Hacking Vim: A Cookbook to get the Most out of the Latest Vim Editor

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Chapter 1 introduces Vim and a few well-known relatives; their history and relation to vi is briefly described.

Chapter 2 introduces how to make Vim a better editor for you by modifying it for your personal needs. It shows us ways of modifying fonts, the color scheme, the status line, menus, and toolbar.

Chapter 3 introduces some of the ways in which Vim helps us to navigate through files easily. It explains an alternative way for boosting navigation through files and buffers in Vim.

Chapter 4 introduces you to features in Vim. It describes how to use templates, auto-completion, folding, sessions, and registers.

Chapter 5 introduces simple tricks to format text and code. It also discusses how external tools can be used to give Vim just that extra edge it needs to be the perfect editor.  

Chapter 6 is especially for those who want to learn how to extend Vim with scripts. The chapter introduces scripting basics, how to use and install/uninstall scripts, debugging scripts, and lots more.

Appendix A has a listing of games that have been implemented with Vim scripting; it also provides an overview of chat and mail scripts and has a section on using Vim as an IDE.

Appendix B shows how to keep your Vim configuration files well organized and how to retain your Vim configuration across computers by storing a copy of it online


Each chapter of this book deals with a different aspect, and provides recipes for easy-to-use hacks to customize and simplify your Vim experience. After an introduction covering the derivation of Vim and its relatives from the vi editor, the author explains basic changes that you can make to the appearance of the Vim editor. Further chapters cover improved navigation through files and buffers in Vim; speeding up your work with templates, auto-completion, folding, sessions, and registers; and formatting text and code, including using external formatting scripts. The final comprehensive chapter covers everything about using Vim scripts and scripting to extend functionality.

Vim stands for Vi IMproved and is the editor of choice for programmers looking for a highly configurable, stable, open-source, multi-platform text editor. It is included with almost every Linux distribution as the standard text editor, and can be used to work with source code from any language. A big advantage of using Vim is that it can be extensively customized; you can control the basic interface, define personalized key mappings, implement macros, and call external or user-defined scripts. Vim has its own scripting language that allows for plug-in like extensions to enable IDE behavior, syntax scripts and highlighting, color schemes, themes, and utility scripts that can add a wide range of features and functionality.
Vim 7.0, for which this book is written, includes spell-checking, code completion, document tabs, current line and column highlighting, undo branches, and more.

  • Create, install, and use Vim scripts
  • Personalize your work-area
  • Optimize your Vim editor to be faster and more responsive


Page Count 228
Course Length 6 hours 50 minutes
ISBN 9781847190932
Date Of Publication 24 May 2007


Kim Schulz

Kim Schulz has an M.Sc. in Software Engineering from Aalborg University in Denmark. He has been an active developer in the Linux and Open Source communities since 1997 and has worked with everything from translation and bug fixing to producing full-blown software systems. This entire time, Vim has been Kim's editor of choice and it has been the first thing he installs whenever he sits by a new computer. Today Kim works as a full-time software engineer at CSR Plc. developing software for the next generation wireless technologies. A lot of Kim's spare time has been spent on developing the open-source CMS Fundanemt. This has lead to him now owning the web-hosting company Devteam Denmark that specializes in hosting and development of Fundanemt-based websites.