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Learning the vi Editor, Sixth Edition by Linda Lamb, Arnold Robbins

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C.4. vim 5.1 Options

vim 5.1 has a total of 170 options that affect its behavior. Table 3.4 summarizes the most important ones. Most options described in Table 3.1 are not repeated here.

The summaries in the table here are of necessity very brief. Much more information about each option may be found in the vim online help.

Table C.4. vim 5.1 Set Options
OptionDefaultDescription
background (bg)dark or lightvim tries to use background and foreground colors that are appropriate to the particular terminal.
backspace (bs)0Controls whether you can backspace over a newline and/or over the start of insert. Values are: 0 for vi compatibility, 1 to backspace over newlines, and 2 to backspace over the start of insert. Using a value of 3 allows both.
backup (bk)nobackupMake a backup before overwriting a file, then leave it around after the file has been successfully written. To have a backup file just while the file is being written, use the writebackup option.
backupdir (bdir)., ~/tmp/, ~/A list of directories for the backup file, separated with commas. The backup file will be created in the first directory in the list where this is possible. If empty, you cannot create a backup file. The name . (dot) means the same directory as where the edited file is.
backupext (bex)~The string which is appended to a file name to make the name of the backup file.
binary (bin)nobinaryChanges a number of other options to make it easier to edit binary files. The previous values of these options are remembered ...

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