Folding for plain text files based on indentation
From Vim Tips Wiki
created March 13, 2006 · complexity advanced · author Paul Donohue · version 6.0
I like to organize my notes/outlines/etc in a hierarchical tree format. I wanted to be able to hide branches of the hierarchy that I'm not currently working on, but I also wanted to be able to store everything in a plain text file with minimal special formatting to implement the hiding. So, I decided to use Vim's folding features for this.
Folding based on indentation is the easiest and most intuitive way to hide sections of a file with minimal special formatting.
However, I wanted a section of lines with the same indent to fold into a heading with less indent. This is not what the default behavior is, which folds into the first line with the same indent:
heading A line 1 line 2 line 3 heading B
Default Behavior (folded based on indent):
heading A line 1 heading B
What I wanted when folded:
heading A heading B
So, I put this in my vimrc to implement folding:
setlocal foldmethod=expr setlocal foldexpr=(getline(v:lnum)=~'^$')?-1:((indent(v:lnum)<indent(v:lnum+1))?('>'.indent(v:lnum+1)):indent(v:lnum)) set foldtext=getline(v:foldstart) set fillchars=fold:\ "(there's a space after that \) highlight Folded ctermfg=DarkGreen ctermbg=Black
This will create folds based on a single-space indent (I wanted to be able to build a hierarchy many many levels deep, and using a tab for the fold indents very quickly pushed my text off the window, but I didn't want to mess with the tabstop). Blank lines are folded based on the surrounding indentation (they are not counted as a 0 indent line).
I quickly got annoyed by the default key mappings for folding/unfolding sections, so I remapped Shift-Left/Shift-Right to close/open:
nnoremap <S-Left> zo inoremap <S-Left> <C-O>zo nnoremap <S-Right> zc inoremap <S-Right> <C-O>zc " Shift-Up Shift-Down (incase Shift is held while browsing folds) nmap <S-Up> <Up> imap <S-Up> <Up> nmap <S-Down> <Down> imap <S-Down> <Down>
But, I found that the default mappings for Alt-(Arrows) and CTRL-(Arrows) sometimes caused Vim to do strange stuff, and I would occasionally hit those by accident, so I remapped those as well:
" modified arrow keys do bad things by default " Ctrl-(Up, Down, Left, Right) noremap <C-Up> <Nop> noremap! <C-Up> <Nop> noremap <C-Down> <Nop> noremap! <C-Down> <Nop> noremap <C-Left> <Nop> noremap! <C-Left> <Nop> noremap <C-Right> <Nop> noremap! <C-Right> <Nop> " Alt-(Up, Down, Left, Right) noremap <M-Up> <Nop> noremap! <M-Up> <Nop> noremap <M-Down> <Nop> noremap! <M-Down> <Nop> noremap <M-Left> <Nop> noremap! <M-Left> <Nop> noremap <M-Right> <Nop> noremap! <M-Right> <Nop>
- TVO (The Vim Outliner): http://bike-nomad.com/vim/vimoutliner.html
- VimOutliner, a capable and well-supported tool: http://www.vimoutliner.org/
- indentfolds.vim script#3780
- LOTS of comments below to merge into the tip or delete
- Better cross-referencing of Folding?
- Probably get rid of the key mapping stuff or merge it elsewhere (like Folding?)
An alternative approach is "reverse indent outlining" as described at http://jfi.uchicago.edu/~tten/for%20geeks/Vim_editor/ .
TVO is neat, but it seems to have slightly different goals in mind. The biggest difference is that it doesn't allow folding a text block within a text block. For example, with my script, you can do:
-headline text block 1a text block 1b - text block 1c text block 2a text block 2b text block 1d text block 1e So, when text block 2 is folded, you see: -headline text block 1a text block 1b + text block 1c text block 1d text block 1e And when text block 1 is folded, you see: +headline
So, basically, an arbitrary line in a text block can become a headline, and another text block can be folded inside it. This isn't possible in TVO.
TVO is also limited to folds 10 levels deep, it doesn't fold text into the headline (by default - the docs seem to suggest there is an option to fold the text into the headline, but I can't seem to find it), it determines the fold level using Tabs (as I mentioned before, Tabs pushed my text off the screen way too fast, and I'd like to do folding without mucking with the tabstop), and it requires that a | be placed in front of each text block (not a big deal, but I like not having any special characters besides spaces to implement the folding, especially since TVO's use of the | is what makes it impossible to put a text block within a text block). So, TVO just isn't quite right for my purposes.
Take a look at:
They talk about a better way to do the key mappings I originally mentioned without making 'timeoutlen' apply to the <Esc> character.
Based on the suggestions in the links I listed in my last message, perhaps this is a better way to do the key mappings:
" Vim's termcap options for a bunch of modified keys are wrong (at least in xterm) " so, Vim does unexpected things when these key combinations are hit - the lines below should correct the problem " (type CTRL-V then the keys to get the actual key code escape sequences below) set <S-Up>=^[[1;2A set <S-Down>=^[[1;2B set <S-Right>=^[[1;2C set <S-Left>=^[[1;2D set <C-Right>=^[[1;5C set <C-Left>=^[[1;5D set <S-Home>=^[[1;2H set <S-End>=^[[1;2F set <C-Home>=^[[1;5H set <C-End>=^[[1;5F " For some reason, Vim won't let you set <C-Up> or <C-Down>, <C-PageUp> or <C-PageDown>, or <M-*> - so we'll make Vim think we're hitting other unused keys instead " I would like to map a lot of other modified keys as well (a lot of them do unexpected and usually bad things), but there's only so many unused keys to be commandeered " CTRL-Up, CTRL-Down set <F13>=^[[1;5A set <F14>=^[[1;5B " CTRL-PageUp, CTRL-PageDown set <F15>=^[[5;5~ set <F16>=^[[6;5~ " ALT-Home, ALT-End set <F17>=^[[1;3H set <F18>=^[[1;3F " Fold-related Mappings " open current fold nnoremap <S-Right> zo inoremap <S-Right> <C-O>zo " close current fold nnoremap <S-Left> zc inoremap <S-Left> <C-O>zc " incase Shift is held while browsing folds nmap <S-Up> <Up> imap <S-Up> <Up> nmap <S-Down> <Down> imap <S-Down> <Down> " map CTRL-(arrow keys) to <Nop>, since I don't like the expected Vim behavior even when the termcap entries are correct noremap <C-Right> <Nop> noremap! <C-Right> <Nop> noremap <C-Left> <Nop> noremap! <C-Left> <Nop> noremap <F13> <Nop> noremap! <F13> <Nop> noremap <F14> <Nop> noremap! <F14> <Nop>
This does *almost* work for me. My gtd-files are in this format:
090120 This ist item number 1 090209 This is item number 2 it has two lines 090210 This is item number 3 it has a couple of lines it has a couple of lines 090211 This is item number 4 it has two lines 090221 This is item number 5 090222 This is item number 6 it has two lines
This would fold into:
090120 This is item number 1 090209 This is item number 2 090221 This is item number 5 090222 This is item number 6
Somehow the expression wraps everything to the next single line. I wonder why? The key mappings are nice, but I think the expressen is more interesting, yet totally unexplained and thus hard to understand for a beginner.