ruifig / vim-vs

Vim plugin to build Visual Studio solutions and provide compile flags for YouCompleteMe

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Vim-vs is a vim plugin to make it easier to build Visual Studio's C/C++ solutions.

Vim-vs only targets Windows and Visual Studio, since the target audience is programmers that need to use Windows and Visual Studio but prefer to use Vim for editing.

Supported features:

  • Build/Rebuild/Clean the entire solution
  • Compile a single file
  • Provides compile parameters to YouCompleteMe, making it extremely easy to setup YouCompleteMe for a project
  • Support for Visual Studio 2013/2015/2017 solutions/projects
    • Might work with earlier Visual Studio solutions
    • No support for custom build commands (As-in: A file is compiled with something else other than CL.exe)
  • Build is done asynchronously with output showing in the quickfix window

Requirements to use:


  • Download the latest release ZIP from [] .
    • If you are using Pathogen, create a vim-vs folder in your vimfiles/bundle folder, and extract the contents of the zip there
    • If not using any plugin manager, extract the contents to your vimfiles folder
  • Install the AsyncRun plugin []
  • If you wish to use vim-vs to provide compile flags for YouCompleteMe, add this to your vimrc file:
    • let g:ycm_extra_conf_vim_data = ['g:vimvs_exe']
    • If you already have that variable specified, append the g:vimvs_exe

If you wish to build from the latest source code, you need Cmake and Visual Studio 2015 (Or higher if you modify the script). Run "make_release.bat", and it will build and create a folder "release" with everything you need to install.

How to use

Create a .vimvs.ini file at the root of your project with the following contents:

solution=<Path to your sln file>

Tweak common_ycm_params as required for your project if necessary. Individual parameters should be seperated by | Take a look at vim-vs's own .vimvs.ini for a working example.


  • :VimvsRoot
    • Display the directory where .vimvs.ini is found
  • :VimvsUpdateDB
    • This will perform a fake build (by replacing the CL/LIB/LINKER tools) to build the database vim-vs requires for any other commands.
    • You need to run this when you feel vim-vs is not up to date, such as when you add/remove files, or add/remove #include statements. For example, if you add a new source file to a project, you won't be able to compile that file (aka: Ctr-F7 in Visual Studio) until you run this command.
  • :VimvsActiveConfig
    • Displays what Configuration|Platform is active.
  • :VimvsSetConfiguration <Configuration>
    • Set the configuration to use. E.g: :VimvsSetConfiguration Release
    • Default is Debug
  • :VimvsSetPlatform <Platform>
    • Set the platform to use. E.g: :VimvsSetPlatform x86
    • Default is x64
  • :VimvsBuild
    • Perform a build
  • :VimvsRebuild
    • Perform a rebuild
  • :VimvsClean
    • Perform a rebuild
  • :VimvsCompile
    • Compile only the current file
  • :VimvsOpenAlt
    • Swaps between a header/source file

Commands that involve building anything will show current progress in the quickfix list. Once the command finishes, the quickfix list is reset to show any errors/warnings.

Using with YouCompleteMe

To have vim-vs provide compile flags for YouCompleteMe, copy the provided plugin\ to your project root. That is just the barebones to query vim-vs for compile flags for a file, and should be adequate for most projects.

Setting shortcuts similar to Visual Studio

I recommend you create some shortcuts to emulate Visual Studio. Example:

noremap <silent> <F7> :VimvsBuild<CR>
noremap <silent> <C-F7> :VimvsCompile<CR>
noremap <silent> <C-A-F7> :VimvsRebuild<CR>
noremap <silent> <A-o> :VimvsOpenAlt<CR>


Vim plugin to build Visual Studio solutions and provide compile flags for YouCompleteMe

License:MIT License


Language:C++ 71.2%Language:CMake 21.1%Language:Vim Script 3.8%Language:Python 2.2%Language:Batchfile 1.4%Language:C 0.4%