This article is part of the article series "Perl One-Liners Explained."
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Perl One LinersHi all! I am starting yet another article series here. Remember my two articles on Famous Awk One-Liners Explained and Famous Sed One-Liners Explained? They have received more than 150,000 views total and they attract a few thousand new visitors every week. Inspired by their success, I am going to create my own perl1line.txt file and explain every single oneliner in it. I hope it becomes as famous as awk1line.txt and sed1line.txt files.

A tiny intro to those unfamiliar with the awk1line.txt and sed1line.txt files -- they contain around 80 useful awk and sed one-liners for doing various text file manipulations. Some examples are double spacing a file, numbering the lines, doing various text substitutions, etc. They were compiled by Eric Pement. Kudos to him!

The article will be divided in seven parts or more parts. In parts 1 - 6 I will create the one-liners and explain them, and in the last part I will release the perl1line.txt file. I found that splitting the article in many parts is much easier to get it written, that's why I do it.

Here is the general plan:

The one-liners will make heavy use of Perl special variables. Luckily, a few years ago I compiled all the Perl special vars in a single file and called it Perl special variable cheat-sheet. Even tho it's mostly copied out of perldoc perlvar, it's still handy to have in front of you. I suggest that you print it.

Awesome news: I have written an e-book based on this article series. Check it out:

Other than that, I can't wait to start writing the article, so here I go:

File Spacing

1. Double space a file.

perl -pe '$\="\n"'

This one-liner double spaces a file. There are three things to explain in this one-liner. The "-p" and "-e" command line options, and the "$\" variable.

First let's start with the "-e" option. The "-e" option can be used to enter a Perl program directly in the command line. Typically you don't want to create source files for every small program. By using "-e" you can handily specify the program to execute on the command line.

Next the "-p" switch. Specifying "-p" to a Perl program causes it to assume the following loop around your program:

while (<>) {
    # your program goes here
} continue {
    print or die "-p failed: $!\n";

This construct loops over all the input, executes your code and prints the value of "$_". This way you can effectively modify all or some lines of input. The "$_" variable can be explained as an anonymous variable that gets filled with the good stuff.

The "$\" variable is similar to ORS in Awk. It gets appended after every "print" operation. Without any arguments "print" prints the contents of "$_" (the good stuff).

In this one-liner the code specified by "-e" is '$\="\n"', thus the whole program looks like this:

while (<>) {
    $\ = "\n";
} continue {
    print or die "-p failed: $!\n";

What happens is that after reading each line, "$_" gets filled with it (including the existing line's newline), the "$\" gets set to a newline itself and "print" is called. As I already mentioned, without any arguments "print" prints the contents of "$_" and "$\" gets appended at the end. The result is that each line gets printed unmodified and it's followed by the "$\" which has been set to newline. The input has been double-spaced.

There is actually no need to set "$\" to newline on each line. It was just the shortest possible one-liner that double-spaced the file. Here are several others that do the same:

perl -pe 'BEGIN { $\="\n" }'

This one sets the "$\" to newline just once before Perl does anything (BEGIN block gets executed before everything else).

perl -pe '$_ .= "\n"'

This one-liner is equivalent to:

while (<>) {
    $_ = $_ . "\n"
} continue {
    print or die "-p failed: $!\n";

It appends another new-line at the end of each line, then prints it out.

The cleanest and coolest way to do it is probably use the substitution "s///" operator:

perl -pe 's/$/\n/'

It replaces the regular expression "$" that matches at the end of line with a newline, effectively adding a newline at the end.

2. Double space a file, except the blank lines.

perl -pe '$_ .= "\n" unless /^$/'

This one-liner double spaces all lines that are not completely empty. It does it by appending a newline character at the end of each line that is not blank. The "unless" means "if not". And "unless /^$/" means "if not 'beginning is end of line'". The condition "beginning is end of line" is true only for lines that contain the newline character.

Here is how it looks when expanded:

while (<>) {
    if ($_ !~ /^$/) {
        $_ .= "\n"
} continue {
    print or die "-p failed: $!\n";

A better test that takes spaces and tabs on the line into account is this one:

perl -pe '$_ .= "\n" if /\S/'

Here the line is matched against "\S". "\S" is a regular expression that is the inverse of "\s". The inverse of "\s" is any non-whitespace character. The result is that every line that has at least one non-whitespace character (tab, vertical tab, space, etc) gets double spaced.

3. Triple space a file.

perl -pe '$\="\n\n"'


perl -pe '$_.="\n\n"'

They are the same as one-liner #1, except that two new-lines get appended after each line.

4. N-space a file.

perl -pe '$_.="\n"x7'

This one-liner uses inserts 7 new lines after each line. Notice how I used '"\n" x 7' to repeat the newline char 7 times. The "x" operator repeats the thing on the left N times.

For example:

perl -e 'print "foo"x5'

would print "foofoofoofoofoo".

5. Add a blank line before every line.

perl -pe 's//\n/'

This one-liner uses the "s/pattern/replacement/" operator. It substitutes the first pattern (regular expression) in the "$_" variable with the replacement. In this one-liner the pattern is empty, meaning it matches any position between chars (and in this case it's the position before first char) and replaces it with "\n". The effect is that a newline char gets inserted before the line.

6. Remove all blank lines.

perl -ne 'print unless /^$/'

This one-liner uses "-n" flag. The "-n" flag causes Perl to assume to following loop around your program:

while (<>) {
    # your program goes here

What happens here is that each line gets read by the diamond "<>" operator and is placed in the dolar underscore special variable "$_". At this moment you are free to do with it whatever you want. You specify that in your main program text.

In this one-liner the main program is "print unless /^$/", it gets inserted in the while loop above and the whole Perl program becomes:

while (<>) {
    print unless /^$/

Unraveling it further:

while (<>) {
    print $_ unless $_ =~ /^$/

This one-liner prints all non-blank lines.

A few other ways to do the same:

perl -lne 'print if length'

This one uses the "-l" command line argument. The "-l" automatically chomps the input line (basically gets rid of newline at the end). Next the line is tested for its length. If there are any chars left, it evals to true and the line gets printed.

perl -ne 'print if /\S/'

This one-liner behaves differently than the "print unless /^$/" one-liner. The "print unless /^$/" one-liner prints lines with spaces and tabs, this one doesn't.

7. Remove all consecutive blank lines, leaving just one.

perl -00 -pe ''

Ok, this is really tricky, ain't it? First of all it does not have any code, the -e is empty. Next it has a silly -00 command line option. This command line option turns paragraph slurp mode on. A paragraph is text between two newlines. All the other newlines get ignored. The paragraph gets put in "$_" and the "-p" option prints it out.

Later I found a shorter version of this one-liner:

perl -00pe0

8. Compress/expand all blank lines into N consecutive ones.

perl -00 -pe '$_.="\n"x4'

This one-liner combines the previous one and one-liner #4. It slurps lines paragraph wise, then appends (N-1) new-line. This one-liner expands (or compresses) all new-lines to 5 ("\n" x 4 prints four, and there was one at the end of paragraph itself, so 5).

Perl one-liners explained e-book

I've now written the "Perl One-Liners Explained" e-book based on this article series. I went through all the one-liners, improved explanations, fixed mistakes and typos, added a bunch of new one-liners, added an introduction to Perl one-liners and a new chapter on Perl's special variables. Please take a look:

Have Fun!

Have fun with these file spacing one-liners. The next part is going to be about line numbering and calculations one-liners.

Can you think of other file spacing operations that I did not include here?

This article is part of the article series "Unix Utilities You Should Know About."
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Unix UtilitiesThis is the second post in the article series about Unix utilities that you should know about. In this post I will introduce you to the netcat tool or simply nc.

Netcat is often referred to as a "Swiss Army knife" utility, and for a good reason. Just like the multi-function usefulness of the venerable Swiss Army pocket knife, netcat's functionality is as helpful. Some of its features include port scanning, transferring files, port listening and it can be used a backdoor.

In 2006 netcat was ranked #4 in "Top 100 Network Security Tools" survey, so it's definitely a tool to know.

See the first post on pipe viewer for the introduction to this article series. If you feel like you are interested in this stuff, I suggest that you subscribe to my rss feed to receive my future posts automatically.

How to use nc?

Let's start with a few very simple examples and build up on those.

If you remember, I said that netcat was a Swiss Army knife. What would a Swiss Army knife be if it also wasn't a regular knife, right? That's why netcat can be used as a replacement of telnet:

$ nc 80

It's actually much more handy than the regular telnet because you can terminate the connection at any time with ctrl+c, and it handles binary data as regular data (no escape codes, nothing).

You may add "-v" parameter for more verboseness, and two -v's (-vv) to get statistics of how many bytes were transmitted during the connection.

Netcat can also be used as a server itself. If you start it as following, it will listen on port 12345 (on all interfaces):

$ nc -l -p 12345

If you now connect to port 12345 on that host, everything you type will be sent to the other party, which leads us to using netcat as a chat server. Start the server on one computer:

# On a computer A with IP
$ nc -l -p 12345

And connect to it from another:

# On computer B
$ nc 12345

Now both parties can chat!

Talking of which, the chat can be turned to make two processes talk to each other, thus making nc do I/O over network! For example, you can send the whole directory from one computer to another by piping tar to nc on the first computer, and redirecting output to another tar process on the second.

Suppose you want to send files in /data from computer A with IP to computer B (with any IP). It's as simple as this:

# On computer A with IP
$ tar -cf - /data | nc -l -p 6666

# On computer B
$ nc 6666 | tar -xf -

Don't forget to combine the pipeline with pipe viewer from previous article in this series to get statistics on how fast the transfer is going!

A single file can be sent even easier:

# On computer A with IP
$ cat file | nc -l -p 6666

# On computer B
$ nc 6666 > file

You may even copy and restore the whole disk with nc:

# On computer A with IP
$ cat /dev/hdb | nc -l -p 6666

# On computer B
$ nc 6666 > /dev/hdb

Note: It turns out that "-l" can't be used together with "-p" on a Mac! The solution is to replace "-l -p 6666" with just "-l 6666". Like this:

$ nc -l 6666

# nc now listens on port 6666 on a Mac computer

An uncommon use of netcat is port scanning. Netcat is not the best tool for this job, but it does it ok (the best tool is nmap):

$ nc -v -n -z -w 1 1-1000 
(UNKNOWN) [] 445 (microsoft-ds) open
(UNKNOWN) [] 139 (netbios-ssn) open
(UNKNOWN) [] 111 (sunrpc) open
(UNKNOWN) [] 80 (www) open
(UNKNOWN) [] 25 (smtp) : Connection timed out
(UNKNOWN) [] 22 (ssh) open

The "-n" parameter here prevents DNS lookup, "-z" makes nc not to receive any data from the server, and "-w 1" makes the connection timeout after 1 second of inactivity.

Another uncommon behavior is using netcat as a proxy. Both ports and hosts can be redirected. Look at this example:

$ nc -l -p 12345 | nc 80

This starts a nc server on port 12345 and all the connections get redirected to If you now connect to that computer on port 12345 and do a request, you will find that no data gets sent back. That's correct, because we did not set up a bidirectional pipe. If you add another pipe, you can get the data back on another port:

$ nc -l -p 12345 | nc 80 | nc -l -p 12346

After you have sent the request on port 12345, connect on port 12346 to get the data.

Probably the most powerful netcat's feature is making any process a server:

$ nc -l -p 12345 -e /bin/bash

The "-e" option spawns the executable with it's input and output redirected via network socket. If you now connect to the host on port 12345, you may use bash:

$ nc localhost 12345
ls -las
total 4288
   4 drwxr-xr-x 15 pkrumins users    4096 2009-02-17 07:47 .
   4 drwxr-xr-x  4 pkrumins users    4096 2009-01-18 21:22 ..
   8 -rw-------  1 pkrumins users    8192 2009-02-16 19:30 .bash_history
   4 -rw-r--r--  1 pkrumins users     220 2009-01-18 21:04 .bash_logout

The consequences are that nc is a popular hacker tool as it is so easy to create a backdoor on any computer. On a Linux computer you may spawn /bin/bash and on a Windows computer cmd.exe to have total control over it.

That's everything I can think of. Do you know any other netcat uses that I did not include?

How to install nc?

If you're on Debian or Debian based system such as Ubuntu do the following:

$ sudo aptitude install netcat

If you're on Fedora or Fedora based system such as CentOS do:

$ sudo yum install netcat

If you're on Slackware, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Solaris or Mac, download the source code of nc and just:

$ tar -zxf nc-version.tar.gz
$ cd nc-version
$ ./configure && sudo make install

Another way to do it on Mac, if you have MacPorts is:

$ sudo port install netcat

On Slackware you can actually install it as a package from n/ package directory:

$ sudo installpkg nc-1.10-i386-1.tgz

If you're on Windows, download the Windoze port of it from securityfocus.

The manual of the utility can be found here man nc.

Have fun netcatting, and until next time!

This article is part of the article series "Awk One-Liners Explained."
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awk programming one-liners explainedThis is an update post on my three-part article Famous Awk One-Liners Explained.

I received an email from Eric Pement (the original author of Awk one-liners) and he said that there was a new version of awk1line.txt file available. I did a diff and found that there were seven new one-liners in it!

The new file has two new sections "String Creation" and "Array Creation" and it updates "Selective Printing of Certain Lines" section. I'll explain the new one-liners in this article.

Here is the latest version of awk1line.txt: awk1line-new.txt.

The original Eric Pement's Awk one-liner collection consists of five sections, and I explained them in my previous three articles:

Awesome news: I have written an e-book based on this article series. Check it out:

Okay, let's roll with the new one-liners:

String Creation

1. Create a string of a specific length (generate a string of x's of length 513).

awk 'BEGIN { while (a++<513) s=s "x"; print s }'

This one-liner uses the "BEGIN { }" special block that gets executed before anything else in an Awk program. In this block a while loop appends character "x" to variable "s" 513 times. After it has looped, the "s" variable gets printed out. As this Awk program does not have a body, it quits after executing the BEGIN block.

This one-liner printed the 513 x's out, but you could have used it for anything you wish in BEGIN, main program or END blocks.

Unfortunately this is not the most effective way to do it. It's a linear time solution. My friend waldner (who, by the way, wrote a guest post on 10 Awk Tips, Tricks and Pitfalls) showed me a solution that's logarithmic time (based on idea of recursive squaring):

function rep(str, num,     remain, result) {
    if (num < 2) {
        remain = (num == 1)
    } else {
        remain = (num % 2 == 1)
        result = rep(str, (num - remain) / 2)
    return result result (remain ? str  : "")

This function can be used as following:

awk 'BEGIN { s = rep("x", 513) }'

2. Insert a string of specific length at a certain character position (insert 49 x's after 6th char).

gawk --re-interval 'BEGIN{ while(a++<49) s=s "x" }; { sub(/^.{6}/,"&" s) }; 1'

This one-liner works only with Gnu Awk, because it uses the interval expression ".{6}" in the Awk program's body. Interval expressions were not traditionally available in awk, that's why you have to use "--re-interval" option to enable them.

For those that do not know what interval expressions are, they are regular expressions that match a certain number of characters. For example, ".{6}" matches any six characters (the any char is specified by the dot "."). An interval expression "b{2,4}" matches at least two, but not more than four "b" characters. To match words, you have to give them higher precedence - "(foo){4}" matches "foo" repeated four times - "foofoofoofoo".

The one-liner starts the same way as the previous - it creates a 49 character string "s" in the BEGIN block. Next, for each line of the input, it calls sub() function that replaces the first 6 characters with themselves and "s" appended. The "&" in the sub() function means the matched part of regular expression. The '"&" s' means matched part of regex and contents of variable "s". The "1" at the end of whole Awk one-liner prints out the modified line (it's syntactic sugar for just "print" (that itself is syntactic sugar for "print $0")).

The same can be achieved with normal standard Awk:

awk 'BEGIN{ while(a++<49) s=s "x" }; { sub(/^....../,"&" s) }; 1

Here we just match six chars "......" at the beginning of line, and replace them with themselves + contents of variable "s".

It may get troublesome to insert a string at 29th position for example... You'd have to go tapping "." twenty-nine times ".............................". Better use Gnu Awk then and write ".{29}".

Once again, my friend waldner corrected me and pointed to Awk Feature Comparsion chart. The chart suggests that the original one-liner with ".{6}" would also work with POSIX awk, Busybox awk, and Solaris awk.

Array Creation

3. Create an array from string.

split("Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec", month, " ")

This is not a one-liner per se but a technique to create an array from a string. The split(Str, Arr, Regex) function is used do that. It splits string Str into fields by regular expression Regex and puts the fields in array Arr. The fields are placed in Arr[1], Arr[2], ..., Arr[N]. The split() function itself returns the number of fields the string was split into.

In this piece of code the Regex is simply space character " ", the array is month and string is "Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec". After the split, month[1] is "Jan", month[2] is "Feb", ..., month[12] is "Dec".

4. Create an array named "mdigit", indexed by strings.

for (i=1; i<=12; i++) mdigit[month[i]] = i

This is another array creation technique and not a real one-liner. This technique creates a reverse lookup array. Remember from the previous "one-liner" that month[1] was "Jan", ..., month[12] was "Dec". Now we want to the reverse lookup and find the number for each month. To do that we create a reverse lookup array "mdigit", such that mdigit["Jan"] = 1, ..., mdigit["Dec"] = 12.

It's really trivial, we loop over month[1], month[2], ..., month[12] and set mdigit[month[i]] to i. This way mdigit["Jan"] = 1, etc.

Selective Printing of Certain Lines

5. Print all lines where 5th field is equal to "abc123".

awk '$5 == "abc123"'

This one-liner uses idiomatic Awk - if the given expression is true, Awk prints out the line. The fifth field is referenced by "$5" and it's checked to be equal to "abc123". If it is, the expression is true and the line gets printed.

Unwinding this idiom, this one-liner is really equal to:

awk '{ if ($5 == "abc123") { print $0 } }'

6. Print any line where field #5 is not equal to "abc123".

awk '$5 != "abc123"'

This is exactly the same as previous one-liner, except it negates the comparison. If the fifth field "$5" is not equal to "abc123", then print it.

Unwinding it, it's equal to:

awk '{ if ($5 != "abc123") { print $0 } }'

Another way is to literally negate the whole previous one-liner:

awk '!($5 == "abc123")'

7. Print all lines whose 7th field matches a regular expression.

awk '$7  ~ /^[a-f]/'

This is also idiomatic Awk. It uses "~" operator to test if the seventh "$7" field matches a regular expression "^[a-f]". This regular expression means "all lines that start with a lower-case letter a, b, c, d, e, or f".

awk '$7 !~ /^[a-f]/'

This one-liner matches negates the previous one and prints all lines that do not start with a lower-case letter a, b, c, d, e, and f.

Another way to write the same is:

awk '$7 ~ /^[^a-f]/'

Here we negated the group of letters [a-f] by adding "^" in the group. That's a regex trick to know.

Awk one-liners explained e-book

I have written my first e-book called "Awk One-Liners Explained". I improved the explanations of the one-liners in this article series, added new one-liners and added three new chapters - introduction to awk one-liners, summary of awk special variables and idiomatic awk. Please take a look:

Have Fun!

Have fun with these Awk oneliners!

If you haven't already, I recommend that you download my Awk cheat-cheet, read the "10 Awk Tips, Tricks and Pitfalls" article, and study the source code of my YouTube Video Downloader, written entirely in Gnu Awk.

This article is part of the article series "Musical Geek Friday."
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Don’t Copy That FloppyI have found some new geek songs to post on my Musical Geek Friday. This week it's a song called Hax That Fsck. It's a hip-hop/rap song about a hacker getting owned by FBI and his adventures in hacking Gibson and CIA.

The song is written by Finnish band called "Leech Axss". This is their second geek song that I have posted on Musical Geek Friday. See "Leech Access is Coming at You".

I had problems with understanding some parts of the song. I put "(???)" in the lyrics where I was not sure what was being said. I'd appreciate if someone helped me figure it out the correct lyrics!

The song is strongly NSFW, be sure to put your headphones on before listening at work.


Download this song: hax that fsck (musical geek friday #17)
Downloaded: 82103 times

Download lyrics: hax that fsck lyrics (musical geek friday #17)
Downloaded: 4797 times

Here is the lyrics (I censored the explicit language, see the 'download lyrics' link above for uncensored version):

Hax that f**k, move that box
Exploit a hole in a FireFox
Haxing is about breaking in, not fame
Whoever you be haxing is all the same

Crack that code, buffer overflow
Alt-F4 makes a lamer go
Hax that Gibson and CIA
Sell your soul to the zero da-aa-ay

As you well know, I net sex with duty creatures (???)
I now have sex with the federal agents
You bruteforce the password of
Knock, knock, it's the feds and the bubba is on

Right to remain silent like my box in ice
Perfect source code, never write it twice
Better go figure it out before you talk to a fed
It's a feeling very close to a blue screen of death

A monkey Steve Jobs intringing with Bill Gates
That ain't gonna tway with the fscking absura blades (????)
Apple in my eye and a panther in my tank
I bought an itunes that are like tri-hand ****

Still in the game but before I went away
Nerdies want my wishes and they want my zero days
But behave you geeks, and I won't go latest patch
The one that cycle is Christina Aguilera snatch

Hax that f**k, move that box
Exploit a hole in the FireFox
Haxing is about breaking in, not fame
Whoever you be haxing is all the same

Crack that code, buffer overflow
Alt-F4 makes a lamer go
Hax that Gibson and CIA
Sell your soul to the zero da-aa-ay

I read b0w and b0g
I sport AMD and fscking RISC
I am not like you, I never disrespect my box
Points to stolen motherf*****g Mozilla leanfox

What's under the hood, I've got future of jobs
Thousand mp3s in the court
Drop it like it's hot, drop it like it's hot, drop it like it's hot
Check my benchmark, you skinny retard

[Hshhha] loves a key generator
If it's not 0day, don't seed it later
I met my share of lamers, I've got some spleen
Zero entropy is like Commander Keen

I've been in hax of yours and to haxifice
I've seen in the eyes which drugsterize (???)
I'm haxing my way out of the paper bag
Authenticating g in my f*****g ... (???)

Hax that f**k, move that box
Exploit a hole in the FireFox
Haxing is about breaking in, not fame
Whoever you be haxing is all the same

Crack that code, buffer overflow
Alt-F4 makes a lamer go
Hack that Gibbson and CIA
Sell your soul to the zero da-aa-ay

Hax that fsck, move that box
Exploit a hole in the FireFox
Haxing is about breaking in, not fame
Whoever you be haxing is all the same

Crack that code, buffer overflow
Alt-F4 makes a lamer go
Hax that Gibson and CIA
Sell your soul to the zero da-aa-ay

Download "Hax That Fsck" Song

Download this song: hax that fsck (musical geek friday #17)
Downloaded: 82103 times

Download lyrics: hax that fsck lyrics (musical geek friday #17)
Downloaded: 4797 times

Click to listen:

Have fun and until next geeky Friday! :)

This article is part of the article series "Vim Plugins You Should Know About."
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Vim Plugins, surround.vimThis is the third post in the article series "Vim Plugins You Should Know About". This time I am going to introduce you to a plugin called "matchit.vim".

If you are intrigued by this topic, I suggest that you subscribe to my posts! For the introduction and first post in this article series, follow this link - Vim Plugins You Should Know About, Part I: surround.vim. Part II is here: repeat.vim.

Matchit extends the existing functionality of "%" key (percent key). I'll first briefly remind you what the original "%" does and then explain how matchit.vim enhances it.

The original "%" key allows you to jump between various pairs of characters and some programming constructs. For example, it jumps between pairs of parenthesis ( )'s, { }'s, [ ]'s. It also jumps between opening and closing tags of C style comments /* and */. And it's smart enough to jump between C preprocessor directives - from #if to #endif and match #elif or #else in between.

Here is an example. Suppose you have this code and you press "%", the cursor jumps between { and } parens:

matchit vim plugin example

Matchit.vim extends this functionality. It's written by Benji Fisher and it adds support to cycle between if, else if, else, endif keywords in various programming languages. Another improvement is the ability to find pairs of HTML tags, such as <p> ... </p>. Another handy mapping is "g%" that does "%" in opposite direction (goes from endif to else to else if to if). The plugin also includes several other mappings like "]%", "[%" and "a%" but I could not figure out how to effectively use them in real life code, so I don't use them at all.

Here is another example. Suppose you are editing this HTML and you quickly want to go to the corresponding closing tag of <body>. Just press "%":

matchit vim html example

Overall it's a great plugin to have in your inventory!

How to install matchit.vim?

Matchit.vim has been included in vim since version 6.0. However there are newer versions of the script available with bug fixes and enhancements.

To get the latest version:

  • 1. Download
  • 2. Extract to ~/.vim (on Unix/Linux) or ~\vimfiles (on Windows).
  • 3. Run :helptags ~/.vim/doc (on Unix/Linux) or :helptags ~/vimfiles/doc (on Windows) to rebuild the tags file (so that you can read :help %, :help g%, etc.)
  • 4. Restart Vim or source matchit.vim with ":so ~/.vim/plugin/matchit.vim" on Unix or ":so ~/vimfiles/plugin/matchit.vim" on Windows).
  • 5. Use '%' to find corresponding

For Python programmers: Turns out the original matchit.vim plugin does not match if / elif / else. Benji extended matchit.vim itself and created "python_matchit.vim". This extension allows us to use the "%" key to cycle through if/elif/else, try/except/catch, for/continue/break, and while/continue/break structures. The script also defines g% to cycle in the opposite direction, and it defines two other motions, [% and ]%, go to the start and end of the current block, respectively.

How to install python_matchit.vim?

Python_matchit.vim is a filetype plugin. It has to be installed in "ftplugin" directory. Follow these steps to get it installed:

  • 1. Download python_matchit.vim.
  • 2. Put it in ~/.vim/ftplugin (on Unix/Linux) or ~\vimfiles\ftplugin (on Windows).
  • 3. Restart Vim or source matchit.vim with ":so ~/.vim/ftplugin/python_matchit.vim" on Unix or ":so ~/vimfiles/ftplugin/python_matchit.vim" on Windows).

The same steps can be taken to install matchit for Ruby.

Have Fun!

Happy matching with matchit.vim!