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vim-templates (vimawesome)

Create files from predefined templates. Templates are files with .template extension.



Plugin 'tibabit/vim-templates'


Plug 'tibabit/vim-templates'


Using default templates

  • TemplateInit - Takes 0 or 1 argument, initializes file with the template and expands all placeholders defined in the template. The argument provided can be either the name of the template file, in most cases the extension of the file, but it can be anything. e.g. you can define template for all java files in java.template and you can define template for in or for Makefile in Makefile.template. (e.g. :TemplateInit cpp, :TemplateInit main.cpp) If no argument is provided filename and extension is extracted from file name (e.g. :TemplateInit).

NOTE: All file names are case sensitive.

  • TemplateExpand- Does not take any argument, expands all the placeholders present in file. Helpful for updating an existing file

Auto initialization

By default auto initialization is set to true, so whenever a new file is created, the file is automatically initialized if a template matches (for file name or file extension, since file name is more specific, it is given priority over file extension). This can be disabled by setting g:tmpl_auto_initialize to 0 in your .vimrc.


Creating your own templates

  • Create a file <template_name>.template inside a folder which is searched by the plugin( see below), e.g. if you want to create a template file for a c++ main file you can name it cppmain.template or cppm.template
  • Open the file and edit, for example


 * @author      : {{NAME}} ({{EMAIL}})
 * @created     : {{TODAY}}
 * @filename    : {{FILE}}
#ifndef {{MACRO_GUARD}}
#define {{MACRO_GUARD}}

/* declarations */

#endif /* {{MACRO_GUARD}} */

generates this for a file named header.h

 * @author      : Vikas Kesarwani (
 * @created     : 07/09/2018
 * @filename    : header

#ifndef HEADER_H
#define HEADER_H

/* declarations */

#endif /* HEADER_H */
  • {{NAME}}, {{EMAIL}}, {{FILE}} and {{TODAY}} defined above are placeholders, which are expanded as soon as you call :TemplateExpand.
  • In a new file type :TemplateInit cppmain to both place the above content inside the file and expand the placeholders.
  • If templte file name (after removing .template from file name) matches the current file name or extension it is automatically imported and expnded when you create a new file.
  • You can also use TemplateAutoInit vim command to import and expand templates. This command will insert and expand the template at line below the cursor.

Search paths

The plugin searches for templates as follows

  1. In folders named templates recursively up the directory tree, i.e. first in a directory templates under the current working directory, then in ../templates, then '../../templates', ...
  2. In search paths defined by g:tmpl_search_paths in your .vimrc file
  3. The templates folder in this plugin's directory

If you want to add a custom directory to the search path, e.g. if you placed them inside a templates directory under $HOME then add the following line in your .vimrc file:

let g:tmpl_search_paths = ['~/templates']

Configuring the placeholder values

  • The values into which certain placeholders expand may be influenced by settings in your .vimrc. For example PROJECT expands into the value of the variable g:tmpl_project. For more details see the list below.

  • Other than that the expansion may also be influenced on a per-directory basis. If a matching template file is found in one of the directories of the search path, the plugin also checks whether a file called tmpl_settings.vim exists in the same directory. Note, than no other search directories are checked. If this is the case all its settings take preference over the .vimrc

  • For example: In general you want the placeholder EMAIL to expand to in your templates, hence you place

    let g:tmpl_author_email = ''

    in your .vimrc. In the projects inside the folder $HOME/my_cool_stuff, however, you want your templates to show the email address So inside $HOME/templates you place a file $HOME/my_cool_stuff/tmpl_settings.vim with content

    let g:tmpl_author_email = ''

    and all template files in $HOME/my_cool_stuff will now have EMAIL expanding to the latter value.


The Following placeholders are currently supported by this plugin

Date & Time

  • DAY : Day of the week in short form (Mon, Tue, Wed, etc,)
  • DAY_FULL : Day of the week in full (Monday, Tueseday, etc.)
  • DATE : Date of the month (01 to 31)
  • MONTH: Month of the year (01 to 12)
  • MONTH_SHORT : Short name of the month (Jan, Feb, Mar, etc.)
  • MONTH_FULL : Full month name (January, February, etc.)
  • YEAR : current year (2016)
  • TODAY: Todays date in dd/mm/yyyy format
  • TIME : Current time in 24 our format
  • TIME_12 : Current time in 12 hour format
  • TIMESTAMP : Current Timestamp, e.g.: Sunday Nov 27, 2016 15:33:33 IST


  • NAME : Name of the author, g:tmpl_author_name, default : $USER
  • HOSTNAME : Name of the host machine, g:tmpl_author_hostname, default : $HOSTNAME
  • EMAIL : Email of the author, g:tmpl_author_email, default : $USER@$HOSTNAME

File name

  • FILE : Basename of the file filename.ext -> filename
  • FILEE : Filename with extension filename.ext -> filename.ext
  • FILEF : Absolute path of the file /path/to/directory/filename.ext
  • FILER : Filepath relative to the current directory (pwd)/relative/to/filename.ext
  • FILED : Absolute path of the file's parent directory /path/to/directory
  • FILEP : The file's parent directory /path/to/directory -> directory
  • FILERD : Directory relative to the current directory (pwd)/relative/to/

License and Copyright

  • LICENSE : License of the project, g:tmpl_license, default : MIT
  • LICENSE_FILE : Reads lincese from license file onto the next line, g:tmpl_license_file. If no file path is provided then file is read in following order-
    • LICENSE.txt
    • license.txt
  • COPYRIGHT : Copyright message, g:tmpl_copyright, default : Copyright (c) g:tmpl_company


  • PROJECT : Name of the project, g:tmpl_project, default: not expanded
  • COMPANY : Name of the company, g:tmpl_company, default: not expanded
  • MACRO_GUARD : Macro guard for use in c/c++ files. filename.h -> FILENAME_H. All dots(.) and dashes (-) present in filename are converted into underscores (_).
  • MACRO_GUARD_FULL : Same as MACRO_GUARD, except relative path is used in place of file name. e.g. relative/to/filename.h -> RELATIVE_TO_FILENAME_H
  • CLASS : class name, same as FILE
  • CAMEL_CLASS : class name converted to camel case long_file_name.txt -> LongFileName
  • SNAKE_CLASS : class name converted to snake case LongFileName.txt -> long_file_name
  • CURSOR : This is a spacial placeholder, it does not expand into anything but the cursor is placed at this location after the template expansion