Vim Tips Wiki

This is an archive – please don't edit.

Use of tt[]

Fritzophrenic has pointed out that the <tt> element we use in most tips is not HTML5 compliant. Relevant links:

It is likely that <tt> will continue to work, possibly forever, but it is not good to use deprecated/obsolete features, so we are planning to use <code> instead.

Around 670 tips use <tt> (488 don't, which is puzzling, and 205 use it once only). I think it would be best if I convert all the tips using my bot, so we don't have an extended period where there is a mixture of styles, with some tips using tt and some using code. Doing that would make future editing slightly easier, and would make diffs for future edits easier to interpret because they would not show irrelevant changes if an edit changes something, and changes all the tt to code.

Assuming no one sees a problem with that, I'll convert a batch of around 50 tips, then pause for evaluation. It might be desirable to tweak MediaWiki:Common.css to set <code> how we want it, and possibly include "no wrap".

According to Firebug when using a Monobook skin, Wikia's style came from here, with differences:

                   <code>      <tt>
font-family        monospace   monospace
font-size          12.7px      13px
font-weight        400         400
font-style         normal      normal
font-size-adjust   none        none
color              #000000     #000000
line-height        19.05px     16px
vertical-align     baseline    text-bottom
background-color   #F9F9F9     #FFFFFF

While the difference is minuscule, I think I prefer the tt size and background (could be convinced either way). Perhaps the size could be slightly bigger without negative consequences like changing the line spacing?

It would be good to test how tips look in a variety of browsers, and in a variety of skins. I did a quick test and noticed that when not logged on, the stupid rich text editor is used (and it does not show a proper preview). JohnBeckett 08:28, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

I added a "white-space: pre" to the CSS rules for both <tt> and <code>, which I did mainly so it doesn't wrap, but it actually means we can do this now:
 it's an inline element
   but we can break it on multiple lines

and continue as if nothing had happened. I could have also used just "nowrap" instead of "pre" if we don't like the multi-line or multi-space capability.

I experimented a little on User:Fritzophrenic/Sandbox, and made the text inside <code> a little bit bigger than the surrounding text. It doesn't seem to screw up line spacing on Firefox, Chromium, or Opera on Ubuntu at least. I actually kind of like the idea of a slightly different background color. I don't see that on the default Oasis skin. I think it would make it stand out a little better, especially for single-letter commands like "press u to undo", which could instead look like "press u to undo" to make it obvious the u isn't part of the surrounding text. Even more important is "press . to repeat".
--Fritzophrenic 18:46, July 8, 2012 (UTC)
Oddly enough the wikimedia software seems to have inserted a full <pre> element into the middle of the multi-line <code> element rather than just using the CSS I defined. I suppose normally people don't want to show that as an inline-block or whatever would normally happen (I'm not actually certain). Incidentally My successive lines starting with : have also been converted into a <dl> element, which is a VERY strange (and I would like to point out, very non-semantic, which was the driving force behind removing <tt>) element to use in this situation.
--Fritzophrenic 18:52, July 8, 2012 (UTC)

I have processed 62 tips, converting them to use <code>. See Errorformats#flex where the first line after the "flex" heading ends with a long <code> block that includes spaces, and is useful to show that such text does not wrap. Following are the tips that contain the greatest number of <code> elements (tip 1465 has the most).

I will wait a day or so, then convert the rest of the tips. I am becoming happier with the idea of a background colour, so please experiment (it can always be changed). See VimTip1653 where <span> has been used to set a background colour for text "|view -". JohnBeckett 08:44, July 11, 2012 (UTC)

I have finished converting all tips from tt to code, and will do more pages in due course (proposed tips, scripts, etc). I haven't decided what to do with {{tt|...}}. See File format and Repeat last change for examples of where Template:tt is used (it's in a total of 51 tips). The problem with tt is that you have to use ugly workarounds with some text, so I am inclined to replace all the tt templates with code tags so only one method is used (and we do not need the no wrap feature of the tt template any more because the css for code is now doing that). Thoughts? JohnBeckett (talk) 12:01, July 13, 2012 (UTC)

Diacritical signs[]

Thanks for the explanations on Remove diacritical signs from characters. As you've probably noticed I'm new to wiki editing, and with the tips you gave I realized that I said "thanks" to a bot :D

All the best!
Marcmontu 16:51, July 18, 2012 (UTC)

No problem, and the bot is me so that's fine. JohnBeckett (talk) 07:59, July 21, 2012 (UTC)

New contributions[]

The following have been created by someone using 83.x.x.x IPs (,,,,, There appears to be no way to communicate with the IP, and the discussion here is clear, so I will delete what needs to be deleted. The list was updated to include all pages at the time in following signature. JohnBeckett (talk) 03:16, July 30, 2012 (UTC)

  • Abbreviations
  • Alt
  • Bram Moolenaar
  • Bugs
  • Fonts
  • Hlsearch
  • MediaWiki
  • Numeric pad (some of :help keycodes)
  • Operator
  • Operatorfunc
  • Sessions
  • Space.vim
  • Sparkup
  • Special key codes
  • Super
  • Text objects
  • Won't fix

The script pages and redirects are ok although I would recommend that no more be created unless there is something useful to say. The other pages are unusual here and I doubt they are useful. The numeric pad stuff is the start of something helpful, but it should be somewhere else. Thoughts? To the IP: if you create an account you won't see adverts. JohnBeckett (talk) 07:59, July 21, 2012 (UTC)

Also created operator and some links to it. I say delete all the pages and replace any useful references to them with a simple {{help}} template to a related subject. --Fritzophrenic (talk) 15:30, July 23, 2012 (UTC)
I have incorporated the new pages into the list above.
I did wonder if there might be some reason for some of the pages, somewhat along the lines of "disambiguation" pages at Wikipedia. Perhaps some pages for likely search terms could be created, with the content being nothing more than links to tips, perhaps with a very brief precise. OTOH, there are hundreds of words that might make sense in Vim, and we can't maintain pages to them all, and I have lots of other work to do so it is unlikely to be me who fixes all these, so delete seems to be a quick solution. Also, the search function here (and in Google) is likely to give reasonable results, without needing a page with a one-word title.
I left a message at Sessions and at the talk page of the last-used IP in the hope of getting them to notice this discussion. JohnBeckett (talk) 11:12, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
I don't have much experience with editing wikis, but I believe that information shouldn't be removed if it is not incorrect.
Maybe it could be somehow down-rated so it doesn't show up at the top of search results, but it may be a useful reference to someone that doesn't found useful information on the top search results. It can also be an incentive to people include information - it seems easier to add a few lines of information to an existing page than think about a page title, create it and then add the useful stuff. And these short pages could have some flag asking for new editors, so it become clear to readers that the page wasn't carefully reviewed.
If the page has too few information it could be added as a section of an existing page instead of deleted. -- Marcmontu 13:35, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
I think the problem is that the new pages don't seem to have ANY new information, just a few small notes with help links or plugins like somebody is placing their personal Vim cheat-sheet on the wiki broken into a bunch of tiny pages that don't add any value. For example, a search for "sessions" will bring up the newly created Sessions page, but also a ton of pages (including the Script:3150 page linked from the Sessions page) which (if they deal with sessions) probably ought to include the :help :mksession link which is the only other content of the Sessions page. --Fritzophrenic (talk) 15:57, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
I understand that there is very few content on these pages, but I still think its contents shouldn't be deleted - they are at least a start for a new topic, or can increment the contents of an existing page on the subject if it already exists, reserving deletion for repeated/inaccurate content.
Taking the Sessions page as an example, probably it shouldn't have a link to Script:3150 - Script:3150 should be removed and its contents included as a section of Sessions, along with other plugins relevant to Sessions, such as Script:2010, as in my understanding Session is a more generic Vim concept than a script/plugin which manages it.
But again, my knowledge/experience with wikis is very limited. --Marcmontu 16:55, July 24, 2012 (UTC)
Deleting stuff is problematic because it upsets people. However, keeping stuff also has downsides. For example, suppose you had never seen this wiki, and encountered the "sessions" page above via a search. A sensible reaction would to leave the wiki (and never visit it again) because you are clearly not going to get anything useful in a place that has content like that. Another downside is that bad content upsets Fritzophrenic and myself because we care about the place and have done a lot of work trying to fix things from all the old tips (which included a lot of garbage because was not editable) and which were imported from five years ago. There are still 620 tips that include Template:Review, and we need them fixed (see Category:Review; btw Fritzophrenic, I liked what you did here). Perhaps we should have a triage campaign and just delete stuff that we think is not helpful in its current state, and which is likely to hang around forever. I have several old tips that I'm working on, and they will involve merging (thereby fixing) around ten other tips with partially duplicated material. Also, there is Vim Tips Wiki:New tips which needs urgent attention. At a wiki people can just work on what they want, but it needs to actually help. JohnBeckett (talk) 04:49, July 25, 2012 (UTC)
Normally I'd say to replace them all with redirects to actual tip pages, and maybe we can do that for some of them (like operator). However for something like Sessions, if I search for such a general term, I want to get a bunch of results. I don't want to be forced to a single page. These should be deleted and any useful content (like the single help link) moved to appropriate pages if not present already. –Fritzophrenic (talk) 19:32, July 25, 2012 (UTC)

I have deleted the pages which currently appear as red links above (after checking again that there was no useful material that could not be found with a quick search). I changed one redirect to a page with some helpful information: Mappings. I'll think later about the question I have asked in the comments section on that page. If 83.x.x.x sees this, sorry, but I tried leaving a couple of messages to alert you so you could join the discussion, but was not successful. JohnBeckett (talk) 04:24, July 30, 2012 (UTC)

More stuff to be deleted

  • Android
  • Whitespace

I left a note on these new pages (both created by JohnBeckett (talk) 08:09, July 31, 2012 (UTC)

Script 4118[]

Yes, you are right, I only wanted to leave a comment for vim-signature. Sorry for the confusion. Lineinthesand (talk) 12:00, December 7, 2012 (UTC)

No problem, and comment is at Script:4118. JohnBeckett (talk) 02:40, January 4, 2013 (UTC)

Some basic usage[]

what is <C-O> ? is it zero or alphate o how to copy and paste in insert mode --Preceding unsigned comment added by Vinayvim 13:28, January 3, 2013

Unfortunately copy/paste is yet another topic that needs a lot of work to be properly cleaned up here. However, there is some information in the following that may assist.

In Vim documentation (and mappings), <C-O> (which is equivalent to <C-o>) represents Ctrl-O (the letter, not zero). See:

If you could copy the text of <C-O> into Vim, you could put the cursor on the "O" and type ga to see that it is hex 4f (the ASCII code for the letter "O"). JohnBeckett (talk) 02:40, January 4, 2013 (UTC)


Hi JohnBeckett, File:Sunset.jpg looks like a useless test-upload to me (and is part of the Windows XP default wallpaper pack, so it's probably copyrighted). Could you delete it, please, when you find the time? Thanks. 20:58, June 17, 2013 (UTC)

I'm glad you reminded me as I had asked the user who uploaded that what they intended to do, a week ago. I have just deleted the user's pages and the image. JohnBeckett (talk) 04:33, June 18, 2013 (UTC)

Greetings from Bastl[]

Hi John!

I just wanted to say hi. I am really happy, that the wiki ist still alive and active, I think this is due to your and Fritzophrenics efforts in maintaining it. Thanks a lot for that. (I know that this kind of compliments keeps you guys going ;-) )

I always feel a bit proud when I enter any vim related question in google and end up in the vim-wiki which I have started myself together with you.

I can hardly imagine how bram moolenar feels about being responsible for one of the best editors of the world.

Best regards to all the team, Sebastian.

bastl (talk) 09:33, August 16, 2013 (UTC)

Gee, it's been six years! Good to hear from you. As you can see, I've got caught up elsewhere and haven't done much here for a long time, but I'll be back! It took quite a long time for Google to notice the wiki; there used to be several sites with higher rankings, but we do well now.
I mentioned you at User talk:Lox federico a few months ago. Notice that Lox is a Wikia staffer so we are in good company. Another page worth a quick look is Special:AbuseFilter. Filter 1 has 640 hits, each of which was some kind of spambot trying to create a junk page! Fortunately the spam stopped some months ago. Ooops, I just had a look and the last few hits were false positives: I set the filter to be pretty aggressive because the spam was driving us crazy, but I see it has caught a couple of Vim people (although their titles were a little too brief, "Vim-seek" and "FoldBlocks"). I guess you know Vim 7.4 has been released. We'll have to mention that soon. Drop in anytime, and thanks for setting it all up! JohnBeckett (talk) 10:11, August 16, 2013 (UTC)