Posts tagged macro

vim align by character

posted on 2016-10-10 13:03

Use case is, align this:

[transfer]
    valid users = transfer
    force user = transfer
    force group = transfer
    browseable = yes
    path = /var/samba/transfer/

to that:

[transfer]
        valid users             = transfer
        force user              = transfer
        force group             = transfer
        path                    = /var/samba/transfer/

Usually all answers point to Tabular.vim or Align.vim plugins.

This can as well be achieved by creating a macro and applying it to all lines in your whole file (or just a subset, how you prefer).

Steps to record are as follows:

  • start macro recording - q q
  • jump to beginning of line - 0
  • jump to character - f
  • 1 char backwards - h
  • insert 100 spaces - 100 i ESC
  • jump to column where to align to, i.e. 45 - 45 |
  • delete all following spaces / to beginning next word - d w
  • end macro - q

Then either use visual mode to mark all lines you want it applied to, press : to get into command mode:

:'<,'>norm! @q

or on all lines:

:%norm! @q

or on all lines matching a PATTERN:

:g/PATTERN/norm! @q

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