Vim documentation: repeat

main help file

*repeat.txt*    For Vim version 6.3.  Last change: 2004 Apr 02

		  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Bram Moolenaar

Repeating commands, Vim scripts and debugging			*repeating*

Chapter 26 of the user manual introduces repeating |usr_26.txt|.

1. Single repeats	|single-repeat|
2. Multiple repeats	|multi-repeat|
3. Complex repeats	|complex-repeat|
4. Using Vim scripts	|using-scripts|
5. Debugging scripts	|debug-scripts|


1. Single repeats					*single-repeat*

.			Repeat last change, with count replaced with [count].
			Also repeat a yank command, when the 'y' flag is
			included in 'cpoptions'.

Simple changes can be repeated with the "." command.  Without a count, the
count of the last change is used.  If you enter a count, it will replace the
last one.  If the last change included a specification of a numbered register,
the register number will be incremented.  See |redo-register| for an example
how to use this.  Note that when repeating a command that used a Visual
selection, the same SIZE of area is used, see |visual-repeat|.

@:			Repeat last command-line [count] times.
			{not available when compiled without the
			|+cmdline_hist| feature}


2. Multiple repeats					*multi-repeat*

						*:g* *:global* *E147* *E148*
			Execute the Ex command [cmd] (default ":p") on the
			lines within [range] where {pattern} matches.

			Execute the Ex command [cmd] (default ":p") on the
			lines within [range] where {pattern} does NOT match.

							*:v* *:vglobal*
			Same as :g!.

The global commands work by first scanning through the [range] lines and
marking each line where a match occurs (for a multi-line pattern, only the
start of the match matters).
In a second scan the [cmd] is executed for each marked line with its line
number prepended.  For ":v" and ":g!" the command is executed for each not
marked line.  If a line is deleted its mark disappears.
The default for [range] is the whole buffer (1,$).  Use "CTRL-C" to interrupt
the command.  If an error message is given for a line, the command for that
line is aborted and the global command continues with the next marked or
unmarked line.

To repeat a non-Ex command, you can use the ":normal" command:
	:g/pat/normal {commands}
Make sure that {commands} ends with a whole command, otherwise Vim will wait
for you to type the rest of the command for each match.  The screen will not
have been updated, so you don't know what you are doing.  See |:normal|.

The undo/redo command will undo/redo the whole global command at once.
The previous context mark will only be set once (with "''"' you go back to
where the cursor was before the global command).

The global command sets both the last used search pattern and the last used
substitute pattern (this is vi compatible).  This makes it easy to globally
replace a string:
This replaces all occurrences of "pat" with "PAT".  The same can be done with:
Which is two characters shorter!


3. Complex repeats					*complex-repeat*

							*q* *recording*
q{0-9a-zA-Z"}		Record typed characters into register {0-9a-zA-Z"}
			(uppercase to append).  The 'q' command is disabled
			while executing a register, and it doesn't work inside
			a mapping.  {Vi: no recording}

q			Stops recording.  (Implementation note: The 'q' that
			stops recording is not stored in the register, unless
			it was the result of a mapping)  {Vi: no recording}

@{0-9a-z".=*}		Execute the contents of register {0-9a-z".=*} [count]
			times.  Note that register '%' (name of the current
			file) and '#' (name of the alternate file) cannot be
			used.  For "@=" you are prompted to enter an
			expression.  The result of the expression is then
			executed.  See also |@:|.  {Vi: only named registers}

@@			Repeat the previous @{0-9a-z":*} [count] times.

:[addr]*{0-9a-z".=}						*:@* *:star*
:[addr]@{0-9a-z".=*}	Execute the contents of register {0-9a-z".=*} as an Ex
			command.  First set cursor at line [addr] (default is
			current line).  When the last line in the register does
			not have a <CR> it will be added automatically when
			the 'e' flag is present in 'cpoptions'.
			Note that the ":*" command is only recognized when the
			'*' flag is present in 'cpoptions'.  This is NOT the
			default when 'nocompatible' is used.
			For ":@=" the last used expression is used.  The
			result of evaluating the expression is executed as an
			Ex command.
			Mappings are not recognized in these commands.
			{Vi: only in some versions} Future: Will execute the
			register for each line in the address range.

:[addr]@:		Repeat last command-line.  First set cursor at line
			[addr] (default is current line).  {not in Vi}

:[addr]@@		Repeat the previous :@{0-9a-z"}.  First set cursor at
			line [addr] (default is current line).  {Vi: only in
			some versions}


4. Using Vim scripts					*using-scripts*

For writing a Vim script, see chapter 41 of the user manual |usr_41.txt|.

					*:so* *:source* *load-vim-script*
:so[urce] {file}	Read Ex commands from {file}.  These are commands that
			start with a ":".

:so[urce]! {file}	Read Vim commands from {file}.  These are commands
			that are executed from Normal mode, like you type
			When used after |:global|, |:argdo|, |:windo|,
			|:bufdo|, in a loop or when another command follows
			the display won't be updated while executing the
			{not in Vi}

							*:ru* *:runtime*
:ru[ntime][!] {file} ..
			Read Ex commands from {file} in each directory given
			by 'runtimepath'.  There is no error for non-existing
			files.  Example:
				:runtime syntax/c.vim

 			There can be multiple {file} arguments, separated by
			spaces.  Each {file} is searched for in the first
			directory from 'runtimepath', then in the second
			directory, etc.  Use a backslash to include a space
			inside {file} (although it's better not to use spaces
			in file names, it causes trouble).

			When [!] is included, all found files are sourced.
			When it is not included only the first found file is

			When {file} contains wildcards it is expanded to all
			matching files.  Example:
				:runtime! plugin/*.vim
 			This is what Vim uses to load the plugin files when
			starting up. This similar command:
				:runtime plugin/*.vim
 			would source the first file only.

			When 'verbose' is one or higher, there is a message
			when no file could be found.
			When 'verbose' is two or higher, there is a message
			about each searched file.
			{not in Vi}

:scripte[ncoding] [encoding]		*:scripte* *:scriptencoding* *E167*
			Specify the character encoding used in the script.
			The following lines will be converted from [encoding]
			to the value of the 'encoding' option, if they are
			different.  Examples:
				scriptencoding iso-8859-5
				scriptencoding cp932
			When [encoding] is empty, no conversion is done.  This
			can be used to restrict conversion to a sequence of
				scriptencoding euc-jp
				... lines to be converted ...
				... not converted ...

 			When conversion isn't supported by the system, there
			is no error message and no conversion is done.

			Don't use "ucs-2" or "ucs-4", scripts cannot be in
			these encodings (they would contain NUL bytes).
			When a sourced script starts with a BOM (Byte Order
			Mark) in utf-8 format Vim will recognized it, no need
			to use ":scriptencoding utf-8" then.

			When compiled without the |+multi_byte| feature this
			command is ignored.
			{not in Vi}

						*:scrip* *:scriptnames*
:scrip[tnames]		List all sourced script names, in the order they were
			first sourced.  The number is used for the script ID
			{not in Vi} {not available when compiled without the
			|+eval| feature}

						*:fini* *:finish* *E168*
:fini[sh]		Stop sourcing a script.  Can only be used in a Vim
			script file.  This is a quick way to skip the rest of
			the file.  If it is used after a |:try| but before the
			matching |:finally| (if present), the commands
			following the ":finally" up to the matching |:endtry|
			are executed first.  This process applies to all
			nested ":try"s in the script.  The outermost ":endtry"
			then stops sourcing the script.  {not in Vi}

All commands and command sequences can be repeated by putting them in a named
register and then executing it.  There are two ways to get the commands in the
- Use the record command "q".  You type the commands once, and while they are
  being executed they are stored in a register.  Easy, because you can see
  what you are doing.  If you make a mistake, "p"ut the register into the
  file, edit the command sequence, and then delete it into the register
  again.  You can continue recording by appending to the register (use an
  uppercase letter).
- Delete or yank the command sequence into the register.

Often used command sequences can be put under a function key with the ':map'

An alternative is to put the commands in a file, and execute them with the
':source!' command.  Useful for long command sequences.  Can be combined with
the ':map' command to put complicated commands under a function key.

The ':source' command reads Ex commands from a file line by line.  You will
have to type any needed keyboard input.  The ':source!' command reads from a
script file character by character, interpreting each character as if you
typed it.

Example: When you give the ":!ls" command you get the |hit-enter| prompt.  If
you ':source' a file with the line "!ls" in it, you will have to type the
<Enter> yourself.  But if you ':source!' a file with the line ":!ls" in it,
the next characters from that file are read until a <CR> is found.  You will
not have to type <CR> yourself, unless ":!ls" was the last line in the file.

It is possible to put ':source[!]' commands in the script file, so you can
make a top-down hierarchy of script files.  The ':source' command can be
nested as deep as the number of files that can be opened at one time (about
15).  The ':source!' command can be nested up to 15 levels deep.

You can use the "<sfile>" string (literally, this is not a special key) inside
of the sourced file, in places where a file name is expected.  It will be
replaced by the file name of the sourced file.  For example, if you have a
"other.vimrc" file in the same directory as your ".vimrc" file, you can source
it from your ".vimrc" file with this command:
	:source <sfile>:h/other.vimrc

In script files terminal-dependent key codes are represented by
terminal-independent two character codes.  This means that they can be used
in the same way on different kinds of terminals.  The first character of a
key code is 0x80 or 128, shown on the screen as "~@".  The second one can be
found in the list |key-notation|.  Any of these codes can also be entered
with CTRL-V followed by the three digit decimal code.  This does NOT work for
the <t_xx> termcap codes, these can only be used in mappings.

							*:source_crnl* *W15*
MS-DOS, Win32 and OS/2: Files that are read with ":source" normally have
<CR><NL> <EOL>s.  These always work.  If you are using a file with <NL> <EOL>s
(for example, a file made on Unix), this will be recognized if 'fileformats'
is not empty and the first line does not end in a <CR>.  This fails if the
first line has something like ":map <F1> :help^M", where "^M" is a <CR>.  If
the first line ends in a <CR>, but following ones don't, you will get an error
message, because the <CR> from the first lines will be lost.

Macintosh: Files that are read with ":source" normally have <CR> <EOL>s.
These always work.  If you are using a file with <NL> <EOL>s (for example, a
file made on Unix), this will be recognized if 'fileformats' is not empty and
the first line does not end in a <CR>.  Be careful not to use a file with <NL>
linebreaks which has a <CR> in first line.

On other systems, Vim expects ":source"ed files to end in a <NL>.  These
always work.  If you are using a file with <CR><NL> <EOL>s (for example, a
file made on MS-DOS), all lines will have a trailing <CR>.  This may cause
problems for some commands (e.g., mappings).  There is no automatic <EOL>
detection, because it's common to start with a line that defines a mapping
that ends in a <CR>, which will confuse the automaton.

Long lines in a ":source"d Ex command script file can be split by inserting
a line continuation symbol "\" (backslash) at the start of the next line.
There can be white space before the backslash, which is ignored.

Example: the lines
	:set comments=sr:/*,mb:*,el:*/,
are interpreted as if they were given in one line:
	:set comments=sr:/*,mb:*,el:*/,://,b:#,:%,n:>,fb:-

All leading whitespace characters in the line before a backslash are ignored.
Note however that trailing whitespace in the line before it cannot be
inserted freely; it depends on the position where a command is split up
whether additional whitespace is allowed or not.

There is a problem with the ":append" and ":insert" commands:
The backslash is seen as a line-continuation symbol, thus this results in the
To avoid this, add the 'C' flag to the 'cpoptions' option:
   :set cpo+=C
   :set cpo-=C

Note that when the commands are inside a function, you need to add the 'C'
flag when defining the function, it is not relevant when executing it.
   :set cpo+=C
   :function Foo()
   :set cpo-=C

	Most programs work with a trailing backslash to indicate line
	continuation.  Using this in Vim would cause incompatibility with Vi.
	For example for this Vi mapping:
		:map xx  asdf\
 	Therefore the unusual leading backslash is used.


5. Debugging scripts					*debug-scripts*

Besides the obvious messages that you can add to your scripts to find out what
they are doing, Vim offers a debug mode.  This allows you to step through a
sourced file or user function and set breakpoints.

NOTE: The debugging mode is far from perfect.  Debugging will have side
effects on how Vim works.  You cannot use it to debug everything.  For
example, the display is messed up by the debugging messages.
{Vi does not have a debug mode}

An alternative to debug mode is setting the 'verbose' option.  With a bigger
number it will give more verbose messages about what Vim is doing.

STARTING DEBUG MODE						*debug-mode*

To enter debugging mode use one of these methods:
1. Start Vim with the |-D| argument:
	vim -D file.txt
   Debugging will start as soon as the first vimrc file is sourced.  This is
   useful to find out what is happening when Vim is starting up.  A side
   effect is that Vim will switch the terminal mode before initialisations
   have finished, with unpredictable results.
   For a GUI-only version (Windows, Macintosh) the debugging will start as
   soon as the GUI window has been opened.  To make this happen early, add a
   ":gui" command in the vimrc file.

2. Run a command with ":debug" prepended.  Debugging will only be done while
   this command executes.  Useful for debugging a specific script or user
   function.  And for scripts and functions used by autocommands.  Example:
	:debug edit test.txt.gz

3. Set a breakpoint in a sourced file or user function.  You could do this in
   the command line:
	vim -c "breakadd file */explorer.vim" .
   This will run Vim and stop in the first line of the "explorer.vim" script.
   Breakpoints can also be set while in debugging mode.

In debugging mode every executed command is displayed before it is executed.
Comment lines, empty lines and lines that are not executed are skipped.  When
a line contains two commands, separated by "|", each command will be displayed


Once in debugging mode, the usual Ex commands can be used.  For example, to
inspect the value of a variable:
	echo idx
When inside a user function, this will print the value of the local variable
"idx".  Prepend "g:" to get the value of a global variable:
	echo g:idx
All commands are executed in the context of the current function or script.
You can also set options, for example setting or resetting 'verbose' will show
what happens, but you might want to set it just before executing the lines you
are interested in:
	:set verbose=20

Commands that require updating the screen should be avoided, because their
effect won't be noticed until after leaving debug mode.  For example:
won't be very helpful.

There is a separate command-line history for debug mode.

The line number for a function line is relative to the start of the function.
If you have trouble figuring out where you are, edit the file that defines
the function in another Vim, search for the start of the function and do
"99j".  Replace "99" with the line number.

Additionally, these commands can be used:

	cont		Continue execution until the next breakpoint is hit.

	quit		Abort execution.  This is like using CTRL-C, some
			things might still be executed, doesn't abort
			everything.  Still stops at the next breakpoint.

	next		Execute the command and come back to debug mode when
			it's finished.  This steps over user function calls
			and sourced files.

	step		Execute the command and come back to debug mode for
			the next command.  This steps into called user
			functions and sourced files.

	interrupt	This is like using CTRL-C, but unlike ">quit" comes
			back to debug mode for the next command that is
			executed.  Useful for testing |:finally| and |:catch|
			on interrupt exceptions.

	finish		Finish the current script or user function and come
			back to debug mode for the command after the one that
			sourced or called it.

About the additional commands in debug mode:
- There is no command-line completion for them, you get the completion for the
  normal Ex commands only.
- You can shorten them, up to a single character: "c", "n", "s" and "f".
- Hitting <CR> will repeat the previous one.  When doing another command, this
  is reset (because it's not clear what you want to repeat).
- When you want to use the Ex command with the same name, prepend a colon:
  ":cont", ":next", ":finish" (or shorter).


							*:breaka* *:breakadd*
:breaka[dd] func [lnum] {name}
		Set a breakpoint in a function.  Example:
			:breakadd func Explore
 		Doesn't check for a valid function name, thus the breakpoint
		can be set before the function is defined.

:breaka[dd] file [lnum] {name}
		Set a breakpoint in a sourced file.  Example:
			:breakadd file 43 .vimrc

The [lnum] is the line number of the breakpoint.  Vim will stop at or after
this line.  When omitted line 1 is used.

{name} is a pattern that is matched with the file or function name.  The
pattern is like what is used for autocommands.  There must be a full match (as
if the pattern starts with "^" and ends in "$").  A "*" matches any sequence
of characters.  'ignorecase' is not used, but "\c" can be used in the pattern
to ignore case |/\c|.  Don't include the () for the function name!

The match for sourced scripts is done against the full file name.  Examples:
	breakadd file explorer
won't match, the path is missing.
	breakadd file *explorer.vim
matches ".../plugin/explorer.vim" and ".../plugin/iexplorer.vim".
	breakadd file */explorer.vim
matches ".../plugin/explorer.vim" only.

The match for functions is done against the name as it's shown in the output
of ":function".  For local functions this means that something like "<SNR>99_"
is prepended.


						*:breakd* *:breakdel* *E161*
:breakd[el] {nr}
		Delete breakpoint {nr}.  Use |:breaklist| to see the number of
		each breakpoint.

:breakd[el] func [lnum] {name}
		Delete a breakpoint in a function.

:breakd[el] file [lnum] {name}
		Delete a breakpoint in a sourced file.

When [lnum] is omitted, the first breakpoint in the function or file is
The {name} must be exactly the same as what was typed for the ":breakadd"
command.  "explorer", "*explorer.vim" and "*explorer*" are different.


							*:breakl* *:breaklist*
		List all breakpoints.


						*:debugg* *:debuggreedy*
		Read debug mode commands from the normal input stream, instead
		of getting them directly from the user.  Only useful for test
		scripts.  Example:
		  echo 'q^Mq' | vim -e -s -c debuggreedy -c 'breakadd file script.vim' -S script.vim

		Undo ":debuggreedy": get debug mode commands directly from the
		user, don't use typeahead for debug commands.

top - main help file