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created 2005 · complexity basic · author Jos van den Oever · version 6.0

There are several ways to deal with HTML entities so that text can be edited, for example, while it contains a simple ampersand (&) rather than its HTML entity (&).

Simple search and replace[]

This code allows you to easily escape or unescape HTML entities: Change (<, >, &) to (&lt;, &gt;, &amp;), or the reverse.

This does not escape all characters that should be escaped—just the most common.

" Escape/unescape & < > HTML entities in range (default current line).
function! HtmlEntities(line1, line2, action)
  let search = @/
  let range = 'silent ' . a:line1 . ',' . a:line2
  if a:action == 0  " must convert &amp; last
    execute range . 'sno/&lt;/</eg'
    execute range . 'sno/&gt;/>/eg'
    execute range . 'sno/&amp;/&/eg'
  else              " must convert & first
    execute range . 'sno/&/&amp;/eg'
    execute range . 'sno/</&lt;/eg'
    execute range . 'sno/>/&gt;/eg'
  let @/ = search
command! -range -nargs=1 Entities call HtmlEntities(<line1>, <line2>, <args>)
noremap <silent> <Leader>h :Entities 0<CR>
noremap <silent> <Leader>H :Entities 1<CR>

If you add the above code to your vimrc, you can HTML escape the current line by typing \H, and unescape by typing \h (assuming the default backslash leader key). The same keys can be used to operate on all lines in a visually selected area, for example, select several lines then type \h to unescape them.

In addition, a user command is defined. It defaults to operating on the current line, but accepts a range. The argument is 0 to unescape, or 1 to escape, for example:

" Unescape lines 10 to 20 inclusive.
:10,20Entities 0

" Escape all lines.
:%Entities 1

Automagic escaping[]

A script is available (unicodeswitch) that automagically converts entities when files are read and written, so you can view the characters, and write the codes, or vice versa. It was originally written for Java unicodes, but there is also a setting for HTML codes.

The script is for &nnn style encoding, not the HTML entities.

Perl HTML::Entities[]

Note: Vim needs to compiled with the "perl" feature enabled for this to work.

A slightly more complex solution that escapes all characters uses Perl. You need Perl and HTML-Parser.

function! HTMLEncode()
perl << EOF
 use HTML::Entities;
 @pos = $curwin->Cursor();
 $line = $curbuf->Get($pos[0]);
 $encvalue = encode_entities($line);

function! HTMLDecode()
perl << EOF
 use HTML::Entities;
 @pos = $curwin->Cursor();
 $line = $curbuf->Get($pos[0]);
 $encvalue = decode_entities($line);

nnoremap <Leader>h :call HTMLEncode()<CR>
nnoremap <Leader>H :call HTMLDecode()<CR>

To convert a line, put the cursor in the line and type \h or \H.

Ruby HTMLEncode[]

Note: Vim needs to be compiled with the "ruby" feature enabled for this to work.

The following is a simpler alternative using Ruby.

function! HTMLEncode()
ruby << EOF
  VIM::Buffer.current.line=@str.unpack("U*").collect {|s| (s > 127 ? "&##{s};" : s.chr) }.join("")

nnoremap <Leader>h :call HTMLEncode()<CR>

Language specific HTML-entities[]

To change, for example, Norwegian special characters, there is no need to select text and not check all the text since it is never part of code-syntax. With the following, typing ,r will check all the text and replace all three Norwegian special characters with entities. This can easily be applied to other languages.

" Replace all Norwegian special characters with entities.
nnoremap <silent> ,r :call ReplaceNorChar()<CR>
function! ReplaceNorChar()
  silent %s/Æ/\&AElig;/eg
  silent %s/Ø/\&Oslash;/eg
  silent %s/Å/\&Aring;/eg
  silent %s/æ/\&aelig;/eg
  silent %s/ø/\&oslash;/eg
  silent %s/å/\&aring;/eg

Add it to your ~/.vimrc or ~/.vim/ftplugin/html.vim.

See also[]


Can check it with:

.! php -r "echo htmlentities('<cword>');"

command Entities :call Entities()
function Entities()
  silent s/À/\&Agrave;/eg
  silent s/Á/\&Aacute;/eg
  silent s/Â/\&Acirc;/eg
  silent s/Ã/\&Atilde;/eg
  silent s/Ä/\&Auml;/eg
  silent s/Å/\&Aring;/eg
  silent s/Æ/\&AElig;/eg
  silent s/Ç/\&Ccedil;/eg
  silent s/È/\&Egrave;/eg
  silent s/É/\&Eacute;/eg
  silent s/Ê/\&Ecirc;/eg
  silent s/Ë/\&Euml;/eg
  silent s/Ì/\&Igrave;/eg
  silent s/Í/\&Iacute;/eg
  silent s/Î/\&Icirc;/eg
  silent s/Ï/\&Iuml;/eg
  silent s/Ð/\&ETH;/eg
  silent s/Ñ/\&Ntilde;/eg
  silent s/Ò/\&Ograve;/eg
  silent s/Ó/\&Oacute;/eg
  silent s/Ô/\&Ocirc;/eg
  silent s/Õ/\&Otilde;/eg
  silent s/Ö/\&Ouml;/eg
  silent s/Ø/\&Oslash;/eg
  silent s/Ù/\&Ugrave;/eg
  silent s/Ú/\&Uacute;/eg
  silent s/Û/\&Ucirc;/eg
  silent s/Ü/\&Uuml;/eg
  silent s/Ý/\&Yacute;/eg
  silent s/Þ/\&THORN;/eg
  silent s/ß/\&szlig;/eg
  silent s/à/\&agrave;/eg
  silent s/á/\&aacute;/eg
  silent s/â/\&acirc;/eg
  silent s/ã/\&atilde;/eg
  silent s/ä/\&auml;/eg
  silent s/å/\&aring;/eg
  silent s/æ/\&aelig;/eg
  silent s/ç/\&ccedil;/eg
  silent s/è/\&egrave;/eg
  silent s/é/\&eacute;/eg
  silent s/ê/\&ecirc;/eg
  silent s/ë/\&euml;/eg
  silent s/ì/\&igrave;/eg
  silent s/í/\&iacute;/eg
  silent s/î/\&icirc;/eg
  silent s/ï/\&iuml;/eg
  silent s/ð/\&eth;/eg
  silent s/ñ/\&ntilde;/eg
  silent s/ò/\&ograve;/eg
  silent s/ó/\&oacute;/eg
  silent s/ô/\&ocirc;/eg
  silent s/õ/\&otilde;/eg
  silent s/ö/\&ouml;/eg
  silent s/ø/\&oslash;/eg
  silent s/ù/\&ugrave;/eg
  silent s/ú/\&uacute;/eg
  silent s/û/\&ucirc;/eg
  silent s/ü/\&uuml;/eg
  silent s/ý/\&yacute;/eg
  silent s/þ/\&thorn;/eg
  silent s/ÿ/\&yuml;/eg