Configuring vi


In addition to reading configurations from your shell, the vi editor will also read configurations from a text file, and since we've already shown you how to use it (in Chapter 6), we'll show you some common configuration settings you may want to use.

To configure vi:

1.
Open your ~/.exrc file (using vi or any other text editor).

2.
Add the setting(s) you wish to use.

For example, to have word wrap (indicated by wm ) always be on, and to set it to kick in within five characters of the right edge of the window, add a line that says

set wm=5

3.
To set a tab stop every four spaces (instead of the default eight), add a line that says

set tabstop=4

Table 7.6 lists some common setting possibilities, and of course you should read the vi man page to see the full list.

Table 7.6. Common vi Configuration Settings

S ETTING

M EANING

set autoindent

vi will insert tabs and spaces at the start of each line to make the first character you type line up with the first character of the line above.

set extended

Allows extended regular expressions to be used in searches. In Chapter 4, "Useful Unix Utilities," see the section "Searching for Text" for a discussion of regular expressions.

set ruler

Causes vi to display the position of the cursor at the bottom of the window (as two numbers : line, column).

set showmode

Displays the current mode (command or insert) on the status line.

set tabstop=n

Tells vi how many spaces between each tab stop. If you set it to 4, then pressing will advance the cursor only four spaces.

set wm=n

Turns on automatic word wrap. vi will automatically insert a new-line character when you get within n columns of the right edge of the window.


4.
Save the file.

5.
Quit.

That is:

:wq

The new settings will be in effect the next time you use vi .

Tip

  • You can turn off a setting with

    :set no settingname

    For example, to turn off auto-indent, you would use

    :set no ai




Unix for Mac OS X 10. 4 Tiger. Visual QuickPro Guide
Unix for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger: Visual QuickPro Guide (2nd Edition)
ISBN: 0321246683
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 161
Authors: Matisse Enzer

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