Navigating large markdown files in vim


Arumoy Shome


April 29, 2023


Strategies to navigate large plaintext (specifically markdown) files in vim.

Here are three strategies that I use to navigate large markdown files in vim.


Relatively new versions of vim already include the markdown runtime files package by the infamous tpope. Looking at the source code, we can see that we can enable folding in markdown files by adding the following configuration to our vimrc file.

let g:markdown_folding = 1

Now we can use the vim’s standard folding keybindings to collapse or open sections of a large markdown file. See :help folding in vim for more information.

Movement by text-object

The plugin also includes a pair of handy normal mode keybindings to navigate between the sections of a markdown document.

  • [[: go to previous section
  • ]]: go to next section
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