Vim: nearly four weeks in

My little Vim adventure continues and a couple of days ago I uninstalled Sublime Text 2. I have nothing against it and I still think it’s a fantastic editor but I feel like I don’t really need it anymore. I’m no way near being a expert but like I’ve stated before I really like using Vim and I don’t see that that changing anytime soon. I’ve also configured my Vim files quite a bit1 but I’ve tried to stay away from adding too many plugins since I don’t want to rely on too many of them. Right now I use eight which I think is a reasonable number. I also finally re-did my git repository so that every plugin is a git submodule2 which makes updating them much, much easier. I have to say that the customization possibilities in Vim are extraordinary. Who knew that that would be the case for an editor that’s just slightly younger than me?

A few tips and tricks

I won’t go through my whole vimrc file since it’s currently about 225 lines long (and heavily commented) but I want to share a few handy settings.

Set the language to english

if has("unix")
  language messages C
  language messages en

I don’t know if I’m strange but I tend to stick with using english as my default language in nearly every app I install. I find it to be much easier googling for help. Since I both use Linux and Windows I had to add the if...else...endif part so that it plays nice with both of them3. It’s important to note that this needs to be at the very top of your vimrc file if you want it to work.

Use the cursorline as a mode indicator

au InsertEnter * set nocursorline
au InsertLeave * set cursorline

I wanted an easier way to quickly see which mode I was in without relying on some third party plugin. I of course have the showmode setting enabled but by removing the cursorline from insert mode I don’t even have to move my eyes one bit. I don’t really need to see which line I’m on anyway when I’m actually typing something.

Autoresize all windows

au VimResized * :wincmd =

Resizing your windows in Vim can be a bit of a pain, especially if you want to go from using a fullscreen to something smaller or the other way around. The above setting makes it a lot less of a hassle.

Ignore certain files

set wildignore+=.git

This was one of the features that I like the most about Sublime Text 2 and I’m glad that I can use it in Vim too. If I can’t edit a certain filetype I don’t want to see it.

  1. One of the most useful tweaks I’ve found for writing blog posts was from Peter Provost’s Editing Octopress/Jekyll Posts in Vim. The YAML front matter doesn’t look like crap anymore, yay! 

  2. A repository inside another repository

  3. This works for everything by the way. I think that the default name for Mac is macunix, but I’m not 100% sure. 

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