Tag Archives: Vim

Open multiple files in individual tabs in vim using script

I have always wanted one program to open to access all important (for me) files in a system. This can for instance be http.conf, passwd, groups and so on. Using tabs in vim, the -p option (from version 7 and above) and a small script can make vim into a nice little admin console:

I call my script ‘configs’ and it looks like this (put it in your PATH for easy access):

sudo vim -p /etc/hosts /private/etc/php.ini /etc/httpd.conf

Too move between tabs in command mode:

gt - next tab
gT - previous tab

Too move between tabs in insert mode (and also in command mode):

CTRL + PgUp - next tab
CTRL + PgDown - previous tab  

Use macros in VIM – a example

This is a very nice function in VIM. The ability to record your actions and play them back one or hundreds of times. Perfect for doing boring time consuming and repetitive tasks in text files.

Here is a problem that I solved using macro recording in VIM:

I had a list of 233 customer numbers from a database in a file like this:


Now I had to use these numbers in a SQL expression. Problem was that the numbers actually were text strings. Going thru 233 rows adding ‘ to each side of the number plus a comma after each row would take quite some time and I would be very boring. So here is what I did:

I opened the the file in VIM.

Start recording

Esc  #switch to command mode
q    #start recording
a    #name macro 'a' - you can choose any low case letter here

This will start the recording process and place the text recording on the last line of the window

Now I pressed ‘i’ for Insert Mode (– – INSERT – – recording)

Then I simply added a before and after the topmost number and ended with a , (comma) so it looked like this:


I then placed the cursor infront of the second number, pressed ESC (to exit INSERT mode) and then‘q’ to stop the recording (the word ‘recording’ disappears)

Now to run this on the rest of the 232 numbers you just write (in command mode):

232@a # This runs the macro named 'a' 232 times

If you one want to run it once just write ‘@a’ – the number before is how many times you want to run the macro

After this I ended up with a file looking like this


Very smooth indeed 🙂

Get keypad working inside Vim when using Putty

To get the keypad to work in Vim you need to configure PuTTY to ignore the application keypad mode.

1. Go to settings->terminal->features in PuTTy
2. Check the box labeled “Disable application keypad mode”
3. Press ‘Apply’
4. In Vim make sure numlock is on and then start typing numbers

If you forget numlock the keypad will be used for cursor movement

Tested on PuTTy v0.60