Toggle Vim boolean options
Vim contains numerous boolean options — features that can be turned on or off. You’re probably familiar with some of these from your
" turn on line numbering
" show vertical cursor highlight
" paste text without reformatting it
There are many more and you can see all Vim options with
Calling any of these commands from Vim, such as
:set number, will turn that feature on. To turn it off, you can call
:set nonumber and that feature will be disabled.
But did you know you can also toggle any one of these by adding a bang
! at the end? Calling
:set number! will toggle the line numbers either off or on depending on their current state. You can also check the current state of any option by adding a question mark
? to the end:
:set number? will return either
nonumber depending on if the option is on or off.
When you’re turning options off, this can be a minor shortcut in keystrokes. But it has several other added advantages: You can enter command mode
: and then press
<ctrl-p> to cycle back through your history, finding the toggle command and invoking it again.
Or, if the toggle command was the last colon command you ran, simply press
@: to repeat the last command, thereby toggling the option back on or off again.
Here’s a quick demo of toggling options in Vim:
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