Setting Context Sensitivity in VIM

VIM is one of the kings of the editing world. Built for speed and for flexibility, it is a critical tool for *nix admins. the one thing it lacks for many people, though, is context sensitivity. This is easy enough to fix. Simply create a new document in your home directory named .vimrc (please note the leading period, denoting “hidden”), and add the line “syntax on” to set sensitivity. the first few lines of my .vimrc file are listed below for reference. If you are looking for more info on using, or customizing, VIM you should start at the VIM tips Wiki.

You can also check out the ebook “a byte of Vim” at

” .vimrc example configuration file by Kenneth Coe
syntax on ” set context sensitivity to “on”
set history=1000 ” expand history from the default list of 20
set scrolloff=3 ” set cursor to scroll when three lines away from screen edge
set visualbell ” Switch annoying bell sound to simple screen flash

It is worth noting that some distros are using vim-lite instead of the full version. You will need to install the full version to realize all of the functionality of VIM. In debian-based distros, you can do this by running the command “sudo apt-get install vim”.