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class & function names highlighting in Vim

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I just recently set up my Vim environment from Textmate, after becoming addicted to its modal input.

However, syntax highlighting seems to be not so beautiful in Vim. I code in C++ and since the function call and class names can’t be highlighted, the code is more difficult to read. I played with color scheme for a bit, but couldn’t find any field that corresponded to “class name” or “function name”.

In the picture below, notice how DroughtLayer:: and *.size() is not highlighted on the right in MacVim.

Picture comparison between Textmate(left) and Vim(right) http://ivzhao.com/temp/vimHL.png

Any ideas how to solve this? It really annoys me as I am so much a visual-sensitive guy.

Answers:

Interestingly, the syntax highlighters in VIM don’t support applying a syntax to identifiers or function names – at least not the syntax highlighters for C and C++. So, even if you do:

:hi Function guifg=red

or

:hi Identifier guifg=red

it doesn’t give these a color. I just seems to be not much more than keywords and constants for these languages.

Here, someone has started extending the cpp syntax file to support method names. It’s a start I guess.
http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Highlighting_of_method_names_in_the_definition

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I had this very same problem when I started using vim. The solution is simple, you just have to edit the c syntax file used by vim, here’s how to do it:

When you start editing a C or C++ file, vim reads the default c syntax file located in

$VIMRUNTIME/syntax/c.vim

(Where $VIMRUNTIME is where you have vim installed. You can find out it’s default value by opening vim and using the command “:echo $VIMRUNTIME”).

You can simply overwrite that file, or you can create your custom C syntax file (which will be loaded by vim instead of the default one) in this location:

$HOME/.vim/syntax/c.vim      (for UNIX)
$HOME/vimfiles/syntax/c.vim  (for PC or OS/2)

(I have never used a Mac so I dunno which one will work for you. You can find out more in the vim help, “:help vimfiles”)

Now the fun part. Copy the default “$VIMRUNTIME/syntax/c.vim” file to your vimfiles directory (“$HOME/.vim/syntax/c.vim” for UNIX), and edit it by adding these lines:

" Highlight Class and Function names
syn match    cCustomParen    "(" contains=cParen,cCppParen
syn match    cCustomFunc     "\w\+\s*(" contains=cCustomParen
syn match    cCustomScope    "::"
syn match    cCustomClass    "\w\+\s*::" contains=cCustomScope

hi def link cCustomFunc  Function
hi def link cCustomClass Function

That’s it! Now functions and class names will be highlighted with the color defined in the “Function” highlight (“:hi Function”). If you want to customize colors, you can change the last two lines above to something like this:

hi def cCustomFunc  gui=bold guifg=yellowgreen
hi def cCustomClass gui=reverse guifg=#00FF00

or you can leave the C syntax file alone and define colors in your vimrc file (“:help vimrc”):

hi cCustomFunc  gui=bold guifg=yellowgreen
hi cCustomClass gui=reverse guifg=#00FF00

(Note the absence of the “def” keyword, go to “:help highlight-default” for details). For the available parameters to the “:hi” command see “:help :highlight”.

You can find the complete c.vim file for Vim 7.2 on this link (Note: only use this if you have a non-modified Vim, version 7.2):

http://pastebin.com/f33aeab77

And the obligatory screenshot:

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/2073/vimy.png (Sorry for imageshack)

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Answers:

this is my first post here and i didn’t know how to make an observation, the answer of Eduardo makes “(” and “{” look unmached and bugs syntax foldind, I changed it a little to fix this.

syn match    cCustomParen    "?=(" contains=cParen,cCppParen
syn match    cCustomFunc     "\w\+\s*(\@=" contains=cCustomParen
syn match    cCustomScope    "::"
syn match    cCustomClass    "\w\+\s*::" contains=cCustomScope
hi def cCustomFunc  gui=bold guifg=yellowgreen
hi def link cCustomClass Function

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Answers:

The one solution is to use built ctags database. So create one with the ctags utility. Then set the ‘tags’ variable and put the following to the

~/.vim/after/syntax/c.vim

function! s:highlight()
    let list = taglist('.*')

    for item in list
        let kind = item.kind

        if kind == 'f' || kind == 'c'
            let name = item.name
            exec 'syntax keyword Identifier '.name
        endif
    endfor
endfunction

call s:highlight()

I must warn you that this can work very slow on the very big ctags database.

Also there is one solution on the vim.org but I didn’t try this one. Let me know if it works for you.

Questions:
Answers:

EDIT: color_coded may be too heavy for you. try octol/vim-cpp-enhanced-highlight. It supports C++11/14 and integrates what @Eduardo answers.

Semantic based highlighter:
I would recommend jeaye/color_coded,
A vim plugin for libclang-based highlighting
So sorry that i’m new to stackoverflow which means I’ve not enough reputation to post images. Go see its effects if you wanna give it a shot. 🙂

Pros:

  • Easy installation
  • Semantic highlighting
  • Clighter mentioned as above, need vim compiled with python2.7.
    However, color_coded is written in C++ and provides lua binding ->
    C++.

Cons:

  • It delays unless you make some vim events to acitve it.
  • Customization is bit harder; you need to edit syntax/color_coded.vim
    yourself. But customization has been placed on its roadmap.

Although it’s still under development, it’s increasingly gaining attention.

before
after

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Sergey, changing the first line from

syn match    cCustomParen    "(" contains=cParen,cCppParen

to

syn match    cCustomParen    "(" contains=cParen contains=cCppParen

seems to fix it for me.

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Use a plug-in for vim like Taglist or set up ctags or cscope integration with vim (here’s a tutorial for the vim/cscope.)

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Try using this plugin http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=2646
Its does all ctags highlighting very efficiently for you

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I really recommend you the taghighlight plugin, click here for it’s website.

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The Clighter plugin can also be considered, which is a

plugin for c-family semantic source code highlighting, based on Clang

However, requires fairly recent versions and software: vim 7.4.330 +python2 and libclang.