VIM's got a syntax highlight file I would like to have in Notepad++.
But VIM uses ".vim" files for syntax highlight definitions, while Notepad++ uses XML.
At the "Import" button, you can only specify XML files.

Is there a way to import a VIM syntax highlight file?


Vim's syntax highlighting rules are highly Vim-specific for a number of reasons. Some of them are:

  • Vim's syntax highlighting engine relies heavily on Vim's regular expressions, which are similar but not identical to other regular expression engines.
  • Files ending in .vim are Vim scripts, a language that is extremely specific to Vim.
  • The syntax rules include capability for syntax based folding and other things, which you may or may not have in Notepad++ (I have never used it)
  • ...And so on.

My point is that it is very unlikely that you will find a tool that is capable of converting Vim's syntax highlighting rules to something that any other text editor can use. Even if one existed I have no doubt that it would require someone to correct and perfect the new rules file by hand.

Ultimately, it is probably just going to be a painstaking job that you have to do by hand, and in the end it would be simpler to start from scratch for whatever specific languages you want to support with Notepad++.

  • Well, you get the upvote, but let's keep the Q open. Hopefully someone will make an app/site like that. :) Until then, I'll just run gVim when I mess up and need to find where. – Apache Mar 30 '13 at 1:34

vim is a text editor and doesn't have a syntax per say. What it has are defined language syntax so if you are working on say a .sh, .pl, or .html file it will highlight and color specific commands, methods, and properties that the imported defined language syntax is aware of.

If there is a specific language that you are interested importing something like this is what I would look for. There will most likely already be an XML created by somewhere out in the wide world web. Then import the XML created for that language. This is a similar post about importing defined language syntax into Notepadd++:


Though it does matter if you installed Notepad++ in 'C:\Program Files (x86)' or in 'C:\Users\%username%\AppData.

  • I'm looking for a generic solution as VIM got tons of good syntax files ready, just to get imported/used. (Well, learning VIM is definitely a way, but I prefer NP++.) – Apache Mar 29 '13 at 23:42
  • Might be a little more difficult, but perhaps another member of the community will have an answer that meets your needs. – Dion Pezzimenti Mar 29 '13 at 23:49

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