vim macros - how to create vim macros

vi/vim FAQ: Can you provide some examples of how to create vim macros?

Here's a quick example of how to define macros that you can use in the vim editor (or vi editor). As you can tell by looking at them, I use these particular vim macros when editing HTML files.

Define vim macros with the vim map command

Step 1 in the process or creating vim macros is to edit the vi/vim startup file in your home directory. On Unix, Linux, and Mac OS X systems, this file is named .vimrc.

So, move to your home directory like this:


Then edit your vimrc configuration file like this:

vi .vimrc

Next, insert the following vim macro command lines (vim map commands) into your .vimrc file. Note that wherever you see the ^M character below, you actually need to type the following key sequence: [Ctrl]v [Ctrl]m

(That's "control v, control m".)

Here are my file contents:

map #1 o<table>^M  <tr>^M    <td>^M    </td>^M  </tr>^M</table>
map #2 o<ul>^M  <li></li>^M</ul>
map #3 o<ul>^M  <li><a href=""></a></li>^M</ul>

With those vi map commands, you are mapping the function keys F1, F2, and F3, respectively.

After you've added these commands, save your changes, and exit vi.

Using the vim macros

To use these vim map settings, open the vim editor, like this:


Now, press the F1 function key, and you should see these lines inserted into your file:


Pretty cool, isn't it? vim macros can save you a bunch of time.