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intermediate Tip #1241: beautifully rearrange quotes in email replies using the fmt command.

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created:   May 24, 2006 6:46      complexity:   intermediate
author:   Davide Alberani      as of Vim:   5.7

" Tip: beautifully rearrange quotes in email replies using the fmt command.
" Author: Davide Alberani <da @ erlug.linux.it>  http://erlug.linux.it/~da/
" Version: 0.1
" Date: 24 May 2006
" Description: editing email replies, I often end up cutting the quoted text
"              to leave only a short meaningful part, but many times this
"              will leave blocks of quoted lines with very heterogeneous
"              lengths - and this looks really bad; moreover sometimes the
"              sender is writing lines longer than 72 chars, and I want to
"              split it maintaining the original quote.
"              Calling the Vbq command you can rearrange isolated blocks
"              of quoted lines so that they will look _really_ good.
"              Every single block of quoted lines is stripped of its quote
"              and reformatted calling the 'fmt' unix program (I suppose you
"              can use any other similar tool) and then restored in place,
"              adding the quote again.
" Usage: I normally start editing my reply, removing the unnecessary quoted
"        text (without caring about leaving too long or too short quoted
"        lines) and then, after I've finished writing the reply, I call
"        the :Vbq command.
" Hints: read the comments in the code and modify it according to your needs.
" Warning: you need the fmt (or a similar filter) command installed.
" Keywords: quote, email, formatting, fmt.
" My VIM pages: http://erlug.linux.it/~da/vim/

" The function used to beautifully rearrange quoted lines.
function VeryBeautyQuote (...) range
  " The regular expression used to match quoted lines.
  " NOTE: modify this regexp if you have special needs.
  let re_quote = '^>\(\a\{-,3}[>|]\|[> \t|]\)\{,5}'
  set report=30000 " do not report the number of changed lines.
  let cur = a:firstline
  while cur <= a:lastline
     let str = getline(cur)
     " Match the quote.
     let comm = matchstr(str, re_quote)
     let newcomm = comm
     let commlen = strlen(comm)
     let filelen = line('$')
     if commlen > 0
       let startl = cur
       while newcomm == comm
         " Strip the quote from this group of quoted lines.
         let txt = substitute(str, re_quote, '', '')
         call setline(cur, txt)
         let cur = cur + 1
         let str = getline(cur)
         let newcomm = matchstr(str, re_quote)
       endwhile
       let cur = cur - 1
       " Execute fmt for format the (un-)quoted lines.
       " NOTE: you can call any other formatter that act like a command line
       "       filter.
       " NOTE: 72 is the maximum length of a single line, including
       "       the length of the quote.
       execute startl . ',' . cur . '!fmt -' . (72 - commlen)
       " If the length of the file was changed, move the cursor accordingly.
       let lendiff = filelen - line('$')
       if lendiff != 0
         let cur = cur - lendiff
       endif
       " Restore the stripped quote.
       execute startl . ',' . cur . 's/^/' . comm . '/g'
     endif
   let cur = cur + 1
  endwhile
endfunction

" Execute this command to beautifully rearrange the quoted lines.
com Vbq :let strl = line('.')<Bar>:%call VeryBeautyQuote()<Bar>:exec strl

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Additional Notes

bheeshmar, May 24, 2006 20:16
gq<motion> is really smart and seems to be what you are looking for here...

You can select the text:

> quoted
> email should justify properly dsfalj djf kasjfjsdf    kffjkjfdsajfjf dfasdfasdfja kfsd
> even when disjoint

in visual mode, hit gq, and you will get:
> quoted email should justify properly dsfalj djf kasjfjsdf    kffjkjfdsajfjf
> dfasdfasdfja kfsd even when disjoint ~

I use it with function comments where it is aware of the commenting style and will preserve leading "//" and even transform:
/*
* funky
* commenting
* style
*/

into
/*
* funky commenting style
*/
~
Sybren, June 9, 2006 7:21
I mapped 'q':

map q gq}

With that mapping, the paragraph you are on will be rewrapped when you hit 'q'. Works like a charm :)
nummer5 at frittenforke dot de, July 31, 2006 9:14
well, q is for recording macros, another very useful feature. You should try it before you remap the command.
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