Markdown for Vim: a complete environment to create Markdown files with a syntax highlight that doesn't suck!
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Latest commit d183631 Mar 26, 2018

README.md

Markdown for Vim

A complete environment to create Markdown files with a syntax highlight that doesn't suck!

Features

  • Strong support for the Markdown flavor implemented by GitHub: what you see in Vim is what you get on GitHub
  • Complete syntax implementation: supports proper nesting of all elements in list items. This is the only plugin that is able to do that (and I believe it since it took me a while to make it right)
    • A simple example rendered with this plugin. Headers and the fenced code block in list items are correctly highlighted VimMarkdownRendering
    • The same example rendered with the most popular Markdown plugins for Vim VimMarkdownRenderingComparison1 VimMarkdownRenderingComparison2
  • Code blocks and pieces of Markdown in the current file can be edited in a separate buffer and synchronized back when you finish
    • Inside a Ruby fenced code block, <Leader>e opens a temporary buffer with the right file type
    • Select a range in visual mode and <Leader>e opens a temporary buffer with file type markdown. I call it Focus Mode because you can edit a portion of a Markdown file in isolation
    • Finally, on an empty line, <Leader>e asks for a file type and then opens a temporary buffer with that file type
    • When you leave the temporary buffer the content syncs back to the main file EditCodeBlock
  • Folding for: headers, code blocks and html blocks
  • Format tables automatically (requires Tabular plugin)
  • Automatically detects Jekyll files and adds support for the Liquid template engine
  • This is a work in progress. More goodies and improvements are coming (see TODO). Stay tuned.

Why?

I wanted strong support for the Markdown flavor implemented by GitHub. I wanted syntax highlighting that would mirror the result I would find later on GitHub. I wanted syntax highlighting that would not break easily. I wanted syntax highlighting that I could rely on (aka rapid feedback). I wanted something more than mere syntax highlighting. The Markdown Syntax, unfortunately, is so loosely defined that there are flavors of Markdown that are subtly incompatible with each other. The Markdown supported by GitHub is one of them.

Installation

If you use Vundle, add the following line to your ~/.vimrc:

Bundle 'gabrielelana/vim-markdown'

And then execute the following command in your shell:

$ vim +'PluginInstall! vim-markdown' +qall

You can update to the latest version with the following command in your shell:

$ vim +PluginUpdate

If you use vim-plug, add the following to your plugin section:

Plug 'gabrielelana/vim-markdown'

And then execute the following command in your shell:

$ vim +PlugInstall

If you use NeoBundle, add the following line to your ~/.vimrc:

NeoBundle 'gabrielelana/vim-markdown'

And then execute the following command in your shell:

$ vim +NeoBundleInstall +qall

You can update to the latest version with the following command in your shell:

$ vim +NeoBundleInstall! +qall

If you use Pathogen, execute the following in your shell:

$ cd ~/.vim/bundle
$ git clone https://github.com/gabrielelana/vim-markdown.git

If you are not using a package manager, download the tarball and do this:

$ cp vim-markdown-master.tar.gz ~/.vim
$ cd ~/.vim
$ tar --strip-components=1 --overwrite -zxf vim-markdown-master.tar.gz
$ rm vim-markdown-master.tar.gz

Self-Promotion

If you like this plugin, you are welcome to:

Documentation

This section will contain preliminary documentation until full documentation is written.

Configuration

  • let g:markdown_include_jekyll_support = 0 to disable support for Jekyll files (enabled by default with: 1)
  • let g:markdown_enable_folding = 1 to enable the fold expression markdown#FoldLevelOfLine to fold markdown files. This is disabled by default because it's a huge performance hit even when folding is disabled with the nofoldenable option (disabled by default with: 0)
  • let g:markdown_enable_mappings = 0 to disable default mappings (enabled by default with: 1)
    • let g:markdown_enable_insert_mode_mappings = 0 to disable insert mode mappings (enabled by default with: 1)
    • let g:markdown_enable_insert_mode_leader_mappings = 1 to enable insert mode leader mappings (disabled by default with: 0)
  • let g:markdown_enable_spell_checking = 0 to disable spell checking (enabled by default with: 1)
  • let g:markdown_enable_input_abbreviations = 0 to disable abbreviations for punctuation and emoticons (enabled by default with: 1)
  • let g:markdown_enable_conceal = 1 to enable conceal for italic, bold, inline-code and link text (disabled by default with: 0)

Default Mappings (normal and visual mode)

mappings are local to markdown buffers

  • <Space> (NORMAL_MODE) switch status of things:
    • Cases
      • A list item * item becomes a check list item * [ ] item
      • A check list item * [ ] item becomes a checked list item * [x] item
      • A checked list item * [x] item becomes a list item * item
    • Can be changed with g:markdown_mapping_switch_status = '<Leader>s
  • <Leader>ft (NORMAL_MODE) format the current table
  • <Leader>e (NORMAL_MODE, VISUAL_MODE) :MarkdownEditCodeBlock edit the current code block in another buffer with a guessed file type. The guess is based on the start of the range for VISUAL_MODE. If it's not possible to guess (you are not in a recognizable code block like a fenced code block) then the default is markdown. If it's not possible to guess and the current range is a single line and the line is empty then a new code block is created. It's asked to the user the file type of the new code block. The default file type is markdown.

Optional Mappings (insert mode)

mappings are local to markdown buffers

  • <Leader>ft (INSERT_MODE) same as NORMAL_MODE <Leader>ft with an additional mapping for INSERT_MODE
  • <Leader>e (INSERT_MODE) same as NORMAL_MODE and VISUAL_MODE <leader>e with an additional mapping for INSERT_MODE

Motions

  • ]] start of the next header
  • [[ start of the previous header

While Editing in Insert Mode

  • | in a table triggers the format command
  • <Tab>/<S-Tab> on a list indents/unindents the item
  • <Tab>/<S-Tab> on a blockquote increases/decreases the quote level
  • <Enter> on a list item with no text in it (freshly created) deletes everything up to column 0

Development

Resources

Syntax Specs

Testing syntax highlighting can be tricky. Here I use the golden master pattern to at least avoid regressions. This is how it works: in ./rspec/features you will find a bunch of *.md files, one for each syntactic element supported. For each of those files there's an HTML file. This file is created with the :TOhtml command and it's the reference (aka golden master) of the syntax highlight of the original file. Running rspec compares the current syntax highlighting of all the feature's files with the reference syntax highlighting. If you see something wrong when looking at some of the feature's files, you can fix it and then regenerate the golden master files with GENERATE_GOLDEN_MASTER=1 rspec

Known Bugs

  • formatlistpat doesn't work for ordered lists
  • formatoptions thinks that * in horizontal rules are list items

TODO

  • Kramdown Syntax
    • Block Inline Attributes
    • Span Inline Attributes
    • Fenced Code Blocks with Inline Attributes
    • Definition Lists
    • Tables
    • Math Blocks
    • Footnotes
    • Abbreviations
    • End of Block Marker
  • Code Blocks
    • Edit Jekyll front matter code block
    • Explain in this file why I chose to avoid to highlighting nested block elements
  • Emoji (GFM)
    • Start completion when hitting : in insert mode only if preceded by empty spaces or at the beginning of the line
    • Remove duplication between syntax keywords and dictionary completion
    • More iabbr
  • Lists
    • i_<BS> on a list item with no text in it (freshly created) will delete everything till the column 0
    • <C-K> on a list item will swap it with the item above (if it exists)
    • <C-J> on a list item will swap it with the item below (if it exists)
    • > and < should properly indent/unindent list items
    • i_<C-D> and i_<C-T> should properly indent/unindent list items and quote lines
  • Define custom text objects for:
    • List items
    • Check list items
    • Paragraph
      • Start of the next paragraph }
      • Start of the previous paragraph {
    • Other inline elements
  • Folding
    • Fold HTML blocks
    • Always consider the first non-space character of the line when checking for syntax group
    • Always use synstack to check the syntax group of a position
    • Write specs for the whole thing
    • Support foldtext option