Ghislain Rodrigues

Getting a language manual in Vim

The K command opens in a new buffer the manual of the word under the cursor.

For example, if the edited file is a C, or a bash file, pressing K on a command will open man <the-command>. If the edited file is a python file, pressing K will open pydoc.

Set custom help commands

First you need to have the filetype plugin enabled in vim, to do so, add the following line in your .vimrc:

filetype plugin on

Then, create the directory ~/.vim/ftplugin/. In this directory, you can add vimscripts executed only for the desired filetypes. For example, if you want some script and configuration for PHP only, create the directory ~/.vim/ftplugin/php/ and any vim script in it will be executed only when editing PHP files.

So, let's say we want to open when pressing K on a function in a PHP file.

First we need to create a program to open


firefox$1 &

Then, we need to define in Vim that K must run the previously created script instead of man in PHP files. For that, create a .vim script in ~/.vim/ftplugin/php/ with the following line:

set keywordprg='/path/to/the/bash/script/above'

From this point, if you press K in a php file, it will open