Stop using colon commands in vim
Posted 30 May 2012 @ 11am in vim
Typing colon :commands is really slow. You have to hit shift, colon, command, plus enter to execute. You’re taking a 3 keypress overhead every time you use one. So what to do? Simplify your life with a three tiered approach
- Super common things should be chords (Ctrl-something, Cmd-something, Cmd-Shift-something) or single key presses.
- Second most common things should be two character mnemonics such as vv
- Third tier should be leader-based commands with two or three keys such as ,gg for GitGrep in my setup
For example, the normal way to go to a tab is :tabn which is at least 7 keypresses. A much better way is to map all your tabs to Cmd-1 through Cmd-9 and jump instantly to them with a single chord (This if for MacVim, you can map another key if you need unix)
map <silent> <D-1> :tabn 1<cr>
What about jumping between windows? The standard vim way will have you doing a chord and then a key (C-w, l) to get to the right. Remap to a two-key chord:
nnoremap <silent> <C-l> <C-w>l
Closing windows? Normally you’re stuck with :bd for 5 key presses to kill a buffer or C-w, c – a chord and a key (3 slow keys). I kill windows all the time, so for me it’s just the letter Q – a simple chord. And I made it smart enough to kill either the window or the buffer, using a script that figures out if there are any other windows into the same buffer.
What about splits? Same deal..way too many keys. Type a two key mnemonic vv for a vertical split:
nnoremap <silent> vv <C-w>v
I usually grep for things all day long so I mapped a single key K to give me the git grep for the current word under the cursor:
nnoremap <silent> K :GitGrep <cword><CR>
My rule is to really consider every time I type more than 3 keys to execute a command in vim, and if it’s something I do every day, remap, remap, remap!
If you liked this, please take a look at my YADR dotfiles project – which has many more interesting keymappings to save you time, and has recently broken 700 watchers on GitHub!