Using PhpStorm as the Vim Editor
Before you start
Make sure that:
- You are working with PhpStorm version 2016.1 or higher. If you still do not have PhpStorm, download it from this page. To install PhpStorm, follow the instructions, depending on your platform.
Downloading and installing IdeaVim plugin
You see the list of plugins currently installed on you computer. However, the IdeaVim plugin is not among them. Click the button Browse JetBrains plugins. PhpStorm shows the contents of the huge JetBrains repository... you can type the word "vim" in the search field to narrow down the list:
After installing the plugin, it actually becomes available after PhpStorm restart.
What happens to PhpStorm's UI after restart?
First, on themenu, a check command appears:
After PhpStorm restart, this check command is selected. You can disable Vim by clearing this check command.
Second, in Settings/Preferences dialog, an additional page Vim Emulation appears after restart.
Both Vim and PhpStorm are keyboard-centric. With IdeaVim plugin, it is quite possible that PhpStorm's keymap runs into a conflict with the Vim keymap. That's why PhpStorm allows you choosing which keyboard shortcut you prefer for a certain action. This is how it's done.
Open Settings/Preferences dialog, and click Vim Emulation:
In the Shortcut column, select the shortcut you want to configure. Next, in the Handler column, click the corresponding cell, and see the drop-down list of three possible options (Undefined, IDE, Vim):
If you choose IDE, it means that the PhpStorm's shortcut for this particular action is enabled. When you press, say, Ctrl+Z, PhpStorm silently performs its action.
If you leave the handler undefined, then, on pressing the shortcut, say, Ctrl+B, PhpStorm shows the banner.
You can choose to redefine this shortcut as an IDE shortcut and thus accept the PhpStorm's keymap. To do so, click the link IDE shortcut.
If you click the down arrow and then the link Vim Emulation, then PhpStorm will show the Vim Emulation page of the Settings/Preferences dialog.
For the purposes of this tutorial, click the link Vim Emulation. Then, when you press Ctrl+B, PhpStorm will perform the Vim action for this keyboard shortcut.
OK, now that you have Vim enabled, you see that the cursor has changed its shape - now it is a block, which means that you are in the Normal mode :
If you want to enter the Insert mode, press
i, and the cursor will turn into a line:
In this mode you can type new or change the existing code. Same way, you can enter the various Vim modes: for example, press
r for the Replace mode.
By the way, as soon as you enter Vim emulation, it is also reported in the Status bar.
To return to the Normal mode, press Escape.