Quick tips for technical writing with LaTeX and Neovim

software tool
technical writing
You can tweak Neovim for technical writing!

Gregory M. Kapfhammer



I enjoy using Vim when I am writing LaTeX documents for my teaching and research. Since Neovim became available I have been using it as a — capable and compelling — alternative to Vim. I find that Neovim works really well and that its plugin ecosystem is great! But, if you want the vimtex plugin to work with Neovim, then you need to take two extra steps, as explained in this post.

What do you need to do to write LaTeX in Neovim? Well, when I was writing (Walsh, Kapfhammer, and McMinn 2017) with Neovim, I needed to change my .vimrc file and install a plugin. After following the instructions to install the neovim-remote plugin, I added this code segment to ensure that vimtex can communicate with the latexmk process that is compiling my paper.

if has("nvim")
  let g:vimtex_latexmk_progname = 'nvr'

Wait! There is one more thing. If you, like me, have been using Vim for many years and only recently started to use Neovim, then you will also need to run commands like the following so that you can “retrofit” your Vim configuration to work correctly with Neovim. Or, you can re-write your Vim configuration in Lua!

ln -s ~/.vim ~/.nvim
ln -s ~/.vimrc ~/.nvim/init.vim
Get the Gist!
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Are you interested in learning more about how I configure Vim and Neovim? Please study the source code of my .vimrc that is available in the GitHub repository gkapfham/dotfiles. With that said, since this post was written I’ve converted my Neovim configuration to use Lua and the lazy.nvim plugin manager. This means that you should study my init.lua file instead!

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Walsh, Thomas A., Gregory M. Kapfhammer, and Phil McMinn. 2017. “ReDeCheck: An Automatic Layout Failure Checking Tool for Responsively Designed Web Pages.” In Proceedings of the International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis.