I want to mark the textwidthth column using colorcolumn and have used the following (since I have slightly different textwidths for different files)

au FileType py set textwidth=80 (say line 98)
au FileType c set textwidth=79 (say line 99)
let &colorcolumn=&textwidth (say line 100)

As you can see I have made sure that textwidth has been defined before colorcolumn is being set. I have also checked the output of the following commands (inside a .c file)

:verbose set textwidth?
    Last set from my_vimrc line 99
:verbose set colorcolumn?
    Last set from my_vimrc line 100

As you can see the value is 0 even though no other file is changing the value. Any reason why this might be happening ?

On a related note, vim is not breaking lines at 79 characters within .c file even though textwidth is set to 79. Could this also be a part of the problem ??

  • formatoptions=ql
    – First User
    Mar 17, 2021 at 15:24
  • 1
    Without t (or c for comments only) the auto-wrapping is disabled. (Just to address your "on a related note" part.) Most people want this for coding, I think.
    – B Layer
    Mar 17, 2021 at 15:25
  • should I add a fo+=t then on its own ? or should I write it as an autocommand for C files only ?
    – First User
    Mar 17, 2021 at 15:28
  • 1
    Well, like I just added in my edit to my comment, it's off deliberately since auto-wrapping is kinda bad for coding. But if you want it on then it depends on if you want it just for C in which case autocommand (or, maybe better, adding an "after" file) is fine. You'll have to see if it's on/off for other file types to your liking.
    – B Layer
    Mar 17, 2021 at 15:29
  • 1
    Sure. Regarding colorcoumn...surely due to timings of autocommands (they are fired after initial vimrc processing). Easy verification/workaround: set colorcolumn in the autocommands
    – B Layer
    Mar 17, 2021 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


What you are expected to do: set cc=+0

Why your stuff doesn't work: because ordinary :set is executed once, while :autocmd FileType is executed upon each FileType event.

Note: your autocmd has all possible "novice bugs" in it. Before doing any stuff with auto-commands you're strongly advised to learn the docs. In particular, always use augroup; prefer after-directory over manual autocmd etc.

  • thanks. I had removed the augroups for the sake of brevity.
    – First User
    Mar 17, 2021 at 15:47

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