I want to simply browse the VIM user-manual, but the only way I get access is by opening a session of vim and the typing: help user-manual. The problem with this is that this ends up creating a screen split which is not comfortable for reading, especially when I don't even need the empty file below.

I know that Ctrl+W will fix this issue, but I'm running Linux from my Chromebook and Chrome overrides the Ctrl+W shortcut (close current tab).

So would there be a way I can open up the user-manual by itself? And if not, could anyone suggest a clever hack?

One thing I did try to do was create a copy of the manual and open that up in vim, but this didn't allow any of the links to function.

  • Just noticed in "Related" that this Q is asked and answered here
    – bsd
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 10:26
  • Got it. I'll make sure to look around some more before asking again.
    – Maxim
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 4:21

1 Answer 1


The vim command line switch -c will execute vim commands.
You can pass multiple commands and passing the two following commands will start help, in only one window

vim -c help -c only
  • How do you go to a specific page in the user-manual? I tried vim -c help usr_05.txt -c only but that just takes you to the start of help.txt. So you still need to move your cursor to the tag for the page title in the table of contents and jump to it with <CTRL-]> Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 23:14
  • Try quoting the chapter, together with the help command, vim -c 'help usr_05.txt'
    – bsd
    Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 9:03
  • Okay that worked. I guess commands that take an argument need to be wrapped in double quotes, which is great because now I can jump straight to a specific section with the tag command, :ta. Say I want to view just section 7.2 of the user manual, then I could run vim -c help -c "ta 07.2" -c only Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 2:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .