Alternative to MacVim? VimR as Neovim GUI for MacOS

I recently published some posts on the topic of Neovim  on my blog. If you have used Vim so far, you probably also know MacVim , the GUI version of Vim.

Since MacVim is based on Vim, you would have to maintain two configs or try to build a common Neovim config. Personally, I don’t find MacVim to be a really nice Mac application and it always feels a bit “dusty.”


A better option here is VimR, as it is directly based on Neovim and looks very modern. It also looks more like a real Mac application than MacVim. It is programmed in Swift and is therefore closer to a normal application for macOS.

In addition to the standard functions of Neovim as a GUI, it offers a built-in file manager, a very nice overview of all open files (buffers), and a simple HTML and Markdown view of the document.

VimR mit gut 30 offenen Markdown-Files im Einsatz.
VimR is in use with about 30 open Markdown files.

Especially the Markdown preview cannot keep up with the plugin I use, as it only knows rudimentary Markdown commands. But it’s a start. A better option is the Markdown preview contained in my plugins.


You should possibly already have a config for Neovim, but you can also install VimR without it. Either download it from the project page or install it with Homebrew.

brew install --cask vimr

The config from nvim is used, i.e., ~/.config/nvim/init.vim. If you want to have something specifically only in VimR, you can do this in ~/.config/nvim/ginit.vim.

For me, there is only one line here for setting the font:

VimRSetFontAndSize "SauceCodePro Nerd Font", 18
VimR ist eine gute Alternative zu MacVim für Neovim-Anwender.
VimR is a good alternative to MacVim for Neovim users.

Everything else is in the common config for console and GUI in the init.vim. I now work very often with VimR and have not yet been able to detect any real problems or bugs.

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