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Vroom - Slide Shows in Vim

vroom-pm vroom-pm


    > mkdir MySlides    # Make a Directory for Your Slides
    > cd MySlides       # Go In There
    > vroom new         # Create Example Slides File
    > vim slides.vroom  # Edit the File and Add Your Own Slides
    > vroom vroom       # Show Your Slides
    > vroom html        # Publish Your Slides as HTML


Ever given a Slide Show and needed to switch over to Vim?

Now you don't ever have to switch again. You're already there.

Vroom lets you create your slides in a single file using a Wiki-like style, much like Spork and Sporx do. The difference is that your slides don't compile to HTML or JavaScript or XUL. They get turned into a set of files that begin with '0', like '03' or '07c' or ''.

The slides are named in alphabetic order. That means you can bring them all into a Vim session with the command: vim 0*. vroom vroom does exactly that.

You can do things like advance to the next slide with the spacebar. Vroom creates a file called ./.vimrc with helpful key mappings for navigating a slideshow. See [KEY MAPPINGS] below.

Vroom takes advantage of Vim's syntax highlighting. It also lets you run slides that contain code.

Since Vim is an editor, you can change your slides during the show.


vroom has a few command line options:

vroom new

Write an example slides.vroom file. This example contains all the config options and also examples of all the Vroom syntax features.

vroom vroom

Compile (create) the slides files from the input file and start vim show.

vroom compile

Just compile the slides.

vroom html

Publish the slides to HTML, with embedded JavaScript to navigate with the spacebar and backspace keys. Created in the html/ subdirectory.

vroom text

Publish the slides to plain text. This action uses all the text slides in their unsplit form. Created in the text/ subdirectory.

vroom clean

Clean up all the compiled output files.

vroom ghpublish

Creates a shell script in the current directory, that is intended to publish your slides to the special GitHub branch called gh-pages. See [GITHUB NOTES] below.

This command does NOT run the script. It merely creates it for you. It is up to you to review the script and run it (if it makes sense on your system).

vroom <action> --skip=#

The skip option takes a number as its input and skips that number of files during compilation. This is useful when you are polishing your slides and are finished with the first 50. You can say:

    vroom vroom --skip=50

and it will start on slide #51.

vroom <action> --input=<file_name>

This option lets you specify an alternate input file name, instead of the default one, slides.vroom.


Here is an example slides.vroom file:

    ---- config
    # These are YAML settings for Vroom
    title: My Spiffy Slideshow
    # height: 84
    # width: 20
    auto_size: 1  # Determines height/width automatically
    # skip: 12      # Skip 12 slides. Useful when making slides.
    ---- center
    My Presentation

    by Ingy
    == Stuff I care about:

    * Foo
    +* Bar
    +* Baz
    ---- perl,i10
    # Perl code indented 10 spaces
    use Vroom;

    print "Hello World";
    ---- center

A line that starts with == is a header line. It will be centered.

Lines that begin with a + cause vroom to split the slide there, causing an animation effect.

Lines that begin with a % are slide titles. Titles are completely optional. They are used with notes files, and also for the index page if you convert to HTML. You can have only one of these per slide.

A line consisting of nothing but ==== indicates that what follows are notes for this slide. Notes are also optional. They are primarily used for notes files, but are also included if you convert your presentation to HTML. See [SLIDE NOTES] below.


each slide can have one or more configuration options. Options are a comma separated list that follow the ---- header for a slide. Like this:

    ---- config
    ---- center
    ---- perl,i20
    ---- include file-name
    ---- replace
    ---- skip

The slide is really a yaml configuration. It will not be displayed in the presentation, but will tell vroom what to do from that point forward.

Usually, a config slide is the first thing in your input file, but you can use more than one config slide.


Center the contents of the slide.


'i' followed by a number means to indent the contents by the number of characters.


'i' followed by a negative number means to strip that number of leading characters from the contents of the slide. This can be useful if you need to have characters special to Vroom at the beginning of your lines, for example if the contents of your slide is unified diff output.


Specifies that the slide is one of those syntaxen, and that the appropriate file extension will be used, thus causing vim to syntax highlight the slide.


You can specify any extension by putting a period in front of it. Like .md for MarkDown.

include file-path-name

Replace the line with the contents of the specified file. Useful to include long files that would make your slides file unruly.


With the replace option, the '+' animations in the slide cause the content to replace the previous partial slide, rather than append to it.


Ignore the following slide completely.

Config Slide Options

You can specify the following configuration options in a config slide:

title: <text>

The title of your presentation.

height: <number>

The number of lines in the terminal you plan to use when presenting the show. Used for centering the content.

width: <number>

The number of columns in the terminal you plan to use when presenting the show. Used for centering the content.

auto_size: <0|1>

When set to 1, the height/width options above will be ignored and determined each time you start the slideshow.

indent: <number>

All slides will be indented by this number of spaces by default.

list_indent: <number>

Auto detect slides that have lists in them, and indent them by the specified number of columns.

vim: <name>

You can specify the name of the vim executable to use. If you set this to gvim special gvim support will be provided.

GVim options

The following options are available, if your vim option is set to gvim.

    fuopt: maxhorz,maxvert
    guioptions: egmLtT
    guicursor: a:blinkon0-ver25-Cursor
    guifont: Bitstream_Vera_Sans_Mono:h18

These are all documented by gvim's help system. Please see that for more information.


You can add notes to each slide, if you like. When you create your presentation (with vroom compile or vroom vroom), a file called notes.txt will be created containing all your notes, along with indications of when to proceed to the next slide. If you give any of your slides titles, they will also be put into the notes file in order to help you keep track of where you are in the presentation.

You can print out your notes file, or simply bring it up on a separate device (such as your smartphone). The notes are not part of the presentation; they are just for you.

However, if you convert your presentation to HTML, the notes will be included in a smaller font below each slide. This is useful when sharing your slides with others who were not present at the presentation.


These are the standard key mappings specified in the local .vimrc.


Advance one slide.


Go back one slide.


Bring up the help screen.

RR (or R -- deprecated)

If the current slide is declared Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, Haskell or JavaScript, then run it accordingly.


Quit Vroom.


Since these vim options apply while editing the slides.vroom file (yes, beware), you can use this shortcut to launch Vroom on the current contents whilst writing your slides.


Edit the file that the cursor is on the filename of.

You can put file path names in your slides, and then easily bring them up during your presentation.


On a Mac, run the OS X open command on the argument that your cursor is on.

For instance, if you want to display an image, you could put the file path of the image in your slide, then use OO to launch it.


You can create a file called .vroom/vimrc in your home directory. If vroom sees this file, it will append it onto every local .vimrc file it creates.

Use this file to specify your own custom vim settings for all your vroom presentations.

You can also create a file called .vroom/gvimrc for gvim overrides, if you are using gvim.


If you have a Mac, you really should try using MacVim for Vroom slide shows. You can run it in fullscreen mode, and it looks kinda professional.

To do this, set the vim option in your config section:

    vim: gvim

NOTE: On my Mac, I have gvim symlinked to mvim, which is a smart startup script that ships with MacVim. Ping me, if you have questions about this setup.


I(ngy) put all my public talks on github. I think it is an excellent way to publish your slides and give people a url to review them. Here are the things I do to make this work well:

  • I create a repository for every presentation I give. The name of the repo is of the form <topic>-<event/time>-talk. You can go to and look for the repos ending with -talk.

  • GitHub has a feature called gh-pages that you can use to create a website for each github repo. I use this feature to publish the html output of my talk. I do something like this:

        vroom html
        mv html /tmp
        git branch gh-pages
        git checkout gh-pages
        rm -r *.html
        mv /tmp/html/* .
        rmdir /tmp/html
        git add .
        git commit -m 'Publish my slides'
        git push origin gh-pages
        git checkout master
  • Vroom comes with a ghpublish option. If you run:

        > vroom ghpublish

    it will generate a script called ghpublish that contains commands like the ones above, to publish your slides to a gh-pages branch.

  • If my repo is called vroom-yapcna2009-talk, then after I publish the talk to the gh-pages branch, it will be available as I then link this url from as the Homepage url.

You can see an example of a talk published to HTML and posted via gh-pages at