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Comment/UnComment visually selected text

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Tip 369 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2002 · complexity intermediate · author Amit Neogy · version 6.0

Visually selected code can be easily Commented out and uncommented by using the following functions. The functions insert/delete C/C++/Java style comments. The comment characters can be modified by editing the functions.

Add the following to your vimrc. It will add two menu items under the "Edit" menu in gVim. The function calls can be mapped to keystrokes if desired.

"Menu items for Commenting and Un-Commenting code
amenu 20.435 &Edit.-SEP4- :
amenu Edit.Comment <Esc>`<:let fl=line(".")<CR>`>:let ll=line(".")<CR>:call Comment(fl, ll)<CR>
amenu Edit.UnComment <Esc>`<:let fl=line(".")<CR>`>:let ll=line(".")<CR>:call UnComment(fl, ll)<CR>

"Function for commenting a block of Visually selected text
function Comment(fl, ll)
  let i=a:fl
  let comment="//"
  while i<=a:ll
    let cl=getline(i)
    call setline(i, cl2)
    let i=i+1

"Function for Un-Commenting a block of Visually selected text
function UnComment(fl, ll)
  let i=a:fl
  let comment="//"
  while i<=a:ll
    let cl=getline(i)
    let cl2=substitute(cl, "//", "", "")
    call setline(i, cl2)
    let i=i+1


There are a few scripts here already, that will do the same in a more general way, nevertheless I'd suggest the following changes

let comment="// "

in Comment() for better readability, and

let cl2=substitute(cl, "^\s*// ", "", "")

in UnComment() to ensure the comment will only be replaced at the beginning of a line.

I find it easier to simply select the area you want to comment out in visual-block mode (usually CTRL-V or CTRL-Q), type "I" (CAPS - EYE) type the comment character '//' and ESC. This gives me the flexibility to change my comment character (for instance make it /// for later searches) and is straight-forward. To uncomment, simply select the comment characters is visual-block mode, and delete them.

isn't more pratical select the lines (block-visual) and insert your comment (i do it inserting 'c' on fortran sources):

... move around ...
0 (be sure to stay at first column!)
I (insert)
// (or what you like)
<Esc> (with some Vim versions (7.2) you need to press "move down" now)

to remove them, select it (<c-v> do the magic), and press 'x'

I use the following (for haskell style comments, just replace -- with whatever your line comment characters are)

map ,c :s/^/-- /<CR>
map ,u :s/^-- //<CR>

So, typing ,c in normal mode will comment lines, typing ,u will uncomment them.

Works in visual mode as well.

This is my current setup, it works very nicely.

au FileType haskell,vhdl,ada let b:comment_leader = '-- '
au FileType vim let b:comment_leader = '" '
au FileType c,cpp,java let b:comment_leader = '// '
au FileType sh,make let b:comment_leader = '# '
au FileType tex let b:comment_leader = '% '
noremap <silent> ,c :<C-B>sil <C-E>s/^/<C-R>=escape(b:comment_leader,'\/')<CR>/<CR>:noh<CR>
noremap <silent> ,u :<C-B>sil <C-E>s/^\V<C-R>=escape(b:comment_leader,'\/')<CR>//e<CR>:noh<CR>

,c comments out a region
,u uncomments a region

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