Want to make the Vim GUI prettier? After switching back to Notepad++ for a bit for work, I started to miss the Vim style typing where your fingers don’t have to leave the home row keys. Configuring Vim again made me realize I would have wanted to know how to make Vim look like a respectable text editor a year ago when I started messing with it. It really is debilitatingly ugly compared to any modern text editor. At least in Windows it is. I know in linux it often looks a bit nicer. Below is how I configure Vim for Windows. Feel free to adapt and tweak these however you like and make Vim more beautiful:
Download the developer colorscheme (a screenshot can be seen at google vim colorschemes under “developer”). I like coding on light colorschemes. They’re easier on the eyes, I find, when switching back and forth from the web where many pages are bright white. The text colors in the developer colorscheme aren’t beautiful, but functionally they are my favorite syntax highlighting for html. Copy the developer.vim file into Vimvimfilescolors.
Download new bitmap Vim toolbar icons. Unzip the file after you download it. And place the whole bitmaps folder which actually contains the icons right in Vimvimfiles.
Here are some basic rules I add to the bottom of my _vimrc file (it’s right in the main Vim folder):
The first line will turn on the developer colorscheme. The second line sets the default font to lucida console (which is a decent coding font, I think) to a nice geriatric size so you can sit back and relax as you code. The third line turns off Vim’s automatic file backups, which are nice but will drive any non-Vimmers you work with crazy when they see a bunch of weird backup files everywhere with weird tildas in the filenames.
Make sure you restart vim and then you should be good to go.