Category Archives: Vim

Live Preview of LaTeX in Vim

Vim, as a highly configurable and customizable editor, already has a powerful Vim-LaTeX plugin. However, I don’t like the lack of live preview feature. For this reason, I developed a plugin called vim-latex-live-preview last year. Although it currently can’t handle complex situations such as multiple tex files, it could basically handle single tex file project well (with or without BibTeX, thanks to Asis Hallab).

Note: This plugin currently doesn’t work on Windows.

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Generate Ctags Files for C/C++ Source Files and All of Their Included Header Files

This post is for those people who use Exuberant Ctags. If you are using other versions of ctags, this post may not be useful.

When using ctags to generate the tags file for C/C++ projects, usually we use the following command:

ctags -R .

For some users that need more info of the symbols, they may use this command instead:

ctags -R --c++-kinds=+p --fields=+iaS --extra=+q .

No matter which one you use, the generated tags file only contains the symbols in the files in your project source tree, but not any external file, such as standard header files (e.g. stdio.h, stdlib.h), etc. thus editors or IDEs that use tags files, such as Vim, are not able to locate symbols in external header files. There was a solution: generate a tags file for any external header files first, and let the editor or IDE read both the generated tags file and the tags file for the project source tree. For example, the following command will generate a tags file for all your system header files on UNIX/Linux:

ctags -R --c++-kinds=+p --fields=+iaS --extra=+q /usr/include

This command usually takes a very long time to finish, and finally it gives a quite large tags file, which causes the editor or IDE a long time to search this tags file for symbols. To solve this problem, I came up with another idea.

Why must we generate a tags file containing all the symbols in the system header? If we only generate the tags file only for the header files that are related to our projects, would it be faster? That’s the point of this idea. We could first search for the header files that are included in our projects, and then we use ctags to generate a tags file for these files and our source files, in this way, a much smaller tags file that containing all the symbols that maybe useful for the project is generated.

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Use SingleCompile to Compile and Run a Single Source File Easily in Vim

Although Vim itself has already been a very powerful text editor, its plugins make it even better. SingleCompile is a plugin aimed at making it more convenient to compile or run a single source file without leaving Vim.

Consider this situation: you’ve just written a small C file (or small python script) with Vim for some tiny test, then you need to use :!gcc %:p to compile the C source file and run the executable with :!./a.out command (Or use :!python %:p to run the python script). Although a key mapping could make this process a bit convenient, but many of Vim’s advanced features will become unavailable, such as quickfix, compiler feature. SingleCompile was born to solve this problem, making this process more convenient and powerful than simply defining a few key mappings:

  • Compile or run the source file quickly using quickfix feature and compiler feature of Vim;
  • Auto detecting compilers and interpreters;
  • Fast switch between several installed compilers or interpreters;
  • Multi-language support;
  • Custom your own compiler/interpreter template;
  • View the result of last run command at any time(requires tee command);
  • Run the compiled program asynchronously and view the result at any time (see :SCCompileRunAsync in the help file).

Let’s see more about SingleCompile.

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