"Better" Settings

Posted by Derek Wyatt on August 23, 2009
Just a few more examples of some settings we have in Vim to make basic operations a bit easier.

It's hard to come up with category names for different groups of options, maps, functions, etc... in the vimrc file. There are a number of options in Vim whose default setting doesn't quite work for me so they gotta change...

" Set the search scan to wrap around the file
set wrapscan

" Set the forward slash to be the slash of note.  Backslashes suck
" This is really only applicable to Windows but I like to have a vimrc
" that works no matter what OS I'm currently on
set shellslash

" Make command line two lines high
set ch=2

" set visual bell -- I hate that damned beeping
set vb

" Allow backspacing over indent, eol, and the start of an insert
set backspace=2

" See :help 'cpoptions' for these ones.  'cpoptions' has a huge
" set of possible options
set cpoptions=ces$

" Set the status line the way I like it
set stl=%f\ %m\ %r\ Line:\ %l/%L[%p%%]\ Col:\ %c\ Buf:\ #%n\ [%b][0x%B]

" tell Vim to always put a status line in, even if there is only one
" window
set laststatus=2

" Hide the mouse pointer while typing
set mousehide

" The GUI (i.e. the 'g' in 'gvim') is fantastic, but let's not be
" silly about it :)  The GUI is fantastic, but it's fantastic for
" its fonts and its colours, not for its toolbar and its menus -
" those just steal screen real estate
set guioptions=ac

" This is the timeout used while waiting for user input on a
" multi-keyed macro or while just sitting and waiting for another
" key to be pressed measured in milliseconds.
" i.e. for the ",d" command, there is a "timeoutlen" wait
"      period between the "," key and the "d" key.  If the
"      "d" key isn't pressed before the timeout expires,
"      one of two things happens: The "," command is executed
"      if there is one (which there isn't) or the command aborts.
" The idea here is that if you have two commands, say ",dv" and
" ",d" that it will take 'timeoutlen' milliseconds to recognize
" that you're going for ",d" instead of ",dv"
" In general you should endeavour to avoid that type of
" situation because waiting 'timeoutlen' milliseconds is
" like an eternity.
set timeoutlen=500

" Keep some stuff in the history
set history=100

" These commands open folds
set foldopen=block,insert,jump,mark,percent,quickfix,search,tag,undo

" When the page starts to scroll, keep the cursor 8 lines from
" the top and 8 lines from the bottom
set scrolloff=8

" Allow the cursor to go in to "invalid" places
set virtualedit=all

" For how *I* code these are the best types of settings for
" completion but I get rid of some neat things that you might
" like
set complete=.,w,b,t

" Incrementally match the search.  I orignally hated this
" but someone forced me to live with it for a while and told
" me that I would grow to love it after getting used to it...
" turns out he was right :)
set incsearch

" Syntax coloring lines that are too long just slows down the world
set synmaxcol=2048