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Use abbreviations for frequently-used words

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created 2003 · complexity intermediate · version 6.0

You can use Vim's autocomplete feature in insert mode. Just edit the vimrc file and add lines:

iab <key> <expansion>
<key> is the letter which should be expanded to <expansion>

Example (add your own words):

iab #i #include (typing "#i" and space will be expanded to "#include")
iab #d #define (typing "#d" and space will be expanded to "#define")
iab s struct (typing "s" and space will be expanded to "struct")
iab t typedef ( typing "t" and space will be expanded to "typedef")

In some cases Vim expands a letter automatically that you don't want. You have to watch out for that.


Similarly, in insert mode you can hit Ctrl+P or Ctrl+N to autocomplete. Ctrl+P searches upward in your text for what your trying to complete to, Ctrl+N searches forward in your text. After exhausting the current buffer, both of these commands will begin searching other open buffers. I'm not sure, but I believe that there is also a search path you can specify in the .vimrc if you wish.

Use a dictionary file:

set complete+=k
set dictionary+=/your/dict/file

Ctrl+N, Ctr+P will now search for completions from that dict file.

You can put your common typos as abbreviations, for auto correction:

iab teh the
iab seperate separate

> How cut the space from the resulted substitution?

From :help abbreviations: An exception to this is the character <C-]>, which is used to expand an abbreviation without inserting any extra characters.


:ab hh hello
    "hh<Space>" is expanded to "hello<Space>"
    "hh<C-]>" is expanded to "hello"

Use getchar() to eat up that space, for example:

iab <t <target name="%"></target><Esc>F%s<c-o>:call getchar()<CR>

Regarding how to eat the last typed character (when it is a space): Use :Iabbr and :Inoreabbr from script#50.

See the SuperTab plugin. It does almost all of this without the need for programming.

To eat the last space, for example, with:

iab did <div id="

In insert mode, type did then press Ctrl-]

Result: The abbreviation is expanded with no extra characters, and you are still in insert mode and can continue typing.

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