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Abbreviations only on shortcut

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Tip 481 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2003 · complexity basic · author maurice · version 6.0

This is just a more flexible completion.

I made the following (example) to have a unique abbreviation:

iabbrev date^A <c-r>=strftime("%F")<CR>

Note that ^A is Control-A (insert with <c-v><c-a>).

This is to avoid the completion if you really want to write 'date'.

And now this mapping:

inoremap <c-b> <c-v><c-a><c-[>a

Now type date<c-b> in insert-mode and you will get the date.


So why not just use this?

iabbrev date^B <c-r>=strftime("%F")<CR>

Admittedly, it requires you to do something after the control-b (such as another key or escape), but you would do precisely the same thing anyway with the original procedure.

The point of this tip seems to be to make a simple abbreviation such as "date" which does not require special entry such as <C-V><C-A> and which you can choose to expand with a shortcut key (<C-B>) or to NOT expand it as you choose. This suggestion defeats the purpose of the tip.

The mapping in this tip (to expand the abbreviation) does not work for me. This does:

imap <c-b> <c-v><c-a><c-]>

Note the use of "imap" rather than "inoremap". I'm not sure if this is needed or not, but it seemed to be for me.

<C-]> is also used rather than <c-[> (note <c-[> is a synonym for <ESC>) because <C-]> is "expand abbreviation without inserting another character" whereas the <ESC>a didn't seem to expand the abbreviation for me (although that may have been because I tried it with inoremap).

--Fritzophrenic 22:13, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

This tip seems needlessly complicated, and I think the title is unclear. Shortcut can mean many things. Abbreviations I'd suggest are something you'd be unlikely to type in text, without resorting to control sequences, like iabbr date_ <C-R>=strftime(...)<CR> or iabbr ddate <C-R>=strftime(...). Both are faster for me to type. The abbreviation will be expanded with the next character, or when leaving insert mode. (Spiiph 22:40, 5 August 2009 (UTC))

I have not tried it, and I have only looked very superficially, but I think the original tip did intend Ctrl-[ (Esc). The user is supposed to type "date" then press Ctrl-b. The second mapping converts that ^B to ^A then exits insert mode (which should cause the abbreviation to be expanded to the date), then the mapping uses 'a' to re-enter insert mode. I haven't decided if this is clever or not, but it does overly tricky and I guess it needs some brutal fixing.

Above are some candidates for possible merging. Tip 912 has some comments relevant to the above. JohnBeckett 01:48, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

I kind of like the idea behind the tip. One of the reasons that I don't use abbreviations very often is that I feel I would often take longer to remember the particular abbreviation I used for an item than I would to just type it (or use insert-mode completion on it). If all the "mangling" needed to make the abbreviation unlikely to occur in normal text was taken care of by a common mapping rather than me needing to remember it, it might be easier to use. I think this tip is rather clever, though I admit it isn't necessarily that useful to a wide audience. I'm stumped as to why it didn't work with the <ESC>a...I'm pretty sure you're right as to the intentions there, John, that's what I thought myself. But when I tried it with gvim -N -u NONE, it only inserted ^A^[a instead of inserting ^A, expanding the abbrev, and re-entering insert mode. It was then that I found the i_CTRL-] command and decided it was better than leaving and reentering insert mode anyway. --Fritzophrenic 15:43, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

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