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I am starting to have issues with my pinky finger. I tend to write variables and functions using underscores as in my_variable. I would like to find a way to avoid having to press "shift + -" to get the underscore. One way I thought of is by having vim transform -- to _ automatically as I type. How can I do that? Other alternatives to writing _ are welcome.

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Sorry about your pinky. :)

You could try one of...

:inoremap -- _

...or...

:iabbrev -- _

The difference has to do with when the substituted character appears. With mappings it's immediately. With abbreviations it's after you type a non-keyword character (e.g. Space).

Of course, if your primary use case is, as you suggested, snake_case variable names...and so the underscore is always followed by a keyword character...then the first one is the only practical choice! The alternative may be of interest to other folks, though.

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A slightly more complicated solution that mirrors what I do for SHOUTY CAPS.

For upper case, I type in lower case and then use something like gUiw to change the case.

For - to _, I would use tpope's vim-abolish to type my-variable and then use cr_ (which only needs one _ typed) or crs (which needs none).

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