Discover how to actually switch from VsCode to Neovim in 23 Days

Introduction

In this blog article, I am not going to convenience you, that you should switch from VsCode to Neovim. I will leave experts to do it for me. But if you tried switching to Neovim in the past, you might have had a hard time. In this article, I am going to share how I overcame those, and if you want to switch to Neovim full-time how I would suggest doing so.

First, when I switched to Neovim, it destroyed my productivity. It was like I was trying to learn how to speak in new language. It took so much mental effort just to form a basic sentence. Until you get the hang of it, you feel like a polyglot. (until you try to update something and your plugin gets all messed up and breaks your editor).

So, as I explained it’s hard. You will go back to your other editor where you can work faster, maybe it is VS code or IntelliJ somewhere where you are comfortable. In this blog I am not teaching you how to set up Neovim, I will link some fantastic resources from where you can do it later. Rather I will show you the successful path I took switching from VScode to Neovim.

Do you need to switch from VsCode to Neovim though?

Everybody asks this question themself once after or before they switch from VsCode to Neovim. First, to start using Neovim I think you need to have a desire for using it. Also, you need to know why Neovim over VScode or other editors. I will link some articles and videos that will explain the task. But it is you who should decide further.

Installing Vim Extension

There are thousands of things to learn while learning Neovim. But you can apply the 80-20 rule here learn the basics and start using Neovim. You just need to learn the basic commands mentioned in Vimtutor after that install the Vim extension in your VSCode or IntelliJ and start using Vim motion there.

Screenshot 2023 09 26 at 4.50.37 PM

Doing so will allow you to learn the basics of Vim in an environment with which you are already familiar. You will be apply to apply the concept learned from Vimtutor or other blogs in action. The best thing about this approach is, if you are at your work and it is making you slower by a lot you can just disable the extension and activate it when you are working on your projects.

You can keep working on the Vim extension until you are comfortable with it and want to go faster.

Configuring Neovim in your Device

In this step, I recommend configuring your own VimRc in your terminal. Video from ThePrimeagen helped me set up my own VImRc you can follow that too. If you don’t understand any of these, just follow his steps and you will get there, then search for individual packages and how they work.

If you are interested I suggest reading this awesome blog post about Neovim. Learn Neovim The Practical Way. This blog will help you get familiar with Neovim, which will come in handy when things break or you want your changes.

Also, you can use chatGPT, which can write basic to intermediate configs for your vimRC.

Using the terminal

switch from VsCode to Neovim
switch from VsCode to Neovim

It was time, I when you switched from VScode to Neovim fully. It will be the hardest part. You will have no idea how to navigate your project. Other than that, Everything you learned before will come in handy. To overcome this you need to do some more config. One piece of advice everyone gave me during this time was not to recreate VScode in Neovim. Neovim can be much better. Some things might seem faster in VScode like file switching. But with a little bit of research and config, you can configure the same thing here or even better. so do your research, configure, and keep learning.

Conclusion

Learning Vim is hard, and switching from VsCode to Neovim is even harder. But will some desire and patience everyone can learn it. Saying it is for everyone is also wrong. People need to decide whether vim is for them or not. It will surely increase your productivity as well and you will learn how your editor works under the hood.

If you found my journey of switching from VsCode to Neovim in 23 days interesting, Make sure to share this article with your friends. I also do a lot of leet codes if you are interested in those.

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