01 May 2014

Star Register Not Working In Vim?

The star register provides a convenient way to read and write from the system clipboard in vim. (For example: "*yy to yank a line in vim, followed by ctrl-v to paste it in another application.)

For this to work, you need a version of vim compiled to include the clipboard feature. You can easily check which features are available in your version by running:

$ vim --version
...
-clipboard       +iconv           +path_extra      -toolbar
...

If you see +clipboard, you’re in good shape.

If you see -clipboard, read on for the fix.

1) Get the latest version of vim.

brew install vim

2) Check which local version of vim is being used.

which vim
/usr/bin/vim

3) If you don’t see /usr/local/bin/vim, add the following lines to ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc:

# Prefer Homebrew binaries
export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH

4) Run vim --version again to make sure it worked.

$ vim --version
...
+clipboard       +iconv           +path_extra      -toolbar
...

Success!