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Contents

About

Vimode is a Vim-mode plugin for Geany written by a guy who does not use Vim. Expect problems unexpected by a Vim user and, please, report them.

Despite the limited Vim knowledge of the author, the plugin tries to be a reasonably complete Vim mode implementation featuring:

It should be relatively easy to add more (non-special) commands so if you run into something you are missing, please let me know.

Setup and Configuration

The plugin can be enabled/disabled from the Plugin Manager of Geany. Once enabled, it adds a new menu called Vim Mode under the Tools menu with the following items.

Enable Vim Mode

Enables/disables the Vim mode. A keybinding can be assigned to this action so you can for instance use Geany normally and enable/disable the Vim mode as needed.

Insert Mode for Dummies

This makes the insert mode behave like normal Geany, only the escape key allows you to switch to the Vim command mode. This is basically "Vim for the rest of us" who want to use the editor in a standard (understand non-vim) way but who like the idea of having access to Vim commands from time to time. Highly unintrusive so you basically do not know about the Vim mode normally.

Start in Insert Mode

By default, the plugin starts in the normal mode. If you enable the "dummies" mode above, you might also want to enable this option so you do not have to switch to the insert mode manually when the application starts.

Behavior

Upon changing mode, the plugin writes the current mode in the status bar. The caret shape also indicates the current mode:

When evaluating key presses, the plugin checks if the keypress is a Vim command or a part of a command in which case the plugin consumes the key press event and does not propagate it to Geany. When the keypress is not a Vim command, the plugin sends it to Geany which processes it normally based in its internal logic. This means that it is still possible to use normal Geany keybindings with this plugin unless they conflict with a Vim command.

If autocompletion popups or tooltips are present in insert mode, escape closes them first without entering the normal mode so you do not enter normal mode by accident.

Limitations and Problems

I tried to implement a reasonable subset of Vim commands but please note that the judgement what is a reasonable set of commands was made by a guy who does not use Vim. So it is very probable I missed some totally fundamental behavior of Vim every Vim user would expect to be present. Please report such problems.

This is an incomplete list of known limitations of the plugin:

  • selection in visual mode does not behave the same way as in Vim - the reason is that the editor component Geany uses (Scintilla) uses cursor which is always between characters and not on characters (block cursor which appears to be on top of a character behaves as if it were before the character). This may lead to situations when the position of the cursor is off by one. This issue might be fixed later but it will be tricky.
  • undo does not preserve cursor position the same way Vim does - probably fixable
  • block visual mode is not implemented - probably possible using Scintilla's multiple selection feature
  • select submode of insert mode is not implemented
  • named registers and related commands are not implemented
  • Ctrl+X mode is not implemented
  • marks are not implemented
  • fold commands are not implemented
  • most commands starting with "'", "z", and "g" are not implemented
  • most ex mode commands are not implemented (excluding basic stuff like search, replace, saving, etc.)
  • despite being mentioned below, none of the commands for quitting (:q, ZZ, etc.) work because the corresponding function is not in Geany API yet - everything is ready in the plugin though
  • only the 'g' flag is supported in the substitute command
  • in search and substitute the regular expressions are based on Scintilla regular expressions which differ from Vim. Check the Scintilla documentation at http://www.scintilla.org/ScintillaDoc.html#Searching for more details. In addition, c is also supported to allow case-insensitive search.

FAQ

Why does Vimode suck so much?

Well, it simulates the Vim behavior - what did you expect?

No, stupid, I mean why does your implementation suck so much?

Ah, that's simple - I am not a Vim user. Before writing this plugin, I knew about 5 Vim commands (after writing this plugin, my knowledge has nearly doubled). Even though I kind of like the idea behind the editor, my poor brain isn't able to remember in which mode I currently am and what keypresses I can use. This means I don't really know how a typical user uses Vim and I probably miss some very basic things Vim users take for granted. Please report such issues so I can improve the plugin.

So why the hell did you write this plugin?

It was the constant whining of Vim users at Prague and Chemnitz Linux Days which made me write the plugin. And it turned out that writing a Vim editor is quite a lot of fun - much more than using it.

Meh, even I could write a better Vim plugin

Great! Submit patches! Fix bugs! All contributions are really welcome.

Help! I enabled your plugin together with others and the editor is really strange now!

This, my friend, is the world of Vim. Welcome! Fortunately, you can easily disable it using Geany's Plugin Manager. Phew!

Help! I am a long-time Vim user and can't quit the editor, :q doesn't work!

Geany currently doesn't allow plugins to quit the editor so you have to do it in a non-vim way. This is where the tricky part starts for Vim users: with your mouse navigate to the top-right corner of the window to the X button and click it - behold, the window closes (I know, totally counter-intuitive for Vim users).

After building the plugin, I noticed a binary called viw, what is it?

After I started writing the plugin, I soon realized that in fact, I am writing a new editor. I nearly didn't use any Geany calls and most of the code just calls the Scintilla API. At this point I decided to separate the Geany plugin part from the rest of the code which is completely Geany-independent. And now I could write a simple editor which just uses Scintilla and GTK (well, not exactly - the way it builds now it still uses Scintilla from libgeany but the build could be easily modified to link against statically built Scintilla without any Geany dependency). So yeah, I'm a real man now, have my own editor - it only sucks it's a Vim clone. And in fact it turned out to be useful for the development of the plugin because one can use the viw (Vi Worsened) editor for testing instead of having to restart Geany all the time.

So does it mean I could use your code and add Vim support to another editor?

Yes - as long as the editor is based on Scintilla and GTK. If it is, it should be really simple - just check the "backends" directory how it is done for Geany and viw. I believe it should still be quite simple to modify the code if the editor uses Scintilla but doesn't use GTK - the amount of the used GTK code is very small (most work will be with re-mapping the key event codes to the other library). If your editor isn't Scintilla-based, you are more or less doomed - most of the code deals with Scintilla and switching to a different editor component basically means rewriting the plugin.

Contact

Author

Jiří Techet, <techet(at)gmail(dot)com>.

Bug Reports

To report bugs, please use the Geany-Plugins GitHub page at https://github.com/geany/geany-plugins/issues

License

Vimode is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. A copy of this license can be found in the file COPYING included with the source code of this program.

Downloads

Vimode is part of the combined Geany Plugins release. For more information and downloads, please visit //plugins.geany.org/geany-plugins/

Source Code

The source code is available at:

git clone https://github.com/geany/geany-plugins.git

Implemented Commands

The rest of the file contains a list of Vim commands which have been at least partially implemented in the plugin. This is taken from the index.txt Vim help file which is also present in the root directory of the plugin. If you add a new command, please do not forget to update the table below.:

==============================================================================
1. Insert mode                                                                                  insert-index

tag                      char                       action in Insert mode
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
i_CTRL-@            CTRL-@                  insert previously inserted text and stop
                                                                insert
i_CTRL-A            CTRL-A                  insert previously inserted text
i_CTRL-C            CTRL-C                  quit insert mode, without checking for
                                                                abbreviation, unless 'insertmode' set.
i_CTRL-D            CTRL-D                  delete one shiftwidth of indent in the current
                                                                line
i_CTRL-E            CTRL-E                  insert the character which is below the cursor
i_<BS>                <BS>                      delete character before the cursor
i_CTRL-H            CTRL-H                  same as <BS>
i_<Tab>            <Tab>                     insert a <Tab> character
i_CTRL-I            CTRL-I                  same as <Tab>
i_<NL>                <NL>                      same as <CR>
i_CTRL-J            CTRL-J                  same as <CR>
i_<CR>                <CR>                      begin new line
i_CTRL-M            CTRL-M                  same as <CR>
i_CTRL-O            CTRL-O                  execute a single command and return to insert
                                                                mode
i_CTRL-T            CTRL-T                  insert one shiftwidth of indent in current
                                                                line
i_CTRL-W            CTRL-W                  delete word before the cursor
i_CTRL-Y            CTRL-Y                  insert the character which is above the cursor
i_<Esc>            <Esc>                     end insert mode (unless 'insertmode' set)
i_CTRL-[            CTRL-[                  same as <Esc>
i_<Del>            <Del>                     delete character under the cursor

i_<Left>          <Left>                    cursor one character left
i_<S-Left>        <S-Left>              cursor one word left
i_<C-Left>        <C-Left>              cursor one word left
i_<Right>      <Right>               cursor one character right
i_<S-Right>    <S-Right>             cursor one word right
i_<C-Right>    <C-Right>             cursor one word right
i_<Up>                <Up>                      cursor one line up
i_<S-Up>          <S-Up>                    same as <PageUp>
i_<Down>          <Down>                    cursor one line down
i_<S-Down>        <S-Down>              same as <PageDown>
i_<Home>          <Home>                    cursor to start of line
i_<C-Home>        <C-Home>              cursor to start of file
i_<End>            <End>                     cursor past end of line
i_<C-End>      <C-End>               cursor past end of file
i_<PageUp>        <PageUp>              one screenful backward
i_<PageDown>  <PageDown>            one screenful forward
i_<Insert>        <Insert>              toggle Insert/Replace mode

==============================================================================
2. Normal mode                                                                                  normal-index

CHAR         any non-blank character
WORD         a sequence of non-blank characters
N               a number entered before the command
{motion} a cursor movement command
Nmove       the text that is moved over with a {motion}
SECTION a section that possibly starts with '}' instead of '{'

note: 1 = cursor movement command; 2 = can be undone/redone

tag                      char                   note action in Normal mode
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CTRL-B              CTRL-B                  1   scroll N screens Backwards
CTRL-D              CTRL-D                       scroll Down N lines (default: half a screen)
CTRL-E              CTRL-E                       scroll N lines upwards (N lines Extra)
CTRL-F              CTRL-F                  1   scroll N screens Forward
<BS>                  <BS>                      1   same as "h"
CTRL-H              CTRL-H                  1   same as "h"
<NL>                  <NL>                      1   same as "j"
CTRL-J              CTRL-J                  1   same as "j"
<CR>                  <CR>                      1   cursor to the first CHAR N lines lower
CTRL-M              CTRL-M                  1   same as <CR>
CTRL-N              CTRL-N                  1   same as "j"
CTRL-P              CTRL-P                  1   same as "k"
CTRL-R              CTRL-R                  2   redo changes which were undone with 'u'
CTRL-U              CTRL-U                       scroll N lines Upwards (default: half a
                                                                     screen)
CTRL-Y              CTRL-Y                       scroll N lines downwards

<Space>            <Space>               1  same as "l"
#                        #                           1  search backward for the Nth occurrence of
                                                                     the ident under the cursor
$                        $                           1  cursor to the end of Nth next line
%                        %                           1  find the next (curly/square) bracket on
                                                                     this line and go to its match, or go to
                                                                     matching comment bracket, or go to matching
                                                                     preprocessor directive.
N%                      {count}%                1   go to N percentage in the file
&                        &                           2  repeat last :s
star                    *                            1  search forward for the Nth occurrence of
                                                                     the ident under the cursor
+                        +                           1  same as <CR>
,                        ,                           1  repeat latest f, t, F or T in opposite
                                                                     direction N times
-                        -                           1  cursor to the first CHAR N lines higher
.                        .                           2  repeat last change with count replaced with
                                                                     N
/                        /{pattern}<CR>   1   search forward for the Nth occurrence of
                                                                     {pattern}
/<CR>              /<CR>                     1  search forward for {pattern} of last search
count                0                           1  cursor to the first char of the line
count                1                                  prepend to command to give a count
count                2                                           "
count                3                                           "
count                4                                           "
count                5                                           "
count                6                                           "
count                7                                           "
count                8                                           "
count                9                                           "
:                        :                           1  start entering an Ex command
;                        ;                           1  repeat latest f, t, F or T N times
<                         <{motion}            2  shift Nmove lines one 'shiftwidth'
                                                                     leftwards
<<                        <<                            2   shift N lines one 'shiftwidth' leftwards
>                         >{motion}            2  shift Nmove lines one 'shiftwidth'
                                                                     rightwards
>>                        >>                            2   shift N lines one 'shiftwidth' rightwards
?                        ?{pattern}<CR>   1   search backward for the Nth previous
                                                                     occurrence of {pattern}
?<CR>              ?<CR>                     1  search backward for {pattern} of last search
A                        A                           2  append text after the end of the line N times
B                        B                           1  cursor N WORDS backward
C                        ["x]C                  2  change from the cursor position to the end
                                                                     of the line, and N-1 more lines [into
                                                                     register x]; synonym for "c$"
D                        ["x]D                  2  delete the characters under the cursor
                                                                     until the end of the line and N-1 more
                                                                     lines [into register x]; synonym for "d$"
E                        E                           1  cursor forward to the end of WORD N
F                        F{char}                 1  cursor to the Nth occurrence of {char} to
                                                                     the left
G                        G                           1  cursor to line N, default last line
H                        H                           1  cursor to line N from top of screen
I                        I                           2  insert text before the first CHAR on the
                                                                     line N times
J                        J                           2  Join N lines; default is 2
L                        L                           1  cursor to line N from bottom of screen
M                        M                           1  cursor to middle line of screen
N                        N                           1  repeat the latest '/' or '?' N times in
                                                                     opposite direction
O                        O                           2  begin a new line above the cursor and
                                                                     insert text, repeat N times
P                        ["x]P                  2  put the text [from register x] before the
                                                                     cursor N times
R                        R                           2  enter replace mode: overtype existing
                                                                     characters, repeat the entered text N-1
                                                                     times
S                        ["x]S                  2  delete N lines [into register x] and start
                                                                     insert; synonym for "cc".
T                        T{char}                 1  cursor till after Nth occurrence of {char}
                                                                     to the left
V                        V                                  start linewise Visual mode
W                        W                           1  cursor N WORDS forward
X                        ["x]X                  2  delete N characters before the cursor [into
                                                                     register x]
Y                        ["x]Y                         yank N lines [into register x]; synonym for
                                                                     "yy"
ZZ                      ZZ                               store current file if modified, and exit
ZQ                      ZQ                               exit current file always
^                        ^                           1  cursor to the first CHAR of the line
_                        _                           1  cursor to the first CHAR N - 1 lines lower
a                        a                           2  append text after the cursor N times
b                        b                           1  cursor N words backward
c                        ["x]c{motion}  2  delete Nmove text [into register x] and
                                                                     start insert
cc                      ["x]cc                 2   delete N lines [into register x] and start
                                                                     insert
d                        ["x]d{motion}  2  delete Nmove text [into register x]
dd                      ["x]dd                 2   delete N lines [into register x]
e                        e                           1  cursor forward to the end of word N
f                        f{char}                 1  cursor to Nth occurrence of {char} to the
                                                                     right
g                        g{char}                        extended commands, see g below
h                        h                           1  cursor N chars to the left
i                        i                           2  insert text before the cursor N times
j                        j                           1  cursor N lines downward
k                        k                           1  cursor N lines upward
l                        l                           1  cursor N chars to the right
n                        n                           1  repeat the latest '/' or '?' N times
o                        o                           2  begin a new line below the cursor and
                                                                     insert text, repeat N times
p                        ["x]p                  2  put the text [from register x] after the
                                                                     cursor N times
r                        r{char}                 2  replace N chars with {char}
s                        ["x]s                  2  (substitute) delete N characters [into
                                                                     register x] and start insert
t                        t{char}                 1  cursor till before Nth occurrence of {char}
                                                                     to the right
u                        u                           2  undo changes
v                        v                                  start characterwise Visual mode
w                        w                           1  cursor N words forward
x                        ["x]x                  2  delete N characters under and after the
                                                                     cursor [into register x]
y                        ["x]y{motion}         yank Nmove text [into register x]
yy                      ["x]yy                      yank N lines [into register x]
bar                  |                           1  cursor to column N
~                        ~                           2  'tildeop' off: switch case of N characters
                                                                     under cursor and move the cursor N
                                                                     characters to the right
<C-End>            <C-End>               1  same as "G"
<C-Home>          <C-Home>              1   same as "gg"
<C-Left>          <C-Left>              1   same as "b"
<C-Right>      <C-Right>             1  same as "w"
<Del>              ["x]<Del>            2  same as "x"
<Down>                <Down>                    1   same as "j"
<End>              <End>                     1  same as "$"
<Home>                <Home>                    1   same as "0"
<Insert>          <Insert>              2   same as "i"
<Left>                <Left>                    1   same as "h"
<PageDown>        <PageDown>                 same as CTRL-F
<PageUp>          <PageUp>                   same as CTRL-B
<Right>            <Right>               1  same as "l"
<S-Down>          <S-Down>              1   same as CTRL-F
<S-Left>          <S-Left>              1   same as "b"
<S-Right>      <S-Right>             1  same as "w"
<S-Up>                <S-Up>                    1   same as CTRL-B
<Up>                  <Up>                      1   same as "k"

==============================================================================
2.1 Text objects                                                                                                objects

These can be used after an operator or in Visual mode to select an object.

tag                      command                        action in op-pending and Visual mode
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
v_aquote            a"                              double quoted string
v_a'                    a'                               single quoted string
v_a(                    a(                               same as ab
v_a)                    a)                               same as ab
v_a<                 a<                                "a <>" from '<' to the matching '>'
v_a>                 a>                                same as a<
v_aB                    aB                               "a Block" from "[{" to "]}" (with brackets)
v_a[                    a[                               "a []" from '[' to the matching ']'
v_a]                    a]                               same as a[
v_a`                    a`                               string in backticks
v_ab                    ab                               "a block" from "[(" to "])" (with braces)
v_a{                    a{                               same as aB
v_a}                    a}                               same as aB
v_iquote            i"                              double quoted string without the quotes
v_i'                    i'                               single quoted string without the quotes
v_i(                    i(                               same as ib
v_i)                    i)                               same as ib
v_i<                 i<                                "inner <>" from '<' to the matching '>'
v_i>                 i>                                same as i<
v_iB                    iB                               "inner Block" from "[{" and "]}"
v_i[                    i[                               "inner []" from '[' to the matching ']'
v_i]                    i]                               same as i[
v_i`                    i`                               string in backticks without the backticks
v_ib                    ib                               "inner block" from "[(" to "])"
v_i{                    i{                               same as iB
v_i}                    i}                               same as iB

==============================================================================
2.4 Commands starting with 'g'                                                                                  g

tag                      char                   note action in Normal mode
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
gE                      gE                          1   go backwards to the end of the previous
                                                                     WORD
gU                      gU{motion}          2   make Nmove text uppercase
ge                      ge                          1   go backwards to the end of the previous
                                                                     word
gg                      gg                          1   cursor to line N, default first line
gu                      gu{motion}          2   make Nmove text lowercase
g~                      g~{motion}          2   swap case for Nmove text

==============================================================================
2.5 Commands starting with 'z'                                                                                  z

tag                      char                   note action in Normal mode
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
z<CR>              z<CR>                            redraw, cursor line to top of window,
                                                                     cursor on first non-blank
z+                      z+                               cursor on line N (default line below
                                                                     window), otherwise like "z<CR>"
z-                      z-                               redraw, cursor line at bottom of window,
                                                                     cursor on first non-blank
z.                      z.                               redraw, cursor line to center of window,
                                                                     cursor on first non-blank
zb                      zb                               redraw, cursor line at bottom of window
zt                      zt                               redraw, cursor line at top of window
zz                      zz                               redraw, cursor line at center of window

==============================================================================
3. Visual mode                                                                                  visual-index

Most commands in Visual mode are the same as in Normal mode.    The ones listed
here are those that are different.

tag                      command             note action in Visual mode
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
v_CTRL-C            CTRL-C                       stop Visual mode
v_:                  :                                  start a command-line with the highlighted
                                                                     lines as a range
v_<                   <                            2  shift the highlighted lines one
                                                                     'shiftwidth' left
v_>                   >                            2  shift the highlighted lines one
                                                                     'shiftwidth' right
v_C                  C                           2  delete the highlighted lines and start
                                                                     insert
v_D                  D                           2  delete the highlighted lines
v_J                  J                           2  join the highlighted lines
v_O                  O                                  Move horizontally to other corner of area.
v_R                  R                           2  delete the highlighted lines and start
                                                                     insert
v_S                  S                           2  delete the highlighted lines and start
                                                                     insert
v_U                  U                           2  make highlighted area uppercase
v_V                  V                                  make Visual mode linewise or stop Visual
                                                                     mode
v_X                  X                           2  delete the highlighted lines
v_Y                  Y                                  yank the highlighted lines
v_c                  c                           2  delete highlighted area and start insert
v_d                  d                           2  delete highlighted area
v_o                  o                                  move cursor to other corner of area
v_r                  r                           2  delete highlighted area and start insert
v_s                  s                           2  delete highlighted area and start insert
v_u                  u                           2  make highlighted area lowercase
v_v                  v                                  make Visual mode characterwise or stop
                                                                     Visual mode
v_x                  x                           2  delete the highlighted area
v_y                  y                                  yank the highlighted area
v_~                  ~                           2  swap case for the highlighted area

==============================================================================
5. EX commands                                                                  ex-cmd-index :index

This is a brief but complete listing of all the ":" commands, without
mentioning any arguments.   The optional part of the command name is inside [].
The commands are sorted on the non-optional part of their name.

tag                  command                 action
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
:&                      :&                          repeat last ":substitute"
:cquit              :cq[uit]                quit Vim with an error code
:exit                :exi[t]                 same as ":xit"
:quit                :q[uit]                 quit current window (when one window quit Vim)
:quitall            :quita[ll]          quit Vim
:qall                :qa[ll]                 quit Vim
:substitute  :s[ubstitute]   find and replace text
:update          :up[date]           write buffer if modified
:write              :w[rite]                write to a file
:wall                :wa[ll]                 write all (changed) buffers
:wq                  :wq                         write to a file and quit window or Vim
:wqall              :wqa[ll]                write all changed buffers and quit Vim
:xit                    :x[it]                  write if buffer changed and quit window or Vim
:xall                :xa[ll]                 same as ":wqall"

Docs for previous versions