Written by Tech Notes
Category: Programming
Published: 23 April 2014
Linux   VIM   VI.   Text Editor   Color   Edit File   Saving VIM File   Syntax   Syntax On   Syntax Off   vimrc  

How To Add, Turn On, or Off Coloring To VIM (VI) Editor


Turning on text coloring for code syntax that the VIM (VI) editor recognizes helps immensely.  Just being able to separate the Comments from the Code is a huge help by itself.

No Colored Text Example (click to see larger image):

Vim (VI) editor non-colored text example


Colored Text Example (click to see larger image):

Vim (VI) editor colored text example


The above example was randomly chosen from a .c file on a linux server just to demonstrate the major difference.  This coloring occurs on most code or script files (php, perl, C language, HTML, bash, and many others)

This article assumes you know VIM (VI) program/software.  It is typically a standard installation on Linux or Unix based servers. At a terminal or SSH or Telnet session command prompt, simply type vi test.txt to see it in action. A graphical version, like gvim, could also be used.

Steps To Turn On Or Off The Coloring

Open the file you want to edit

vi YourFileName.extension

Enter Shift : and type syntax on, push Enter key.  If that does not work, then push ESC key, and then enter Shift : and type syntax on, push Enter key.

:syntax on

That is all. To turn off the coloring, do syntax off.

:syntax off

To Make Coloring Automatically Occur Or A Permanent Feature.

Locate the .vimrc file.  This could be in a home directory of a user, or in /etc, or locations.  Edit the .vimrc file, and add the line syntax on.  You can use the VIM editor to do this.

vi .vimrc

and then scroll to the bottom and go into Insert Mode by pushing i, and type:

syntax on

Then push ESC to get out of Insert Mode, and save and exit the updated file by typing



What If Doing The Above Does Not Work

If you do not see the text show with colors after the above is done, then the article of Solution To VIM Not Showing Colors may provide a answer.


Feel Free To Leave A Good Comment. :)

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