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Coding specific configuration


In order to reduce the amount of typing and fix common typos, I use the Vim abbreviations support. Those are split into two files, ~/.vim/abbreviations.vim for abbreviations that can be used in every type of format and ~/.vim/markdown-abbreviations.vim for the ones that can interfere with programming typing.

Those files are sourced in my .vimrc

" Abbreviations
source ~/.vim/abbreviations.vim
autocmd BufNewFile,BufReadPost *.md source ~/.vim/markdown-abbreviations.vim

To avoid getting worse in grammar, I don't add abbreviations for words that I doubt their spelling or that I usually mistake. Instead I use it for common typos such as teh.

The process has it's inconveniences:

  • You need different abbreviations for the capitalized versions, so you'd need two abbreviations for iab cant can't and iab Cant Can't
  • It's not user friendly to add new words, as you need to open a file.

The Vim Abolish plugin solves that. For example:

" Typing the following:
Abolish seperate separate

" Is equivalent to:
iabbrev seperate separate
iabbrev Seperate Separate

Or create more complex rules, were each {} gets captured and expanded with different caps

:Abolish {despa,sepe}rat{e,es,ed,ing,ely,ion,ions,or}  {despe,sepa}rat{}

With a bang (:Abolish!) the abbreviation is also appended to the file in g:abolish_save_file. By default after/plugin/abolish.vim which is loaded by default.

Typing :Abolish! im I'm will append the following to the end of this file:

Abolish im I'm

To make it quicker I've added a mapping for <leader>s.

nnoremap <leader>s :Abolish!<Space>

Check the README for more details.


Abbreviations with dashes or if you only want the first letter in capital need to be specified with the first letter in capital letters as stated in this issue.

Abolish knobas knowledge-based
Abolish w what

Will yield KnowledgeBased if invoked with Knobas, and WHAT if invoked with W. Therefore the following definitions are preferred:

Abolish Knobas Knowledge-based
Abolish W What

Auto complete prose text

Tools like YouCompleteMe allow you to auto complete variables and functions. If you want the same functionality for prose, you need to enable it for markdown and text, as it's disabled by default.

let g:ycm_filetype_blacklist = {
      \ 'tagbar' : 1,
      \ 'qf' : 1,
      \ 'notes' : 1,
      \ 'unite' : 1,
      \ 'vimwiki' : 1,
      \ 'pandoc' : 1,
      \ 'infolog' : 1

When writing prose you don't need all possible suggestions, as navigating the options is slower than keep on typing. So I'm limiting the results just to one, to avoid unnecessary distractions.

" Limit the results for markdown files to 1
au FileType markdown let g:ycm_max_num_candidates = 1
au FileType markdown let g:ycm_max_num_identifier_candidates = 1

Find synonyms

Sometimes the prose linters tell you that a word is wordy or too complex, or you may be repeating a word too much. The thesaurus query plugin allows you to search synonyms of the word under the cursor. Assuming you use Vundle, add the following lines to your config.

File: ~/.vimrc

Plugin 'ron89/thesaurus_query.vim'

" Thesaurus
let g:tq_enabled_backends=["mthesaur_txt"]
let g:tq_mthesaur_file="~/.vim/thesaurus"
nnoremap <leader>r :ThesaurusQueryReplaceCurrentWord<CR>
inoremap <leader>r <esc>:ThesaurusQueryReplaceCurrentWord<CR>

Run :PluginInstall and download the thesaurus text from

Next time you find a word like therefore you can press :ThesaurusQueryReplaceCurrentWord and you'll get a window with the following:

In line: ... therefore ...
Candidates for therefore, found by backend: mthesaur_txt
Synonyms: (0)accordingly (1)according to circumstances (2)and so (3)appropriately (4)as a consequence
          (5)as a result (6)as it is (7)as matters stand (8)at that rate (9)because of that (10)because of this
          (11)compliantly (12)conformably (13)consequently (14)equally (15)ergo (16)finally (17)for that
          (18)for that cause (19)for that reason (20)for this cause (21)for this reason (22)for which reason
          (23)hence (24)hereat (25)in that case (26)in that event (27)inconsequence (28)inevitably
          (29)it follows that (30)naturally (31)naturellement (32)necessarily (33)of course (34)of necessity
          (35)on that account (36)on that ground (37)on this account (38)propter hoc (39)suitably
          (40)that being so (41)then (42)thence (43)thereat (44)therefor (45)thus (46)thusly (47)thuswise
          (48)under the circumstances (49)whence (50)wherefore (51)wherefrom
Type number and <Enter> (empty cancels; 'n': use next backend; 'p' use previous backend):

If for example you type 45 and hit enter, it will change it for thus.