You know that Vim lets you undo changes like any text editor. What you might not know is that it doesn't just keep a list of your changes — it keeps a tree of them.
Say you make a change (call it X), undo that change, and then make another change (call it Y). With most editors, change X is now gone forever. With Vim you can get it back.
The problem is that trying to do this in the real world is painful. Vim gives
:undolist command that shows you the leaves of the tree. Good luck
finding the change you want in that list.
Gundo is a plugin to make browsing this ridiculously powerful undo tree less painful.
Check out this quick screencast if you want to see it in action.
Gundo requires Vim 7.3+ compiled with Python support, and Python 2.4+.
Use Pathogen. Don't use pathogen? Start.
hg clone http://bitbucket.org/sjl/gundo.vim ~/.vim/bundle/gundo
There's a git mirror if you prefer:
git clone http://github.com/sjl/gundo.vim.git ~/.vim/bundle/gundo
Add a mapping to your ~/.vimrc (change the key to suit your taste):
nnoremap <F5> :GundoToggle<CR>
We'll get to the technical details later, but if you're a human the first thing you need to do is add a mapping to your vimrc file to toggle the undo graph:
nnoremap <F5> :GundoToggle<CR>
Change the mapped key to suit your taste. We'll stick with
<F5> because that's
what the author uses.
Now you can press
<F5> to toggle the undo graph and preview pane, which will
look something like this:
Undo graph File +-----------------------------------+---------------------------+ | " Gundo for something.txt  |one | | " j/k - move between undo states |two | | " <cr> - revert to that state |three | | |five | | @  3 hours ago | | | | | | | | o  4 hours ago | | | | | | | | o |  4 hours ago | | | | | | | | o |  4 hours ago | | | |/ | | | o  4 hours ago | | | | | | | o  Original | | +-----------------------------------+ | | --- 3 2010-10-12 06:27:35 PM | | | +++ 5 2010-10-12 07:38:37 PM | | | @@ -1,3 +1,4 | | | one | | | two | | | three | | | +five | | +-----------------------------------+---------------------------+ Preview pane
Your current position in the undo tree is marked with an
@ character. Other
nodes are marked with an
When you toggle open the graph Gundo will put your cursor on your current
position in the tree. You can move up and down the graph with the
You can move to the top of the graph (the newest state) with
gg and to the
bottom of the graph (the oldest state) with
As you move between undo states the preview pane will show you a unified diff of the change that state made.
return on a state (or double clicking on it) will
revert the contents of the file to match that state.
You can use
p on a state to make the preview window show the
diff between your current state and the selected state, instead of a preview
of what the selected state changed.
P while on a state will initiate "play to" mode targeted at that
state. This will replay all the changes between your current state and the
target, with a slight pause after each change. It's mostly useless, but can be
fun to watch and see where your editing lags — that might be a good place to
define a new mapping to speed up your editing.
q while in the undo graph will close it. You can also just press your
toggle mapping key.
You can tweak the behavior of Gundo by setting a few variables in your :vimrc file. For example:
let g:gundo_width = 60 let g:gundo_preview_height = 40 let g:gundo_right = 1
Set the horizontal width of the Gundo graph (and preview).
Set the vertical height of the Gundo preview.
Force the preview window below current windows instead of below the graph. This gives the preview window more space to show the unified diff.
+--------+ +--------+ !g! ! ! !g! !g! ! or ! !g! !g!______! !______!g! !g!pppppp! !pppppp!g! +--------+ +--------+
Set this to 1 to make the Gundo graph (and preview) open on the right side instead of the left.
Default: 0 (off, open on the left side)
Set this to 0 to disable the help text in the Gundo graph window.
Default: 1 (show the help)
Set this to 1 to disable Gundo entirely.
Useful if you use the same
~/.vim folder on
multiple machines, and some of them may not have Python support.
Default: 0 (Gundo is enabled as usual)
These options let you change the keys that navigate the undo graph. This is useful if you use a Dvorak keyboard and have changed your movement keys.
Set this to 1 to automatically close the Gundo windows when reverting.
Default: 0 (windows do not automatically close)
Set this to 0 to disable automatically rendering preview diffs as you move through the undo tree (you can still render a specific diff with r). This can be useful on large files and undo trees to speed up Gundo.
Default: unset (windows use the default statusline)
Set this to 1 to rendering diff automatically with cursor move.
Default: 1 (auto preview diff)
This is the delay in milliseconds between each change when running 'play to' mode. Set this to a higher number for a slower playback or to a lower number for a faster playback.
If you find a bug please post it on the issue tracker.
Make sure you document your changes in the following places:
kmappings are now configurable with
Downkeys are now mapped in the Gundo pane.
GundoToggleclose the Gundo windows if they're visible but not the current window, instead of moving to them.
pmapping to preview the result of reverting to the selected state.
The graphing code was all taken from Mercurial, hence the GPLv2+ license.
The plugin was heavily inspired by histwin.vim, and the code for scratch.vim helped the author get started.