Vscode Neovim Save

Vim mode for VSCode, powered by Neovim

Project README

VSCode Neovim

VSCode Neovim Integration

Neovim is a fork of Vim to allow greater extensibility and integration. This extension uses a fully embedded Neovim instance, no more half-complete Vim emulation! VSCode's native functionality is used for insert mode and editor commands, making the best use of both editors.

  • 🎉 Almost fully feature-complete Vim integration by utilizing Neovim as a backend.
  • 🔧 Supports custom init.vim and many Vim plugins.
  • 🥇 First-class and lag-free insert mode, letting VSCode do what it does best.
  • 🤝 Complete integration with VSCode features (lsp/autocompletion/snippets/multi-cursor/etc).

Table of Contents

🧰 Getting Started


  • Install the vscode-neovim extension.

  • Install Neovim 0.9.0 or greater.

    • Set the Neovim path in the extension settings. You must specify the full path to Neovim, like "C:\Neovim\bin\nvim.exe" or "/usr/local/bin/nvim".
    • The setting id is "vscode-neovim.neovimExecutablePaths.win32/linux/darwin", respective to your system.
  • If you want to use Neovim from WSL, set the useWSL configuration toggle and specify the Linux path to the nvim binary. wsl.exe Windows binary and wslpath Linux binary are required for this. wslpath must be available through $PATH Linux env setting. Use wsl --list to check for the correct default Linux distribution.

  • Assign affinity value for performance improvement.

    • Go to Settings > Features > Extensions > Experimental Affinity.

      Add an entry with item name asvetliakov.vscode-neovim and value 1.


    • Add to your settings.json:

      "extensions.experimental.affinity": {
          "asvetliakov.vscode-neovim": 1

Neovim configuration

Since many Vim plugins can cause issues in VSCode, it is recommended to start from an empty init.vim. For a guide for which types of plugins are supported, see troubleshooting.

Before creating an issue on Github, make sure you can reproduce the problem with an empty init.vim and no VSCode extensions.

To determine if Neovim is running in VSCode, add to your init.vim:

if exists('g:vscode')
    " VSCode extension
    " ordinary Neovim

In lua:

if vim.g.vscode then
    -- VSCode extension
    -- ordinary Neovim

To conditionally activate plugins, vim-plug has a few solutions. packer.nvim and lazy.nvim have built-in support for cond = vim.g.vscode. See plugins in the wiki for tips on configuring Vim plugins.

VSCode configuration

  • On a Mac, the h, j, k and l movement keys may not repeat when held, to fix this open Terminal and execute the following command: defaults write com.microsoft.VSCode ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false.
  • To fix the remapped escape key not working in Linux, set "keyboard.dispatch": "keyCode"

💡 Tips and Features

VSCode specific differences

  • File and editor management commands such as :e/:w/:q/:vsplit/:tabnext/etc are mapped to corresponding VSCode commands and behavior may be different (see below).
    • Do not use vim commands like :w in scripts/keybindings, they won't work. If you're using them in some custom commands/mappings, you might need to rebind them to call VSCode commands from Neovim with require('vscode-neovim').call() (see API).
  • When you type some commands they may be substituted for another, like :write will be replaced by :Write.
  • Scrolling is done by VSCode. C-d/C-u/etc are slightly different.
  • Editor customization (relative line number, scrolloff, etc) is handled by VSCode.
  • Dot-repeat (.) is slightly different - moving the cursor within a change range won't break the repeat. sequence. In Neovim, if you type abc<cursor> in insert mode, then move the cursor to a<cursor>bc and type 1 here the repeat sequence would be 1. However, in VSCode, it would be a1bc. Another difference is that when you delete some text in insert mode, dot repeat only works from right to left, meaning it will treat Del key as BS keys when running dot repeat.


  • Set the vscode-neovim.logLevel setting to "info", then restart vscode. View the logs via Output: Focus on Output View and select vscode-neovim.
  • Enable vscode-neovim.neovimClean in VSCode settings, which starts Nvim without your plugins (nvim --clean). Nvim plugins can do anything. Visual effects in particular can cause visual artifacts. vscode-neovim does its best to merge the visual effects of Nvim and VSCode, but it's far from perfect. You may need to disable some Nvim plugins that cause visual effects.
  • If you encounter rendering issues (visual artifacts), try CTRL-L to force Nvim to redraw.
  • If you get the Unable to init vscode-neovim: command 'type' already exists message, uninstall other VSCode extensions that use registerTextEditorCommand("type", …) (like VSCodeVim or Overtype).



Make sure you have the extension running in its own thread using affinity (see installation).

Extensions that share the same affinity value are associated with a shared extension host (extension manager from VSCode). Performance issues arise when a number of extensions have the same host. On-going operations of one extension may slow down the operations of another. However, if an extension is assigned an affinity, its extension host runs in a separate worker thread. The operations of an extension with the host in one thread don't directly affect the operations of the extension with its host running in another.

Other Extensions

If you have any performance problems (cursor jitter usually) make sure you're not using these kinds of extensions:

  • Anything that renders decorators very often:
    • Line number extensions (VSCode has built-in support for normal/relative line numbers)
    • Indent guide extensions (VSCode has built-in indent guides)
    • Brackets highlighter extensions (VSCode has built-in feature)
  • VSCode extensions that delay the extension host like "Bracket Pair Colorizer"
  • Vim plugins that increase latency and cause performance problems.
    • Make sure to disable unneeded plugins, as many of them don't make sense with VSCode and may cause problems.
    • You don't need any code, highlighting, completion, LSP plugins as well any plugins that spawn windows/buffers (nerdtree and similar), fuzzy-finders, etc.
    • Many navigation/textobject/editing plugins should be fine.

If you're not sure, disable all other extensions, reload VSCode window, and see if the problem persists before reporting it.

Composite escape keys

Since VSCode is responsible for insert mode, custom insert-mode Vim mappings don't work. To map composite escape keys, put into your keybindings.json:

for jj

    "command": "vscode-neovim.compositeEscape1",
    "key": "j",
    "when": "neovim.mode == insert && editorTextFocus",
    "args": "j"

to enable jk add also:

    "command": "vscode-neovim.compositeEscape2",
    "key": "k",
    "when": "neovim.mode == insert && editorTextFocus",
    "args": "k"

Currently, there is no way to map both jk and kj, or to map jk without also mapping jj.


VSCode's jumplist is used instead of Neovim's. This is to make VSCode native navigation (mouse click, jump to definition, etc) navigable through the jumplist.

Make sure to bind to workbench.action.navigateBack / workbench.action.navigateForward if you're using custom mappings. Marks (both upper & lowercased) should work fine.

Wildmenu completion

Command menu has the wildmenu completion on type. The completion options appear after 1.5s (to not bother you when you write :w or :noh). Up/Down selects the option and Tab accepts it. See the gif:


Multiple cursors

Multiple cursors work in:

  1. Insert mode
  2. Visual line mode
  3. Visual block mode

To spawn multiple cursors from visual line/block modes type ma/mA or mi/mI (by default). The effect differs:

  • For visual line mode, mi will start insert mode on each selected line on the first non whitespace character and ma will on the end of line.
  • For visual block mode, mi will start insert on each selected line before the cursor block and ma after.
  • mA/mI versions accounts for empty lines (only for visual line mode, for visual block mode they're same as ma/mi).

See gif in action:


The built-in multi-cursor support may not meet your needs. Please refer to the plugin vscode-multi-cursor.nvim for more multi-cursor features

⚡️ API

Load the module:

local vscode = require('vscode-neovim')
  1. vscode.action(): asynchronously executes a vscode command.
  2. vscode.call(): synchronously executes a vscode command.
  3. vscode.on(): defines a handler for some Nvim UI events.
  4. vscode.has_config(): checks if a vscode setting exists.
  5. vscode.get_config(): gets a vscode setting value.
  6. vscode.update_config(): sets a vscode setting.
  7. vscode.notify(): shows a vscode message (see also Nvim's vim.notify).
  8. vscode.to_op(): A helper for map-operator. See code_actions.lua for the usage
  9. vscode.get_status_item: Gets a vscode statusbar item. Properties can be assigned, which magically updates the statusbar item.
  10. g:vscode_clipboard: Clipboard provider using VSCode's clipboard API. Used by default when in WSL. See :h g:clipboard for more details. Usage: let g:clipboard = g:vscode_clipboard

vscode.action(name, opts)

Asynchronously executes a vscode command. See Examples.


  • name (string): The name of the action, generally a vscode command.
  • opts (table): Map of optional parameters:
    • args (table): List of arguments passed to the vscode command. If the command only requires a single object parameter, you can directly pass in a map-like table.
      • Examples:
        • action('foo', { args = { 'foo', 'bar', … } })
        • action('foo', { args = { foo = bar, … } })
    • range (table): Specific range for the action. Implicitly passed in visual mode. Has three possible forms (all values are 0-indexed):
      • [start_line, end_line]
      • [start_line, start_character, end_line, end_character]
      • {start = { line = start_line, character = start_character}, end = { line = end_line, character = end_character}}
    • restore_selection (boolean): Whether to preserve the current selection. Only valid when range is specified. Defaults to true.
    • callback: Function to handle the action result. Must have this signature:
      function(err: string|nil, ret: any)
      • err is the error message, if any
      • ret is the result
      • If no callback is provided, error will be shown as a VSCode notification.

vscode.call(name, opts, timeout)

Synchronously executes a vscode command. See Examples.


  • name (string): The name of the action, generally a vscode command.
  • opts (table): Same as vscode.action().
  • timeout (number): Timeout in milliseconds. The default value is -1, which means there is no timeout.

Returns: the result of the action


  • Format selection (default binding):
    xnoremap = <Cmd>lua require('vscode-neovim').call('editor.action.formatSelection')<CR>
    nnoremap = <Cmd>lua require('vscode-neovim').call('editor.action.formatSelection')<CR><Esc>
    nnoremap == <Cmd>lua require('vscode-neovim').call('editor.action.formatSelection')<CR>
  • Open definition aside (default binding):
    nnoremap <C-w>gd <Cmd>lua require('vscode-neovim').action('editor.action.revealDefinitionAside')<CR>
  • Find in files for word under cursor (see the vscode command definition for the expected parameter format):
    nnoremap ? <Cmd>lua require('vscode-neovim').action('workbench.action.findInFiles', { args = { query = vim.fn.expand('<cword>') } })<CR>

Currently, two built-in actions are provided for testing purposes:

  1. _ping returns "pong"
  2. _wait waits for the specified milliseconds and then returns "ok"
do -- Execute _ping asynchronously and print the result
  vscode.action("_ping", {
    callback = function(err, res)
      if err == nil then
        print(res) -- outputs: pong

-- Format current document

do -- Comment the three lines below the cursor
  local curr_line = vim.fn.line(".") - 1  -- 0-indexed
  vscode.action("editor.action.commentLine", {
    range = { curr_line + 1, curr_line + 3 },

do -- Comment the previous line
  local curr_line = vim.fn.line(".") - 1 -- 0-indexed
  local prev_line = curr_line - 1
  if prev_line >= 0 then
    vscode.action("editor.action.commentLine", {
      range = { prev_line , prev_line },

do -- Find in files for word under cursor
  vscode.action("workbench.action.findInFiles", {
    args = { query = vim.fn.expand('<cword>') }

-- Execute _ping synchronously and print the result
print(vscode.call("_ping")) -- outputs: pong

-- Wait for 1 second and print the return value 'ok'
print(vscode.call("_wait", { args = { 1000 } })) -- outputs: ok

-- Wait for 2 seconds with a timeout of 1 second
print(vscode.call("_wait", { args = { 2000 } }), 1000)
-- error: Call '_wait' timed out

vscode.on(event, callback)

Currently no available events for user use.

VSCode settings


Check if configuration has a certain value.


  • name (string|string[]): The configuration name or an array of configuration names.


  • boolean|boolean[]: Returns true if the configuration has a certain value, false otherwise. If name is an array, returns an array of booleans indicating whether each configuration has a certain value or not.


Get configuration value.


  • name (string|string[]): The configuration name or an array of configuration names.


  • unknown|unknown[]: The value of the configuration. If name is an array, returns an array of values corresponding to each configuration.

vscode.update_config(name, value, target)

Update configuration value.


  • name (string|string[]): The configuration name or an array of configuration names.
  • value (unknown|unknown[]): The new value for the configuration.
  • target ("global"|"workspace"): The configuration target. Optional


--- has_config ---

-- Check if the configuration "not.exist" exists
-- Should return: false

-- Check multiple configurations
vim.print(vscode.has_config({ "not.exist", "existing.config" }))
-- Should return: { false, true }

--- get_config ---

-- Get the value of "editor.tabSize"
print(vscode.get_config("editor.tabSize")) -- a number

-- Get multiple configurations
vim.print(vscode.get_config({ "editor.fontFamily", "editor.tabSize" }))
-- Should return: { "the font family", "the editor tabSizse" }

--- update_config ---

-- Update the value of "editor.tabSize"
vscode.update_config("editor.tabSize", 16, "global")

-- Update multiple configurations
vscode.update_config({ "editor.fontFamily", "editor.tabSize" }, { "Fira Code", 14 })



Show a vscode notification

You can set vscode.notify as your default notify function.

vim.notify = vscode.notify


Creates a status item

  • id (string): The identifier of the item
local test = vscode.get_status_item('test')
test.text = 'hello' -- Show the text
test.text = '' -- Hide the item
test.text = nil -- Close the item
test.text = '' -- error: The status item "test" has been closed


Note: Since 1.0.0, vimscript functions are deprecated. Use the Lua api instead.

  • VSCodeNotify()/VSCodeCall(): deprecated, use Lua require('vscode-neovim').call() instead.
  • VSCodeNotifyRange()/VSCodeCallRange(): deprecated, use Lua require('vscode-neovim').call(…, {range:…}) instead.
  • VSCodeNotifyRangePos()/VSCodeCallRangePos(): deprecated, use Lua require('vscode-neovim').call(…, {range:…}) instead.

⌨️ Keybindings (shortcuts)

Default commands and bindings available for file/scroll/window/tab management:

💡 "With bang" refers to adding a "!" to the end of a command.

Keybindings help

This document only mentions some special cases, it is not an exhaustive list of keybindings and commands. Use VSCode and Nvim features to see documentation and all defined shortcuts:

  • Run the Preferences: Open Keyboard Shortcuts vscode command and search for "neovim" to see all keybindings.
  • Use the Nvim :help command to see the documentation for a given command or keybinding. For example try :help :split or :help zo.
    • Note that :help for <C-…> bindings is spelled CTRL-…. For example to see the help for <c-w>, run :help CTRL-W.
  • Search the online Nvim documentation: https://neovim.io/doc/user/

Add keybindings

Every special (control/alt) keyboard shortcut must be explicitly defined in VSCode to send to neovim. By default, only bindings that are included by Neovim by default are sent.

To pass custom bindings to Neovim, for example C-h in normal mode, add to your keybindings.json:

    "command": "vscode-neovim.send",
    // the key sequence to activate the binding
    "key": "ctrl+h",
    // don't activate during insert mode
    "when": "editorTextFocus && neovim.mode != insert",
    // the input to send to Neovim
    "args": "<C-h>",

Disable keybindings

There are three configurations for toggling keybindings:

  1. ctrlKeysForInsertMode: toggle ctrl keys for insert mode.
  2. ctrlKeysForNormalMode: toggle ctrl keys for normal mode.
  3. editorLangIdExclusions: disable keybindings defined by this extension in certain filetypes. Please note that this will not affect all keybindings.

If you find that these options are not working, you can manually modify the keybindings in VSCode (see below).

Remove keybindings

  • To delete a vscode keybinding edit your settings.json, or use the VSCode keybindings editor:

Code navigation

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

Key VSCode Command
= / == editor.action.formatSelection
gh / K editor.action.showHover
gd / C-] editor.action.revealDefinition
Also works in vim help.
gf editor.action.revealDeclaration
gH editor.action.referenceSearch.trigger
gO workbench.action.gotoSymbol
C-w gd / C-w gf editor.action.revealDefinitionAside
gD editor.action.peekDefinition
gF editor.action.peekDeclaration
Tab togglePeekWidgetFocus
Switch between peek editor and reference list.
C-n / C-p Navigate lists, parameter hints, suggestions, quick-open, cmdline history, peek reference list

💡 To specify the default peek mode, modify editor.peekWidgetDefaultFocus in your settings.

Explorer/list navigation

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

Key VSCode Command
j or k list.focusDown/Up
h or l list.collapse/select
Enter list.select
gg list.focusFirst
G list.focusLast
o list.toggleExpand
C-u or C-d list.focusPageUp/Down
zo or zO list.expand
zc list.collapse
zC list.collapseAllToFocus
za or zA list.toggleExpand
zm or zM list.collapseAll
/ or Escape list.toggleKeyboardNavigation

Explorer file manipulation

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

Key VSCode Command
r renameFile
d deleteFile
y filesExplorer.copy
x filesExplorer.cut
p filesExplorer.paste
v explorer.openToSide
a explorer.newFile
A explorer.newFolder
R workbench.files.action.refreshFilesExplorer

Hover widget manipulation

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

The following keybinding is set by default: When hover is invisible, K is sent to nvim(show hover); when hover is visible, press K again to focus the hover widget.

    "command": "editor.action.showHover",
    "key": "shift+k",
    "when": "neovim.init && neovim.mode == normal && editorTextFocus && editorHoverVisible"
Key VSCode Command
h editor.action.scrollLeftHover
j editor.action.scrollDownHover
k editor.action.scrollUpHover
l editor.action.scrollRightHover
gg editor.action.goToTopHover
G editor.action.goToBottomHover
C-f editor.action.pageDownHover
C-b editor.action.pageUpHover

File management

The extension aliases various Nvim commands (:edit, :enew, :find, :write, :saveas, :wall, :quit, etc.) to equivalent vscode commands. Also their normal-mode equivalents (where applicable) such as C-w q, etc.

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

Tab management

The extension aliases various Nvim tab commands (:tabedit, :tabnew, :tabfind, :tabclose, :tabnext, :tabprevious, :tabfirst, :tablast) to equivalent vscode commands. Also their normal-mode equivalents (where applicable) such as gt, etc.

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

Buffer/window management

The extension aliases various Nvim buffer/window commands (:split, :vsplit, :new, :vnew, :only) to equivalent vscode commands. Also their normal-mode equivalents (where applicable) such as C-w s, etc.

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

💡 Split size distribution is controlled by workbench.editor.splitSizing setting. By default, it's distribute, which is equal to vim's equalalways and eadirection = 'both' (default).

To use VSCode command 'Increase/decrease current view size' instead of separate bindings for width and height:

  • workbench.action.increaseViewSize
  • workbench.action.decreaseViewSize
Copy this into init.vim
function! s:manageEditorSize(...)
    let count = a:1
    let to = a:2
    for i in range(1, count ? count : 1)
        call VSCodeNotify(to ==# 'increase' ? 'workbench.action.increaseViewSize' : 'workbench.action.decreaseViewSize')

" Sample keybindings. Note these override default keybindings mentioned above.
nnoremap <C-w>> <Cmd>call <SID>manageEditorSize(v:count, 'increase')<CR>
xnoremap <C-w>> <Cmd>call <SID>manageEditorSize(v:count, 'increase')<CR>
nnoremap <C-w>+ <Cmd>call <SID>manageEditorSize(v:count, 'increase')<CR>
xnoremap <C-w>+ <Cmd>call <SID>manageEditorSize(v:count, 'increase')<CR>
nnoremap <C-w>< <Cmd>call <SID>manageEditorSize(v:count, 'decrease')<CR>
xnoremap <C-w>< <Cmd>call <SID>manageEditorSize(v:count, 'decrease')<CR>
nnoremap <C-w>- <Cmd>call <SID>manageEditorSize(v:count, 'decrease')<CR>
xnoremap <C-w>- <Cmd>call <SID>manageEditorSize(v:count, 'decrease')<CR>

Insert mode special keys

Enabled by ctrlKeysForInsertMode

Default: ["a", "d", "h", "j", "o", "r", "t", "u", "w"]

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

Normal mode control keys

Enabled by ctrlKeysForNormalMode

Default: ["a", "b", "d", "e", "f", "h", "i", "j", "k", "l", "o", "r", "t", "u", "v", "w", "x", "y", "z", "/", "]"]

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

Cmdline special keys

Always enabled.

  • Tab
  • Ctrl keys: <C-h> <C-w> <C-u> <C-n> <C-p> <C-l> <C-g> <C-t>
  • All <C-r> prefixed keys

💡 See Keybindings help to see all defined shortcuts and their documentation.

🎨 Highlights

There are two ways to customize colors:

  1. Set colors in nvim

Note: Due to the support for the syntax option requiring processing of syntax highlights, all built-in highlight groups may be overridden or cleared. Therefore, please do not link any highlights to the built-in highlight groups.

  1. Set colors in vscode


🧰 Developing

Please see CONTRIBUTING.md for details on how to contribute to this project.

❤️ Credits & External Resources

Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Vscode Neovim" Project. README Source: vscode-neovim/vscode-neovim

Open Source Agenda Badge

Open Source Agenda Rating