Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: JANUARY 2013
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Vimprobable - A WWW browser based on webkit with keybindings inspired by Vim, the great editor.



vimprobable2 [ -c|--config ] [ -e|--embed ] [ -h|--help ] [ -v|--version ] [ URI ]



-c config file
Use the specified config file. If none found, defaults to $HOME/.config/vimprobable/vimprobablerc
-e windowid
Given the windowid of an XEmbed-aware application, Vimprobable will use that as its parent.
Prints out a short usage summary.
Prints the version of Vimprobable.



Vimprobable is a WWW browser that is built around the webkit library. Vimprobable is fast. Vimprobable comes without buttons and other graphic widgets. It is aimed at being controlled as mouselessly as possible. It uses keybindings that are inspired by Vim, the great editor.

Just like Vim, moving through a webpage can be done by entering commands at the keyboard. Most of these commands require just one or two keystrokes.

Vimprobable mimics the ex-command mode of Vim. By entering a colon (:) commands like open, set and map can be entered.



Don't want to read this entire manpage? Here are a few basic steps:

o Insert URL from keyboard and load it

t Insert URL from keyboard and load it into new window

j Scroll down

k Scroll up

d Close current window



The default keyboard bindings are explained in this section. These keybindings can be changed - either by the map command (changes will take effect immediately) or by altering vimprobablerc (changes in effect for each new window) or editing keymap.h in the source directory (in which case you will need to recompile to see changes take effect).

Move through current page
Vimprobable recognizes the following motion commands: 0, $, g, <shift>G, h, j, k, l, Ctrl-b, Ctrl-f, Ctrl-d, Ctrl-u, Ctrl-e, Ctrl-y

Move through pages
These commands are used to walk through the browse-history. Ctrl-i, Ctrl-o, <shift>H, <shift>L

Reloading and cancel loading

r Reload

<shift>R Force reload

Ctrl-c Cancel load

Zoom in and out

zi Zoom text in

zI Zoom full content in

zo Zoom text out

zO Zoom full content out

zz Zoom reset

zZ Zoom reset

URL commands

y Yank current URL into clipboard

Y Yank current selection into clipboard

gu Load URL one directory up

gU Load rootdirectory of current URL

gh Load homepage

gH Load homepage into new window

p Load URL from clipboard

P Load URL from clipboard into new window

o Insert URL from keyboard and load it

t Insert URL from keyboard and load it into new window

O Generate :open command with the current URL

T Generate :tabopen command with the current URL

u Open a new window with the URL which was closed last


/ Start search

? Start backward search

n Next search result

N Previous search result


f (or ;o) Follow link

F (or ;t or ;w) Follow link in new window

;s Save the specified link (or element) to disk

;y Yank the destination's location

;O Generate an :open command with the link's URL (like O)

;T or ;W Generate an :tabopen command with the link's URL (like T)

;i Open image in current window

;I Open image in new window

gi Focus next input field



The following commands are entered after first entering a colon (:)


Insert URL from keyboard and load it

Shortcut: o


Insert URL from keyboard and load it into new window

Shortcut: t

:bma or :bookmark

Bookmarks the current page.

Bookmarks are retrieved by tab completion when entering a new URL.

You can add tags to the bookmarks by entering tag terms after the command, e.g.

:bma tag1 tag2 tag3


Open all bookmarks containing a certain tag in new windows.

:fo[rward] and :ba[ck]

The commands :fo, :forward, :ba and :backward move through the browse-history

:re[load], :re! and :reload!

The commands :re, :reload, ;re! and :reload! are given to reload or force reload.


Cancel current loading


Toggles between normal view and sourcecode view.


Change default settings on the fly. See man vimprobablerc for the list of settings to be changed.


Change default keybindings on the fly. See man vimprobablerc for the list of mappings to be changed.


Close current window

Shortcut: d


Print the current URL


Zooms text in


Zooms text out


Zooms page in


Zooms page out



Vimprobable is a modal browser. By default, it is in command mode, meaning that any keystroke will be interpreted by the internal command engine. INSERT mode is automatically activated if an input field on a website becomes focused. Should this not work (due to limitations of the Webkit-GTK engine and the faulty HTML code of some websites, this is possible), you can manually switch the browser to PASSTHROUGH mode instead (Ctrl+Z). In INSERT and PASSTHROUGH modes, keystrokes will not be interpreted by the browser, but passed to the underlying engine/website.

In addition, there is HINT mode. This is activated with the "f" key by default. Enter a the number of a link to follow it. Alternatively, you can enter the link text (case sensitive) to narrow down your choices.



Up to 9 quickmarks can be defined. These are stored as quickmark 1 up to quickmark 9. You can store the URI of the current page as quickmark with

:set qmark=<hotkey>

Later you can recall the quickmark with



:set qmark=4 Store current URI as quickmark 4

q4 Recall quickmark 4



Searchengines let you submit queries to web search engines and similar sites without having to type the complete URL or visit the page first.

For example, if ex is defined as the shortcut for the search at, you can use "ex search term" instead of an URL to search there for "search term".

The following search engines (and shortcuts) are already defined in config.h:


You can always overwrite them or define your own in $HOME/.config/vimprobable/vimprobablerc. See vimprobablerc (5) for details. Default search engine

If Vimprobable doesn't recognize an address as a valid URL or query to one of the defined search engines, it will use the default search engine instead. See vimprobablerc(5) on how to set this default.



You can define external applications to handle requests for defined URI schemas.

The following URI handlers are already defined in config.h:

x-terminal-emulator -e wget %s
x-terminal-emulator -e mutt %s
x-terminal-emulator -e vi %s

See vimprobablerc(5) for details how to add or override these settings.

You can always overwrite them or define your own in $HOME/.config/vimprobable/vimprobablerc.

The vimprobableedit protocol plays a special role. It is used by vimprobable when an external editor is called from within a text field. Note that vimprobable will update the text field when the forked process terminates. Editors that detach from the controlling terminal (vim -g does, for example) terminate immediately as far as vimprobable is concerned, which means your changes will not be pulled into the text field. If your editor suffers from that disease, check of options that keep it from detaching; for vim, the -f option does this.



Please make sure you create these files before first running the browser. Everything but the history, bookmarks and closed files is optional. The cookies file is required if you want to use cookies.










There has not been any significant bug-hunting yet.  


Hannes Schueller and Matto Fransen  






This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 12:20:08 GMT, May 17, 2013