How to enable syntax highlighting and other options in Vim

mac os x leopard

Vim is a popular command line text editor with an interface that is based not on menus or icons but on commands given in a text user interface.

Unfortunately the vim that ships with Mac OS X 10.5.* (Leopard) doesn’t have an optimized configuration file to allow for syntax highlighting, auto indentation, etc.

To fix this, open a new Terminal window and enter these commands to open vim‘s configuration file:

cd /usr/share/vim
sudo vim vimrc

Press the “i” key to switch vim to Insertion Mode, then enter these lines below the “set backspace=2” line:

set ai ” auto indenting
set history=100 ” keep 100 lines of history
set ruler ” show the cursor position
syntax on ” syntax highlighting
set hlsearch ” highlight the last searched term
filetype plugin on ” use the file type plugins

” When editing a file, always jump to the last cursor position
autocmd BufReadPost *
\ if ! exists(“g:leave_my_cursor_position_alone”) |
\ if line(“‘\””) > 0 && line (“‘\””) <= line(“$”) |
\ exe “normal g’\”” |
\ endif |
\ endif

Press the Escape key to take vim out of Insertion Mode, then press “:” (colon) followed by “x” to save the file and exit. Enter this command again:

sudo vim vimrc

… and you’ll see that vim now automatically indents code, displays the cursor position, has syntax highlighting, etc.

Mike The Situation

Mike The Situation

Geek Master at Geekology
Master of programming and general geekness.
Mike The Situation
About Mike The Situation
Master of programming and general geekness.

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