Sunday, December 20, 2009

VIM Plugin: matchit.vim

By default, VIM has match feature. For example, if you edit a .c file, press '%' when you are at {, [, or ( char, you will see the corresponding }, ], or ) is highlighted, and your cursor will jump back the forth. It is a very handy feature. For html file, a tag like <table> is also pair case, with </table> as end tag. % char would not smart enough to find this pair. Based on the Best of VIM Tips, VIM Wiki's Editor choice, matachit.vim is in the section of "Really useful".

I tried to install it to my Windows at my work computer. It works fine. Basically, you have to download the file to VIM installation path, such as "E:\Program Files\MyProgram\VIM\". There are two folders for syntax help information and plugin vim file in doc and plugin folders. Now I am going to try to install it at my iMac computer.

First, download the package of matchit.vim. Copy the downloaded zip file content doc\matchit.txt and puglin\matchit.vim to local ~/.vim/doc and ~/.vim/plugin.

[MyMac]:~ [user]$ cp ~/Download/matchit/doc/matchit.txt ~/.vim/doc
[MyMac]:~ [user]$ cp ~/Download/matchit/plugin/matchit.vim ~/.vim/plugin

Now % should work. To rebuild the help message for %, type the command in VIM:
  :helptags ~/.vim/doc

This match extension works well for html file tags. Locate your cursor within anywhere in a tag, press % will jump to its corresponding tag. It is a really useful extension.