To run Neovim on Windows, you can either use the terminal Neovim or use a GUI for Neovim. If you use terminal Nvim, you may encounter various annoying issues. Based on my experience, I recommend you using a GUI client for Nvim instead of the terminal one.

Nvim-qt is one of the many GUI front end for Neovim, and it is packaged with Neovim by default on Windows platform. In this post, I will give a summary on how to solve a few issues with Nvim-qt.

# General settings

Nvim-qt will use your Nvim configurations as well as a GUI configuration file1. The GUI config file is named ginit.vim, and you should put it under the same directory as init.vim. The directory is something like C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\nvim on Windows. If you are inside Neovim, you can also use the command :echo stdpath('config') to show the exact directory.

## How do I pass options to neovim when starting nvim-qt on the command line?

Since nvim-qt has its own options, it will get confused if you simply provide it with nvim startup options. You need to specify nvim options after --. For example, to open a file using specific configuration, use the following command:

nvim-qt some_file.txt -- -u init.vim


## Shift+Insert does not work in nvim-qt

In Nvim-qt, when we press Shift+Insert in insert mode, it will add a literal <S-Insert>, instead of placing the text on the system clipboard to the cursor position. To fix this issue, we can use the following mapping:

inoremap <silent>  <S-Insert>  <C-R>+


# GUI settings

Nvim-qt has also provided a list of its own command to configure its behaviors. I list some of the settings in the following sections.

## How to change the font used?

You can change the font Nvim-qt uses by default. To check the default font used, use GuiFont command without argument inside nvim-qt. On my system, the output is Consolas:h11.

According to nvim-qt documentation, the following attributes for fonts are available:

hXX - height is XX in points
b   - bold weight
l   - light weight
i   - italic


You can chain different attribute with : character. For example, to use font Hack in 10 point and light weight, use the following command:

:GuiFont Hack:h10:l


After issuing the above command, you may see the following warning message:

Warning: Font “Hack” reports bad fixed pitch metrics.

To suppress this message, use the bang version of GuiFont command instead:

:GuiFont! Hack:h10:l


## How to turn off the GUI tabline?

The GUI tabline of nvim-qt is ugly. We can use GuiTabline 0 inside ginit.vim to disable GUI tabline and use the TUI tabline.

Although we have set GuiTabline 0 in ginit.vim, but it seems that it is still not disabled completely. If you open up a file with nvim-qt, the GUI tabline appears and then disappears quickly.

To disable it completely, i.e., not showing at all, there are two ways currently. One way is to use the --no-ext-tabline option when invoking nvim-qt:

nvim-qt --no-ext-tabline


The second way is to edit the Windows registry for nvim-qt. Go to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\nvim-qt\nvim-qt and add a new String Value. The Name field should be ext_tabline and the Data field should be false. Then the GUI tabline should disappear completely.

## How to turn off GUI completion menu?

The GUI completion menu is also ugly and too long, since it shows the detailed docstrings of object methods (see image below).

You can disable it by adding the following setting in ginit.vim:

GuiPopupmenu 0


## How to reduce line space?

You can use command GuiLinespace to control the line space in nvim-qt, for example, GuiLinespace 1.

## How to open nvim-qt with maximized window?

Add the following settings to your ginit.vim file:

call GuiWindowMaximized(1)


## How to change cursor color in nvim-qt?

According to this issue, currently, it is not possible to change the cursor position color in nvim-qt. Nvim-qt just sets the cursor to the reverse of background color.

My complete configurations for Neovim can be found in my GitHub repo. For How to configure Neovim for Python development, see this post.

# References

1. See also :h ginit.vim ↩︎