I want to create a file that has X number of entries where each entry has incremental numbers for Y. I tried recording a macro that would copy the 3 lines then edit the value but it ended up editing the wrong lines. Is a vim macro the correct way of doing this or is there another special way to duplicate lines and increment their numbers?

I realize I could just write a simple programming script that would print out this but I was already editing the file in vim and thought vim is powerful I should figure this out.

Values for
Y = 1-30

entry 100/1/Y
  fields value Y
  other section Y is valid

Results would be a multiline file that is as followed.

entry 100/1/1
  fields value 1
  other section 1 is valid
entry 100/1/30
  fields value 30
  other section 30 is valid

A macro is certainly capable of doing this. Starting with the first three lines as a template

entry 100/1/1
  fields value 1
  other section 1 is valid 

Place your cursor on the first line and execute:


  • qq Start a macro in register q
  • y2Enter Yank three lines
  • jjoEscp Copy the lines below inserting an extra blank line in-between.
  • $CtrlajCtrlajCtrla Using vim's auto-increment function, increment the three numbers.
  • kk0 Set up the cursor for the next macro.
  • q Stop recording the macro.

Now you can symply do @q however many times you want to repeat the macro. Or you can also do 30@q to repeat it 30 times.

| improve this answer | |
  • That's what I was missing the Ctrl-A feature. Thank's that's a really handy feature to know. – LF4 Apr 26 '17 at 22:52

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