I use abbreviations extensively to make writing in languages other than English easier. For example, I have something like this set up for when I'm writing in Italian:

inoreabbrev perche' perché
inoreabbrev dopodiche' dopodiché

This way I can type the words above quickly without changing keyboard layout system-wide or using digraphs. Sadly these abbreviations don't work when the word is capitalized, like when it comes after a period.

Is there a way to way to force an abbreviation to trigger regardless of the case? Do I have to set up 2 abbreviations for every word or is there another way, like regexes or a special option?

  • I always thought that it would be good to use autocomplete for that. Apr 27, 2017 at 19:06

2 Answers 2


You could use the abolish plugin. For your example you could use the following:

:Abolish perche{'} perché

It changes perche' to perché, Perche' to Perché and PERCHE' to PERCHÉ. For the second example:

:Abolish dopodiche{'} dopodiché
  • Ah, Tim Pope. If he's wrote a plugin for this, there's definitely no better option. Looks like I'll have one more of his plugins in my bundle folder then. Thank you very much sir.
    – mrzool
    Apr 26, 2017 at 14:36
  • 1
    I have created a vim-abolish substitution file for every accented word in Italian, should someone need it: gist.github.com/mrzool/f796b0b55b5783528915ac4f66095156
    – mrzool
    May 2, 2017 at 8:36

I would have written an imap-<expr> on ' that tests the previous character, e and E would become é and É. And so on.

The caveat being when writing source code where ' is a valid character on its own, and where we could have a single-quote after an e. We could check the current syntax in that case.

function! s:compose_if_match(accent, letters)
  let crt = getline('.')[col('.')-2]
  if crt =~? a:letters
    return "\<bs>\<c-k>".a:accent.crt
    return a:accent

inoremap <expr> ' <sid>compose_if_match("'", 'e')
inoremap <expr> ` <sid>compose_if_match("`", '[aeu]')

Honnestly, unless I don't have a French keyboard, instead of retro-actively fixing words automagically thanks to quotes and backticks, I'd rather hit backspace and fix the word by hitting the proper key which is also on the first row. I would understand that using CTRL+K on non-French keyboards is tiresome.

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