README_dos.txt for version 7.3 of Vim: Vi IMproved.
This file explains the installation of Vim on MS-DOS and MS-Windows systems.
See "README.txt" for general information about Vim.
There are two ways to install Vim:
A. Use the self-installing .exe file.
B. Unpack .zip files and run the install.exe program.
A. Using the self-installing .exe
This is mostly self-explaining. Just follow the prompts and make the
selections. A few things to watch out for:
- When an existing installation is detected, you are offered to first remove
this. The uninstall program is then started while the install program waits
for it to complete. Sometimes the windows overlap each other, which can be
confusing. Be sure the complete the uninstalling before continuing the
installation. Watch the taskbar for uninstall windows.
- When selecting a directory to install Vim, use the same place where other
versions are located. This makes it easier to find your _vimrc file. For
example "C:\Program Files\vim" or "D:\vim". A name ending in "vim" is
- After selecting the directory where to install Vim, clicking on "Next" will
start the installation.
B. Using .zip files
These are the normal steps to install Vim from the .zip archives:
1. Go to the directory where you want to put the Vim files. Examples:
If you already have a "vim" directory, go to the directory in which it is
located. Check the $VIM setting to see where it points to:
For example, if you have
Binary and runtime Vim archives are normally unpacked in the same location,
on top of each other.
2. Unpack the zip archives. This will create a new directory "vim\vim73",
in which all the distributed Vim files are placed. Since the directory
name includes the version number, it is unlikely that you overwrite
pkunzip -d gvim73.zip
You need to unpack the runtime archive and at least one of the binary
archives. When using more than one binary version, be careful not to
overwrite one version with the other, the names of the executables
"vim.exe" and "gvim.exe" are the same.
After you unpacked the files, you can still move the whole directory tree
to another location. That is where they will stay, the install program
won't move or copy the runtime files.
Only for the 32 bit DOS version on MS-DOS without DPMI support (trying to
run install.exe will produce an error message): Unpack the CSDPMI4B.ZIP
archive and follow the instructions in the documentation.
3. Change to the new directory:
Run the "install.exe" program. It will ask you a number of questions about
how you would like to have your Vim setup. Among these are:
- You can tell it to write a "_vimrc" file with your preferences in the
- It can also install an "Edit with Vim" entry in the Windows Explorer
- You can have it create batch files, so that you can run Vim from the
console or in a shell. You can select one of the directories in your
$PATH. If you skip this, you can add Vim to the search path manually:
The simplest is to add a line to your autoexec.bat. Examples:
- Create entries for Vim on the desktop and in the Start menu.
- If Vim can't find the runtime files, ":help" won't work and the GUI version
won't show a menubar. Then you need to set the $VIM environment variable to
point to the top directory of your Vim files. Example:
Vim version 7.3 will look for your vimrc file in $VIM, and for the runtime
files in $VIM/vim73. See ":help $VIM" for more information.
- To avoid confusion between distributed files of different versions and your
own modified vim scripts, it is recommended to use this directory layout:
("C:\vim" is used here as the root, replace it with the path you use)
Your own files:
C:\vim\_vimrc Your personal vimrc.
C:\vim\_viminfo Dynamic info for 'viminfo'.
C:\vim\vimfiles\ftplugin\*.vim Filetype plugins
C:\vim\... Other files you made.
C:\vim\vim73\vim.exe The Vim version 7.3 executable.
C:\vim\vim73\doc\*.txt The version 7.3 documentation files.
C:\vim\vim73\bugreport.vim A Vim version 7.3 script.
C:\vim\vim73\... Other version 7.3 distributed files.
In this case the $VIM environment variable would be set like this:
Then $VIMRUNTIME will automatically be set to "$VIM\vim73". Don't add
"vim73" to $VIM, that won't work.
- You can put your Vim executable anywhere else. If the executable is not
with the other Vim files, you should set $VIM. The simplest is to add a line
to your autoexec.bat. Examples:
- If you have told the "install.exe" program to add the "Edit with Vim" menu
entry, you can remove it by running the "uninstal.exe". See
- In Windows 95/98/NT you can create a shortcut to Vim. This works for all
DOS and Win32 console versions. For the console version this gives you the
opportunity to set defaults for the Console where Vim runs in.
1. On the desktop, click right to get a menu. Select New/Shortcut.
2. In the dialog, enter Command line: "C:\command.com". Click "Next".
3. Enter any name. Click "Finish".
The new shortcut will appear on the desktop.
4. With the mouse pointer on the new shortcut, click right to get a menu.
5. In the Program tab, change the "Cmdline" to add "/c" and the name of the
Vim executable. Examples:
C:\command.com /c C:\vim\vim73\vim.exe
C:\command.com /c D:\editors\vim\vim73\vim.exe
6. Select the font, window size, etc. that you like. If this isn't
possible, select "Advanced" in the Program tab, and deselect "MS-DOS
7. Click OK.
For gvim, you can use a normal shortcut on the desktop, and set the size of
the Window in your $VIM/_gvimrc:
set lines=30 columns=90
For further information, type one of these inside Vim: