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* [ tricks.vim.html] * [ tricks.vim.html]
* [[Viki]] * [[Viki]]
 +* [ SnippetsEmu] - An attempt to emulate the Snippets feature from TextMate
 +* [ Project.tar.gz] - IDE like project file management. Could surely be used for maintaining GTD lists.
=== The Vim Cookbook === === The Vim Cookbook ===

Revision as of 21:43, 4 July 2006

Platform: many
License: Charityware
Cost: $0
Download Size:  ??



Vim, or "vi improved" is a text editor by Bram Moolenaar. It is an enhanced version of "the unix text editor," vi, which is in turn based on ed and ex.


The Linux Journal magazine in its annual Readers' Choice Award selected vim as favorite text editor four years in a row!


making outlines with vim


Using text files as a proto-Wiki

Have you ever tried the gf command? It parses whatever word is under the cursor and tries to open that file in a new buffer. You don't need to use WikiCase for jump words, but it might be helpful. (On *nixes this operation will be case sensitive, I'm guessing on Windows it would be case insensitive.)

By way of example, this allows one to have a "todo" file containing text like projects/foo - Foo, the generic project. If you have your cursor over projects/foo and hit gf in command mode, the foo file in the projects directory will open in a new buffer. To navigate the jump history, use Tab or Ctrl-I to go forward and Ctrl-O to move backwards. Your todo file can now link to related files without any actual link markup! Maximum laziness. Of course, you don't need to organize them in subdirectories, either.

Since vim 6.x can also open directory listings, if you have a bunch of files in the projects directory and wish to link to a list of them, just use projects/!

For further wiki-like behavior, add this mapping to your .vimrc: (See the vim help on gf)

:map gf :e <cfile><CR>

Now if you gf on a word that doesn't have a file yet, vim will create a buffer that will save to that file name - just like a wiki, essentially.

See also WikiAsPim

* quickly Get Files in your Environment

Abstract: what are some quick ways to access files? Environment variables and the gf command. See this vim tip written by 43folders User:Gochess.

Editing files that use non-Unix end-of-line characters

See our dedicated page to this topic at Vim/char-EOL.

Using Syntax Coloring

A nice way to have your task list (and whatever else) easier to read is to use syntax coloring.


 vim:set filetype=plan:

as a modeline (last line of the file, see :help modeline). And then put a file named plan.vim in your ~/.vim/syntax/ (or on windows ~/vimfiles/syntax/ with for instance contends

 syntax keyword Directory Goal Milestone Target Task
 syntax match Directory "Category of Goal"
 syntax match Special "^  [1-4]-[:a-zA-Z]*"
 syntax match Special "[A-Z][a-z]\+ [-9]\+ [A-Z][a-z]\+$"
 syntax match Special "\*\+"
 syntax match NonText "^#"
 syntax match NonText "^##"
 syntax match NonText "^## [A-Za-z ]\+"
 syntax match NonText "^###"

For an explanation of these commands (and how you customize) see :help syntax. Don't forget to turn on syntax coloring by :synt on (or syntax enable in your .vimrc (on windows _vimrc)).

See Also

The Vim Cookbook

  • vim Cookbook covers topics like:
    • Sorting a section (Visual Method)
    • Dealing with Makefile and other SOB files
    • Removing carriage returns from MS-DOS file
    • Oops, I left the file write protected
    • Changing "Last, First" to "First Last"
    • How to edit all the files containing a given word using the built-in grep

Mailing List

  1. subscribe to the list by sending a message to
  2. read the archives

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