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Creating colorschemes for Vim


Choosing a colorscheme that you find pleasing to look at is essential if you want to be comfortable working with Vim. There are hundreds of colorschemes available, but what if you can’t find one that you like? In this episode, I’ll share a few tips that make it easy to create colorschemes for Vim.

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Updating your vimrc file on the fly


The vimrc file allows you to preserve your settings so that they are restored each time you launch Vim. But what if you want to update your vimrc file in the middle of an editing session? This episode demonstrates a couple of tricks that make it easy to customize Vim on the fly.

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Converting HAML to ERB with Vim macros


HAML and ERB are two commonly used ruby templating languages. You may have a strong preference for one or the other, but it’s not always up to you which one you use. I was recently asked to convert several HAML files to ERB format. In this episode, I will demonstrate a couple of Vim macros that helped make short work of the task.

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Selecting columns with visual block mode


If you want to edit several adjacent lines with a similar format, you might save a lot of time by making a columnar selection. This episode will demonstrate how to achieve this using Vim’s visual block mode.

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Converting markdown to structured HTML with a macro


Recording your keystrokes as a macro can be a great timesaver, but you have to be careful that you use commands in such a way that they can be reused. In this episode, I construct a fairly complex macro to build a structural HTML document from markdown.

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Running Vim within IRB


If you work with ruby you will know that the interactive ruby shell, or ‘IRB’ for short, is a useful sketchpad for coding. But the command line interface of IRB can feel quite limiting in comparison with the power of your text editor. In this episode, I’m going to demonstrate how you can get the best of both worlds, by loading Vim from inside IRB.

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Spell checking


Using a spell checker is a good habit to get into. In this episode, I demonstrate how to use Vim’s built in spell checking feature.

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Formatting text with par


‘Do one thing and do it well’ is the principle of the Unix toolkit. Editing text is a broad domain, and there are many related tasks with which it overlaps. Vim acknowledges this by enabling certain tasks to be outsourced to external programs which do that one thing, and do it well. This episode will demonstrate how the par program can be used for formatting text.

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Hard wrapping text


It is sometimes preferable to format text with hard wrapped lines, for example when writing emails in plaintext. Vim can apply this style of formatting for you. This episode shows some of the options which allow you to customize Vim’s text formatting.

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Soft wrapping text


Long lines of text can be wrapped if they don’t fit inside the window. By default, Vim will happily split in the middle of a word. This episode demonstrates how to use the ‘linebreak’ option to make Vim break lines without breaking words.

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