Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


A Vim plugin to give suggestions to improve your movements. It's a bit like Clippy.



  • Find the shortest motion sequence or search query to move the cursor
  • Help summaries to explain a suggestion
  • Asynchronous - pathfinding runs in a separate process


Use your favorite plugin manager. I recommend vim-plug.

if has('python3') && has('timers')
  Plug 'danth/pathfinder.vim'
  echoerr 'pathfinder.vim is not supported on this Vim installation'

You may also need to run git submodule update --init from inside the plugin directory. Most popular plugin managers will do that automatically.


  1. Move the cursor in normal, visual or visual-line mode.
  2. That's it.

Suggestions pop up above the cursor if you have:

  • Vim 8.2 or above, with +popupwin
  • Neovim 0.4 or above

Otherwise, they will appear as a plain echo at the bottom of the screen.


If you don't understand how a suggestion works, you should use the :PathfinderExplain command, which will show a short description of each motion used.

If you find yourself using this a lot, make a mapping for it!

noremap <leader>pe :PathfinderExplain<CR>

Manual Commands

If you set g:pf_autorun_delay to a negative value, you get two commands instead:

  • :PathfinderBegin: Set the start position. This still happens automatically when switching windows/tabs, or loading a new file.
  • :PathfinderRun: Set the target position and get a suggestion.

Related Plugins

  • vim-be-good - Various training games to practice certain actions
  • vim-hardtime - Prevent yourself from repeating keys like h,j,k,l


pathfinder.vim works out-of-the box with the default configuration. You don't need to read this section if you don't want to.

highlight PathfinderPopup

Change the appearance of suggestion popups. Default: same as cursor


Milliseconds to display the popup for. Default: 3000


When this number of seconds have elapsed with no motions being made, the pathfinder will run. It also runs for other events such as changing modes. A negative value will disable automatic suggestions. Default: 2


Multiplier which determines the range of lines to be explored around the start and target positions. This is calculated as (lines between start and target × multiplier) and added to both sides. Default: 0.5

This limitation improves performance by disallowing movements outside the area of interest. It also prevents suggestions which rely on knowing about the exact text hundreds of lines away. Settings below 1 cause movements within a line to only use motions inside that line.

If you have a powerful computer, you can increase this option to a high value to allow exploring more of the file. You can also disable it completely by setting a negative value.


Cap the number of surrounding lines explored (see above) to a maximum value. As usual, this can be disabled by making it negative. Default: 10


Dictionary of descriptions, used for :PathfinderExplain.

let g:pf_descriptions['k'] = 'Up {count} lines'
let g:pf_descriptions['f'] = 'To occurence {count} of "{argument}", to the right'

Ensure the plugin is loaded before trying to override keys. Otherwise, the default dictionary will not exist and you'll get an error.

Re-defining the entire dictionary is not recommended since it could cause problems if support for a new motion is added and you don't have a description for it.

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