Holger Rapp (SirVer)

UltiSnips is a snippet manager for Vim. Snippets are short idioms of code that are frequently reused. For example, in a C file, you can type for, press a designed key and have the loop automatically expanded for you:

for ({} = 0; {} < {}; {}) {

You can then jump through the placeholders replacing them by their correct values. (Placeholders may have default values or be automatically pre-populated by the values you set in previous ones).


  • You can create your own snippets or use a collection of already defined ones. The most popular collection for UltiSnips is https://github.com/honza/vim-snippets, which can be installed like an additional plugin. (UltiSnips doesn't provide snippets by its own).

  • UltiSnips requires Python 3 to be present in the system and the editor to have support for it (ie. Vim compiled with the python3 feature or Neovim with the Python neovim package installed).


The default key to trigger a snippet in UltiSnips is Tab which conflicts with Vem's autocompletion action. To solve this problem, just remap the snippet expansion key to Ctrl-Space:

" In the following mappings you may need to use <nul>, <c-space> or <C-@>
" to refer to Ctrl-Space depending on your terminal.

" Mapping to expand snipped
let g:UltiSnipsExpandTrigger="<nul>"

" Mapping to jump to next placeholder
let g:UltiSnipsJumpForwardTrigger="<nul>"

" Mapping to jump to previous placeholder
let g:UltiSnipsJumpBackwardTrigger="<C-b>"

UltiSnips also provides a command, :UltiSnipsEdit, to edit the snippet file of the filetype of the current buffer. If you just want to use your own authored snippets, then instruct UltiSnips to use the directory that contains them using an absolute path. For example:

let g:UltiSnipsSnippetDirectories=[$HOME.'/.config/vem/UltiSnips']

Note that the variable has to be an array of one single element.

If you want to use more than one snippet directory, then you can pass a list of relative paths:

let g:UltiSnipsSnippetDirectories=["UltiSnips", "mycoolsnippets"]

Note that, in this case, you can't provide absolute paths and also you need to use :UltiSnipsEdit! (with an exclamation mark) to be able to choose which file should be edited from a list).


In addition to the :UltiSnipsEdit! you can just edit your snippet files directly in their directories too.