A Walkthrough on Helix — A Post-Modern Modal Text Editor

A walkthrough on the Helix editor.



A Walkthrough on Helix — A Post-Modern Modal Text Editor

This article is part of the Helix series.

Getting Started

The classical learning curve for Vim/Neovim is daunting for beginners. Besides that, to make Vim/Neovim usable for coding, a considerable amount of time is also required to configure the editor. Helix comes in as a good alternative for beginners.


Helix is a Kakoune/Neovim-inspired editor, written in Rust. It comes pre-configured with sensible defaults that feature

  • Vim-like modal editing
  • Multiple selections
  • Built-in language server support
  • Smart, incremental syntax highlighting and code editing via tree-sitter


For installation, Helix provides pre-built binaries. Alternatively, we can build it from the source.


Helix can be configured using the config.toml file in the following location.

  • Linux and Mac: ~/.config/helix/config.toml
  • Windows: %AppData%\helix\config.toml

We can open the config file easily by typing :config-open within Helix's normal mode.

Helix’s Configuration


Similar to Vim Tutor, Helix provides a tutorial that can be assessed by typing the command :tutor.

Helix Tutor


By default, Helix is bundled with popular themes like gruvbox, tokyonight, dracula, everforest, github, catppucin, and many other themes.

We can use the :theme command to change the theme.




Software engineer, Data Science and ML practitioner.