for example, here I am editing the i3 config file. It shows syntax error just because a line is broken into multiple lines, with newline's being escaped.

vim editor: editing i3wm config file, syntax anomaly

I have noticed that syntax highlighting breaks on other escape characters too. for example "abc \" def" breaks syntax at the middle ".

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Open a new file with syntax on and :set filetype=i3config.
  2. Type the following text:
exec --no-startup-id kitty
exec --no-startup-id \

Notice the difference in syntax in the two lines.

  • Welcome to Vim. In order to help people to reproduce your problem could you: add a small example of a text that trigger a warning (not as screenshot but as text), tell us what is the filetype of the buffer (:set ft?)? Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 10:22
  • When I follow your instructions I get no colorization at all. Do you have a plugin installed for i3config? Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 12:22
  • @VivianDeSmedt I have only one plugin, that is gruvbox colorscheme. Nothing I have specific to filetype i3config. My .vimrc sources $VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim and I have done only few extra configuration outside it.
    – Amith
    Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 14:26
  • Sorry Amith I can't reproduce the behavior. Can you tell us which version of vim your are using. Are you using a Vim distribution like Amix or SpaceVim Commented Apr 23, 2022 at 6:44
  • @VivianDeSmedt my vim version is 8.2. I have gvim installed from debian testing repo. Here is my vimrc in completion if it helps: pastebin.com/su1TWVww . thanks for all the help!
    – Amith
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


This code uses the i3ConfigLineCont rule.

syn region i3ConfigLineCont start=/^.*\\$/ end=/^.*$/ ...

end=/^.*$/ needs to be end=/^[^\\]*$/ to fix the highlight error. There is a pull request with this fix.

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