I get frustrated using Notepad on my Windows XP machine when I want to do more complicated text manipulation. Having used VI on various versions of UNIX I'd like to get something with its power on my Windows machine without having to do a full Cygwin install. Can anyone recommend a program that does this?

  • 1
    hoooooray another convert! we'll beat those emacs freaks yet! Oct 4 '09 at 18:56
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    lol @ quack. Never used emacs myself but as VI comes with every UNIX install it was recommended to learn this and there'll never be a problem when I get to a UNIX machine
    – ianfuture
    Oct 4 '09 at 19:52

gvim is a GUI version of vim (vi improved). There is also vim available for the Windows command line.

  • i don't even have a commandline vi in my cygwin install, this is what i use instead. it's built to not need cygwin so it's not the cleanest integration, but it works. Oct 4 '09 at 18:58
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    gvim is what I use on Windows. I like it. Oct 5 '09 at 19:04
  • spotted this vim-tips wikia site the other day: vim.wikia.com/wiki/Vim_Tips_Wiki Oct 11 '09 at 5:43

Of course. There's Vim - vi improved. It offers a Windows port. Highly recommended.


I use WinVI. It's lightweight and you can easily replace normal notepad with it. Works well on Windows 7 both 32Bit and 64Bit.


With things like vi (and it's various flavors) there are always a number of churches. From personal experience, I prefer gvim on windows.

However, you may also be interested in Vimperator, which is a free Firefox plug-in that provides vim style control of Firefox and ViEmu (commercial) which provides similar for office, visual studio and SQL Server.

  • but he wants a text editor...
    – solarc
    Mar 19 '10 at 20:45

Apart from what others have mentioend, there is also Cream. It is a gvim variant configured in a way as to try to mimic newer less keyboard-oriented editors of today.

I'm accustomed to gvim, but have to admit that it's an interesting little project.

You can use it in Cream way or in gvim way (better see more on page).

  • I don't really think cream is good for people wanting vim. It may use vim as the backend but if you use the default config you can't get out of insert mode! Nov 4 '09 at 20:42
  • Well, in that case even vim hardly qualifies as vi equivalent. Since, for those who know both, it is obvious that the difference between the two is huge. Yes, both have i and n mode, but that's where the similarities end. IMO, Cream is a pretty powerful editor, for those who wish to learn how to use it, and have something in between vi/vim/ and windows editors. You can use it in pure vim mode if you wish so too (there is an option somewhere in the toolbar). So I really don't see the problem.
    – Rook
    Nov 4 '09 at 21:39

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