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*gui_w16.txt* For Vim version 7.1. Last change: 2005 Mar 29
Vim's Graphical User Interface *gui-w16* *win16-gui*
1. Starting the GUI |win16-start|
2. Vim as default editor |win16-default-editor|
3. Using the clipboard |win16-clipboard|
4. Shell Commands |win16-shell|
5. Special colors |win16-colors|
6. Windows dialogs & browsers |win16-dialogs|
7. Various |win16-various|
Other relevant documentation:
|gui.txt| For generic items of the GUI.
|os_msdos.txt| For items common to DOS and Windows.
|gui_w32.txt| Some items here are also applicable to the Win16 version.
{Vi does not have a Windows GUI}
The Win16 version of Vim will run on Windows 3.1 or later. It has not been
tested on 3.0, it probably won't work without being recompiled and
modified. (But you really should upgrade to 3.11 anyway. :)
In most respects it behaves identically to the Win32 GUI version, including
having a flat-style toolbar(!). The chief differences:
1) Bold/Italic text is not available, to speed up repaint/reduce resource
usage. (You can re-instate this by undefining MSWIN16_FASTTEXT.)
2) No tearoff menu emulation.
3) No OLE interface.
4) No long filename support (of course).
5) No tooltips on toolbar buttons - instead they produce command-line tips
like menu items do.
6) Line length limited to 32767 characters (like 16-bit DOS version).
1. Starting the GUI *win16-start*
The Win16 GUI version of Vim will always start the GUI, no matter how you
start it or what it's called. There is no 'console' version as such, but you
can use one of the DOS versions in a DOS box.
The Win16 GUI has an extra menu item: "Window/Select Font". It brings up the
standard Windows font selector. Note that bold and italic fonts are not
supported in an attempt to maximize GDI drawing speed.
Setting the menu height doesn't work for the Win16 GUI.
If you want Vim to start with a maximized window, add this command to your
vimrc or gvimrc file: >
au GUIEnter * simalt ~x
There is a specific version of gvim.exe that runs under the Win32s subsystem
of Windows 3.1 or 3.11. See |win32s|.
2. Vim as default editor *win16-default-editor*
To set Vim as the default editor for a file type you can use File Manager's
"Associate" feature.
When you open a file in Vim by double clicking it, Vim changes to that
file's directory.
See also |notepad|.
3. Using the clipboard *win16-clipboard*
Windows has a clipboard, where you can copy text to, and paste text from. Vim
supports this in several ways.
The clipboard works in the same way as the Win32 version: see |gui-clipboard|.
4. Shell Commands *win16-shell*
Vim spawns a DOS window for external commands, to make it possible to run any
DOS command. The window uses the _default.pif settings.
Normally, Vim waits for a command to complete before continuing (this makes
sense for most shell commands which produce output for Vim to use). If you
want Vim to start a program and return immediately, you can use the following
:!start {command}
This may only work for a Windows program though.
Don't forget that you must tell Windows 3.1x to keep executing a DOS command
in the background while you switch back to Vim.
5. Special colors *win16-colors*
On Win16, the normal DOS colors can be used. See |dos-colors|.
Additionally the system configured colors can also be used. These are known
by the names Sys_XXX, where XXX is the appropriate system color name, from the
following list (see the Win32 documentation for full descriptions). Case is
Sys_BTNFace Sys_BTNShadow Sys_ActiveBorder
Sys_ActiveCaption Sys_AppWorkspace Sys_Background
Sys_BTNText Sys_CaptionText Sys_GrayText
Sys_Highlight Sys_HighlightText Sys_InactiveBorder
Sys_InactiveCaption Sys_InactiveCaptionText Sys_Menu
Sys_MenuText Sys_ScrollBar Sys_Window
Sys_WindowFrame Sys_WindowText
Probably the most useful values are
Sys_Window Normal window background
Sys_WindowText Normal window text
Sys_Highlight Highlighted background
Sys_HighlightText Highlighted text
These extra colors are also available:
Gray, Grey, LightYellow, SeaGreen, Orange, Purple, SlateBlue, Violet,
See also |rgb.txt|.
6. Windows dialogs & browsers
The Win16 GUI can use familiar Windows components for some operations, as well
as the traditional interface shared with the console version.
6.1 Dialogs
The dialogs displayed by the "confirm" family (i.e. the 'confirm' option,
|:confirm| command and |confirm()| function) are GUI-based rather than the
console-based ones used by other versions. There is no option to change this.
6.2 File Browsers
When prepending ":browse" before file editing commands, a file requester is
used to allow you to select an existing file. See |:browse|.
7. Various *win16-various*
The "File/Print" menu uses Notepad to print the current buffer. This is a bit
clumsy, but it's portable. If you want something else, you can define your
own print command. For example, you could look for the 16-bit version of
PrintFile. See $VIMRUNTIME/menu.vim for how it works by default.
Using this should also work: >
:w >>prn
Vim supports a number of standard MS Windows features. Some of these are
detailed elsewhere: see |'mouse'|, |win32-hidden-menus|.
Also see |:simalt|
You can drag and drop one or more files into the vim window, where they will
be opened as normal. If you hold down Shift while doing this, Vim changes to
the (first) dropped file's directory. If you hold Ctrl, Vim will always split
a new window for the file. Otherwise it's only done if the current buffer has
been changed.
You can also drop a directory's icon, but rather than open all files in the
directory (which wouldn't usually be what you want) Vim instead changes to
that directory and begins a new file.
If Vim happens to be editing a command line, the names of the dropped files
and directories will be inserted at the cursor. This allows you to use these
names with any Ex command.
It is recommended that you use a raster font and not a TrueType
fixed-pitch font. E.g. use Courier, not Courier New. This is not just
to use less resources but because there are subtle bugs in the
handling of fixed-pitch TrueType in Win3.1x. In particular, when you move
a block cursor over a pipe character '|', the cursor is drawn in the wrong
size and bits get left behind. This is a bug in the Win3.1x GDI, it doesn't
happen if you run the exe under 95/NT.
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