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vim + space = ❤️

Konstantin Epishev
Interested in the things around.
・2 min read

About one year ago I started using vim as primary text editor in my job. Sometimes I think about emacs and its distributions with mnemonic keybindings focused on space-key usage. It's very elegant and easy to remember <space>-f-g to global find, or <space>-g-s to reveal git status. As leader key it allows to use some plugins with pleasure.

For example vim-surround. Instead default \S you can easily press <space>S.

In that way space is better for your health, because the thumb is the strongest finger on our hand. When you're using pinky finger to press capslock or \ as leader key it not so comfortable and your hand getting tired much faster.


About one month ago I've discovered, that it's possible to similarly use space in vim.

I know about spacevim, but it's so complicated and I like to build my editor by myself, keeping only features what I really need.

Let's try it!

Add vim-which-key

vim-which-key allows to see all your keybindings at any time. It looks absolutely like the same feature in emacs (and in spacevim too).

Initial configuration

Add a few lines to init.vim:

let g:which_key_map =  {}
" needs to call `whichkey` on `whitespace` press
call which_key#register('<Space>', "g:which_key_map")
" reassign default space behaviour in normal mode
nmap <SPACE> <Nop>
" map fuzzy search on double space
noremap <Leader><SPACE> :ProjectFiles<CR>
let g:which_key_map['SPACE'] = 'project-files'
" open `whichkey` after single space press and small wait
nnoremap <silent> <leader>      :<c-u>WhichKey '<Space>'<CR>
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Example bindings for git

Add some useful bindings for vim-fugitive:

let g:which_key_map.g = { 'name': '+git' }
noremap <Leader>gs :G<CR>
let g:which_key_map.g.s = 'git-status'
noremap <Leader>gc :Gcommit<CR>
let g:which_key_map.g.c = 'git-commit'
noremap <Leader>gd :Gdiffsplit!<CR>
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These bindings can be easily remembered as git - status or git - commit.


That's all! If you know other useful hacks for vim let's discuss it! ✨

Discussion (2)

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haxnet profile image
HaxNet

Thanks. I read your article and then I went off a tangent to look into SpaceVim and now I am using it lol. Spent hours customizing it and learning how to config it.

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lamartire profile image
Konstantin Epishev Author

I prefer to have my own vim distribution.
github.com/lamartire/spc.vim – you can take a look on it :)