Vim Tips Wiki

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, welkom[]

Welcome to the Vim tips wiki! We hope you can make continuing contributions of articles and/or discussion and other improvements.

If you are new to Wikia or wikis in general, be sure to visit the "Community portal" for an outline of some of the main parts of the site and a link to pages that tell you how to edit.

Do keep an eye on the "recent changes" page, where all edits and their authors (anonymous or signed-in) are listed. Bookmark it, maybe. (And help delete spam - unpleasant but a fact of life.)

If you want to get involved, check out Project:Policy and if you like, join the mailing list.


(I've read a lot of valuable replies from you on I wish you would contribute to the wiki as much :-) )

bastl 07:17, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks :-) There are a few tips by me on the Wiki too but I don't feel a need to add more these days. -- Tonymec 07:39, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Right, we dont need more tips, before the old ones are in good shape. :-) bastl 08:56, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Tip 632 - Setting the font in the GUI[]

Hi Tony - I'd like to explain what I'm up to, and why I edited your VimTip632 recently.

I'm doing a lot of systematic cleaning of the imported tips (I have edited every tip from 1 to 851 plus more, using my account for direct editing, and User:JohnBot for uploading locally-edited files). It's inevitable that I'll make errors - you have had to correct at least one typo of mine in your VimTip246.

One current job is to start the process of merging the various tips on fonts. I've put a list of these on Category_talk:Candidates_for_deletion. On that page, it was suggested that various font recommendations could be moved to your VimTip632. While thinking about that, I saw that one of the font tips (tip 1000) was very weak, so I moved the content to your tip 632, and will shortly delete tip 1000.

I see that you have now moved that content in tip 632 to the end of the "Readers' Comments". That's fine - as the author of many great tips I think you should have the final say (and the tip 1000 content was pretty weak). But, if you don't strenuously object, I will get around to changing the section name back to just "Comments" because I am a bit of a consistency freak.

OK. I think it is largely understood anyway, that such comments are not necessarily by the "tip author" so that's no prob.

While editing tip 632, I tried to clean up the expression in the comments as much as reasonable because eventually I want to merge the font tips. However, I think the recommendations for what font to use should go to VimTip914. I was contemplating putting other issues ("how-to" etc) in tip 632, but perhaps it would become too unwieldy.

Yeah, the approach is different: The perfect programming font (tip 914) is about sharing one author's opinion that one particular font (which, by the way, I don't think I have on this computer) is better than all others. My Setting the font in the GUI (tip 632) is about giving every user the means to make his own 'guifont' choice according to his own taste, his own language, his own installed fonts and his own version of Vim. Both tips should hold different contents, even though a link between them (in both directions) would probably be useful.

I'd better mention that I'm commenting here rather than on the discussion page of tip 632 because I'm trying very hard to avoid the talk pages until the import and clean-up are complete. There are hundreds of tips needing serious attention, and I don't want to have to edit the tip page and the talk page.

No prob. If you feel that a discussion should better be kept semi-private between you and some other contributor (such as myself, but of course there are others), the user talk page is the right place for it.

If you have any ideas on the font tips (or anything else) I'd like to hear. --JohnBeckett 09:57, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Sure. ATM I don't see any obvious "necessary addition" to this tip; but the most "active" place for info to be asked for and given is the mailing lists nowadays (mainly the vim_use Google Group), as I suppose you know. -- Tonymec 15:40, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I have tried to whip up a bit of interest in vim_use a couple of times, but have drawn a blank so far. Everyone was very enthusiastic while the wiki was being planned, but the momentum evaporated when the mailing list died without explanation for so long. I'm hoping to fix the obvious rubbish here before soliciting help from vim_use for the more substantive issues. When I do, I hope you will speak up encouragingly (we need to get enthusiasm fired up again). --JohnBeckett 04:06, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, I might mention a tip now and then, but I didn't remember more than maybe a couple of my own, not to mention other people's :-) -- Tonymec 04:39, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not looking for you to mention a tip as a solution to a problem (although that would be good). What I mean is that if (say) I send a message inviting vim_use people to offer opinions on how certain tips could be fixed, you might reply with support for the project. For the wiki to ever be really useful, it needs serious fixing. For that to happen, we have to somehow make it cool for vim_use people to get involved. I think it would help if notable contributors such as yourself were to encourage wiki improvements, and to thank anyone who does something significant. In a few weeks we at the wiki will probably propose a series of collaborative efforts for vim_use, and we'll need people like you to publicly say what a great idea it would be for the effort to be a success. --JohnBeckett 08:39, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
What I meant was: in order to get contributors, the wiki needs visitors. If it were mentioned more often on the Google Group / mailing list, it might get more, and more frequent, visitors. Maybe there is a kind of chicken-and-egg problem here. -- Tonymec 17:59, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Author names[]

To prove my credentials as a consistency freak, I will mention that it has occurred to me that some authors may want their name displayed in the same way on each of their tips. No problem if an author doesn't want consistency, but I was going to approach a couple of prolific authors (Dr.Chip mainly) and ask if they would like me to standardise their name.

Anyway, I'll take this opportunity to ask if you would like a standard name on your tips:

I haven't done my major clean on the last three yet, so they still have an obfuscated email address. I am removing all email addresses as part of the clean up (we had a brief discussion about this on the vim-l mailing list).

If you would like a preferred name applied to each of these, let me know for when I edit them. Of course, you might like to change them yourself, or you might not want them changed. --JohnBeckett 09:57, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Myself, I'm not obsessed by consistency. My name can be displayed as "Tony Mechelynck" or as "A. J. Mechelynck", and as long as it links to either User:Tonymec or to it's OK by me. If you absolutely want consistency, I suppose you can use [[User:Tonymec|Tony Mechelynck]] throughout. -- Tonymec 05:06, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm a fairly pragmatic consistency freak, and am happy to regard occasional variations as flavouring, but when I next pass through your tips, I will probably change the author as you note above (I'll avoid the http reference because I don't want people to get the idea that references to personal web sites are desirable - sites like yours provide great Vim value, but many others are just self-promotion). --JohnBeckett 08:39, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I have just fixed all tips above to have a standard author, as discussed. --JohnBeckett 04:40, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't remember I had written so many of them! -- Tonymec 15:55, 29 November 2007 (UTC)


Hi Tony - When you have time, perhaps you would be willing to edit your tips that still have the {{Review}} template:

When the tips are in a "good enough" state (they don't have to perfect), the Review template should be removed. Generally I don't have time to look at the tip content (I've just finished cleaning up tips 1 to 1504, and have more stuff to do), and at any rate you should be the one to decide if you're happy with the above. I wouldn't worry that some of the tips have long comments - so long as the tip and comments are valid, that's fine. The main issue IMHO would be to point out any glitches that may apply to current releases of Vim, given that some of the material was written years ago (and to fix any incorrect/unwise advice in the comments).

On VimTip848 it is claimed that VimTip1189 is a duplicate (and vice versa). A very quick glance makes me wonder if there is no prospect for combining these two tips. Perhaps the Duplicate template should be removed from both, and a link added to the other. Something like "See also ...". It would be great if you would make a decision on this (whatever you think would be best) and do it. Thanks. --JohnBeckett 04:40, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Done: Reviewed 'em all and moved the reference from Installing several releases in parallel, even with matchit to Maintain multiple versions of gvim in Windows to a more acceptable place, with a comment. The reverse link will of course have to be handled by the latter tip's author. -- Tonymec 05:49, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Good - thanks. I just changed VimTip1189 so the "duplicate" is now "see also", because I don't think the wiki can rely on authors maintaining their tips. --JohnBeckett 07:44, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Clean up proposed new tips[]

I need some help sorting out some of the proposed new tips. For example, there is one tip outstanding from March 2008: Smart paste. On that page, about half-way down, there is a "TO DO" section. Everything below the "TO DO" is the original tip. I recently added all the material above the "TO DO".

I propose deleting the "TO DO" and all the material below it, and renaming the tip to "Smart paste". I would appreciate your thoughts at the March 2008 discussion (this tip is the only one outstanding from that time). JohnBeckett 10:05, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Do as you will, I'm trusting you. The first paragraph below the TODO refers to IBM Common User Access as if it were a standard to be adhered to everywhere. Now IIUC the best-known attempt at CUA in Vim is mswin.vim, which is a complete flop as far as I'm concerned. If I were to reply to that paragraph, I suspect I would do it too scathingly to be of any good, so I'll rather keep my mouth shut instead (for once — I read somewhere that according to Einstein, if A is success, the formula for it is A = X + Y + Z, where X is work, Y is play and Z is keep your mouth shut. I'm very good at play, I may do some work when the fancy strikes me, "keep your mouth shut" is where I usually fail.) — Tonymec 10:43, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I also have some scathing opinions about some of the misguided tips on making Vim look like Notepad. Can you just look at the two mapping lines at the very top of the tip (ignore that it is mapping Ctrl-v), and let me know if you think they would work in most cases? (i.e. is it likely they would break if some setting I don't know about is used). JohnBeckett 11:19, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'm the best person to check that kind of mapping. What it does is paste before the cursor, then format (or apply 'equalprg' if set) until the '] mark (a linewise mark). If I wanted to use Notepad-like pasting, I would use Edit=>Paste without bothering with Ctrl-V — and proceed from there if the result wasn't exactly what I wanted. (I'm the kind of guy who uses ":filetype indent off" immediately after sourcing the vimrc_example.vim, because I want to set my own nonstandard indents and not have any program -or any person for that matter- do «my own good his own way without my say-so».) — Tonymec 11:51, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposed new tips[]

Would you like to comment on some of the proposed new tips? At New tips there are links to the various months that need attention. I'm looking for fairly concrete opinions (should a tip be kept or merged or deleted?). In particular, I do not know if you have seen the discussion for May 2009 where your tip is discussed. JohnBeckett 11:07, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I've seen it now, and after reading that whole "NewTips" page (where the discussion about Loreto goes way above my head), and added a comment or two, I believe that Ben and you are doing a really good job "even" without me. --Tonymec 18:29, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

CologneBlue skin[]

I'm replying here with a full statement of the problem you alerted me to on my talk page so that I can direct Wikia here if needed. The situation is:

  • You were using the CologneBlue skin (which you use on several Wikimedia sites).
  • You noticed a change in the date format on talk pages to U.S. month, day.
  • You used Special:Preferences to change the skin to the default to test whether that affected the date format.
  • Special:Preferences has no option to restore CologneBlue so you are stuck with an unwanted skin.
All the above is correct. In addition, doing the above caused a post to be sent to the RSS list about all changes, saying that the page User:Tonymec has been changed by Tonymec. No such change is recorded at any recent time in that page's history.

I gather that certain skins are no longer supported on Wikia (they are introducing fancy stuff and don't want to customise more than a small number of skins). However, old skins are still available (with reduced functionality), but cannot be chosen in Special:Preferences (bear in mind that I have no idea what any of this means; I use all the defaults so I can see what most users will see).

Your "However..." sentence makes perfect sense to me. About the first sentence in the above paragraph, I don't mind if my favourite skin is outmoded, unsupported, and doesn't include the latest bells & whistles, as long as it is available, or at the very least available to me.

I think there is a trick you can use to set your skin. I don't have firm details, so please try the following and if it doesn't work I will contact Wikia for advice (there is no way I am going to try this because I don't want to mess up my settings!). Open Special:Preferences in one window, and in another window open

The first window opens with whatever "unwanted skin" I'm stuck with; the latter one opens, strangely enough, with "Monaco Sapphire" (which corresponds to the first radiobutton in the skins list), not "CologneBlue".

Then in the first window, click the button to save your preferences. JohnBeckett 09:47, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

This changes nothing. The same unwanted skin (whatever I already had previously) remains set. Not CologneBlue in any case, and not Monaco-Sapphire unless it had already been set previously in the "normal" way. Emptying the browser cache makes no difference, nor is there any difference between opening the second window in a new browser tab (as I had done at first) or in an actual second window. The browser I'm using is SeaMonkey 2.0pre, or to be precise, "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090924 SeaMonkey/2.0pre" (Build ID: 20090924005859); its rendering engine is the same (IIUC) as that of Firefox 3.5, as shown by "rv:" (which is known as the "Gecko version") at the end of the parenthese.
Now I'll try changing back (explicitly, by clicking the radio button) to Monaco-Smoke (the site default) and see if it makes a difference: the results of that test will appear below. --Tonymec 20:14, September 24, 2009 (UTC)
There's something I don't understand. If I select Monaco-Smoke and save, the page telling me that my preferences have been saved appears in Monaco-Smoke, but as soon as I go to any other page I'm back to Monaco-Sapphire. --Tonymec 20:22, September 24, 2009 (UTC)
...even when logged out; however, opening the SeaMonkey Cookie Manager showed that I had several duplicate cookies (multiple cookies with identical URL and cookie name) for the site. Removing every single cookie restored the Monaco-Smoke skin when logged out. After logging in again and trying again your procedure above, I see the following cookies for (I'm copying all this as debugging information):
  • Name: __utmb
    • content: 196273067
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: 2009-09-24 23:15:14 +0002
  • Name: __utmz
    • content: 196273067.1253824844.1.1.utmccn=(direct)|utmcsr=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: 2010-03-26 09:40:44 +0001
  • Name: __utmc
    • content: 196273067
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: at end of session
  • Name: __utma
    • content: 196273067.168001834.1253824844.1253824844.1253824844.1
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: 2011-09-24 22:40:44 +0002
  • Name: wikicitiesskinpref
    • content: monaco--0
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: 2009-10-24 22:43:23 +0002
  • Name: wikicitiesToken
    • content: 85607894ffff9dd91c668f2803adfe5a
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: 2009-10-24 22:43:23 +0002
  • Name: wikicitiesUserName
    • content: Tonymec
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: 2009-10-24 22:43:23 +0002
  • Name: wikicitiesUserID
    • content: 137877
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: 2009-10-24 22:43:23 +0002
  • Name: wikicities_session
    • content: c3b94bf404ae8518cf532f4262a44054
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: At end of session
  • Name: wikicitiesLoggedOut
    • content: 20090924204040
    • domain:
    • path: /
    • connection: Any
    • Expires: 2009-09-25 22:40:40 +0002
I suspect that that "wikicitiesskinpref" cookie is the one causing the trouble; but maybe there is more. Now I'm going to log out then in to clear away the most sensitive ones of the above, in case some ill-minded hacker might be lurking. --Tonymec 21:27, September 24, 2009 (UTC)
Removing (only) that cookie while logged out restores Monaco-Smoke, but as soon as I log in again I'm stuck with Monaco-Sapphire, even if I set any other skin via Special:Preferences, and it does not go away when I log out. I notice that the "browser history" item for the ...&useskin=CologneBlue page has "Error" where the page title ought to be. Let's see if any error appears in the Error Console for it...
Ah, there: A lot of errors related to monaco_css, and also:
And here are, I think, the corresponding lines from the View Source, though there seems to be a difference of 6 lines in the line numbers:
1414 <script type="text/javascript">
1415			wgAdBlockEnabled=false;
1416			GS_googleAddAdSenseService("ca-pub-4086838842346968");
1417			GS_googleEnableAllServices();
1418 </script><script>GA_googleUseIframeRendering();</script><!-- ## END AdProviderGAM::AdProviderGAM::getSetupHtml ## -->
1419 <!-- ## BEGIN AdProviderGAM::AdProviderGAM::getBatchCallHtml ## -->
1420 <script type="text/javascript">
1421 GA_googleAddAttr("hub","tech");
1422 GA_googleAddAttr("skin_name","monaco");
1423 GA_googleAddAttr("cont_lang", wgContentLanguage);
1424 GA_googleAddAttr("user_lang", wgUserLanguage);
1425 GA_googleAddAdSensePageAttr("google_color_border", AdEngine.getAdColor("text"));
1426 GA_googleAddAdSensePageAttr("google_color_bg", AdEngine.getAdColor("bg"));
1427 GA_googleAddAdSensePageAttr("google_color_link", AdEngine.getAdColor("link"));
1428 GA_googleAddAdSensePageAttr("google_color_text", AdEngine.getAdColor("text"));
1429 GA_googleAddAdSensePageAttr("google_color_url", AdEngine.getAdColor("url"));
1430 GA_googleAddAdSensePageAttr("google_ad_channel", "7297263620");
1431 GA_googleAddAdSensePageAttr("google_page_url", "");
1432 GA_googleAddAdSensePageAttr("google_language", wgContentLanguage);
1434 </script>

1507 </dd></dl><dl class="widget WidgetAdvertiser" id="widget_102"><dt class="color1 widget_title" id="widget_102_header"><span class="widgetToolbox"></span>Wikia Spotlight</dt><dd class="shadow widget_contents" id="widget_102_content"><script>GA_googleFillSlotWithSize("ca-pub-4086838842346968","LEFT_SPOTLIGHT_1","200","75");</script></dd></dl><dl class="widget WidgetAnswers" id="widget_142"><dt class="color1 widget_title" id="widget_142_header"><span class="widgetToolbox"><span id="widget_142_close" class="close toolboxItem"><span></span></span></span>Answers</dt><dd class="shadow widget_contents" id="widget_142_content"><div class="widget_answers_note">Can you help by becoming a <a href="" target="_blank">category editor</a> on <a href="" target="_blank">Wikianswers</a>?</div><div style="padding: 7px;"><b>Recently Asked Questions</b></div><script type="text/javascript">/*<![CDATA[*/

1542 			/*]]>*/</script><script type="text/javascript">quantserve();</script>

--Tonymec 22:15, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

Same results with instead of There, however, Monaco-Sapphire (not Monaco-Smoke) is the admins' default skin. --Tonymec 22:31, September 24, 2009 (UTC)
Apparently the only skins I'm still able to set permanently are Monobook and Monaco-Sapphire. Nothing else. --Tonymec 22:39, September 24, 2009 (UTC)

I have contacted Wikia and will let you know what I learn. JohnBeckett 04:50, September 25, 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. --Tonymec 17:09, September 25, 2009 (UTC)
Bad news I'm afraid. I have received a firm reply saying sorry, but there are no tricks to set one of the not-supported skins as a preference, and it is likely that the other skins will eventually be removed. The "useskin" url trick only allows viewing one page in a skin that isn't your currently chosen skin. I had seen, many months ago, some opinions that something along the lines of what I said worked ... but lots of changes have happened since then, and the reply for Wikia is authoritative. JohnBeckett 00:03, September 26, 2009 (UTC)
Well, I suppose I'll have to live with it. But do you know (or do they know) any way to let me use the variant of the Monaco skin chosen by the admins of the vim.wikia site? Right now I don't seem to be able to set any skin at all except the MediaWiki "Monobook" skin (in a Vim-like customization) and the "Sapphire" variant of Monaco. --Tonymec 00:22, September 26, 2009 (UTC)
No customisation of the skin has occurred on this wiki, so I assume the current default theme for this wiki (which is Monaco Smoke) is the default for all or at least most wikis. In my "skin" preferences, I see the radio button for "Wikpedia skin MonoBook" selected, and a check mark in the "Let the admins override my skin choice". The result is that I am using the Monaco Smoke skin which features orange blocks in the left sidebar and across the top of most pages (where it says "Edit this page" etc). This link shows tip 1 using Monaco Smoke and is what I see when I visit The super star. Let me know if you are not able to set Monaco Smoke. JohnBeckett 04:20, September 26, 2009 (UTC)
OK, clicking that checkbox gives me Monaco Smoke, and it sticks; but if I uncheck it, selecting the Monaco Smoke radio button gives me the "Your preferences have been saved" page in Monaco Smoke, but it doesn't stick: clicking the Go button to reload the Special:Preferences pages displays it then in Monaco Sapphire (which is blue where Smoke is yellow), which BTW is the default at
Some customization must have happened on this wiki, since both the Monaco and Monobook skins display the Vim logo (and not the wikia logo) at top left. Well, I think I (slightly) prefer Monobook anyway, if I can't get CologneBlue. — Tonymec 07:03, September 26, 2009 (UTC)

Working with Unicode[]

Hi Tony, I don't know if you will see this but I'll try before emailing. Please have a look at the recent comment at Talk: Working with Unicode and see if you want to respond. JohnBeckett (talk) 07:43, 2 September 2021 (UTC)