Difference between revisions of "Vim for Writers"

(Useful information for writers on how to use vim for novel planning and writing)
 
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Starting a new thread on [http://www.vim.org/ vim] because just today I discovered some power plugins and tools that I hadn't been aware of before; and that makes me think that there must be other vim users out there who have still other vim-related tips and tricks to share.
 
  
I had been trying out Kabikaboo but was discomfited by stability issues it had (someday I want to write an application to do that kind of GUI-driven reorganization of text blocks that can be edited in vim...), so I wondered whether I should take another look at vim folding. Lo and behold, I found a [http://vimcasts.org/episodes/how-to-fold/ video that made vim folding look utterly simple] (previously, I had tried vim outliner but it somehow never stuck with me, even though I've been a vim user since the 1990's).
+
== Introduction ==
 +
[http://www.vim.org/ vim] is a very powerful [http://www.viemu.com/a-why-vi-vim.html modal text editor] with a large system of plugins. You may have heard of the infamous [https://www.udemy.com/blog/vim-vs-emacs/ vim vs. emacs] wars that have existed from the time of usenet and persist till today. [http://net.tutsplus.com/articles/web-roundups/25-vim-tutorials-screencasts-and-resources/ vim does have a learning curve] but it is very worthwhile to learn because your fingers never leave the keyboard as you are writing and editing. ViM = Vi Improved; it is a superset of the original vi editor.
  
The vimcast video was good; however, it took a little work to get my environment to where I was opening folds with a simple spacebar press; and to where my [http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/ markdown] file (for later transformation via [http://johnmacfarlane.net/pandoc/ pandoc]) was automatically folded.
+
== ViM Folding ==
 +
Here is a must-see [http://vimcasts.org/episodes/how-to-fold/ video that makes vim folding look utterly simple].  
  
# installed [https://github.com/gmarik/vundle vundle], a vim bundle manager that lets you EASILY install other vim plugins/bundles.
+
Also see this plugin: [https://github.com/vimoutliner/vimoutliner vim-outliner]
# used vundle to install [https://github.com/tpope/vim-markdown vim-markdown] (better markdown syntax highlighting) and [https://github.com/nelstrom/vim-markdown-folding vim-markdown-folding]
 
# added the spacebar mapping to my .vimrc:<br/> <nowiki>nnoremap <Space> za</nowiki>
 
  
Then I discovered the beauty of [https://github.com/altercation/vim-colors-solarized vim-colors-solarized] that "''is a sixteen color palette (eight monotones, eight accent colors) designed for use with terminal and gui applications. It has several [https://github.com/altercation/solarized#features unique properties]. I designed this colorscheme with both precise [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lab_color_space CIELAB] lightness relationships and a refined set of hues based on fixed color wheel relationships. It has been tested extensively in real world use on color calibrated displays (as well as uncalibrated/intentionally miscalibrated displays) and in a variety of lighting conditions.''" ([http://ethanschoonover.com/solarized ethanschoonover.com])
+
== ViM plugins ==
 +
There are several ViM plugin managers. One of them is: [https://github.com/gmarik/vundle vundle], a vim bundle manager that lets you EASILY install other vim plugins/bundles.  
  
Vim is, basically, my goto editor for just about anything (I'm a programmer by trade, so it's perhaps unsurprising).
+
== Markdown ==
 +
[http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/ Markdown] is a very simple mark-up language that encourages writers to focus on their content rather than on presentation. It can handle '''bolding''', ''italics'', bullet lists, section headings, hypertext links, etc. and you can use utilities like [http://johnmacfarlane.net/pandoc/ pandoc] to transform your markdown text to many, many different formats, including:
  
Personally, I use vim script called [https://github.com/cwoac/nvim nvim] to build my piles of random little notes during planning - it works well for me, but then again it ought to given I wrote it!
+
* .PDF
 +
* .docx, .doc and .rtf
 +
* [http://www.latex-project.org/ LaTeX]
 +
* [http://johnmacfarlane.net/pandoc/epub.html epub]
 +
* [http://mediawiki.org Mediawiki]
  
Vim can be more or less as powerful as you want it. It's really worth the time spent learning how to jump around ( using '(' and ')' to jump to the start of the previous / next sentence in particular).
+
ViM has plugins for better markdown syntax highlighting ([https://github.com/tpope/vim-markdown vim-markdown]) and [https://github.com/nelstrom/vim-markdown-folding vim-markdown-folding]. With the latter, you can:
 +
 
 +
* add the spacebar mapping to your .vimrc:<br/> <nowiki>nnoremap <Space> za</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
Some [http://lincolnmullen.com/blog/make-and-pandoc/ use gnu make to automatically generate everything from the markdown source].  
  
You can get help on just about any vim feature by entering the command ':help SOMETHING', e.g. ':help spell'
+
== Beautiful colors ==
 +
Check out the beauty of [https://github.com/altercation/vim-colors-solarized vim-colors-solarized] that "''is a sixteen color palette (eight monotones, eight accent colors) designed for use with terminal and gui applications. It has several [https://github.com/altercation/solarized#features unique properties]. I designed this colorscheme with both precise [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lab_color_space CIELAB] lightness relationships and a refined set of hues based on fixed color wheel relationships. It has been tested extensively in real world use on color calibrated displays (as well as uncalibrated/intentionally miscalibrated displays) and in a variety of lighting conditions.''" ([http://ethanschoonover.com/solarized ethanschoonover.com])
  
Useful .vimrc options for beginners:
+
== Notes for Planning ==
 +
See the vim script called [https://github.com/cwoac/nvim nvim] to build piles of random little notes during novel planning.
  
'set autowriteall' - autosave your current document whenever you change away from the current buffer. You can just do 'set autowrite', which will save in *most* situations (the main exemption being quitting).
+
== Movement ==
 +
Vim can be more or less as powerful as you want it. It's really worth the time spent learning how to jump around ( using '(' and ')' to jump to the start of the previous / next sentence in particular).
  
'set spell spelllang=en_gb' - enable (in this case British) spell checking - see the help page for details of the commands to jump to mistakes and pick / learn corrections.
+
== Help ==
 +
* You can get help on just about any vim feature by entering the command ':help SOMETHING', e.g. ':help spell'
 +
* This might be useful: [http://bullium.com/support/vim.html Vim Commands Cheat Sheet]
  
 +
== Autosave ==
 +
* 'set autowriteall' - autosave your current document whenever you change away from the current buffer. You can just do 'set autowrite', which will save in *most* situations (the main exemption being quitting).
 +
* There is also a vim plugin: [https://github.com/907th/vim-auto-save https://github.com/907th/vim-auto-save]. It apparently turns on auto save and saves every time a buffer is modified.
  
Found [http://www.cs.swarthmore.edu/help/vim/vim7.html some more documentation on the built-in support for spell checking] (as of vim 7).
+
== Spell Checking ==
 +
* 'set spell spelllang=en_gb' - enable (in this case British) spell checking - see the help page for details of the commands to jump to mistakes and pick / learn corrections.
 +
* See [http://www.cs.swarthmore.edu/help/vim/vim7.html some more documentation on the built-in support for spell checking] (as of vim 7).
  
 
* it supports a personal word list (very useful for fantasy authors ;-) )  
 
* it supports a personal word list (very useful for fantasy authors ;-) )  
Line 41: Line 60:
 
** :spellr - repeat last spell replacement for all words in window  
 
** :spellr - repeat last spell replacement for all words in window  
  
If you *do* happen to use vim, this might be useful:&nbsp;[http://bullium.com/support/vim.html http://bullium.com/support/vim.html]
+
== Thesaurus ==
 
+
* [https://github.com/beloglazov/vim-online-thesaurus a thesaurus plugin for vim]
  
Here are a few more vim novel writing resources that have caught my eye:
+
== WriteRoom / DarkRoom simulator ==
 +
There apparently are many writeroom/darkroom vim plugins and configurations for "distraction free writing". Of the three I tried, I think I like this plugin ([http://projects.mikewest.org/vimroom/ vimroom]) the best. For installation using vundle, see [https://github.com/mikewest/vimroom https://github.com/mikewest/vimroom] (Bundle 'mikewest/vimroom'). [https://github.com/vim-scripts/DistractFree/blob/master/doc/DistractFree.txt A rival noted ]that on Windows, VimTweak yields transparent gvim windows.
  
* [http://chrismdp.com/2010/11/how-im-writing-my-book-using-git-and-ruby/ an article of a guy who wants to devise a ruby gem for handling novel writing/formatting tasks] (okay, not really a vim resource; but something that looked interesting to those of us writing text files)
+
== Wordcount ==
* [http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/01/writing-tools.html blog article about writing novels in a text editor vs. a WYSIWYG word processor]<nowiki>; some interesting comments, including a reference to </nowiki>[http://bitbucketlabs.net/flashbake/ flashbake], a set of scripts designed to make it easier for writers to use version control software
 
* [http://www.drbunsen.org/writing-in-vim/ writing in vim] -- this author shares his vimrc and some of his plugins; the thing of interest here is his use of a set thesaurus command. I found this intriguing and found [https://github.com/beloglazov/vim-online-thesaurus this nifty thesaurus plugin for vim] that looks very useful and usable.
 
* there apparently are many writeroom/darkroom vim plugins and configurations for "distraction free writing". Of the three I tried, I think I like this plugin ([http://projects.mikewest.org/vimroom/ vimroom]) the best. For installation using vundle, see [https://github.com/mikewest/vimroom https://github.com/mikewest/vimroom] (Bundle 'mikewest/vimroom'). [https://github.com/vim-scripts/DistractFree/blob/master/doc/DistractFree.txt A rival noted ]that on Windows, VimTweak yields transparent gvim windows.
 
 
* [http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Word_count the vim wikia gives some very good options for managing wordcount] (simplest is '''g''' then '''Ctrl-g''').  
 
* [http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Word_count the vim wikia gives some very good options for managing wordcount] (simplest is '''g''' then '''Ctrl-g''').  
  
Found and installed this vim plugin today: [https://github.com/907th/vim-auto-save https://github.com/907th/vim-auto-save]
+
== Vim Wiki ==
 
+
The [https://github.com/vimwiki/vimwiki vim wiki plugin] is surprisingly powerful. I've noticed quite a few people advocating the use of the [http://zim-wiki.org/ zim desktop wiki tool] (but, of course, it isn't edited in vim, even though there is a vim [http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3703 zim syntax support]); I regularly use Mediawiki instances (and once played with [http://tiddlywiki.com/ tiddlywiki]). The vim wiki plugin looks interesting; and, since I now use the [https://github.com/gmarik/vundle vundle] plugin manager, I may give it a try.
It apparently turns on auto save and saves every time a buffer is modified.
 
 
 
Considering two of the plugins mentioned [http://www.openlogic.com/wazi/bid/276417/Nine-all-purpose-plugins-for-Vim in this blog article suggesting nine]:
 
 
 
* Showmarks<br/> Marks are '''bookmarks within a Vim document. '''You can set a mark by pressing m followed by another letter that designates the mark. To jump to a mark, enter ' followed by the mark's letter.<br/> The great weakness of marks is that they are invisible. This limits the number you can use to however many you can remember, and you can easily accidentally overwrite an existing mark by creating another with the same name.<br/> [https://github.com/vimez/vim-showmarks Showmarks] allows you to toggle the visibility of marks off and on – and that tiny functionality is enough to increase the usefulness of marks several times over.
 
* Vim-abolish<br/> [https://github.com/tpope/vim-abolish Vim-abolish] is so elegant that you wonder why no one thought of it before, but it's hard to describe. It has aspects of a word processor's spell checker or autocorrect, but might best be described as a configurable search and replace tool. '''What makes Vim-abolish so powerful is that it allows you not only to search and replace one word or spelling for another, but also to include all instances of a word. Upper case, lower case, noun and adverb, past and present tense, participles''' – all can be added to the search and replaced with a few dozen characters.<br/> Admittedly, you might take a while to learn how to think in the terms necessary to set up a Vim-abolish command, and learning how to construct a command may take some time too. However, once you understand how Vim-abolish works, you will probably find it an invaluable proofreading tool.
 
 
 
Next, I think I will buff up my perl script that I used for word wars (incremental wordcounts by saving my current word count in a file along with the current date and time; then doing a little math). It might also help me keep track of my writing progress [http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.com.es/2011/06/how-i-went-from-writing-2000-words-day.html as Rachel Aaron advised in this excellent blog article] (on how to increase ones writing productivity).
 
 
 
 
 
I was looking into software for novel writing and there's surprisingly little that's free, 64 bit and doesn't require mono. I'm pretty particular about my working environment so I refuse to mess it up with 32bit compatibility libraries.
 
 
 
Probably better this way, in the long run I'll be much happier with vim. I use it together with git (flashbake), vimroom, onlinethesaurus, vim-abolish, vim-repeat and vim-outline.Vimroom does not always work as well, and there's little support for it, but it's still usable with a bit of tinkering.
 
 
 
Of all the plugins vim-outline is the most usefull. I'd reccomend it to everyone planning to use vim. It allows you to easily structure your text, and makes for easy folding/expanding.
 
 
 
Spookje, can you give the URL for vim-outline? Are you referring to vim-[https://github.com/vimoutliner/vimoutliner outliner]?
 
 
 
[https://github.com/tpope/vim-repeat vim-repeat] looks interesting...
 
 
 
Seth Brown has two blog articles that also look interesting:
 
 
 
* [http://www.drbunsen.org/writing-in-vim/ Writing in ViM]
 
* [http://www.drbunsen.org/the-text-triumvirate/ The Text Triumvirate] (zsh, vim and tmux) -- in this article, Seth mentions [https://github.com/Lokaltog/powerline vim-powerline], a python-powered status line plugin. The author of that plugin then points to [https://github.com/bling/vim-airline vim-airline] as a lighter-weight but still featureful status line plugin.
 
 
 
Also, [http://www.reddit.com/r/vim/comments/142zn7/are_you_interested_in_a_vim_for_writers_book/ one redditor has plans to write a book on Vim for Writers]<nowiki>; there are some interesting chapter titles in this reddit.</nowiki>
 
 
 
 
 
This year, I am planning on writing my novel in Markdown using Vim.&nbsp; As has already been suggested, I will be using Pandoc to convert to PDF and HTML for convenience.&nbsp; I found a great post about using 'gnu make' to automatically generate everything:
 
 
 
http://lincolnmullen.com/blog/make-and-pandoc/
 
 
 
Finally, I will be using git as revision control and a form of backup to a central bitbucket repository.
 
 
 
 
 
I'm curious whether anyone has used the [https://github.com/vimwiki/vimwiki vim wiki plugin]. I've noticed quite a few people advocating the use of the [http://zim-wiki.org/ zim desktop wiki tool] (but, of course, it isn't edited in vim, even though there is a vim [http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3703 zim syntax support]); I regularly use Mediawiki instances (and once played with [http://tiddlywiki.com/ tiddlywiki]). The vim wiki plugin looks interesting; and, since I now use the [https://github.com/gmarik/vundle vundle] plugin manager, I may give it a try.
 
  
 
Some reviews I've seen for vim wiki:
 
Some reviews I've seen for vim wiki:
Line 97: Line 78:
 
* '''holy cow!''' [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2G8Quh9GdA&noredirect=1 vim wiki apparently has a really nifty ASCII table editing mode]--might be useful for tracking characters...  
 
* '''holy cow!''' [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2G8Quh9GdA&noredirect=1 vim wiki apparently has a really nifty ASCII table editing mode]--might be useful for tracking characters...  
  
I think I am wandering down a different internet trail at this point ;-) ; found a [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6K4iIMlouI&noredirect=1 nifty Google tech talk by vim creator Bram Moolenaar] with useful tips for productive vim; and [http://connermcd.com/blog/2011/10/21/notetaking-with-vim/ a blog post] about how to use vim and ack for notetaking. But vim wiki looks very interesting...
+
== Related Articles of Interest ==
 +
* [http://chrismdp.com/2010/11/how-im-writing-my-book-using-git-and-ruby/ an article of a guy who wants to devise a ruby gem for handling novel writing/formatting tasks] (okay, not really a vim resource; but something that looked interesting to those of us writing text files)
 +
* [http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/01/writing-tools.html blog article about writing novels in a text editor vs. a WYSIWYG word processor]; some interesting comments, including a reference to [http://bitbucketlabs.net/flashbake/ flashbake], a set of scripts designed to make it easier for writers to use version control software
 +
* [http://www.drbunsen.org/writing-in-vim/ writing in vim] -- this author shares his vimrc and some of his plugins; the thing of interest here is his use of a set thesaurus command. I found this intriguing and found [https://github.com/beloglazov/vim-online-thesaurus this nifty thesaurus plugin for vim] that looks very useful and usable.
 +
* Nine great plugins mentioned [http://www.openlogic.com/wazi/bid/276417/Nine-all-purpose-plugins-for-Vim in this blog article], including:
 +
** Showmarks<br/> Marks are '''bookmarks within a Vim document. '''You can set a mark by pressing m followed by another letter that designates the mark. To jump to a mark, enter ' followed by the mark's letter.<br/> The great weakness of marks is that they are invisible. This limits the number you can use to however many you can remember, and you can easily accidentally overwrite an existing mark by creating another with the same name.<br/> [https://github.com/vimez/vim-showmarks Showmarks] allows you to toggle the visibility of marks off and on – and that tiny functionality is enough to increase the usefulness of marks several times over.
 +
** Vim-abolish<br/> [https://github.com/tpope/vim-abolish Vim-abolish] is so elegant that you wonder why no one thought of it before, but it's hard to describe. It has aspects of a word processor's spell checker or autocorrect, but might best be described as a configurable search and replace tool. '''What makes Vim-abolish so powerful is that it allows you not only to search and replace one word or spelling for another, but also to include all instances of a word. Upper case, lower case, noun and adverb, past and present tense, participles''' – all can be added to the search and replaced with a few dozen characters.<br/> Admittedly, you might take a while to learn how to think in the terms necessary to set up a Vim-abolish command, and learning how to construct a command may take some time too. However, once you understand how Vim-abolish works, you will probably find it an invaluable proofreading tool.
 +
* [http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.com.es/2011/06/how-i-went-from-writing-2000-words-day.html Rachel Aaron advises tracking ones reading progress in this excellent blog article] (on how to increase ones writing productivity).
 +
* One user uses ViM together with git (flashbake), vimroom, onlinethesaurus, vim-abolish, vim-repeat and vim-outline. Vimroom does not always work as well, and there's little support for it, but it's still usable with a bit of tinkering.  Of all the plugins vim-outline is the most useful. She recommends it to everyone planning to use vim. It allows you to easily structure your text, and makes for easy folding/expanding.
 +
* [https://github.com/tpope/vim-repeat vim-repeat] looks interesting for better repetition with: .
 +
* Seth Brown wrote: [http://www.drbunsen.org/the-text-triumvirate/ The Text Triumvirate] (zsh, vim and tmux) -- in this article, Seth mentions [https://github.com/Lokaltog/powerline vim-powerline], a python-powered status line plugin. The author of that plugin then points to [https://github.com/bling/vim-airline vim-airline] as a lighter-weight but still featureful status line plugin.
 +
* [http://www.reddit.com/r/vim/comments/142zn7/are_you_interested_in_a_vim_for_writers_book/ one redditor has plans to write a book on Vim for Writers]<nowiki>; there are some interesting chapter titles in this reddit.</nowiki>
 +
* Here is a [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6K4iIMlouI&noredirect=1 nifty Google tech talk by vim creator Bram Moolenaar] with useful tips for productive vim; and [http://connermcd.com/blog/2011/10/21/notetaking-with-vim/ a blog post] about how to use vim and ack for notetaking.
 +
 
 +
== Table of Contents ==
 +
__TOC__

Revision as of 05:47, 13 October 2013

Introduction

vim is a very powerful modal text editor with a large system of plugins. You may have heard of the infamous vim vs. emacs wars that have existed from the time of usenet and persist till today. vim does have a learning curve but it is very worthwhile to learn because your fingers never leave the keyboard as you are writing and editing. ViM = Vi Improved; it is a superset of the original vi editor.

ViM Folding

Here is a must-see video that makes vim folding look utterly simple.

Also see this plugin: vim-outliner

ViM plugins

There are several ViM plugin managers. One of them is: vundle, a vim bundle manager that lets you EASILY install other vim plugins/bundles.

Markdown

Markdown is a very simple mark-up language that encourages writers to focus on their content rather than on presentation. It can handle bolding, italics, bullet lists, section headings, hypertext links, etc. and you can use utilities like pandoc to transform your markdown text to many, many different formats, including:

ViM has plugins for better markdown syntax highlighting (vim-markdown) and vim-markdown-folding. With the latter, you can:

  • add the spacebar mapping to your .vimrc:
    nnoremap <Space> za

Some use gnu make to automatically generate everything from the markdown source.

Beautiful colors

Check out the beauty of vim-colors-solarized that "is a sixteen color palette (eight monotones, eight accent colors) designed for use with terminal and gui applications. It has several unique properties. I designed this colorscheme with both precise CIELAB lightness relationships and a refined set of hues based on fixed color wheel relationships. It has been tested extensively in real world use on color calibrated displays (as well as uncalibrated/intentionally miscalibrated displays) and in a variety of lighting conditions." (ethanschoonover.com)

Notes for Planning

See the vim script called nvim to build piles of random little notes during novel planning.

Movement

Vim can be more or less as powerful as you want it. It's really worth the time spent learning how to jump around ( using '(' and ')' to jump to the start of the previous / next sentence in particular).

Help

  • You can get help on just about any vim feature by entering the command ':help SOMETHING', e.g. ':help spell'
  • This might be useful: Vim Commands Cheat Sheet

Autosave

  • 'set autowriteall' - autosave your current document whenever you change away from the current buffer. You can just do 'set autowrite', which will save in *most* situations (the main exemption being quitting).
  • There is also a vim plugin: https://github.com/907th/vim-auto-save. It apparently turns on auto save and saves every time a buffer is modified.

Spell Checking

  • it supports a personal word list (very useful for fantasy authors ;-) )
  • some useful keys for spellchecking:
    • ]s - forward to misspelled/rare/wrong cap word
    • [s - backwards ]
    • S - only stop at misspellings
    • [S - in other direction
    • zG - accept spelling for this session
    • zg - accept spelling and add to personal dictionary
    • zW - treat as misspelling for this session
    • zw - treat as misspelling and add to personal dictionary
    • z= - show spelling suggestions
    •  :spellr - repeat last spell replacement for all words in window

Thesaurus

WriteRoom / DarkRoom simulator

There apparently are many writeroom/darkroom vim plugins and configurations for "distraction free writing". Of the three I tried, I think I like this plugin (vimroom) the best. For installation using vundle, see https://github.com/mikewest/vimroom (Bundle 'mikewest/vimroom'). A rival noted that on Windows, VimTweak yields transparent gvim windows.

Wordcount

Vim Wiki

The vim wiki plugin is surprisingly powerful. I've noticed quite a few people advocating the use of the zim desktop wiki tool (but, of course, it isn't edited in vim, even though there is a vim zim syntax support); I regularly use Mediawiki instances (and once played with tiddlywiki). The vim wiki plugin looks interesting; and, since I now use the vundle plugin manager, I may give it a try.

Some reviews I've seen for vim wiki:

Related Articles of Interest

  • an article of a guy who wants to devise a ruby gem for handling novel writing/formatting tasks (okay, not really a vim resource; but something that looked interesting to those of us writing text files)
  • blog article about writing novels in a text editor vs. a WYSIWYG word processor; some interesting comments, including a reference to flashbake, a set of scripts designed to make it easier for writers to use version control software
  • writing in vim -- this author shares his vimrc and some of his plugins; the thing of interest here is his use of a set thesaurus command. I found this intriguing and found this nifty thesaurus plugin for vim that looks very useful and usable.
  • Nine great plugins mentioned in this blog article, including:
    • Showmarks
      Marks are bookmarks within a Vim document. You can set a mark by pressing m followed by another letter that designates the mark. To jump to a mark, enter ' followed by the mark's letter.
      The great weakness of marks is that they are invisible. This limits the number you can use to however many you can remember, and you can easily accidentally overwrite an existing mark by creating another with the same name.
      Showmarks allows you to toggle the visibility of marks off and on – and that tiny functionality is enough to increase the usefulness of marks several times over.
    • Vim-abolish
      Vim-abolish is so elegant that you wonder why no one thought of it before, but it's hard to describe. It has aspects of a word processor's spell checker or autocorrect, but might best be described as a configurable search and replace tool. What makes Vim-abolish so powerful is that it allows you not only to search and replace one word or spelling for another, but also to include all instances of a word. Upper case, lower case, noun and adverb, past and present tense, participles – all can be added to the search and replaced with a few dozen characters.
      Admittedly, you might take a while to learn how to think in the terms necessary to set up a Vim-abolish command, and learning how to construct a command may take some time too. However, once you understand how Vim-abolish works, you will probably find it an invaluable proofreading tool.
  • Rachel Aaron advises tracking ones reading progress in this excellent blog article (on how to increase ones writing productivity).
  • One user uses ViM together with git (flashbake), vimroom, onlinethesaurus, vim-abolish, vim-repeat and vim-outline. Vimroom does not always work as well, and there's little support for it, but it's still usable with a bit of tinkering. Of all the plugins vim-outline is the most useful. She recommends it to everyone planning to use vim. It allows you to easily structure your text, and makes for easy folding/expanding.
  • vim-repeat looks interesting for better repetition with: .
  • Seth Brown wrote: The Text Triumvirate (zsh, vim and tmux) -- in this article, Seth mentions vim-powerline, a python-powered status line plugin. The author of that plugin then points to vim-airline as a lighter-weight but still featureful status line plugin.
  • one redditor has plans to write a book on Vim for Writers; there are some interesting chapter titles in this reddit.
  • Here is a nifty Google tech talk by vim creator Bram Moolenaar with useful tips for productive vim; and a blog post about how to use vim and ack for notetaking.

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