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What's the best way to move to an arbitrary location on your screen?

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  • Daan
    I ve been learning Vim for a while, and one situation has been coming up a lot for me: 1) I m scrolling through a sourcefile, and see an interesting word I d
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 31, 2012
      I've been learning Vim for a while, and one situation has been coming up a lot for me:

      1) I'm scrolling through a sourcefile, and see an interesting word I'd like to edit or yank.
      2) I look left at the line number of the word, and type [line number]G
      3) I keep pressing w/W/b/B until I reach the word, (except if the word happens to be the first or last word of the line, or located near a unique symbol)

      However, this feels inefficient (especially step 2), and I'm hoping to find a better solution.

      Some things I think might be possible, but have no experience with:
      - Use H/M/L to move roughly to the line, then 0/gm/$ to move roughly to the column, then using small motions to get to the final spot.
      - Learn to guess [number]j/h/k/l way better (perhaps with relative line numbers) to do something like "7j33l".
      - Use / and type characters until it matches, then press enter.
      - Use the easy motion plugin.

      Please comment on the above or share your method. :)

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    • Ben Fritz
      ... I almost always have relative line numbering turned on, which as you mentions allows me to very quickly do 7j or 12k or whatever to get to the right line.
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 31, 2012
        On Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:58:55 PM UTC-5, Daan wrote:
        > I've been learning Vim for a while, and one situation has been coming up a lot for me:
        >
        > 1) I'm scrolling through a sourcefile, and see an interesting word I'd like to edit or yank.
        > 2) I look left at the line number of the word, and type [line number]G
        > 3) I keep pressing w/W/b/B until I reach the word, (except if the word happens to be the first or last word of the line, or located near a unique symbol)
        >
        > However, this feels inefficient (especially step 2), and I'm hoping to find a better solution.
        >
        > Some things I think might be possible, but have no experience with:
        > - Use H/M/L to move roughly to the line, then 0/gm/$ to move roughly to the column, then using small motions to get to the final spot.
        > - Learn to guess [number]j/h/k/l way better (perhaps with relative line numbers) to do something like "7j33l".
        > - Use / and type characters until it matches, then press enter.
        > - Use the easy motion plugin.
        >
        > Please comment on the above or share your method. :)

        I almost always have relative line numbering turned on, which as you mentions allows me to very quickly do 7j or 12k or whatever to get to the right line.

        Then I will usually use f, F, t, or T, or a / search, or w/W/b/B to get to the correct column, possibly with an initial _ or g_ to position the cursor at the beginning or end of the line (or ^ and $, but I use Dvorak making _ and g_ much faster to reach).

        Using f/F/t/T is nice because I can follow it up with ; or , if I didn't supply the right count, and I have a mapping which will highlight all the matching characters within the line so I can quickly get the count right on my second try if needed.

        I keep forgetting about gm, I should start using that one more.

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      • jeroen
        ... Would you care to share this mapping? It seems very interesting. ... First time I come across gm . Very useful indeed! Thx, Jeroen -- You received this
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 31, 2012
          On Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:41:09 PM UTC+2, Ben Fritz wrote:
          >
          > Then I will usually use f, F, t, or T, or a / search, or w/W/b/B to get to the correct column, possibly with an initial _ or g_ to position the cursor at the beginning or end of the line (or ^ and $, but I use Dvorak making _ and g_ much faster to reach).
          >
          > Using f/F/t/T is nice because I can follow it up with ; or , if I didn't supply the right count, and I have a mapping which will highlight all the matching characters within the line so I can quickly get the count right on my second try if needed.

          Would you care to share this mapping? It seems very interesting.

          > I keep forgetting about gm, I should start using that one more.
          First time I come across 'gm'. Very useful indeed!

          Thx,
          Jeroen

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        • sc
          ... f is the linewise search command -- it is famous for the fact that it searches current line only (and to the right only). -- You received this message from
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 31, 2012
            On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 01:20:14PM -0700, jeroen wrote:
            > On Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:41:09 PM UTC+2, Ben Fritz wrote:
            > >
            > > Then I will usually use f, F, t, or T, or a / search, or w/W/b/B to get to the correct column, possibly with an initial _ or g_ to position the cursor at the beginning or end of the line (or ^ and $, but I use Dvorak making _ and g_ much faster to reach).
            > >
            > > Using f/F/t/T is nice because I can follow it up with ; or , if I didn't supply the right count, and I have a mapping which will highlight all the matching characters within the line so I can quickly get the count right on my second try if needed.

            > Would you care to share this mapping? It seems very interesting.

            it isn't Ben's exclusive mapping, it's everybody's -- see:

            :h f

            f is the linewise search command -- it is famous for the fact that it
            searches current line only (and to the right only).

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          • Benjamin Klein
            ... -- You received this message from the vim_use maillist. Do not top-post! Type your reply below the text you are replying to. For more information, visit
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 31, 2012
              On Jul 31, 2012, at 3:38 PM, sc <toothpik@...> wrote:

              > On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 01:20:14PM -0700, jeroen wrote:
              >> On Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:41:09 PM UTC+2, Ben Fritz wrote:
              >>>
              >>> Then I will usually use f, F, t, or T, or a / search, or w/W/b/B to get to the correct column, possibly with an initial _ or g_ to position the cursor at the beginning or end of the line (or ^ and $, but I use Dvorak making _ and g_ much faster to reach).
              >>>
              >>> Using f/F/t/T is nice because I can follow it up with ; or , if I didn't supply the right count, and I have a mapping which will highlight all the matching characters within the line so I can quickly get the count right on my second try if needed.
              >
              >> Would you care to share this mapping? It seems very interesting.
              >
              > it isn't Ben's exclusive mapping, it's everybody's -- see:
              >
              > :h f
              >
              > f is the linewise search command -- it is famous for the fact that it
              > searches current line only (and to the right only).
              >
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            • Chris Jones
              ... I tend to use ‘/’ or ‘?’ extensively for cursor navigation beyond the current line and possibly a couple of lines just before or just after it.. if
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 31, 2012
                On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 02:58:55PM EDT, Daan wrote:

                > I've been learning Vim for a while, and one situation has been coming
                > up a lot for me:
                >
                > 1) I'm scrolling through a sourcefile, and see an interesting word I'd
                > like to edit or yank. 2) I look left at the line number of the word,
                > and type [line number]G 3) I keep pressing w/W/b/B until I reach the
                > word, (except if the word happens to be the first or last word of the
                > line, or located near a unique symbol)
                >
                > However, this feels inefficient (especially step 2), and I'm hoping to
                > find a better solution.
                >
                > Some things I think might be possible, but have no experience with:
                > - Use H/M/L to move roughly to the line, then 0/gm/$ to move roughly
                > to the column, then using small motions to get to the final spot.
                > - Learn to guess [number]j/h/k/l way better (perhaps with relative
                > line numbers) to do something like "7j33l". - Use / and type
                > characters until it matches, then press enter. - Use the easy motion
                > plugin.
                >
                > Please comment on the above¹ or share your method. :)

                I tend to use ‘/’ or ‘?’ extensively for cursor navigation beyond the
                current line and possibly a couple of lines just before or just after
                it.. if I use the same trick all the time, there's hope yet I might get
                good at it. ;-)

                What I do when I aim for the word ‘world’ in ‘hello world’, that I may
                have spotted somewhere on my screen, is to search not for ‘hello’ or
                ‘world’ but rather ‘lo wo’, which appears to be less likely to match as
                often as either ‘hello’ or ‘world’..²

                I have no formal explanation... but I noticed that it almost invariably
                weeds out a significant number of false positives.. at least in the
                context of the stuff I usually edit.

                I haven't bothered to look into it but a possible improvement might be
                to use a mapping and/or a function that would cause the cursor to move
                three columns to the right so it ends up right on top of the second word
                automatically. I'd rather be flexible..

                Otherwise, when the target word starts in column 1 or is at the end of
                the line.. or follows a <Tab>, I tend to prefer using a simple regex
                with the usual anchors (^/$) or \t.

                I prefer sticking to these two related techniques for ‘long jumps’
                rather than mixing in others - e.g. line numbers and such. All in all
                I think it makes me more efficient..

                CJ

                ¹ Well, effectively moving moving the cursor is not trivial: it's half
                of the job of editing..!

                ² Note, that I touch-type and am therefore fairly quick at typing any
                sequence of letters that happens to be under my eyes without the least
                overhead.. And also, as a human.. I have kinda gotten used to spotting
                sequences of two letters+space(s)+two letters that are fairly unlikely
                to occur in other spots.. I don't always do it ‘by the book’.. caveat
                emptor..

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              • Jeroen Budts
                ... Hash: SHA256 ... I know about the f/F/t/T commands. What I was referring to was the mapping to highlight all the matching characters: ...and I have a
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 31, 2012
                  -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
                  Hash: SHA256

                  On 07/31/2012 10:38 PM, sc wrote:
                  > On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 01:20:14PM -0700, jeroen wrote:
                  >> On Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:41:09 PM UTC+2, Ben Fritz wrote:
                  >>>
                  >>> Then I will usually use f, F, t, or T, or a / search, or
                  >>> w/W/b/B to get to the correct column, possibly with an initial
                  >>> _ or g_ to position the cursor at the beginning or end of the
                  >>> line (or ^ and $, but I use Dvorak making _ and g_ much faster
                  >>> to reach).
                  >>>
                  >>> Using f/F/t/T is nice because I can follow it up with ; or , if
                  >>> I didn't supply the right count, and I have a mapping which
                  >>> will highlight all the matching characters within the line so I
                  >>> can quickly get the count right on my second try if needed.
                  >
                  >> Would you care to share this mapping? It seems very interesting.
                  >
                  > it isn't Ben's exclusive mapping, it's everybody's -- see:
                  >
                  > :h f
                  >
                  > f is the linewise search command -- it is famous for the fact that
                  > it searches current line only (and to the right only).
                  >

                  I know about the f/F/t/T commands. What I was referring to was the
                  mapping to highlight all the matching characters: "...and I have a
                  mapping which will highlight all the matching characters within the
                  line..."

                  Jeroen
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                • Tony Mechelynck
                  ... IMHO there isn t just one best way to go to an arbitrary location; there are several, for different people and different circumstances. One possible way is
                  Message 8 of 14 , Aug 1, 2012
                    On 31/07/12 20:58, Daan wrote:
                    > I've been learning Vim for a while, and one situation has been coming up a lot for me:
                    >
                    > 1) I'm scrolling through a sourcefile, and see an interesting word I'd like to edit or yank.
                    > 2) I look left at the line number of the word, and type [line number]G
                    > 3) I keep pressing w/W/b/B until I reach the word, (except if the word happens to be the first or last word of the line, or located near a unique symbol)
                    >
                    > However, this feels inefficient (especially step 2), and I'm hoping to find a better solution.
                    >
                    > Some things I think might be possible, but have no experience with:
                    > - Use H/M/L to move roughly to the line, then 0/gm/$ to move roughly to the column, then using small motions to get to the final spot.
                    > - Learn to guess [number]j/h/k/l way better (perhaps with relative line numbers) to do something like "7j33l".
                    > - Use / and type characters until it matches, then press enter.
                    > - Use the easy motion plugin.
                    >
                    > Please comment on the above or share your method. :)
                    >

                    IMHO there isn't just one best way to go to an arbitrary location; there
                    are several, for different people and different circumstances.

                    One possible way is to click where you want to go. This doesn't work if
                    you're running in Console mode in a terminal which doesn't receive mouse
                    clicks or if Vim doesn't get this particular terminal's mouse clicks
                    (for instance, in the Linux text console if gpm isn't installed or if
                    running a Vim compiled without the +mouse_gpm feature). It also doesn't
                    work, of course, if the place you want to go isn't already onscreen.

                    Another possible way is to search, either forward with /, backward with
                    ?, or, on the current line, right with f or t or left with F or T (both
                    / and ? will usually wrap around from the end to the beginning of the
                    file or vice-versa; this depends on the 'wrapscan' option).

                    If you know on which line number you want to go (either because you have
                    'number' on, or because you see the same file with line numbers in some
                    other program such as a browser), there are several ways to go to that
                    line: for instance, to go to line 1234 you could type either

                    1234G
                    or
                    :1234<Enter>

                    where <Enter> is one keypress, not seven.

                    G with no count goes to the end of the file, gg goes to its top.

                    You can also open a new editfile at a given line number, for instance

                    :e +456 foobar.c

                    to edit the file foobar.c, with the cursor at line 456.

                    Or if you know how many lines to go up or down from where you are now,
                    you can use a count with j or k (for "file" lines), or gj or gk (for
                    "screen" lines: if 'wrap' is set you may have one file line wrapped over
                    several screen lines). Similarly with h or l for columns. And I forgot
                    to mention the | command: for instance 79| goes to column 79 (if there
                    are that many on the current line). I also forgot to mention that, for
                    instance, 75% will put you at that percentage point of the file
                    (counting by lines).


                    See:
                    :help <LeftMouse>
                    :help /
                    :help ?
                    :help f
                    :help t
                    :help F
                    :help T
                    :help G
                    :help gg
                    :help +cmd
                    :help j
                    :help k
                    :help gj
                    :help gk
                    :help h
                    :help l
                    :help |
                    :help N%

                    There is no helptag for :1234 but it is mentioned as :[range] a few
                    paragraphs after the help for G


                    Best regards,
                    Tony.
                    --
                    CUSTOMER: You're not fooling anyone y'know. Look, isn't there something
                    you can do?
                    DEAD PERSON: I feel happy... I feel happy.
                    [whop]
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                    MORTICIAN: Not at all. See you on Thursday.
                    CUSTOMER: Right.
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                    Python)

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                  • Ben Fritz
                    ... I think I ve shared it before, but can t find it at the moment. I ve been meaning to make a page on the wiki for it but want to clean it up a bit. Here is
                    Message 9 of 14 , Aug 1, 2012
                      On Wednesday, August 1, 2012 1:26:04 AM UTC-5, Jeroen Budts wrote:
                      > >>>
                      >
                      > >>> Using f/F/t/T is nice because I can follow it up with ; or , if
                      >
                      > >>> I didn't supply the right count, and I have a mapping which
                      >
                      > >>> will highlight all the matching characters within the line so I
                      >
                      > >>> can quickly get the count right on my second try if needed.
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > >> Would you care to share this mapping? It seems very interesting.
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > it isn't Ben's exclusive mapping, it's everybody's -- see:
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > :h f
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > f is the linewise search command -- it is famous for the fact that
                      >
                      > > it searches current line only (and to the right only).
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > I know about the f/F/t/T commands. What I was referring to was the
                      >
                      > mapping to highlight all the matching characters: "...and I have a
                      >
                      > mapping which will highlight all the matching characters within the
                      >
                      > line..."
                      >

                      I think I've shared it before, but can't find it at the moment. I've been meaning to make a page on the wiki for it but want to clean it up a bit. Here is my current mapping. It also includes a Vimscript fix for the same issue fixed by patch 7.3.235, which if you only use recent versions of Vim can be stripped out.

                      Caveat: repeating with '.' breaks slightly when using the F/f/T/t mappings, but not the ; and , mappings if I recall correctly. So if you use these as-is you'll need to (for example) dt( and use d; to repeat the first time. I've been meaning to fix this but it hasn't yet been worth the trouble. If somebody has a fix for that I'll be glad for it.

                      " Highlight characters found by f, F, t, and T.
                      " Unhighlights on a cursorhold.
                      "
                      " matchadd is needed to highlight the char
                      "
                      " Also map <leader>f to show the highlight, and jump over the next char for ,
                      " and ; operations if the cursor won't move normally.
                      if exists('*matchadd')
                      nnoremap f :<C-U>call FindChar('f', v:count1)<CR>
                      nnoremap F :<C-U>call FindChar('F', v:count1)<CR>
                      nnoremap t :<C-U>call FindChar('t', v:count1)<CR>
                      nnoremap T :<C-U>call FindChar('T', v:count1)<CR>
                      onoremap f :<C-U>call FindChar('f', v:count1, 'v')<CR>
                      onoremap F :<C-U>call FindChar('F', v:count1, 'v')<CR>
                      onoremap t :<C-U>call FindChar('t', v:count1, 'v')<CR>
                      onoremap T :<C-U>call FindChar('T', v:count1, 'v')<CR>
                      xnoremap f :<C-U>call FindChar('f', v:count1, 'gv')<CR>
                      xnoremap F :<C-U>call FindChar('F', v:count1, 'gv')<CR>
                      xnoremap t :<C-U>call FindChar('t', v:count1, 'gv')<CR>
                      xnoremap T :<C-U>call FindChar('T', v:count1, 'gv')<CR>

                      nnoremap ; :<C-U>call FindLastChar(v:count1, ';')<CR>
                      onoremap ; v:<C-U>call FindLastChar(v:count1, ';')<CR>
                      xnoremap ; :<C-U>call FindLastChar(v:count1, ';', 1)<CR>
                      nnoremap , :<C-U>call FindLastChar(v:count1, ',')<CR>
                      onoremap , v:<C-U>call FindLastChar(v:count1, ',')<CR>
                      xnoremap , :<C-U>call FindLastChar(v:count1, ',', 1)<CR>

                      " <C-U> in normal mode to remove any count, in visual mode to remove range
                      " Do not provide this command in op-pending mode, it doesn't do anything
                      nnoremap <Leader>f :<C-U>call HighlightFoundChar()<CR>
                      xnoremap <Leader>f :<C-U>call HighlightFoundChar()<CR>gv

                      " highlight the last found character
                      function! HighlightFoundChar()
                      if &hlsearch
                      if exists('w:fFtT_command_highlight')
                      call matchdelete(w:fFtT_command_highlight)
                      endif
                      let w:fFtT_line = line('.')
                      let w:fFtT_command_highlight = matchadd(
                      \'Search',
                      \'\V\%' . w:fFtT_line . "l".escape(g:last_found_char,'/\'),
                      \11)
                      setl cursorcolumn cursorline

                      " Set up autocmds to turn off highlighting for f, F, t, and T commands
                      " after a period of doing nothing, or moving to a new line. The
                      " CursorMoved one makes the cursor move slowly so remove it when not
                      " needed.
                      autocmd fFtT_hi CursorMoved *
                      \ if exists('w:fFtT_command_highlight') && w:fFtT_line != line('.') |
                      \ call matchdelete(w:fFtT_command_highlight) |
                      \ unlet w:fFtT_command_highlight |
                      \ setl nocursorcolumn nocursorline |
                      \ exec 'au! fFtT_hi CursorMoved' |
                      \ endif

                      endif
                      endfunction

                      augroup fFtT_hi
                      au!
                      " Set up autocmds to turn off highlighting for f, F, t, and T commands after
                      " a period of doing nothing, or moving to a new line. The CursorMoved one
                      " makes the cursor move slowly so remove it when not needed.
                      autocmd CursorHold,CursorHoldI *
                      \ if exists('w:fFtT_command_highlight') |
                      \ call matchdelete(w:fFtT_command_highlight) |
                      \ unlet w:fFtT_command_highlight |
                      \ setl nocursorcolumn nocursorline |
                      \ exec 'au! fFtT_hi CursorMoved' |
                      \ endif
                      augroup END

                      " Set the "last found character" and highlight it.
                      function! FindChar(op, count, ...)
                      echo "Enter character to find"
                      let g:last_found_char = nr2char(getchar())
                      call HighlightFoundChar()
                      " clear the echo
                      echo ''
                      let cmdprefix=''
                      if a:0
                      let cmdprefix=a:1
                      endif
                      exec 'normal! ' . cmdprefix . a:count . a:op . g:last_found_char
                      endfunction

                      " Highlight the "last found character" if it exists and pass on the input
                      " operation which should be either , or ;
                      "
                      " Do a double-jump if a single jump doesn't move to allow ; and , to work
                      " intelligently when t or T is used.
                      function! FindLastChar(count, op, ...)
                      if exists('g:last_found_char') && g:last_found_char != ''
                      call HighlightFoundChar()
                      endif
                      if a:0
                      normal! gv
                      endif
                      if a:count==1
                      let curpos=getpos('.')
                      exec 'normal!' a:op
                      if curpos==getpos('.')
                      exec 'normal! 2'.a:op
                      endif
                      else
                      exec 'normal! '.a:count.a:op
                      endif
                      endfunction
                      endif

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                    • Daan
                      Thanks for investing the time to reply to me guys. I think that I will try to focus on relative line numbers first! -- You received this message from the
                      Message 10 of 14 , Aug 1, 2012
                        Thanks for investing the time to reply to me guys. I think that I will try to focus on relative line numbers first!

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                      • Paul
                        ... I like PreciseJump: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3437 -- . -- You received this message from the vim_use maillist. Do not top-post!
                        Message 11 of 14 , Aug 2, 2012
                          On Tuesday, 31 July, 2012 at 19:58:55 BST, Daan wrote:
                          >I've been learning Vim for a while, and one situation has been coming up a lot for me:
                          >
                          >1) I'm scrolling through a sourcefile, and see an interesting word I'd like to edit or yank.
                          >2) I look left at the line number of the word, and type [line number]G
                          >3) I keep pressing w/W/b/B until I reach the word, (except if the word happens to be the first or last word of the line, or located near a unique symbol)
                          >
                          >However, this feels inefficient (especially step 2), and I'm hoping to find a better solution.

                          I like PreciseJump: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3437

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                        • Ethan Hereth
                          ... In my opinion it is more complete than PreciseJump; it does everything PreciseJump does and more... ... -- ... -- You received this message from the
                          Message 12 of 14 , Aug 3, 2012
                            On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 6:33 AM, Paul <google01239@...> wrote:
                            On Tuesday, 31 July, 2012 at 19:58:55 BST, Daan wrote:
                            I've been learning Vim for a while, and one situation has been coming up a lot for me:

                            1) I'm scrolling through a sourcefile, and see an interesting word I'd like to edit or yank.
                            2) I look left at the line number of the word, and type [line number]G
                            3) I keep pressing w/W/b/B until I reach the word, (except if the word happens to be the first or last word of the line, or located near a unique symbol)

                            However, this feels inefficient (especially step 2), and I'm hoping to find a better solution.

                            I like PreciseJump: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3437

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                            If you like PreciseJump, you'd probably also like EasyMotion: http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3526 (or  https://github.com/Lokaltog/vim-easymotion)
                                In my opinion it is more complete than PreciseJump; it does everything PreciseJump does and more...
                             
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                          • Paul
                            ... Mine too, now! -- . -- You received this message from the vim_use maillist. Do not top-post! Type your reply below the text you are replying to. For more
                            Message 13 of 14 , Aug 3, 2012
                              On Friday, 03 August, 2012 at 15:59:44 BST, Ethan Hereth wrote:
                              >> I like PreciseJump: http://www.vim.org/scripts/**script.php?script_id=3437<http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3437>
                              >>
                              >> If you like PreciseJump, you'd probably also like EasyMotion:
                              >> http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3526 (or
                              >> https://github.com/Lokaltog/vim-easymotion)
                              >>
                              > In my opinion it is more complete than PreciseJump; it does everything
                              >PreciseJump does and more...

                              Mine too, now!

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                            • Christian Brabandt
                              Hi sc! ... That s why I have made http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3877 regards, Christian -- You received this message from the vim_use
                              Message 14 of 14 , Aug 5, 2012
                                Hi sc!

                                On Di, 31 Jul 2012, sc wrote:

                                > :h f
                                >
                                > f is the linewise search command -- it is famous for the fact that it
                                > searches current line only (and to the right only).

                                That's why I have made
                                http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3877

                                regards,
                                Christian

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