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Highlight doubled word errors in text

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created January 31, 2002 · complexity intermediate · author Ajit Thakkar · version 6.0


An error I sometimes make while working on a LaTeX file is the repetition of a word as in "the the". Most often, such doubled words come about through a careless edit. Doubled words are hard to spot when the first word of the doubled pair is the last word on one line, and the second word of the pair is the the first word on the next line. There is an example of such an error in the last sentence. Vim's syntax mechanism can be used to highlight doubled words as an error.

To obtain this highlighting for TeX and LaTeX files, place the following two lines:

syn match texDoubleWord "\c\<\(\a\+\)\_s\+\1\>"
hi def link texDoubleWord Error

in a file called tex.vim in the directory that shows up last in your runtimepath (:set runtimepath? to check). This will often be either ~/.vim/after/syntax/tex.vim or $VIM/vimfiles/after/syntax/tex.vim

The same effect can be obtained for files of a different filetype, say html, by putting the same lines in a file called html.vim in the same location.

For a less intrusive highlight, you may want to try using one of the spell checker highlight groups instead of "Error" in the second line. See :help hl-SpellBad, :help hl-SpellCap, :help hl-SpellLocal, and :help hl-SpellRare.

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