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Vim tips, tricks and plugins

Vim tips, tricks and plugins

The tips and tricks are loosely organized under larger topics to try to provide some structure for the post. I hope you find some new tricks! :)

Regex, sorting, etc

Knowing your regexes makes you look like a magician.

Add a new line before each capital letter

%s/\u/\r\0/g will find uppercase letters and add a newline in front. Note: this does not work in case you have scandinavian or other exotic characters in your data.

Remove empty lines from document

:g/^$/d

Wrap lines with something

You can wrap all lines with " by doing %s/.*/"&"/g.

Sort and unique all lines

This will do it for smaller files easily and directly in Vim :sort u. For larger files you might want to hop on to the command line and do sort bigfile.txt | uniq > bigfile_sorted.txt.

Macros

Macros are an essential part of VIM. You can record a macro to run a sequence of action by hitting q + . It will record the macro to the selected copy-paste -register. When you're done recording the macro hit q again to stop recording.

To run a macro you do @ .

Running macros on a set of lines

You often need to run a macro against a set of lines. This is easily doable with the normal command in EX mode. Some examples to get started with:

  1. Execute for lines 5-10 :5,10norm! @
  2. Execute for all lines :%norm! @
  3. Execute for 5-eof :5,$norm! @
  4. Execute for lines matching a pattern :g/pattern/norm! @
  5. Execute for a visual selection, select with V + jk and run :norm! @

Switching / opening files

CTRLP

Switching files with keyboard only is hard, right? Not really with ctrlp. Ctrp is a full path, fuzzy, file, buffer, mru, tag, you name it, finder for Vim.

So basically you hit Ctrp + p and then start typing in the name of the file you want to get to. I find this much faster than using a filetree plugin or some other such antiquated solution.

The commands:

  • CTRL + p - activate plugin

  • CTRL + f & CTRL + b - cycle modes

You can find it at: https://github.com/ctrlpvim/ctrlp.vim

Hop between last two open files

You should setup a quick shortcut for switching between last two open buffers. This is often the most used switch after all. I've mapped for this action. The following config does gets the magic working:

nnoremap

Hop between related files

Often you have files that are related and you want to hop between them quikcly. Some examples are header and source files and model/view/controller -files.

For this to work, you need to add the plugin called Projectionist and setup some patterns that define what should be the alternate files. After that you can jump to an alternative file with :A or open the alternate in a new split for example :AV.

Open all certain type of files in project

:args ./*.html

Snippets

Every coder needs their own secret repo of snippets and a fast way to drop them into the code.

Neocomplete

Neocomplete is a nice plugin to use handy snippets in VIM. The usage is pretty simple. You expand the snippet with c+k, hit tab for next field in the snippet until finished.

CTAGS

You need CTAGS installed for this trick. With CTAGS and a bit of hackery you can easily jump from a html DIVs class name to the CSS or SCSS definition of that class. For similar jumping around from function and function definition JavaScript you should probably use Tern.

  1. Install Exuberant CTAGS with brew install ctags

First, you need to add some config to your CTAGS configuration located at ~/.ctags.

--langdef=css --langmap=css:.css --regex-css=/^[ \t]*\.([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)/.\1/c,class,classes/ --regex-css=/^[ \t]*#([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)/#\1/i,id,ids/ --regex-css=/^[ \t]*(([A-Za-z0-9_-]+[ \t\n,]+)+)\{/\1/t,tag,tags/ --regex-css=/^[ \t]*@media\s+([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)/\1/m,media,medias/

--langdef=scss --langmap=scss:.scss --regex-scss=/^[ \t]*\.([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)/.\1/c,class,classes/ --regex-scss=/^[ \t]*#([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)/#\1/i,id,ids/ --regex-scss=/^[ \t]*(([A-Za-z0-9_-]+[ \t\n,]+)+)\{/\1/t,tag,tags/ --regex-scss=/^[ \t]*@media\s+([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)/\1/m,media,medias/ --regex-scss=/^[ \t]*\$([A-Za-z0-9_-]+)/\$\1/v,var,variables/

--recurse=yes --exclude=.git --exclude=vendor/* --exclude=node_modules/* --exclude=db/* --exclude=log/* --exclude=tmp/*

You might want to add "tags" to your .gitignore -file.

Now you can index your (S)CSS with :!ctags -R .. And after that jumping around is a matter of :tag /myClass.

Sources:

  1. https://gist.github.com/dreki/da853aeb4d80c03a4448
  2. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12833189/jump-to-css-selector-in-a-css-file-from-the-html-file-in-vim-using-a-single-keys/12924218#12924218

Changing text (fast)

Change text quickly between quotes for example.

ci" (Change Inside ")

Replace text between characters from the paste buffer.

vi"p (Visual Inside " Paste)

The surround plugin

Change the surrounding double quotes (or any character) to single quotes.

cs"' (Change Surrounding " to ')

To surround a visual selection with parentheses press:

S( (Surround with ( )

Surround a word with quotes.

csw' ( Change Surroundings of Word to ')

Search & replace without having to escape special characters

This trick comes in hand when you want to do simple text replacement without any fancy regexp magic. Saves quite a few keystrokes.

:%sno/search_string/replace_string/g

Search and replace in all open files

There are two ways of doing this that I know of. Either

:argdo %s/pattern/replace/gce

or

:bufdo %s/pattern/replace/gce | update

should do the trick!

Miscellaneous tips & tricks

See word the count

The following command shows info on current cursor position in the currently open buffer - including the word count.

press g and then ctrl + g

Change line endings

:set ff=dos
:set ff=unix

Save As

Some times you want to create a new file by starting with a copy of the existing one. This can be done like this:

:sav newfile.js

Repeat or reverse movements

Some movement commands can be repeated with ; and reversed with ,. These are F, f, T, and t.

Searching with / can of course be repeated with n and N.

Overwrite text from copy/paste register

Often times you have something on your clipboard and you want to overwrite a word or a sentence with the text. Doing this in Vim can be a hassle as when you delete the previous entry it replaces the latest register value.

Easy way around this is to use visual selection and then paste over that. E.g. you want to replace a word with another from the latest register.

vep

On registers

Vim has a register system that stores things you yank or delete/change from the document. Register 0 holds always the last yank and 1 holds the last delete or change, if you don't specify a specific register where you want to save things. Special default register " always holds content of the last operation be it yank, delete or change.

To define a specific register you can do "ryy for example to yank stuff to register r. To paste from a specific register "rp.

To paste last yanked content you can do just p. But if you instead yank something and then delete something p would paste in the deleted text. So to actually paste the yanked texs you cdan can use "0p.

Editing multiple lines at once

If you need to edit multiple lines of text at once, you can use the block wise visual mode. To enter the mode hit CTRL + v. Now you can select block areas and perform operations on them. Supported operations are insert before (I), append (A), change (c) and various other operators.

Plugins

This section lists a bunch of the most useful plugins for VIM and some of them were already mentioned in the above tips and tricks.

Colorizer

Show CSS colors in the editor for those of us who don't yet see hex or rgb as colors.

https://github.com/lilydjwg/colorizer

Ctrlp

Hit ctrl + p to open files and buffers quickly with a powerful fuzzy finder.

https://github.com/ctrlpvim/ctrlp.vim

Editorconfig

Make your vim respect the .editorconfig file.

https://github.com/editorconfig/editorconfig-vim

Emmet

Write HTML really, really fast.

https://github.com/mattn/emmet-vim

Indent object

Adds a text object to manipulate stuff by indentation.

https://github.com/michaeljsmith/vim-indent-object

Gitgutter

Show GIT info in the gutter.

https://github.com/airblade/vim-gitgutter

Lexical

Building on Vim’s spell-check and thesaurus/dictionary completion\

https://github.com/reedes/vim-lexical

Multiple cursors

More powerful way of having multiple cursors in your Vim.

https://github.com/terryma/vim-multiple-cursors

Projectionist

Define alternative files with patterns and very quickly jump between or open them in a new split.

https://github.com/tpope/vim-projectionist

Repeat

Make repeating commands with . work as intended.

https://github.com/tpope/vim-repeat

Sort motion

Adds a motion to sort selections of texts.

https://github.com/christoomey/vim-sort-motion

Surround

Manipulate surroundings like a boss e.g. cs"' to change the surrounding " --> '.

https://github.com/tpope/vim-surround

Syntastic

Teaches VIM to use external syntax checkers. To have it check JS, just install JSHint globally through NPM.

npm install jshint -g

https://github.com/vim-syntastic/syntastic

Tcomment

Handle commeting in a sane way.

https://github.com/tomtom/tcomment_vim

Wildfire: text objects

Install wildfire plugin to enable quick selection of text objects in normal mode by pressing enter. Press enter a second time and it chooses one greater text object.

https://github.com/gcmt/wildfire.vim

Wordy

Uncover usage problems in your writing e.g. check text for business jargon.

https://github.com/reedes/vim-wordy



This post first appeared on The Wingmen Journal, please read the originial post: here

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