*sign.txt*      For Vim version 6.1.  Last change: 2002 Feb 24

		  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL    by Gordon Prieur
					  and Bram Moolenaar

Sign Support Features				*sign-support*

1. Introduction				|sign-intro|
2. Commands				|sign-commands|

{Vi does not have any of these features}
{only available when compiled with the |+signs| feature}

1. Introduction					*sign-intro*

When a debugger or other IPE tool is driving an editor it needs to be able
to give specific highlights which quickly tell the user useful information
about the file. One example of this would be a debugger which had an icon
in the left-hand column denoting a breakpoint. Another example might be an
arrow representing the Program Counter (PC). The sign features allow both
placement of a sign, or icon, in the left-hand side of the window and
definition of a highlight which will be applied to that line. Displaying the
sign as an image is most likely only feasible in gvim (although Sun
Microsystem's dtterm does support this its the only terminal emulator I know
of which does).  A text sign and the highlight should be feasible in any color
terminal emulator.

Signs and highlights are not useful just for debuggers. Sun's Visual
WorkShop uses signs and highlights to mark build errors and SourceBrowser
hits. Additionally, the debugger supports 8 to 10 different signs and
highlight colors. |workshop|

There are two steps in using signs:

1. Define the sign.  This specifies the image, text and highlighting.  For
   example, you can define a "break" sign with an image of a stop roadsign and
   text "!!".

2. Place the sign.  This specifies the file and line number where the sign is
   displayed.  A defined sign can be placed several times in different lines
   and files.

When signs are defined for a file, Vim will automatically add a column of two
characters to display them in.  When the last sign is unplaced the column
disappears again.

2. Commands					*sign-commands* *:sig* *:sign*

DEFINING A SIGN.				*:sign-define* *E255* *E160*

:sign define {name} {argument}...
		Define a new sign or set attributes for an existing sign.
		The {name} can either be a number (all digits) or a name
		starting with a non-digit.
		About 120 different signs can be defined.

		Accepted arguments:

		Define the file name where the pixmap can be found.  The
		pixmap should fit in the place of two characters.  This is not
		checked.  If the pixmap is too big it will cause redraw

		Highlighting group used for the whole line the sign is placed
		in.  Most useful is defining a background color.

	text={text}						*E239*
		Define the text that is displayed when there is no icon or the
		GUI is not being used.  Thus currently must be two ASCII

		Highlighting group used for the text item.

DELETING A SIGN						*:sign-undefine* *E155*

:sign undefine {name}
		Deletes a previously defined sign.  If signs with this {name}
		are still placed this will cause trouble.

LISTING SIGNS						*:sign-list* *E156*

:sign list	Lists all defined signs and their attributes.

:sign list {name}
		Lists one defined sign and its attributes.

PLACING SIGNS						*:sign-place* *E158*

:sign place {id} line={lnum} name={name} file={fname}
		Place sign defined as {name} at line {lnum} in file {fname}.
		The file {fname} must already be loaded in a buffer.  The
		exact file name must be used, wildcards, $ENV and ~ are not

		The sign is remembered under {id}, this can be used for
		further manipulation.  {id} must be a number.
		It's up to the user to make sure the {id} is used only once in
		each file (if it's used several times unplacing will also have
		to be done several times and making changes may not work as

:sign place {id} line={lnum} name={name} buffer={nr}
		Same, but use buffer {nr}.

:sign place {id} name={name} file={fname}
		Change the placed sign {id} in file {fname} to use the defined
		sign {name}.
		This can be used to change the displayed sign without moving
		it (e.g., when the debugger has stopped at a breakpoint).

:sign place {id} name={name} buffer={nr}
		Same, but use buffer {nr}.

REMOVING SIGNS						*:sign-unplace* *E159*

:sign unplace {id} file={fname}
		Remove the previously placed sign {id} from file {fname}.

:sign unplace {id} buffer={nr}
		Same, but use buffer {nr}.

:sign unplace {id}
		Remove the previously placed sign {id} from all files it
		appears in.

:sign unplace *
		Remove all placed signs.

:sign unplace
		Remove the placed sign at the cursor position.


:sign place file={fname}
		List signs placed in file {fname}.

:sign place buffer={nr}
		List signs placed in buffer {nr}.

:sign place	List placed signs in all files.

JUMPING TO A SIGN					*:sign-jump* *E157*

:sign jump {id} file={fname}
		Open the file {fname} or jump to the window that contains
		{fname} and position the cursor at sign {id}.
		If the file isn't displayed in window and the current file can
		not be |abandon|ed this fails.

:sign jump {id} buffer={nr}
		Same, but use buffer {nr}.


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