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103000Re: Automatic tab stops

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  • Tony Mechelynck
    Apr 1, 2009
      On 01/04/09 11:31, Tobia Conforto wrote:
      > Dear Vim users,
      > I would like to have an automatic tab stop feature, while editing
      > tabular data.
      > Let's say I'm editing this data:
      > one^Iplus^Ione
      > two^Iminus^Itwo
      > seventeen^Iis^Iseventeen
      > I would like Vim to display it as:
      > one plus one
      > two minus two
      > seventeen is seventeen
      > That is, hoping my mailer gets the spaces right, I would like Vim to
      > automatically choose a tabstop of 11 for the first tab stop, and an
      > additional 7 (or cumulative 18) for the second tab stop. These
      > numbers would be chosen automatically so that every "data column" in
      > the buffer would be correctly aligned, only taking as much space as
      > the widest cell of that column plus two spaces.
      > If 'tabstop' accepted a list of numbers (eg. set tabstop=11,7) I could
      > easily write this feature as a plugin, watching every editing
      > operation and recomputing the list of tabstops on the fly. But alas,
      > I cannot seem to find support for this in Vim.
      > Does anyboy have any idea?
      > -Tobia

      It looks like what you want is the "variable tab stops" feature, which
      is one of the "unofficial patches" to Vim, available in source form from

      After you get it, you will need to apply it to the official sources and
      compile the result. See one of the following for help on compiling Vim:

      http://users.skynet.be/antoine.mechelynck/vim/compile.htm (W32)
      http://users.skynet.be/antoine.mechelynck/vim/compunix.htm (Unix)

      Also, if you decide to run that course, you may want to subscribe to the
      vim_dev group (if you haven't already) for any questions you might have
      about compiling Vim.

      Best regards,
      Bees are very busy souls
      They have no time for birth controls
      And that is why in times like these
      There are so many Sons of Bees.

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