I have set
expandtab in my
.vimrc file to convert
tab to multiple
space characters. However some files (like Makefile) need actual the
tab character inserted.
Is there an easy way to force the insertion the
tab while I am typing?
Instead of just pressing Tab, first press Ctrl-V and then press Tab.
This can be used to insert a variety of special chars. See
:help i_CTRL-V for details.
Ctrl-V also works in command-line mode (
:help c-CTRL-V), and even in some other programs entirely. (e.g. bash, mutt.)
If you have Ctrl-V mapped to something else, try Ctrl-Q. This has the same effect in Vim as Ctrl-V, but some terminals use it for control flow, in which case Vim won't ever see it.
Rather than change your behavior (which is error prone).
I would set up vim to behave differently for this file type.
So in my normal editing I expand tabs. But specifically for
make files I set the
noexpandtab so that tabs are retained.
Add the following to your ~/.vimrc file:
" Normal action set expandtab if has("autocmd") " If the filetype is Makefile then we need to use tabs " So do not expand tabs into space. autocmd FileType make set noexpandtab endif