Last week we talked about defining marks, and using them to jump around files.
They come in handy when there's a reason you'll want to get back to a line of code, but Vim couldn't possibly know what that reason is. Vim can't peer inside your head to know that the line you mark is important to the bug you're on, or the paragraph you're editing. But by marking that line as 'a' or 'b', you've given Vim the hint that it needs to help you on your way.
Be sure to use marks liberally. Sitting on a function for a bit, and then
If you find yourself searching on the function definition a few times? Do
yourself a favor and
ma next time!
Another quick note on naming your marks: Feel free to use short-term mnemonics
to name them. Dealing with the
sound like perfect names to help you remember what's where.
This week, we're not going to focus on any specific command in Vim, and instead focus on our usage of the commands we know.
Over the course of the day, you do a lot of similar work. For me, this includes things like opening & closing NERDTree, changing directory to my main project, toggling spelling correction, committing to git, and more. So we're going to be focused on making the things we already do much easier.
Ok, I lied, we will need to learn a few specific commands this week. We need to learn how to make mappings before we can think about the ones that can be of the most use to us.
We all know that Vim has a ton of modes, normal, insert, visual, command, and others. There's a mapping command for each one.
noremap - Global Mapping (No Remap)
nnoremap - Normal Mode Mapping
inoremap - Insert Mode Mapping
vnoremap - Visual Mode Mapping
cnoremap - Command Mode Mapping (ie, the mode you're in are after hitting
There are a few others, but don't worry about them for now.
nnoremap <key combo> <action> - This is the general syntax for mappings. The key
combo can be several items, and the actions can be arbitrarily long as well.
For the key combo, keys can be literal. For instance
vnoremap x c would change the meaning of
x in visual selection mode from its
normal definition to what the
c key normally does.
In order to use a modifier key, you use a slightly different syntax. If you want to make Control-s save the file, while in normal mode, the command would be:
nnoremap <C-s> :w
<A-x> would be the Alt key.
<D-x> would be Apple's Command key (in MacVim at least)
The other special key is the pipe character. Because it has special meaning in
Vim script, you have to instead use
On the right hand side, another special character to know about is how to hit
<CR> does that.
Vim's designed with the idea that most keys are already taken. So it keeps a
key designated as
mapleader. By default it's set to
In a mapping, you can use it with
<leader>. It is common practice to keep
most of your utility mappings under the
Say you have a mapping
imap x xyz and
imap y x, then when you type 'x', then
it will expand to 'xyz'. During that expansion, when it hits the 'y', it will
expand to 'x', which in turn expands into 'xyz' again. Leading to an infinite
Most of the time, this is not what you want. So instead, the
of mappings prevents that specific failure case from happening by preventing
nesting of mappings. In the original example, the 'y' in 'xyz' wouldn't
" Quick project access nnoremap <leader>vd :cd ~/Projects/vimdrills<CR>
Clear Search Highlights
" Hide highlighted search terms nnoremap <silent> <c-space> :nohl<CR>
" Setting toggles nmap <leader>sn :set number!<CR> nmap <leader>ss :set spell!<CR>
Quickly Grab the Pivotal Story ID for a Commit Message
See the screencast for a demo of this.
" Quickly extract the first chunk of the branch name - useful in commit messages nmap <leader>gc /branch<CR>wyt_ggi[#<ESC>pA] <ESC>
Fix the spelling of the word under the cursor
I stole this function, but it's been one of my favorites for a long time. The mapping itself is at the bottom, but you can see how easy it is to do arbitrarily complex work with a simple keystroke.
" --------------- " Quick spelling fix (first item in z= list) " --------------- function! QuickSpellingFix() if &spell normal 1z= else " Enable spelling mode and do the correction set spell normal 1z= set nospell endif endfunction command! QuickSpellingFix call QuickSpellingFix() nmap <silent> <leader>z :QuickSpellingFix<CR>
Pay attention to common activities you do in the course of your work. Skim through other people's vimrc's and see if anything is either worth stealing, or triggers an idea for your own modification.
I'll be posting my Vimrc later this week for you to peruse.