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I'm trying to run vim on win7 inside msys (which isnt entirely necessary, i know i can run gvim in windows, but i'd like to be able to use vi inside terminal)

everything installs fine with mingw-get

but, even after copying over some help files and whatnot, :help TOPIC doesn't do anything because E433: No Tags File

how should I go about configuring my vi correctly?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It depends on where you put the help files. If you put them in $VIMRUNTIME/doc then execute

:helptags $VIMRUNTIME/doc

If you put them elsewhere, run :helptags with the path to the doc file where you put them, e.g.,

:helptags $HOME/vimfiles/doc


:help :helptags
:help add-local-help
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After :helptags on ~\.vim\doc runs I still get "no help file", even when i try :help :helptags – justin cress Nov 3 '11 at 21:01
On Windows, by default, Vim doesn't look for anything in ~\.vim--it looks in ~\vimfiles instead. If you want to change your installation so that Vim looks in ~\.vim, you just need to change the value of the 'runtimepath' option in your ~\.vimrc or ~_vimrc. (Vim does look for both ~_vimrc and ~\.vimrc, in that order on Windows.) – garyjohn Nov 3 '11 at 21:19
~\.vim is where msys installed it? – justin cress Nov 3 '11 at 22:11
I'm sorry. I'm trying to juggle too many balls at once and I forgot you were using MSYS, not straight Windows, so ~\.vim is probably the right place. However, when using Vim you have to be careful using \ as a path separator. In most contexts, Vim treats \ as an escape character, so "~\.vim\doc" is likely being interpreted as "~.vimdoc". Try both ":helptags $VIMRUNTIME/doc" and ":helptags ~/.vim/doc". Vim will change the / to \ if needed. – garyjohn Nov 3 '11 at 22:22

You can install the 'doc' component of the vim package for MSYS

$ mingw-get install msys-vim-doc
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