                write buffer to file
03  Undo                undo last change
04  Redo                redo last undone change
05  Cut                 delete selected text to clipboard
06  Copy                copy selected text to clipboard
07  Paste               paste text from clipboard
08  Print               print current buffer
09  Help                open a buffer on Vim's builtin help
10  Find                start a search command
11  SaveAll             write all modified buffers to file
12  SaveSesn            write session file for current situation
13  NewSesn             write new session file
14  LoadSesn            load session file
15  RunScript           browse for file to run as a Vim script
16  Replace             prompt for substitute command
17  WinClose            close current window
18  WinMax              make current window use many lines
19  WinMin              make current window use few lines
20  WinSplit            split current window
21  Shell               start a shell
22  FindPrev            search again, backward
23  FindNext            search again, forward
24  FindHelp            prompt for word to search help for
25  Make                run make and jump to first error
26  TagJump             jump to tag under the cursor
27  RunCtags            build tags for files in current directory
28  WinVSplit           split current window vertically
29  WinMaxWidth         make current window use many columns
30  WinMinWidth         make current window use few columns

                                        hidden-menus win32-hidden-menus
In the Win32 and GTK+ GUI, starting a menu name with ']' excludes that menu
from the main menu bar.  You must then use the :popup or :tearoff command
to display it.

                                        window-toolbar WinBar
Each window can have a local toolbar.  This uses the first line of the window,
thus reduces the space for the text by one line.  The items in the toolbar
must start with "WinBar".

Only text can be used.  When using Unicode, special characters can be used to
make the items look like icons.

If the items do not fit then the last ones cannot be used.  The toolbar does
not wrap.

Note that Vim may be in any mode when executing these commands.  The menu
should be defined for Normal mode and will be executed without changing the
current mode. Thus if the current window is in Visual mode and the menu
command does not intentionally change the mode, Vim will remain in Visual
mode.  Best is to use :nnoremenu to avoid side effects.

Example for debugger tools:
        nnoremenu 1.10 WinBar.Step :Step<CR>
        nnoremenu 1.20 WinBar.Next :Next<CR>
        nnoremenu 1.30 WinBar.Finish :Finish<CR>
        nnoremenu 1.40 WinBar.Cont :Continue<CR>
                                        hl-ToolbarLine hl-ToolbarButton
The window toolbar uses the ToolbarLine and ToolbarButton highlight groups.

When splitting the window the window toolbar is not copied to the new window.

In the Win32, GTK+, Motif and Photon GUI, you can define the
special menu "PopUp".  This is the menu that is displayed when the right mouse
button is pressed, if 'mousemodel' is set to popup or popup_setpos.
    nnoremenu 1.40 PopUp.&Paste "+gP
    menu PopUp

5.3 Showing What Menus Are Mapped To                    showing-menus

To see what an existing menu is mapped to, use just one argument after the
menu commands (just like you would with the ":map" commands).  If the menu
specified is a submenu, then all menus under that hierarchy will be shown.
If no argument is given after :menu at all, then ALL menu items are shown
for the appropriate mode (e.g., Command-line mode for :cmenu).

Special characters in the list, just before the rhs:
*       The menu was defined with "nore" to disallow remapping.
&       The menu was defined with "<script>" to allow remapping script-local
        mappings only.
s       The menu was defined with "<silent>" to avoid showing what it is
        mapped to when triggered.
-       The menu was disabled.

Note that hitting <Tab> while entering a menu name after a menu command may
be used to complete the name of the menu item.

It is not allowed to change menus while listing them.  E1310
This doesn't normally happen, only when, for example, you would have a timer
callback define a menu and the user lists menus in a way it shows

5.4 Executing Menus                                     execute-menus

                                                :em  :emenu E334 E335
:[range]em[enu] {menu}          Execute {menu} from the command line.
                                The default is to execute the Normal mode
                                menu.  If a range is specified, it executes
                                the Visual mode menu.
                                If used from <c-o>, it executes the
                                insert-mode menu Eg:
        :emenu File.Exit

:[range]em[enu] {mode} {menu}   Like above, but execute the menu for {mode}:
                                    'n': :nmenu  Normal mode
                                    'v': :vmenu  Visual mode
                                    's': :smenu  Select mode
                                    'o': :omenu  Operator-pending mode
                                    't': :tlmenu Terminal mode
                                    'i': :imenu  Insert mode
                                    'c': :cmenu  Cmdline mode

If the console-mode vim has been compiled with WANT_MENU defined, you can
use :emenu to access useful menu items you may have got used to from GUI
mode.  See 'wildmenu' for an option that works well with this.  See
console-menus for an example.

When using a range, if the lines match with '<,'>, then the menu is executed
using the last visual selection.

5.5 Deleting Menus                                      delete-menus

                                                :unme  :unmenu
                                                :aun   :aunmenu
To delete a menu item or a whole submenu, use the unmenu commands, which are
analogous to the unmap commands.  Eg:
    :unmenu! Edit.Paste

This will remove the Paste item from the Edit menu for Insert and
Command-line modes.

Note that hitting <Tab> while entering a menu name after an umenu command
may be used to complete the name of the menu item for the appropriate mode.

To remove all menus use:                        :unmenu-all 
        :unmenu *       " remove all menus in Normal and visual mode
        :unmenu! *      " remove all menus in Insert and Command-line mode
        :aunmenu *      " remove all menus in all modes, except for Terminal
                        " mode
        :tlunmenu *     " remove all menus in Terminal mode

If you want to get rid of the menu bar:
        :set guioptions-=m

5.6 Disabling Menus                                     disable-menus

                                                :menu-disable :menu-enable
If you do not want to remove a menu, but disable it for a moment, this can be
done by adding the "enable" or "disable" keyword to a ":menu" command.
        :menu disable &File.&Open\.\.\.
        :amenu enable *
        :amenu disable &Tools.*

The command applies to the modes as used with all menu commands.  Note that
characters like "&" need to be included for translated names to be found.
When the argument is "*", all menus are affected.  Otherwise the given menu
name and all existing submenus below it are affected.

5.7 Examples for Menus                                  menu-examples

Here is an example on how to add menu items with menu's!  You can add a menu
item for the keyword under the cursor.  The register "z" is used.

  :nmenu Words.Add\ Var         wb"zye:menu! Words.<C-R>z <C-R>z<CR>
  :nmenu Words.Remove\ Var      wb"zye:unmenu! Words.<C-R>z<CR>
  :vmenu Words.Add\ Var         "zy:menu! Words.<C-R>z <C-R>z <CR>
  :vmenu Words.Remove\ Var      "zy:unmenu! Words.<C-R>z<CR>
  :imenu Words.Add\ Var         <Esc>wb"zye:menu! Words.<C-R>z <C-R>z<CR>a
  :imenu Words.Remove\ Var      <Esc>wb"zye:unmenu! Words.<C-R>z<CR>a

(the rhs is in <> notation, you can copy/paste this text to try out the
mappings, or put these lines in your gvimrc; "<C-R>" is CTRL-R, "<CR>" is
the <CR> key.  <>)

                                                        tooltips menu-tips
5.8 Tooltips & Menu tips

See section 42.4 in the user manual.

                                                        :tmenu :tm
:tm[enu] {menupath} {rhs}       Define a tip for a menu or tool.  {only in
                                X11 and Win32 GUI}

:tm[enu] [menupath]             List menu tips. {only in X11 and Win32 GUI}

                                                        :tunmenu :tu
:tu[nmenu] {menupath}           Remove a tip for a menu or tool.
                                {only in X11 and Win32 GUI}

Note: To create menus for terminal mode, use :tlmenu instead.

When a tip is defined for a menu item, it appears in the command-line area
when the mouse is over that item, much like a standard Windows menu hint in
the status bar.  (Except when Vim is in Command-line mode, when of course
nothing is displayed.)
When a tip is defined for a ToolBar item, it appears as a tooltip when the
mouse pauses over that button, in the usual fashion.  Use the hl-Tooltip
highlight group to change its colors.

A "tip" can be defined for each menu item.  For example, when defining a menu
item like this:
        :amenu MyMenu.Hello :echo "Hello"<CR>
The tip is defined like this:
        :tmenu MyMenu.Hello Displays a greeting.
And delete it with:
        :tunmenu MyMenu.Hello

Tooltips are currently only supported for the X11 and Win32 GUI.  However, they
should appear for the other gui platforms in the not too distant future.

The ":tmenu" command works just like other menu commands, it uses the same
arguments.  ":tunmenu" deletes an existing menu tip, in the same way as the
other unmenu commands.

If a menu item becomes invalid (i.e. its actions in all modes are deleted) Vim
deletes the menu tip (and the item) for you.  This means that :aunmenu deletes
a menu item - you don't need to do a :tunmenu as well.

5.9 Popup Menus

In the Win32 and GTK+ GUI, you can cause a menu to popup at the cursor.
This behaves similarly to the PopUp menus except that any menu tree can
be popped up.

This command is for backwards compatibility, using it is discouraged, because
it behaves in a strange way.

                                                        :popup :popu
:popu[p] {name}                 Popup the menu {name}.  The menu named must
                                have at least one subentry, but need not
                                appear on the menu-bar (see hidden-menus).
                                {only available for Win32 and GTK GUI or in
                                the terminal}

:popu[p]! {name}                Like above, but use the position of the mouse
                                pointer instead of the cursor.
                                In the terminal this is the last known
                                position, which is usually at the last click
                                or release (mouse movement is irrelevant).

        :popup File
will make the "File" menu (if there is one) appear at the text cursor (mouse
pointer if ! was used).

        :amenu ]Toolbar.Make    :make<CR>
        :popup ]Toolbar
This creates a popup menu that doesn't exist on the main menu-bar.

Note that in the GUI the :popup command will return immediately, before a
selection has been made.  In the terminal the commands waits for the user to
make a selection.

Note that a menu that starts with ']' will not be displayed.

6. Font

This section describes font related options.

GUIFONT                                                 gui-font

'guifont' is the option that tells Vim what font to use.  In its simplest form
the value is just one font name.  It can also be a list of font names
separated with commas.  The first valid font is used.  When no valid font can
be found you will get an error message.

On systems where 'guifontset' is supported (X11) and 'guifontset' is not
empty, then 'guifont' is not used.  See xfontset.

Note: As to the GTK GUIs, no error is given against any invalid names, and the
first element of the list is always picked up and made use of.  This is
because, instead of identifying a given name with a font, the GTK GUIs use it
to construct a pattern and try to look up a font which best matches the
pattern among available fonts, and this way, the matching never fails.  An
invalid name doesn't matter because a number of font properties other than
name will do to get the matching done.

Spaces after a comma are ignored.  To include a comma in a font name precede
it with a backslash.  Setting an option requires an extra backslash before a
space and a backslash.  See also option-backslash.  For example:
    :set guifont=Screen15,\ 7x13,font\\,with\\,commas
will make Vim try to use the font "Screen15" first, and if it fails it will
try to use "7x13" and then "font,with,commas" instead.

If none of the fonts can be loaded, Vim will keep the current setting.  If an
empty font list is given, Vim will try using other resource settings (for X,
it will use the Vim.font resource), and finally it will try some builtin
default which should always be there ("7x13" in the case of X).  The font
names given should be "normal" fonts.  Vim will try to find the related bold
and italic fonts.

For Win32, GTK, Motif, Mac OS and Photon:
    :set guifont=*
will bring up a font requester, where you can pick the font you want.

The font name depends on the GUI used.  See setting-guifont for a way to set
'guifont' for various systems.

For the GTK+ 2 and 3 GUIs, the font name looks like this:
    :set guifont=Andale\ Mono\ 11
That's all.  XLFDs are not used.  For Chinese this is reported to work well:
    if has("gui_gtk2")
      set guifont=Bitstream\ Vera\ Sans\ Mono\ 12,Fixed\ 12
      set guifontwide=Microsoft\ Yahei\ 12,WenQuanYi\ Zen\ Hei\ 12

(Replace gui_gtk2 with gui_gtk3 for the GTK+ 3 GUI)

For Mac OSX you can use something like this:
    :set guifont=Monaco:h10

Mono-spaced fonts                                       E236

Note that the fonts must be mono-spaced (all characters have the same width).
An exception is GTK: all fonts are accepted, but mono-spaced fonts look best.

To preview a font on X11, you might be able to use the "xfontsel" program.
The "xlsfonts" program gives a list of all available fonts.

For the Win32 GUI                                       E244 E245
- Takes these options in the font name (use a ':' to separate the options):
        hXX - height is XX (points, can be floating-point)
        wXX - width is XX (points, can be floating-point)
        WXX - weight is XX (see Note on Weights below)
        b   - bold. This is equivalent to setting the weight to 700.
        i   - italic
        u   - underline
        s   - strikeout
        cXX - character set XX.  Valid charsets are: ANSI, ARABIC, BALTIC,
              TURKISH and VIETNAMESE.  Normally you would use "cDEFAULT".
        qXX - quality XX.  Valid quality names are: PROOF, DRAFT, ANTIALIASED,
              NONANTIALIASED, CLEARTYPE and DEFAULT.  Normally you would use
              Some quality values are not supported in legacy OSs.
- A '_' can be used in the place of a space, so you don't need to use
  backslashes to escape the spaces.
    :set guifont=courier_new:h12:w5:b:cRUSSIAN
    :set guifont=Andale_Mono:h7.5:w4.5

See also font-sizes.

Note on Weights: Fonts often come with a variety of weights. "Normal" weights
in Windows have a value of 400 and, left unspecified, this is the value that
will be used when attempting to find fonts. Windows will often match fonts
based on their weight with higher priority than the font name which means a
Book or Medium variant of a font might be used despite specifying a Light or
ExtraLight variant. If you are experiencing heavier weight substitution, then
explicitly setting a lower weight value may mitigate against this unwanted

GUIFONTWIDE                                             gui-fontwide

When not empty, 'guifontwide' specifies a comma-separated list of fonts to be
used for double-width characters.  The first font that can be loaded is used.

Note: The size of these fonts must be exactly twice as wide as the one
specified with 'guifont' and the same height.  If there is a mismatch then the
text will not be drawn correctly.

All GUI versions but GTK+:

'guifontwide' is only used when 'encoding' is set to "utf-8" and 'guifontset'
is empty or invalid.
When 'guifont' is set and a valid font is found in it and 'guifontwide' is
empty Vim will attempt to find a matching double-width font and set
'guifontwide' to it.

GTK+ GUI only:                          guifontwide_gtk

If set and valid, 'guifontwide' is always used for double width characters,
even if 'encoding' is not set to "utf-8".
Vim does not attempt to find an appropriate value for 'guifontwide'
automatically.  If 'guifontwide' is empty Pango/Xft will choose the font for
characters not available in 'guifont'.  Thus you do not need to set
'guifontwide' at all unless you want to override the choice made by Pango/Xft.

Windows +multibyte only:                guifontwide_win_mbyte

If set and valid, 'guifontwide' is used for IME instead of 'guifont'.

7. Extras                                               gui-extras

This section describes other features which are related to the GUI.

- With the GUI, there is no wait for one second after hitting escape, because
  the key codes don't start with <Esc>.

- Typing ^V followed by a special key in the GUI will insert "<Key>", since
  the internal string used is meaningless.  Modifiers may also be held down to
  get "<Modifiers-Key>".

- In the GUI, the modifiers SHIFT, CTRL, and ALT (or META) may be used within
  mappings of special keys and mouse events.
  E.g.: :map <M-LeftDrag> <LeftDrag>

- In the GUI, several normal keys may have modifiers in mappings etc, these
  are <Space><Tab><NL><CR><Esc>.

- To check in a Vim script if the GUI is being used, you can use something
  like this:

        if has("gui_running")
           echo "yes, we have a GUI"
           echo "Boring old console"
- When you use the same vimrc file on various systems, you can use something
  like this to set options specifically for each type of GUI:

        if has("gui_running")
            if has("gui_gtk")
                :set guifont=Luxi\ Mono\ 12
            elseif has("x11")
                :set guifont=*-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-normal-*-*-180-*-*-m-*-*
            elseif has("gui_win32")
                :set guifont=Luxi_Mono:h12:cANSI

A recommended Japanese font is MS Mincho.  You can find info here:
It should be distributed with Windows.

8. Shell Commands                                       gui-shell

For the X11 GUI the external commands are executed inside the gvim window.
See gui-pty.

WARNING: Executing an external command from the X11 GUI will not always work.
"normal" commands like "ls", "grep" and "make" mostly work fine.
Commands that require an intelligent terminal like "less" and "ispell" won't
work.  Some may even hang and need to be killed from another terminal.  So be

For the Win32 GUI the external commands are executed in a separate window.
See gui-shell-win32.