Nvim :help pages, generated from source using the tree-sitter-vimdoc parser.

updated by Nadim Shaikli
Right to Left display mode for Vim
These functions were originally created by Avner Lottem: E-mail: [email protected] Phone: +972-4-8307322


Some languages such as Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew (among others) require the ability to display their text from right-to-left. Files in those languages are stored conventionally and the right-to-left requirement is only a function of the display engine (per the Unicode specification). In right-to-left oriented files the characters appear on the screen from right to left.
Bidirectionality (or bidi for short) is what Unicode offers as a full solution to these languages. Bidi offers the user the ability to view both right-to-left as well as left-to-right text properly at the same time within the same window. Vim currently, due to simplicity, does not offer bidi and is merely opting to present a functional means to display/enter/use right-to-left languages. An older hybrid solution in which direction is encoded for every character (or group of characters) are not supported either as this kind of support is out of the scope of a simple addition to an existing editor (and it's not sanctioned by Unicode either).


o Editing left-to-right files as in the original Vim, no change.
o Viewing and editing files in right-to-left windows. File orientation is per window, so it is possible to view the same file in right-to-left and left-to-right modes, simultaneously. (Useful for editing mixed files in which both right-to-left and left-to-right text exist).
o Compatibility to the original Vim. Almost all features work in right-to-left mode (see Bugs below).
o Backing from reverse insert mode to the correct place in the file (if possible).
o No special terminal with right-to-left capabilities is required. The right-to-left changes are completely hardware independent.
o Many languages use and require right-to-left support. These languages can quite easily be supported given the inclusion of their required keyboard mappings and some possible minor code change. Some of the current supported languages include - arabic.txt and hebrew.txt.

Of Interest...

o Invocations
+ 'rightleft' ('rl') sets window orientation to right-to-left. + 'delcombine' ('deco'), boolean, if editing UTF-8 encoded languages, allows one to remove a composing character which gets superimposed on those that preceded them (some languages require this). + 'rightleftcmd' ('rlc') sets the command-line within certain modes (such as search) to be utilized in right-to-left orientation as well.
o Typing backwards ins-reverse
In lieu of using the full-fledged 'rightleft' option, one can opt for reverse insertion. When the 'revins' (reverse insert) option is set, inserting happens backwards. This can be used to type right-to-left text. When inserting characters the cursor is not moved and the text moves rightwards. A <BS> deletes the character under the cursor. CTRL-W and CTRL-U also work in the opposite direction. <BS>, CTRL-W and CTRL-U do not stop at the start of insert or end of line, no matter how the 'backspace' option is set.
There is no reverse replace mode (yet).
If the 'showmode' option is set, "-- REVERSE INSERT --" will be shown in the status line when reverse Insert mode is active.
o Pasting when in a rightleft window
When cutting text with the mouse and pasting it in a rightleft window the text will be reversed, because the characters come from the cut buffer from the left to the right, while inserted in the file from the right to the left. In order to avoid it, toggle 'revins' before pasting.


o Does not handle CTRL-A and CTRL-X commands (add and subtract) correctly when in rightleft window.
o Does not support reverse insert and rightleft modes on the command-line. However, functionality of the editor is not reduced, because it is possible to enter mappings, abbreviations and searches typed from the left to the right on the command-line.
o Somewhat slower in right-to-left mode, because right-to-left motion is emulated inside Vim, not by the controlling terminal.
o When both 'rightleft' and 'revins' are on: 'textwidth' does not work. Lines do not wrap at all; you just get a single, long line.
o There is no full bidirectionality (bidi) support.
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