I've got a file, containing some output log. It consists of several blocks of information, that start and end with some fixed patterns.

I need to put a summary for each block in the beginning of the file.

Additionally, I'd like to study vim scripting.

I've developed a couple of functions: one of them processes line range and returns a string with the summary, and another one puts this string in the first line of a file.

function! GetBlockSummary(first, last)
    " some text processing

function! ProcessBlock() range
    let summary = GetBlockSummary(a:firstline, a:lastline)
    call append(0, summary)

Then I call them: :/startpattern/;/endpattern/ call ProcessBlock()

Now I've got two problems:

  1. There are many blocks in the file, and it is tedious to repeat the command by hands. This can be solved with putting the call into a macro and then calling that macro with count prefix (say, 90@q, if I have known that there are 90 blocks in the file, and have put the call into the @q register)
  2. But different files have different amount of blocks, and I have to call grep to count them.

So, I'm looking for some while loop example, implementing following pattern:

while /startpattern/ is found
    execute :/startpattern/;/endpattern/ call ProcessBlock()

Here is the example.

Original file:

Extracting frames 
Using precomputed keys
Done, 1247 frames
acc1 1
acc2 2
acc3 3
acc4 5
Extracting frames 
Using precomputed keys
Done, 1247 frames
acc1 5
acc2 2
acc3 3
acc4 4

Each block starts from start/.... and ends with end. Numbers after "e" in weights-e... denote block numbers.

For this example I'd like to have this file prepended with block numbers and acc's that equal 5. It is guaranteed that only one acc\d 5 appears in the block:

Block 55: acc4
Block 18: acc1
Extracting frames 
Using precomputed keys
.... the rest of text
  • example of the file you are processing and the result you want to get would be really good to have.
    – Maxim Kim
    Feb 27, 2020 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


You can try this approach, using :h global command:

:g/startpattern/.;/endpattern/ call ProcessBlock
  1. :g/startpattern/ search for startpattern
  2. .;/endpattern/call ProcessBlock when found, use range from current line to endpattern and call your function. (it should be defined with range)


function! ProcessBlock() range
    " get block number
    let block = matchstr(getline(a:firstline), '-e\zs\d\d')
    " get acc 5
    let acc = ''
    for linenr in range(a:firstline+1, a:lastline)
        let line = getline(linenr)
        if line =~ 'acc\d 5'
            let acc = matchstr(line, 'acc\d')
    call append(0, printf("Block %s: %s", block, acc))
g/start/.;/end/call ProcessBlock()


enter image description here

  • Wow! How do you make vim process function?
    – wl2776
    Feb 27, 2020 at 14:12
  • 1
    my plugin github.com/habamax/vim-evalvim
    – Maxim Kim
    Feb 27, 2020 at 14:13
  • And you can do it without a plugin of course, I have just added convenience.
    – Maxim Kim
    Feb 27, 2020 at 14:14
  • And a cherry on a top - sort all summaries by block numbers: nnoremap <F9> :g/start/.;/end/ call ProcessBlock()<CR>gg:.,/start/-1 sort n<cr>
    – wl2776
    Feb 28, 2020 at 8:49
  • no need to gg, just use range starting from line 1, smth like :1,/start/-1 sort n<CR>
    – Maxim Kim
    Feb 28, 2020 at 11:43

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