I see one of these two lines in
.vimrc files. This one seems to be most common:
filetype plugin indent on
But how does it differ from this line:
filetype indent on
I've found documentation for the latter, but I'm still confused.
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filetype plugin indent on is like a combination of these commands:
filetype on filetype plugin on filetype indent on
It turns on "detection", "plugin" and "indent" at once. You can check for yourself by reading
What does filetype "detection" do? From the docs:
Each time a new or existing file is edited, Vim will try to recognize the type of the file and set the 'filetype' option. This will trigger the FileType event, which can be used to set the syntax highlighting, set options, etc.
This is less confusing if you realise that the
filetype command is distinct from the
filetype option. (The command
:filetype..., the option:
What does the "plugin" part do? From the docs:
This actually loads the file "ftplugin.vim" in 'runtimepath'.
The result is that when a file is edited its plugin file is loaded (if there is one for the detected filetype).
The file being loaded is not necessarily named
ftplugin.vim, it could be
ftplugin/html_example.vim for instance.
What does the "indent" part do? From the docs:
This actually loads the file "indent.vim" in 'runtimepath'.
The result is that when a file is edited its indent file is loaded (if there is one for the detected filetype). indent-expression
Again, the file may not be named
indent.vim, it could be named
indent/html_example.vim for instance.