autocmd.txt - html version

autocmd.txt - html version

*autocmd.txt*   For Vim version 5.3.  Last modification: 1998 Aug 19

		  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Bram Moolenaar

Automatic commands					*autocommand*

1.  Introduction		|autocmd-intro|
2.  Defining autocommands	|autocmd-define|
3.  Removing autocommands	|autocmd-remove|
4.  Listing autocommands	|autocmd-list|
5.  Events			|autocmd-events|
6.  Patterns			|autocmd-patterns|
7.  Filetypes			|autocmd-filetypes|
8.  Groups			|autocmd-groups|
9.  Executing autocommands	|autocmd-execute|
10. Using autocommands		|autocmd-use|

{Vi does not have any of these commands}

1. Introduction						*autocmd-intro*

You can specify commands to be executed automatically for when reading or
writing a file, when entering or leaving a buffer or window, and when exiting
Vim.  For example, you can create an autocommand to set the 'cindent' option
for files matching *.c.  You can also use autocommands to implement advanced
features, such as editing compressed files (see |gzip-example|).  The usual
place to put autocommands is in your .vimrc or .exrc file.

WARNING: Using autocommands is very powerful, and may lead to unexpected side
effects.  Be careful not to destroy your text.
- It's a good idea to do some testing on an expendable copy of a file first.
  For example: If you use autocommands to decompress a file when starting to
  edit it, make sure that the autocommands for compressing when writing work
- Be prepared for an error halfway through (e.g., disk full).  Vim will mostly
  be able to undo the changes to the buffer, but you may have to clean up the
  changes to other files by hand (e.g., compress a file that has been
- If the BufRead* events allow you to edit a compressed file, the FileRead*
  events should do the same (this makes recovery possible in some rare cases).
  It's a good idea to use the same autocommands for the File* and Buf* events
  when possible.

The |+autocmd| feature is only included if it has not been disabled at compile

2. Defining autocommands				*autocmd-define*

Note: The ":autocmd" command cannot be followed by another command, since any
'|' is considered part of the command.

							*:au* *:autocmd*
:au[tocmd] [group] {event} {pat} [nested] {cmd}
			Add {cmd} to the list of commands that Vim will
			execute automatically on {event} for a file matching
			{pat}.  Vim always adds the {cmd} after existing
			autocommands, so that the autocommands execute in the
			order in which they were given.  See |autocmd-nest|
			for [nested].

Note that special characters (e.g., "%", "<cword>") in the ":autocmd"
arguments are not expanded when the autocommand is defined.  These will be
expanded when the Event is recognized, and the {cmd} is executed.  The only
exception is that "<sfile>" is expanded when the autocmd is defined.  Example:

	:au BufEnter *.html so <sfile>:h/html.vim

Here Vim expands <sfile> to the name of the file containing this line.

When your .vimrc file is sourced twice, the autocommands will appear twice.
To avoid this, put this command in your .vimrc file, before defining

	:autocmd!	" Remove ALL autocommands.

If you don't want to remove all autocommands, you can instead use a variable
to ensure that Vim includes the autocommands only once:

	:if !exists("autocommands_loaded")
	:  let autocommands_loaded = 1
	:  au ...

When the [group] argument is not given, Vim uses the current group (as defined
with ":augroup"); otherwise, Vim uses the group defined with [group].  Note
that [group] must have been defined before.  You cannot define a new group
with ":au group ..."; use ":augroup" for that.

While testing autocommands, you might find the 'verbose' option to be useful:
	:set verbose=9
This setting makes Vim echo the autocommands as it executes them.

3. Removing autocommands				*autocmd-remove*

:au[tocmd]! [group] {event} {pat} [nested] {cmd}
			Remove all autocommands associated with {event} and
			{pat}, and add the command {cmd}.  See |autocmd-nest|
			for [nested].

:au[tocmd]! [group] {event} {pat}
			Remove all autocommands associated with {event} and

:au[tocmd]! [group] * {pat}
			Remove all autocommands associated with {pat} for all

:au[tocmd]! [group] {event}
			Remove ALL autocommands for {event}.

:au[tocmd]! [group]	Remove ALL autocommands.

When the [group] argument is not given, Vim uses the current group (as defined
with ":augroup"); otherwise, Vim uses the group defined with [group].

4. Listing autocommands					*autocmd-list*

:au[tocmd] [group] {event} {pat}
			Show the autocommands associated with {event} and

:au[tocmd] [group] * {pat}
			Show the autocommands associated with {pat} for all

:au[tocmd] [group] {event}
			Show all autocommands for {event}.

:au[tocmd] [group]	Show all autocommands.

If you provide the [group] argument, Vim lists only the autocommands for
[group]; otherwise, Vim lists the autocommands for ALL groups.  Note that this
argument behavior differs from that for defining and removing autocommands.

5. Events						*autocmd-events*

					*autocommand-events* *{event}*
Vim recognizes the following events.  Vim ignores the case of event names
(e.g., you can use "BUFread" or "bufread" instead of "BufRead").

BufNewFile			When starting to edit a file that doesn't
				exist.  Can be used to read in a skeleton

BufReadPre			When starting to edit a new buffer, before
				reading the file into the buffer.  Not used
				if the file doesn't exist.

						*BufRead* *BufReadPost*
BufRead or BufReadPost		When starting to edit a new buffer, after
				reading the file into the buffer, before
				executing the modelines.  This does NOT work
				for ":r file".  Not used when the file doesn't
				exist.  Also used after succesfully recovering
				a file.

BufFilePre			Before changing the name of the current buffer
				with the ":file" command.

BufFilePost			After changing the name of the current buffer
				with the ":file" command.

FileReadPre			Before reading a file with a ":read" command.

FileReadPost			After reading a file with a ":read" command.
				Note that Vim sets the '[ and '] marks to the
				first and last line of the read.  This can be
				used to operate on the lines just read.

FilterReadPre			Before reading a file from a filter command.
				Vim checks the pattern against the the name of
				the current buffer, not the name of the
				temporary file that is the output of the
				filter command.

FilterReadPost			After reading a file from a filter command.
				Vim checks the pattern against the the name of
				the current buffer as with FilterReadPre.

StdinReadPre			Before reading from stdin into the buffer.
				Only used when the "-" argument was used when
				Vim was started |--|.

StdinReadPost			After reading from the stdin into the buffer,
				before executing the modelines.  Only used
				when the "-" argument was used when Vim was
				started |--|.

						*BufWrite* *BufWritePre*
BufWrite or BufWritePre		Before writing the whole buffer to a file.

BufWritePost			After writing the whole buffer to a file
				(should undo the commands for BufWritePre).

FileWritePre			Before writing to a file, when not writing the
				whole buffer.

FileWritePost			After writing to a file, when not writing the
				whole buffer.

FileAppendPre			Before appending to a file.

FileAppendPost			After appending to a file.

FilterWritePre			Before writing a file for a filter command.
				Vim checks the pattern against the the name of
				the current buffer, not the name of the
				temporary file that is the output of the
				filter command.

FilterWritePost			After writing a file for a filter command.
				Vim checks the pattern against the the name of
				the current buffer as with FilterWritePre.

FileChangedShell		After Vim runs a shell command and notices
				that the modification time of a file has
				changed since editing started.  This
				autocommand is triggered for each changed
				file.  Run in place of the 'has been changed'
				message.  See |timestamp|.  Useful for
				reloading related buffers which are affected
				by a single command.  NOTE: when this
				autocommand is executed, the current buffer
				"%" may be different from the buffer that was
				changed "<afile>".

BufEnter			After entering a buffer.  Useful for setting
				options for a file type.  Also executed when
				starting to edit a buffer, after the
				BufReadPost autocommands.

BufLeave			Before leaving to another buffer.  Also when
				leaving or closing the current window and the
				new current window is not for the same buffer.
				Not used for ":qa" or ":q" when exiting Vim.

BufUnload			Before unloading a buffer.  This is when the
				text in the buffer is going to be freed.  This
				may be after a BufWritePost and before a
				BufDelete.  NOTE: when this autocommand is
				executed, the current buffer "%" may be
				different from the buffer being unloaded

BufDelete			Before deleting a buffer from the buffer list.
				The BufUnload may be called first (if the
				buffer was loaded).  NOTE: when this
				autocommand is executed, the current buffer
				"%" may be different from the buffer being
				deleted "<afile>".

WinEnter			After entering another window.  Not done for
				the first window, when Vim has just started.
				Useful for setting the window height.
				If the window is for another buffer, Vim
				executes the BufEnter autocommands after the
				WinEnter autocommands.

TermChanged			After the value of 'term' has changed.  Useful
				for re-loading the syntax file to update the
				colors, fonts and other terminal-dependent
				settings.  Executed for all loaded buffers.

WinLeave			Before leaving a window.  If the window to be
				entered next is for a different buffer, Vim
				executes the BufLeave autocommands before the
				WinLeave autocommands (but not for ":new").
				Not used for ":qa" or ":q" when exiting Vim.

VimEnter			After doing all the startup stuff, including
				loading .vimrc files, executing the "-c cmd"
				arguments, creating all windows and loading
				the buffers in them.

VimLeavePre			Before exiting Vim, just before writing the
				.viminfo file.  This is executed only once,
				if there is a match with the name of what
				happens to be the current buffer when exiting.
				Mostly useful with a "*" pattern.
	:autocmd VimLeavePre * call CleanupStuff()

VimLeave			Before exiting Vim, just after writing the
				.viminfo file.  Executed only once, like

User				Never executed automatically.  To be used for
				autocommands that are only executed with

FileEncoding			Fires off when you change the file encoding
				with ':set fileencoding'.  Allows you to set
				up fonts or other language sensitive settings.

For READING FILES there are three possible pairs of events.  Vim uses only one
pair at a time:
BufNewFile			starting to edit a non-existent file
BufReadPre	BufReadPost	starting to edit an existing file
FilterReadPre	FilterReadPost	read the temp file with filter output
FileReadPre	FileReadPost	any other file read

Note that the autocommands for the *ReadPre events and all the Filter events
are not allowed to change the current buffer (you will get an error message if
this happens).  This is to prevent the file to be read into the wrong buffer.

Note that the 'modified' flag is reset AFTER executing the BufReadPost
and BufNewFile autocommands.  But when the 'modified' option was set by the
autocommands, this doesn't happen.

You can use the 'eventignore' option to ignore a number of events or all

6. Patterns						*autocmd-patterns*

The file pattern {pat} is tested for a match against the file name in one of
two ways:
1. When there is no '/' in the pattern, Vim checks for a match against only
   the tail part of the file name (without its leading directory path).
2. When there is a '/' in the pattern,  Vim checks for a match against the
   both short file name (as you typed it) and the full file name (after
   expanding it to a full path and resolving symbolic links).

	:autocmd BufRead *.txt		set et
Set the 'et' option for all text files.

	:autocmd BufRead /vim/src/*.c	set cindent
Set the 'cindent' option for C files in the /vim/src directory.

	:autocmd BufRead /tmp/*.c	set ts=5
If you have a link from "/tmp/test.c" to "/home/nobody/vim/src/test.c", and
you start editing "/tmp/test.c", this autocommand will match.

Note:  To match part of a path, but not from the root directory, use a '*' as
the first character.  Example:
	:autocmd BufRead */doc/*.txt	set tw=78
This autocommand will for example be executed for "/tmp/doc/xx.txt" and
"/usr/home/piet/doc/yy.txt".  The number of directories does not matter here.

Environment variables can be used in a pattern:
	:autocmd BufRead $VIM/doc/*.txt  set expandtab
And ~ can be used for the home directory (if $HOME is defined):
	:autocmd BufWritePost ~/.vimrc   so ~/.vimrc
	:autocmd BufRead ~archive/*      set readonly
The environment variable is expanded when the autocommand is defined, not when
the autocommand is executed.  This is different from the command!

Note that for all systems the '/' character is used for path separator (even
MS-DOS and OS/2).  This was done because the backslash is difficult to use
in a pattern and to make the autocommands portable accross different systems.

7. Filetypes						*autocmd-filetypes*

On systems which support filetypes you can specify that a command should only
be executed if the file is of a certain type.

The actual type checking depends on which platform you are running Vim
on; see your system's documentation for details.

To use filetype checking in an autocommand you should put a list of types to
match in angle brackets in place of a pattern, like this:

 :au BufRead *.html,<&faf;HTML>  so $VIM/syntax/html.vim

This will match:

- Any file whose name ends in `.html'
- Any file whose type is `&faf' or 'HTML', where the meaning of these types
  depends on which version of Vim you are using.
  Unknown types are considered NOT to match.

You can also specify a type and a pattern at the same time (in which case they
must both match):

 :au BufRead <&fff>*diff*

This will match files of type `&fff' whose names contain `diff'.

Note that filetype checking is skipped if Vim is compiled without the
|+filetype| feature.

8. Groups						*autocmd-groups*

Autocommands can be put together in a group.  This is useful for removing or
executing a group of autocommands.  For example, all the autocommands for
syntax highlighting are put in the "highlight" group, to be able to execute
":doautoall highlight BufRead" when the GUI starts.

When no specific group is selected, Vim uses the default group.  The default
group does not have a name.  You cannot execute the autocommands from the
default group separately; you can execute them only by executing autocommands
for all groups.

Normally, when executing autocommands automatically, Vim uses the autocommands
for all groups.  The group only matters when executing autocommands with
":doautocmd" or ":doautoall", or when defining or deleting autocommands.

The group name can contain any characters except white space.  The group name
"end" is reserved (also in uppercase).

							*:aug* *:augroup*
:aug[roup] {name}		Define the autocmd group name for the
				following ":autocmd" commands.  The name "end"
				or "END" selects the default group.

To enter autocommands for a specific group, use this method:
1. Select the group with ":augroup {name}".
2. Delete any old autocommands with ":au!".
3. Define the autocommands.
4. Go back to the default group with "augroup END".

	:augroup uncompress
	:  au!
	:  au BufEnter *.gz	%!gunzip
	:augroup END

This prevents having the autocommands defined twice (e.g., after sourcing the
.vimrc file again).

9. Executing autocommands				*autocmd-execute*

Vim can also execute Autocommands non-automatically.  This is useful if you
have changed autocommands, or when Vim has executed the wrong autocommands
(e.g., the file pattern match was wrong).

Note that the 'eventignore' option applies here too.  Events listed in this
option will not cause any commands to be executed.

							*:do* *:doautocmd*
:do[autocmd] [group] {event} [fname]
			Apply the autocommands matching [fname] (default:
			current file name) for {event} to the current buffer.
			You can use this when the current file name does not
			match the right pattern, after changing settings, or
			to execute autocommands for a certain event.
			It's possible to use this inside an autocommand too,
			so you can base the autocommands for one extension on
			another extension.  Example:
				:au Bufenter *.cpp so ~/.vimrc_cpp
				:au Bufenter *.cpp doau BufEnter x.c
			Be careful to avoid endless loops.  See |autocmd-nest|.

			When the [group] argument is not given, Vim executes
			the autocommands for all groups.  When the [group]
			argument is included, Vim executes only the matching
			autocommands for that group.  Note: if you use an
			undefined group name, Vim gives you an error message.

						*:doautoa* *:doautoall*
:doautoa[ll] [group] {event} [fname]
			Like ":doautocmd", but apply the autocommands to each
			loaded buffer.  Careful: Don't use this for
			autocommands that delete a buffer, change to another
			buffer or change the contents of a buffer; the result
			is unpredictable.  this command is intended for
			autocommands that set options, change highlighting,
			and things like that.

10. Using autocommands					*autocmd-use*

For WRITING FILES there are four possible pairs of events.  Vim uses only one
pair at a time:
BufWritePre	BufWritePost	writing the whole buffer
FilterWritePre	FilterWritePost	writing to the temp file with filter input
FileAppendPre	FileAppendPost	appending to a file
FileWritePre	FileWritePost	any other file write

Note that the *WritePost commands should undo any changes to the buffer that
were caused by the *WritePre commands; otherwise, writing the file will have
the side effect of changing the buffer.

Before executing the autocommands, the buffer from which the lines are to be
written temporarily becomes the current buffer.  Unless the autocommands
change the current buffer or delete the previously current buffer, the
previously current buffer is made the current buffer again.

The *WritePre and *AppendPre autocommands must not delete the buffer from
which the lines are to be written.

The '[ and '] marks have a special position:
- Before the *ReadPre event the '[ mark is set to the line just above where
  the new lines will be inserted.
- Before the *ReadPost event the '[ mark is set to the first line that was
  just read, the '] mark to the last line.
- Before executing the *WritePre and *AppendPre autocommands the '[ mark is
  set to the first line that will be written, the '] mark to the last line.
Careful: '[ and '] change when using commands that change the buffer.

In commands which expect a file name, you can use "<afile>" for the file name
that is being read |:<afile>| (you can also use "%" for the current file
name).  "<abuf>" can be used for the buffer number of the currently effective
buffer.  This also works for buffers that doesn't have a name.  But it doesn't
work for files without a buffer (e.g., with ":r file").

Examples for reading and writing compressed files:
 :augroup gzip
 :  autocmd!
 :  autocmd BufReadPre,FileReadPre	*.gz set bin
 :  autocmd BufReadPost,FileReadPost	*.gz '[,']!gunzip
 :  autocmd BufReadPost,FileReadPost	*.gz set nobin
 :  autocmd BufReadPost,FileReadPost	*.gz execute ":doautocmd BufReadPost " . expand("%:r")
 :  autocmd BufWritePost,FileWritePost	*.gz !mv <afile> <afile>:r
 :  autocmd BufWritePost,FileWritePost	*.gz !gzip <afile>:r

 :  autocmd FileAppendPre		*.gz !gunzip <afile>
 :  autocmd FileAppendPre		*.gz !mv <afile>:r <afile>
 :  autocmd FileAppendPost		*.gz !mv <afile> <afile>:r
 :  autocmd FileAppendPost		*.gz !gzip <afile>:r
 :augroup END

The "gzip" group is used to be able to delete any existing autocommands with
":autocmd!", for when the file is sourced twice.

("<afile>:r" is the file name without the extension, see |:_%:|)

The commands executed for the BufNewFile, BufRead/BufReadPost, BufWritePost,
FileAppendPost and VimLeave events do not set or reset the changed flag of the
buffer.  When you decompress the buffer with the BufReadPost autocommands, you
can still exit with ":q".  When you use ":undo" in BufWritePost to undo the
changes made by BufWritePre commands, you can still do ":q" (this also makes
"ZZ" work).  If you do want the buffer to be marked as modified, set the
'modified' option.

To execute Normal mode commands from an autocommand, use the ":normal"
command.  Use with care!  If the Normal mode command is not finished, the user
needs to type characters (e.g., after ":normal m" you need to type a mark

If you want the buffer to be unmodified after changing it, reset the
'modified' option.  This makes it possible to exit the buffer with ":q"
instead of ":q!".

By default, autocommands do not nest.  If you use ":e" or ":w" in an
autocommand, Vim does not execute the BufRead and BufWrite autocommands for
those commands.  If you do want this, use the "nested" flag for those commands
in which you want nesting.  For example:
	:autocmd FileChangedShell *.c nested e!
The nesting is limited to 10 levels to get out of recursive loops.

It's possible to use the ":au" command in an autocommand.  This can be a
self-modifying command!  This can be useful for an autocommand that should
execute only once.

There is currently no way to disable the autocommands.  If you want to write a
file without executing the autocommands for that type of file, write it under
another name and rename it with a shell command.

Note: When reading a file (with ":read file" or with a filter command) and the
last line in the file does not have an <EOL>, Vim remembers this.  At the next
write (with ":write file" or with a filter command), if the same line is
written again as the last line in a file AND 'binary' is set, Vim does not
supply an <EOL>.  This makes a filter command on the just read lines write the
same file as was read, and makes a write command on just filtered lines write
the same file as was read from the filter.  For example, another way to write
a compressed file:

 :autocmd FileWritePre *.gz   set bin|'[,']!gzip
 :autocmd FileWritePost *.gz  undo|set nobin

You can specify multiple patterns, separated by commas.  Here are some

 :autocmd BufRead   *		set tw=79 nocin ic infercase fo=2croq
 :autocmd BufRead   .letter	set tw=72 fo=2tcrq
 :autocmd BufEnter  .letter	set dict=/usr/lib/dict/words
 :autocmd BufLeave  .letter	set dict=
 :autocmd BufRead,BufNewFile   *.c,*.h	set tw=0 cin noic
 :autocmd BufEnter  *.c,*.h	abbr FOR for(i = 0; i < 3; i++)^M{^M}^[O
 :autocmd BufLeave  *.c,*.h	unabbr FOR

For makefiles (makefile, Makefile, imakefile, makefile.unix, etc.):

 :autocmd BufEnter  ?akefile*	set include=^s\=include
 :autocmd BufLeave  ?akefile*	set include&

To always start editing C files at the first function:

 :autocmd BufRead   *.c,*.h	1;/^{

Without the "1;" above, the search would start from wherever the file was
entered, rather than from the start of the file.

To read a skeleton file for new C files:

 :autocmd BufNewFile  *.c	0r ~/.skeleton.c
 :autocmd BufNewFile  *.h	0r ~/.skeleton.h

To insert the current date and time in a *.html file when writing it:

 :autocmd BufWritePre,FileWritePre *.html ks|1,20g/Last modification: /normal f:lD:read !date^MkJ's

(to insert the ^M type CTRL-V CTRL-M)
You need to have a line "Last modification: <date time>" in the first 20 lines
of the file for this to work.  Vim replaces <date time> (and anything in the
same line after it) with the current date and time.  Explanation:
	ks		mark current position with mark 's'
	1,20g/pattern/	find lines that contain the pattern
	normal f:	find the ':'
	lD		delete the old date and time
	!date^M		read the current date and time into the next line
	kJ		Join the date and time with the previous line
	's		return the cursor to the old position

When entering :autocmd on the command-line, completion of events and command
names may be done (with <Tab>, CTRL-D, etc.) where appropriate.

Vim executes all matching autocommands in the order that you specify them.
It is recommended that your first autocommand be used for all files by using
"*" as the file pattern.  This means that you can define defaults you like
here for any settings, and if there is another matching autocommand it will
override these.  But if there is no other matching autocommand, then at least
your default settings are recovered (if entering this file from another for
which autocommands did match).  Note that "*" will also match files starting
with ".", unlike Unix shells.

Autocommands do not change the current search patterns.  Vim saves the current
search patterns before executing autocommands then restores them after the
autocommands finish.  This means that autocommands do not affect the strings
highlighted with the 'hlsearch' option.  Within autocommands, you can still
use search patterns normally, e.g., with the "n" command.

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