I have been a great fan of Vim with its awesome Vim-latex suite providing extremely useful keybindings and autocompletion features. Then I installed vim-r-plugin and opened a .Rnw Sweave file. While syntax highlighting and other R related features such as key shortcuts are working fine, LaTeX shortcuts no longer works. For example, if I type SSE it longer gives \section{}. But if I instead I open a .tex file, those shortcuts works just fine. I am using gVim 7.3 in windows 7. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

1 Answer 1


You need to associate the .Rnw files with tex.

The most direct way to do this is to issue the following command with the open .Rnw file:

:set filetype=tex

As soon as you have done that the vim-latex behaviour you are used to should be back. To incorporate this in a nice way in your vimrc is described here in a stackoverflow question. To wit:

autocmd BufRead,BufNewFile *.Rnw set filetype=tex

Plugins are associated with a filetype, and as far as I know a file can have only one filetype at any particular time (otherwise you could have clashes between the various plugin functionalities, UltiSnips would not know which snipps to offer etc.).

You can do this by hand of course, but if you want to avoid having to set filetype= every time you want to switch between the plugins associated with a filetype, you can use the following script in your .vimrc:

" Toggle filetypes R, Rnw and Tex 
let b:myFileType=-1   
let g:myFileTypeList=["tex","rnoweb","r"]
function! ToggleFileType()
  let b:myFileType=b:myFileType+1
  if b:myFileType>=len(g:myFileTypeList) | let b:myFileType=0 | endif
  execute "set filetype=".get(g:myFileTypeList, b:myFileType)
  echo "Filetype set to:" g:myFileTypeList[b:myFileType]
nmap <silent> <F12> :call ToggleFileType()<CR>

You can set your own keyboard shortcut of course, by changing <F12> to something that works for you.

  • The thread that you suggested is relevant for those people who can't get latex-suite to work at all with .Rnw files. In my case, my latex suite is loaded with .Rnw files with all the menu and stuff. I can get the short cuts work with F5, F7 and alt keys. It's just that short cuts do not work in the insert mode. It's bugging me a lot and I have been on the hunt for a solution the whole day but could not find a fix yet. Aug 28, 2013 at 19:04
  • Maybe I should have been more explicit in my answer then. If you try :set filetype=tex when you are editing the Rnw file you should see the behaviour come back. I have just tested it and it works fine on my machine. Maybe there are some .vimrc settings in play but i doubt that.
    – FvD
    Aug 28, 2013 at 19:41
  • :set filetype=tex works just great. Thanks a lot. That was a life-saver! Now, should I do this every time I edit a Rnw file or I can put this in some other forms in vimrc. I put that command naively in the vimrc and it did not work. It's not a big deal to set it up manually everytime but I guess there must be something to automate it. Thanks again. Aug 28, 2013 at 19:51
  • @Rushad I'm happy it works for you. If you add: autocmd BufRead,BufNewFile *.Rnw set filetype=tex to your .vimrc you should never have to think about it again.
    – FvD
    Aug 28, 2013 at 20:09
  • It works like a charm. That was such a great help. Can't thank enough! Aug 28, 2013 at 20:17

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