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Text template with placeholders

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Tip 322 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2002 · complexity basic · author lars_e_krueger · version 6.0

A number of scripts allow for text and code templates, even some which allow the user to put in placeholders. However, a script is not always needed to allow the user to quickly add a common code block or text block with place holding inserts. This template for inserts a code block with placeholders that are triple percent signs (%%%) where the user wants to enter custom text. The ;; command is mapped to find the next %%% and allow the user to change them to the custom text.


In this tips code block below, all template mappings are insert-mode only, while the "skip to next placeholder" (mapped as ;;) is both insert and normal mode enabled.

The following is an example code template for a "for loop" statement in C++ with 5 custom text input locations. When added to the vimrc file, it allows the user to type ";fo" in insert mode and add a "for loop" block into their code quickly.

:imap <buffer> ;fo <C-O>mzfor( %%%; %%%; %%%)<CR>{ // %%%<CR>%%%<CR>}<CR><C-O>'z;;

Add the following to your vimrc file to add the "skip to next placeholder" functionality which will move the cursor to the next %%% section:

:imap <buffer> ;; <C-O>/%%%<CR><C-O>c3l
:nmap <buffer> ;; /%%%<CR>c3l


Whenever a C++ for block is needed type ";fo" and the following code will be placed in the file. The "_" signifies where the cursor will be in insert mode.

for( _; %%% ; %%%)
{ // %%%

The user may now type in some statement where the first "%%%" was, like i=0.

for( i=0_; %%% ; %%%)
{ // %%%

The user would then type ;; to place the cursor at the next "%%%" location, removing the "%%%" and putting Vim into insert mode.

for( i=0; _ ; %%%)
{ // %%%

See alsoEdit

  • script#222 - Mu-Template, a script which has support for placeholders in templates.
  • script#336 - A script which defines C/C++ abbreviations with placeholders.


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