VimMode - Examples

Main page: VimMode

This page is a collection of user defined motions and commands. Note that all motions and text objects are implemented in the file vim-motions.el, normal-mode commands in vim-commands.el and ex-mode commands in vim-ex-commands.el. If you want to implement own commands and motions, these files provide a good starting point. As you can see most commands and motions have very simple implementations.


Shift+Cursor should enable Visual-Mode

Many editors select a certain region of text by holding shift down and then using some cursor movement. Such a behaviour can easily be achieved with some clever key-bindings.

  (vim:nmap (kbd "S-<left>") "vh")
  (vim:nmap (kbd "S-<right>") "vl")
  (vim:nmap (kbd "S-<up>") "Vk")
  (vim:nmap (kbd "S-<down>") "Vj")
  (vim:nmap (kbd "S-C-<left>") "vb")
  (vim:nmap (kbd "S-C-<right>") "ve")
  (vim:vmap (kbd "S-<left>") "h")
  (vim:vmap (kbd "S-<right>") "l")
  (vim:vmap (kbd "S-<up>") "k")
  (vim:vmap (kbd "S-<down>") "j")
  (vim:vmap (kbd "S-C-<left>") "b")
  (vim:vmap (kbd "S-C-<right>") "e")

Here for each movement we have a pair of keybindings, one binding for normal-mode which activates visual mode followed by an ordinary movement and one binding for visual-mode which is just mapped to a motion.


Make and compile-log

Execute make via ex-mode command.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-make (nonrepeatable argument)
   "Executes compile or recompile."
   (if argument
       (compile (concat "make " argument))
  (vim:emap "make" 'vim:cmd-make)
  (vim:emap "m" "make")

Goto next and previous errors with cnext and cprev ex-mode commands.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-next-error (nonrepeatable count)
   "Moves to the `count'th next error."
   (next-error count))
  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-prev-error (nonrepeatable count)
   "Moves to the `count'th previous error."
   (next-error (- (or count 1))))
  (vim:emap "cnext" 'vim:cmd-next-error)
  (vim:emap "cn" "cnext")
  (vim:emap "cprevious" 'vim:cmd-prev-error)
  (vim:emap "cp" "cprevious")


Very simple version of :grep, similar to :make above.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-grep (nonrepeatable argument:text)
    "Run external grep."
    (grep (concat "grep -nH -e" argument)))
  (vim:emap "grep" 'vim:cmd-grep)
  (vim:emap "gr" "grep")

LaTeX make and errors

These local bindings provide :cnext, :cprevious and :make commands for LaTeX.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-TeX-next-error (nonrepeatable count)
   "Moves to the `count'th next TeX error."
   (TeX-next-error count))
  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-TeX-prev-error (nonrepeatable count)
   "Moves to the `count'th previous TeX error."
   (TeX-previous-error (- (or count 1))))
  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-TeX-make (nonrepeatable)
    "Execute the current master command."
    (TeX-save-document (TeX-master-file))
    (TeX-command "LaTeX" 'TeX-master-file))
  (add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook
            #'(lambda ()
                 (vim:local-emap "cnext" 'vim:cmd-TeX-next-error)
                 (vim:local-emap "cprevious" 'vim:cmd-TeX-previous-error)
	         (vim:local-emap "make" 'vim:cmd-TeX-make)))

Comment/Uncomment region

The following command toggles the comments on a certain visual region.

  (vim:defcmd vim:visual-toggle-comment (motion)
    "Toggles comments in the region."
    (comment-or-uncomment-region (vim:motion-begin-pos motion)
    			         (vim:motion-end-pos motion)))

We bind the commands only in visual mode.

  (vim:vmap (kbd "C-c :") 'vim:visual-toggle-comment)
  (vim:vmap (kbd "C-c ;") 'vim:visual-toggle-comment)

Create new frame with ex-command

Adds a command to open a new frame via :nf or :newframe.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-new-frame (nonrepeatable)
    "Creates a new frame."
  (vim:emap "newframe" 'vim:cmd-new-frame)
  (vim:emap "nf" "newframe")

Rot13 encoding with motion or visual region

This is an example for a command which operates on motion-defined region. A useful helper function is vim:apply-on-motion which applies an operation which modifies a certain region on the region covered by the given motion. Note that we bind the command in both, normal-mode and visual-mode.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-rot13 (motion)
    "Rot13 encode the given region."
     #'(lambda (beg end)
         (rot13 (current-buffer) beg end))))
  (vim:nmap "g?" 'vim:cmd-rot13)
  (vim:vmap "g?" 'vim:cmd-rot13)

Simple :help command

The following simple command can be used to lookup a symbol in the info files or open the emacs-lisp documentation.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-help (nonrepeatable argument)
    "Search for the given pattern in the manual."
    (if argument
        (info-lookup-symbol argument)
  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-help-elisp (nonrepeatable)
    "Search for the given pattern in the emacs lisp manual."
    (info "elisp"))
  (vim:emap "help" 'vim:cmd-help)
  (vim:emap "h" "help")
  (vim:emap "helpelisp" 'vim:cmd-help-elisp)
  (vim:emap "helisp" "helpelisp")

Edit file with sudo

Sometimes we want to edit a file as root which can be done easily with the follow command.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-sudo ((argument:file file) nonrepeatable)
    "Edit file with sudo"
    (if file
        (find-file (concat "/sudo:root@localhost:" file))))
 (vim:emap "sudo" 'vim:cmd-sudo)

Open file at point

Vim knows several commands to open the file which name is under the cursor currently. Emacs has commands for the same purpose, too, so here a some example bindings and commands to enhance vim-mode with apropriate key-bindings.

Just use ffap

The Emacs commands for opening the file at point come from the ffap package which is part of Emacs. The easiest way is to just map key-bindings to those commands. The main difference is that ffap does not open the file immediately but prompts for the file name instead (but see below).

  (vim:nmap "gf" 'ffap)
  (vim:wmap (kbd "C-w C-f") 'ffap-other-window)

Note that the gf binding may also be used in visual-mode. Unluckily, fap does not use the region through prefix-arguments so vim-mode cannot detect that it uses the region and will not disable visual-mode after using this command. The simplest way is to define a small wrapper command. This command should set transient-mark-mode to t because ffap uses the region only in this case but visual-mode does not use it.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-ffap (nonrepeatable)
    "Opens the file under point."
    (let ((transient-mark-mode (vim:visual-mode-p)))
  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-ffap-other-window (nonrepeatable)
    "Opens the file under point in another window."
    (let ((transient-mark-mode (vim:visual-mode-p)))
  (vim:vmap "gf" 'vim:cmd-ffap)
  (vim:vmap (kbd "C-w C-f") 'vim:cmd-ffap-other-window)

Open file without prompting

If you want a more Vim-like behaviour without prompting for the file-name, you have to write little commands and bind them appropriately. Note that those commands can be used in visual-mode, too.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-find-file-at-point (nonrepeatable)
    "Opens the file at point."
    (let* ((transient-mark-mode (vim:visual-mode-p))
           (fname (ffap-file-at-point)))
      (if fname (find-file-existing fname)
        (error "File does not exist."))))
  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-find-file-at-point-other-window (nonrepeatable)
    "Opens the file at point in another window."
    (let* ((transient-mark-mode (vim:visual-mode-p))
           (fname (ffap-file-at-point)))
      (if fname (find-file-other-window fname)
        (error "File does not exist."))))
  (vim:nmap "gf" 'vim:cmd-find-file-at-point)
  (vim:nmap (kbd "C-w C-f") 'vim:cmd-find-file-at-point-other-window)
  (vim:vmap "gf" 'vim:cmd-find-file-at-point)
  (vim:vmap (kbd "C-w C-f") 'vim:cmd-find-file-at-point-other-window)

Force new window when opening file in other window

Emacs reuses an existing window when opening a file in another window. Vim always opens a new window. The following function opens simulates Vim’s behaviour, this time with prompting. Again this function can be used in visual-mode, too.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-find-file-at-point-new-window (nonrepeatable)
    "Opens the file at point in a new window."
    ;; without prompting use (ffap-file-at-point)
    (let* ((transient-mark-mode (vim:visual-mode-p))
           (fname (ffap-prompter)))
      (if fname
  	  (balance-windows)  ; balance windows like VIM
  	  (find-file fname))
        (error "File does not exist."))))
  (vim:nmap (kbd "C-w C-f") 'vim:cmd-find-file-at-point-new-window)
  (vim:vmap (kbd "C-w C-f") 'vim:cmd-find-file-at-point-new-window)

Find at point with line-number

Vim knows another command usually bound to gF. This command opens the file under the cursor and places the cursor at the line-number just behind the file name. A simply variant of this command for vim-mode is the following which works in file-name of the kind file-name:line-number, i.e., if the line-number is separated by a colon from the file-name. Note that the original Vim command is slightly more flexible but ffap is not on which this command depends. This command does not work in visual-mode because ffap would use the line-number covered by the visual-region as part of the file-name.

  (vim:defcmd vim:cmd-find-file-at-point-with-line (nonrepeatable)
    "Opens the file at point and goes to line-number."
    (let ((fname (ffap-file-at-point)))
      (if fname
  	(let ((line
  		 (goto-char (cadr ffap-string-at-point-region))
  		 (and (re-search-backward ":\\([0-9]+\\)\\="
  					  (line-beginning-position) t)
  		      (string-to-int (match-string 1))))))
  	  (find-file-existing fname)
  	  (when line (goto-line line)))
        (error "File does not exist."))))
  (vim:nmap "gF" 'vim:cmd-find-file-at-point-with-line)


LaTeX tag text objects

Select text between two \begin{...} and \end{...} LaTeX tags with or without the tags itself. The code is very similar to the code used for XML-tags from vim-motions.el. The motions are bound to il and al keys in operator-pending mode.

  (defun vim:generic-motion-latex-blocks (block-function count)
    "Calls a block selection function with regular expressions
  matching LaTeX tags. `block-function' should be either
  #'vim:inner-block or #'vim:outer-block."
    (funcall block-function
  	   (or count 1)))
  (vim:defmotion vim:motion-inner-latex-tags (inclusive count)
    "Select `count' enclosing pairs of \begin{tag} \end{tag}
    (vim:generic-motion-latex-blocks #'vim:inner-block count))
  (vim:defmotion vim:motion-outer-latex-tags (inclusive count)
    "Select `count' enclosing pairs of \begin{tag} \end{tag}
    (vim:generic-motion-latex-blocks #'vim:outer-block count))
  (vim:omap "il" #'vim:motion-inner-latex-tags)
  (vim:omap "al" #'vim:motion-outer-latex-tags)

Other examples

  1. coldnew added elscreen as tabpages for vim-mode (vim-elscreen.el).