Vim documentation: mbyte

main help file

*mbyte.txt*     For Vim version 8.1.  Last change: 2019 Jul 04

		  VIM REFERENCE MANUAL	  by Bram Moolenaar et al.

Multi-byte support				*multibyte* *multi-byte*

						*Chinese* *Japanese* *Korean*
This is about editing text in languages which have many characters that can
not be represented using one byte (one octet).  Examples are Chinese, Japanese
and Korean.  Unicode is also covered here.

For an introduction to the most common features, see |usr_45.txt| in the user
For changing the language of messages and menus see |mlang.txt|.

1.  Getting started			|mbyte-first|
2.  Locale				|mbyte-locale|
3.  Encoding				|mbyte-encoding|
4.  Using a terminal			|mbyte-terminal|
5.  Fonts on X11			|mbyte-fonts-X11|
6.  Fonts on MS-Windows			|mbyte-fonts-MSwin|
7.  Input on X11			|mbyte-XIM|
8.  Input on MS-Windows			|mbyte-IME|
9.  Input with a keymap			|mbyte-keymap|
10. Input with imactivatefunc()		|mbyte-func|
11. Using UTF-8				|mbyte-utf8|
12. Overview of options			|mbyte-options|

NOTE: This file contains UTF-8 characters.  These may show up as strange
characters or boxes when using another encoding.


1. Getting started					*mbyte-first*

This is a summary of the multibyte features in Vim.  If you are lucky it works
as described and you can start using Vim without much trouble.  If something
doesn't work you will have to read the rest.  Don't be surprised if it takes
quite a bit of work and experimenting to make Vim use all the multi-byte
features.  Unfortunately, every system has its own way to deal with multibyte
languages and it is quite complicated.


First of all, you must make sure your current locale is set correctly.  If
your system has been installed to use the language, it probably works right
away.  If not, you can often make it work by setting the $LANG environment
variable in your shell:

	setenv LANG ja_JP.EUC

Unfortunately, the name of the locale depends on your system.  Japanese might
also be called "ja_JP.EUCjp" or just "ja".  To see what is currently used:


To change the locale inside Vim use:

	:language ja_JP.EUC

Vim will give an error message if this doesn't work.  This is a good way to
experiment and find the locale name you want to use.  But it's always better
to set the locale in the shell, so that it is used right from the start.

See |mbyte-locale| for details.


If your locale works properly, Vim will try to set the 'encoding' option
accordingly.  If this doesn't work you can overrule its value:

	:set encoding=utf-8

See |encoding-values| for a list of acceptable values.

The result is that all the text that is used inside Vim will be in this
encoding.  Not only the text in the buffers, but also in registers, variables,
etc.  This also means that changing the value of 'encoding' makes the existing
text invalid!  The text doesn't change, but it will be displayed wrong.

You can edit files in another encoding than what 'encoding' is set to.  Vim
will convert the file when you read it and convert it back when you write it.
See 'fileencoding', 'fileencodings' and |++enc|.


If you are working in a terminal (emulator) you must make sure it accepts the
same encoding as which Vim is working with.  If this is not the case, you can
use the 'termencoding' option to make Vim convert text automatically.

For the GUI you must select fonts that work with the current 'encoding'.  This
is the difficult part.  It depends on the system you are using, the locale and
a few other things.  See the chapters on fonts: |mbyte-fonts-X11| for
X-Windows and |mbyte-fonts-MSwin| for MS-Windows.

For GTK+ 2, you can skip most of this section.  The option 'guifontset' does
no longer exist.  You only need to set 'guifont' and everything should "just
work".  If your system comes with Xft2 and fontconfig and the current font
does not contain a certain glyph, a different font will be used automatically
if available.  The 'guifontwide' option is still supported but usually you do
not need to set it.  It is only necessary if the automatic font selection does
not suit your needs.

For X11 you can set the 'guifontset' option to a list of fonts that together
cover the characters that are used.  Example for Korean:

	:set guifontset=k12,r12

Alternatively, you can set 'guifont' and 'guifontwide'.  'guifont' is used for
the single-width characters, 'guifontwide' for the double-width characters.
Thus the 'guifontwide' font must be exactly twice as wide as 'guifont'.
Example for UTF-8:

	:set guifont=-misc-fixed-medium-r-normal-*-18-120-100-100-c-90-iso10646-1
	:set guifontwide=-misc-fixed-medium-r-normal-*-18-120-100-100-c-180-iso10646-1

You can also set 'guifont' alone, Vim will try to find a matching
'guifontwide' for you.


There are several ways to enter multi-byte characters:
- For X11 XIM can be used.  See |XIM|.
- For MS-Windows IME can be used.  See |IME|.
- For all systems keymaps can be used.  See |mbyte-keymap|.

The options 'iminsert', 'imsearch' and 'imcmdline' can be used to chose
the different input methods or disable them temporarily.


2.  Locale						*mbyte-locale*

The easiest setup is when your whole system uses the locale you want to work
in.  But it's also possible to set the locale for one shell you are working
in, or just use a certain locale inside Vim.

WHAT IS A LOCALE?					*locale*

There are many of languages in the world.  And there are different cultures
and environments at least as much as the number of languages.	A linguistic
environment corresponding to an area is called "locale".  This includes
information about the used language, the charset, collating order for sorting,
date format, currency format and so on.  For Vim only the language and charset
really matter.

You can only use a locale if your system has support for it.  Some systems
have only a few locales, especially in the USA.  The language which you want
to use may not be on your system.  In that case you might be able to install
it as an extra package.  Check your system documentation for how to do that.

The location in which the locales are installed varies from system to system.
For example, "/usr/share/locale" or "/usr/lib/locale".  See your system's
setlocale() man page.

Looking in these directories will show you the exact name of each locale.
Mostly upper/lowercase matters, thus "ja_JP.EUC" and "ja_jp.euc" are
different.  Some systems have a locale.alias file, which allows translation
from a short name like "nl" to the full name "nl_NL.ISO_8859-1".

Note that X-windows has its own locale stuff.  And unfortunately uses locale
names different from what is used elsewhere.  This is confusing!  For Vim it
matters what the setlocale() function uses, which is generally NOT the
X-windows stuff.  You might have to do some experiments to find out what
really works.

The (simplified) format of |locale| name is:

or	language_territory
or	language_territory.codeset

Territory means the country (or part of it), codeset means the |charset|.  For
example, the locale name "ja_JP.eucJP" means:
	ja	the language is Japanese
	JP	the country is Japan
	eucJP	the codeset is EUC-JP
But it also could be "ja", "ja_JP.EUC", "ja_JP.ujis", etc.  And unfortunately,
the locale name for a specific language, territory and codeset is not unified
and depends on your system.

Examples of locale name:
    charset	    language		  locale name 
    GB2312	    Chinese (simplified)  zh_CN.EUC, zh_CN.GB2312
    Big5	    Chinese (traditional) zh_TW.BIG5, zh_TW.Big5
    CNS-11643	    Chinese (traditional) zh_TW
    EUC-JP	    Japanese		  ja, ja_JP.EUC, ja_JP.ujis, ja_JP.eucJP
    Shift_JIS	    Japanese		  ja_JP.SJIS, ja_JP.Shift_JIS
    EUC-KR	    Korean		  ko, ko_KR.EUC


To start using a locale for the whole system, see the documentation of your
system.  Mostly you need to set it in a configuration file in "/etc".

To use a locale in a shell, set the $LANG environment value.  When you want to
use Korean and the |locale| name is "ko", do this:

    sh:    export LANG=ko
    csh:   setenv LANG ko

You can put this in your ~/.profile or ~/.cshrc file to always use it.

To use a locale in Vim only, use the |:language| command:

	:language ko

Put this in your ~/.vimrc file to use it always.

Or specify $LANG when starting Vim:

   sh:    LANG=ko vim {vim-arguments}
   csh:	  env LANG=ko vim {vim-arguments}

You could make a small shell script for this.


3.  Encoding				*mbyte-encoding*

Vim uses the 'encoding' option to specify how characters are identified and
encoded when they are used inside Vim.  This applies to all the places where
text is used, including buffers (files loaded into memory), registers and

							*charset* *codeset*
Charset is another name for encoding.  There are subtle differences, but these
don't matter when using Vim.  "codeset" is another similar name.

Each character is encoded as one or more bytes.  When all characters are
encoded with one byte, we call this a single-byte encoding.  The most often
used one is called "latin1".  This limits the number of characters to 256.
Some of these are control characters, thus even fewer can be used for text.

When some characters use two or more bytes, we call this a multi-byte
encoding.  This allows using much more than 256 characters, which is required
for most East Asian languages.

Most multi-byte encodings use one byte for the first 127 characters.  These
are equal to ASCII, which makes it easy to exchange plain-ASCII text, no
matter what language is used.  Thus you might see the right text even when the
encoding was set wrong.

Vim can use many different character encodings.  There are three major groups:

1   8bit	Single-byte encodings, 256 different characters.  Mostly used
		in USA and Europe.  Example: ISO-8859-1 (Latin1).  All
		characters occupy one screen cell only.

2   2byte	Double-byte encodings, over 10000 different characters.
		Mostly used in Asian countries.  Example: euc-kr (Korean)
		The number of screen cells is equal to the number of bytes
		(except for euc-jp when the first byte is 0x8e).

u   Unicode	Universal encoding, can replace all others.  ISO 10646.
		Millions of different characters.  Example: UTF-8.  The
		relation between bytes and screen cells is complex.

Other encodings cannot be used by Vim internally.  But files in other
encodings can be edited by using conversion, see 'fileencoding'.
Note that all encodings must use ASCII for the characters up to 128 (except
when compiled for EBCDIC).

Supported 'encoding' values are:			*encoding-values*
1   latin1	8-bit characters (ISO 8859-1, also used for cp1252)
1   iso-8859-n	ISO_8859 variant (n = 2 to 15)
1   koi8-r	Russian
1   koi8-u	Ukrainian
1   macroman    MacRoman (Macintosh encoding)
1   8bit-{name} any 8-bit encoding (Vim specific name)
1   cp437	similar to iso-8859-1
1   cp737	similar to iso-8859-7
1   cp775	Baltic
1   cp850	similar to iso-8859-4
1   cp852	similar to iso-8859-1
1   cp855	similar to iso-8859-2
1   cp857	similar to iso-8859-5
1   cp860	similar to iso-8859-9
1   cp861	similar to iso-8859-1
1   cp862	similar to iso-8859-1
1   cp863	similar to iso-8859-8
1   cp865	similar to iso-8859-1
1   cp866	similar to iso-8859-5
1   cp869	similar to iso-8859-7
1   cp874	Thai
1   cp1250	Czech, Polish, etc.
1   cp1251	Cyrillic
1   cp1253	Greek
1   cp1254	Turkish
1   cp1255	Hebrew
1   cp1256	Arabic
1   cp1257	Baltic
1   cp1258	Vietnamese
1   cp{number}	MS-Windows: any installed single-byte codepage
2   cp932	Japanese (Windows only)
2   euc-jp	Japanese (Unix only)
2   sjis	Japanese (Unix only)
2   cp949	Korean (Unix and Windows)
2   euc-kr	Korean (Unix only)
2   cp936	simplified Chinese (Windows only)
2   euc-cn	simplified Chinese (Unix only)
2   cp950	traditional Chinese (on Unix alias for big5)
2   big5	traditional Chinese (on Windows alias for cp950)
2   euc-tw	traditional Chinese (Unix only)
2   2byte-{name} Unix: any double-byte encoding (Vim specific name)
2   cp{number}	MS-Windows: any installed double-byte codepage
u   utf-8	32 bit UTF-8 encoded Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646-1)
u   ucs-2	16 bit UCS-2 encoded Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646-1)
u   ucs-2le	like ucs-2, little endian
u   utf-16	ucs-2 extended with double-words for more characters
u   utf-16le	like utf-16, little endian
u   ucs-4	32 bit UCS-4 encoded Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646-1)
u   ucs-4le	like ucs-4, little endian

The {name} can be any encoding name that your system supports.  It is passed
to iconv() to convert between the encoding of the file and the current locale.
For MS-Windows "cp{number}" means using codepage {number}.
		:set encoding=8bit-cp1252
		:set encoding=2byte-cp932

The MS-Windows codepage 1252 is very similar to latin1.  For practical reasons
the same encoding is used and it's called latin1.  'isprint' can be used to
display the characters 0x80 - 0xA0 or not.

Several aliases can be used, they are translated to one of the names above.
An incomplete list:

1   ansi	same as latin1 (obsolete, for backward compatibility)
2   japan	Japanese: on Unix "euc-jp", on MS-Windows cp932
2   korea	Korean: on Unix "euc-kr", on MS-Windows cp949
2   prc		simplified Chinese: on Unix "euc-cn", on MS-Windows cp936
2   chinese     same as "prc"
2   taiwan	traditional Chinese: on Unix "euc-tw", on MS-Windows cp950
u   utf8	same as utf-8
u   unicode	same as ucs-2
u   ucs2be	same as ucs-2 (big endian)
u   ucs-2be	same as ucs-2 (big endian)
u   ucs-4be	same as ucs-4 (big endian)
u   utf-32	same as ucs-4
u   utf-32le	same as ucs-4le
    default     stands for the default value of 'encoding', depends on the

For the UCS codes the byte order matters.  This is tricky, use UTF-8 whenever
you can.  The default is to use big-endian (most significant byte comes
	    name	bytes		char 
	    ucs-2	      11 22	    1122
	    ucs-2le	      22 11	    1122
	    ucs-4	11 22 33 44	11223344
	    ucs-4le	44 33 22 11	11223344

On MS-Windows systems you often want to use "ucs-2le", because it uses little
endian UCS-2.

There are a few encodings which are similar, but not exactly the same.  Vim
treats them as if they were different encodings, so that conversion will be
done when needed.  You might want to use the similar name to avoid conversion
or when conversion is not possible:

	cp932, shift-jis, sjis
	cp936, euc-cn

Normally 'encoding' is equal to your current locale and 'termencoding' is
empty.  This means that your keyboard and display work with characters encoded
in your current locale, and Vim uses the same characters internally.

You can make Vim use characters in a different encoding by setting the
'encoding' option to a different value.  Since the keyboard and display still
use the current locale, conversion needs to be done.  The 'termencoding' then
takes over the value of the current locale, so Vim converts between 'encoding'
and 'termencoding'.  Example:
	:let &termencoding = &encoding
	:set encoding=utf-8

However, not all combinations of values are possible.  The table below tells
you how each of the nine combinations works.  This is further restricted by
not all conversions being possible, iconv() being present, etc.  Since this
depends on the system used, no detailed list can be given.

('tenc' is the short name for 'termencoding' and 'enc' short for 'encoding')

'tenc'	    'enc'	remark 

 8bit	    8bit	Works.  When 'termencoding' is different from
			'encoding' typing and displaying may be wrong for some
			characters, Vim does NOT perform conversion (set
			'encoding' to "utf-8" to get this).
 8bit      2byte	MS-Windows: works for all codepages installed on your
			system; you can only type 8bit characters;
			Other systems: does NOT work.
 8bit	   Unicode	Works, but only 8bit characters can be typed directly
			(others through digraphs, keymaps, etc.); in a
			terminal you can only see 8bit characters; the GUI can
			show all characters that the 'guifont' supports.

 2byte	    8bit	Works, but typing non-ASCII characters might
			be a problem.
 2byte	   2byte	MS-Windows: works for all codepages installed on your
			system; typing characters might be a problem when
			locale is different from 'encoding'.
			Other systems: Only works when 'termencoding' is equal
			to 'encoding', you might as well leave it empty.
 2byte	   Unicode	works, Vim will translate typed characters.

 Unicode    8bit	works (unusual)
 Unicode    2byte	does NOT work
 Unicode   Unicode	works very well (leaving 'termencoding' empty works
			the same way, because all Unicode is handled
			internally as UTF-8)

CONVERSION						*charset-conversion*

Vim will automatically convert from one to another encoding in several places:
- When reading a file and 'fileencoding' is different from 'encoding'
- When writing a file and 'fileencoding' is different from 'encoding'
- When displaying characters and 'termencoding' is different from 'encoding'
- When reading input and 'termencoding' is different from 'encoding'
- When displaying messages and the encoding used for LC_MESSAGES differs from
  'encoding' (requires a gettext version that supports this).
- When reading a Vim script where |:scriptencoding| is different from
- When reading or writing a |viminfo| file.
Most of these require the |+iconv| feature.  Conversion for reading and
writing files may also be specified with the 'charconvert' option.

Useful utilities for converting the charset:
    All:	    iconv
	GNU iconv can convert most encodings.  Unicode is used as the
	intermediate encoding, which allows conversion from and to all other
 encodings. See

    Japanese:	    nkf
	Nkf is "Network Kanji code conversion Filter".  One of the most unique
	facility of nkf is the guess of the input Kanji code.  So, you don't
	need to know what the inputting file's |charset| is.  When convert to
	EUC-JP from ISO-2022-JP or Shift_JIS, simply do the following command
	in Vim:
	    :%!nkf -e
	Nkf can be found at:

    Chinese:	    hc
	Hc is "Hanzi Converter".  Hc convert a GB file to a Big5 file, or Big5
	file to GB file.  Hc can be found at:

    Korean:	    hmconv
	Hmconv is Korean code conversion utility especially for E-mail.  It can
	convert between EUC-KR and ISO-2022-KR.  Hmconv can be found at:

    Multilingual:   lv
	Lv is a Powerful Multilingual File Viewer.  And it can be worked as
	|charset| converter.  Supported |charset|: ISO-2022-CN, ISO-2022-JP,
	ISO-2022-KR, EUC-CN, EUC-JP, EUC-KR, EUC-TW, UTF-7, UTF-8, ISO-8859
	series, Shift_JIS, Big5 and HZ.  Lv can be found at:

When reading and writing files in an encoding different from 'encoding',
conversion needs to be done.  These conversions are supported:
- All conversions between Latin-1 (ISO-8859-1), UTF-8, UCS-2 and UCS-4 are
  handled internally.
- For MS-Windows, when 'encoding' is a Unicode encoding, conversion from and
  to any codepage should work.
- Conversion specified with 'charconvert'
- Conversion with the iconv library, if it is available.
	Old versions of GNU iconv() may cause the conversion to fail (they
	request a very large buffer, more than Vim is willing to provide).
	Try getting another iconv() implementation.

On MS-Windows Vim can be compiled with the |+iconv/dyn| feature.  This means
Vim will search for the "iconv.dll" and "libiconv.dll" libraries.  When
neither of them can be found Vim will still work but some conversions won't be


4. Using a terminal					*mbyte-terminal*

The GUI fully supports multi-byte characters.  It is also possible in a
terminal, if the terminal supports the same encoding that Vim uses.  Thus this
is less flexible.

For example, you can run Vim in a xterm with added multi-byte support and/or
|XIM|.  Examples are kterm (Kanji term) and hanterm (for Korean), Eterm
(Enlightened terminal) and rxvt.

If your terminal does not support the right encoding, you can set the
'termencoding' option.  Vim will then convert the typed characters from
'termencoding' to 'encoding'.  And displayed text will be converted from
'encoding' to 'termencoding'.  If the encoding supported by the terminal
doesn't include all the characters that Vim uses, this leads to lost
characters.  This may mess up the display.  If you use a terminal that
supports Unicode, such as the xterm mentioned below, it should work just fine,
since nearly every character set can be converted to Unicode without loss of

UTF-8 IN XFREE86 XTERM					*UTF8-xterm*

This is a short explanation of how to use UTF-8 character encoding in the
xterm that comes with XFree86 by Thomas Dickey (text by Markus Kuhn).

Get the latest xterm version which has now UTF-8 support:

Compile it with "./configure --enable-wide-chars ; make"

Also get the ISO 10646-1 version of various fonts, which is available on

and install the font as described in the README file.

Now start xterm with

  xterm -u8 -fn -misc-fixed-medium-r-semicondensed--13-120-75-75-c-60-iso10646-1
or, for bigger character:
  xterm -u8 -fn -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--15-140-75-75-c-90-iso10646-1

and you will have a working UTF-8 terminal emulator.  Try both

   cat utf-8-demo.txt
   vim utf-8-demo.txt

with the demo text that comes with ucs-fonts.tar.gz in order to see
whether there are any problems with UTF-8 in your xterm.

For Vim you may need to set 'encoding' to "utf-8".


5.  Fonts on X11					*mbyte-fonts-X11*

Unfortunately, using fonts in X11 is complicated.  The name of a single-byte
font is a long string.  For multi-byte fonts we need several of these...

Note: Most of this is no longer relevant for GTK+ 2.  Selecting a font via
its XLFD is not supported; see 'guifont' for an example of how to
set the font.  Do yourself a favor and ignore the |XLFD| and |xfontset|
sections below.

First of all, Vim only accepts fixed-width fonts for displaying text.  You
cannot use proportionally spaced fonts.  This excludes many of the available
(and nicer looking) fonts.  However, for menus and tooltips any font can be

Note that Display and Input are independent.  It is possible to see your
language even though you have no input method for it.

You should get a default font for menus and tooltips that works, but it might
be ugly.  Read the following to find out how to select a better font.


XLFD is the X font name and contains the information about the font size,
charset, etc.  The name is in this format:


Each field means:

- FOUNDRY:  FOUNDRY field.  The company that created the font.
- FAMILY:   FAMILY_NAME field.  Basic font family name.  (helvetica, gothic,
	    times, etc)
- WEIGHT:   WEIGHT_NAME field.  How thick the letters are.  (light, medium,
	    bold, etc)
- SLANT:    SLANT field.
		r:  Roman (no slant)
		i:  Italic
		o:  Oblique
		ri: Reverse Italic
		ro: Reverse Oblique
		ot: Other
		number:	Scaled font
- WIDTH:    SETWIDTH_NAME field.  Width of characters.  (normal, condensed,
	    narrow, double wide)
- STYLE:    ADD_STYLE_NAME field.  Extra info to describe font.  (Serif, Sans
	    Serif, Informal, Decorated, etc)
- PIXEL:    PIXEL_SIZE field.  Height, in pixels, of characters.
- POINT:    POINT_SIZE field.  Ten times height of characters in points.
- X:	    RESOLUTION_X field.  X resolution (dots per inch).
- Y:	    RESOLUTION_Y field.  Y resolution (dots per inch).
- SPACE:    SPACING field.
		p:  Proportional
		m:  Monospaced
		c:  CharCell
- AVE:	    AVERAGE_WIDTH field.  Ten times average width in pixels.
- CR:	    CHARSET_REGISTRY field.  The name of the charset group.
- CE:	    CHARSET_ENCODING field.  The rest of the charset name.  For some
	    charsets, such as JIS X 0208, if this field is 0, code points has
	    the same value as GL, and GR if 1.

For example, in case of a 16 dots font corresponding to JIS X 0208, it is
written like:


						*fontset* *xfontset*
A single-byte charset is typically associated with one font.  For multi-byte
charsets a combination of fonts is often used.  This means that one group of
characters are used from one font and another group from another font (which
might be double wide).  This collection of fonts is called a fontset.

Which fonts are required in a fontset depends on the current locale.  X
windows maintains a table of which groups of characters are required for a
locale.  You have to specify all the fonts that a locale requires in the
'guifontset' option.

Setting the 'guifontset' option also means that all font names will be handled
as a fontset name.  Also the ones used for the "font" argument of the
|:highlight| command.

Note the difference between 'guifont' and 'guifontset': In 'guifont'
the comma-separated names are alternative names, one of which will be
used.  In 'guifontset' the whole string is one fontset name,
including the commas.  It is not possible to specify alternative
fontset names.
This example works on many X11 systems:
	:set guifontset=-*-*-medium-r-normal--16-*-*-*-c-*-*-*
The fonts must match with the current locale.  If fonts for the character sets
that the current locale uses are not included, setting 'guifontset' will fail.

NOTE: The fontset always uses the current locale, even though 'encoding' may
be set to use a different charset.  In that situation you might want to use
'guifont' and 'guifontwide' instead of 'guifontset'.

    |charset| language		    "groups of characters" 
    GB2312    Chinese (simplified)  ISO-8859-1 and GB 2312
    Big5      Chinese (traditional) ISO-8859-1 and Big5
    CNS-11643 Chinese (traditional) ISO-8859-1, CNS 11643-1 and CNS 11643-2
    EUC-JP    Japanese		    JIS X 0201 and JIS X 0208
    EUC-KR    Korean		    ISO-8859-1 and KS C 5601 (KS X 1001)

You can search for fonts using the xlsfonts command.  For example, when you're
searching for a font for KS C 5601:
    xlsfonts | grep ksc5601

This is complicated and confusing.  You might want to consult the X-Windows
documentation if there is something you don't understand.

When you have found the names of the fonts you want to use, you need to set
the 'guifontset' option.  You specify the list by concatenating the font names
and putting a comma in between them.

For example, when you use the ja_JP.eucJP locale, this requires JIS X 0201
and JIS X 0208.  You could supply a list of fonts that explicitly specifies
the charsets, like:

 :set guifontset=-misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--14-130-75-75-c-140-jisx0208.1983-0,

Alternatively, you can supply a base font name list that omits the charset
name, letting X-Windows select font characters required for the locale.  For

 :set guifontset=-misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--14-130-75-75-c-140,

Alternatively, you can supply a single base font name that allows X-Windows to
select from all available fonts.  For example:

 :set guifontset=-misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--14-*

Alternatively, you can specify alias names.  See the fonts.alias file in the
fonts directory (e.g., /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/).  For example:

 :set guifontset=k14,r14

Note that in East Asian fonts, the standard character cell is square.  When
mixing a Latin font and an East Asian font, the East Asian font width should
be twice the Latin font width.

If 'guifontset' is not empty, the "font" argument of the |:highlight| command
is also interpreted as a fontset.  For example, you should use for
	:hi Comment font=english_font,your_font
If you use a wrong "font" argument you will get an error message.
Also make sure that you set 'guifontset' before setting fonts for highlight


Instead of specifying 'guifontset', you can set X11 resources and Vim will
pick them up.  This is only for people who know how X resource files work.

For Motif and Athena insert these three lines in your $HOME/.Xdefaults file:

	Vim.font: |base_font_name_list|
	Vim*fontSet: |base_font_name_list|
	Vim*fontList: your_language_font

Note: Vim.font is for text area.
      Vim*fontSet is for menu.
      Vim*fontList is for menu (for Motif GUI)

For example, when you are using Japanese and a 14 dots font,

	Vim.font: -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--14-*
	Vim*fontSet: -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--14-*
	Vim*fontList: -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--14-*

	Vim*font: k14,r14
	Vim*fontSet: k14,r14
	Vim*fontList: k14,r14
To have them take effect immediately you will have to do

	xrdb -merge ~/.Xdefaults

Otherwise you will have to stop and restart the X server before the changes
take effect.

The GTK+ version of GUI Vim does not use .Xdefaults, use ~/.gtkrc instead.
The default mostly works OK.  But for the menus you might have to change
it.  Example:

	style "default"
	widget_class "*" style "default"


6.  Fonts on MS-Windows				*mbyte-fonts-MSwin*

The simplest is to use the font dialog to select fonts and try them out.  You
can find this at the "Edit/Select Font..." menu.  Once you find a font name
that works well you can use this command to see its name:

	:set guifont

Then add a command to your |gvimrc| file to set 'guifont':

	:set guifont=courier_new:h12


7.  Input on X11				*mbyte-XIM*

X INPUT METHOD (XIM) BACKGROUND			*XIM* *xim* *x-input-method*

XIM is an international input module for X.  There are two kinds of structures,
Xlib unit type and |IM-server| (Input-Method server) type.  |IM-server| type
is suitable for complex input, such as CJK.

- IM-server

  In |IM-server| type input structures, the input event is handled by either
  of the two ways: FrontEnd system and BackEnd system.  In the FrontEnd
  system, input events are snatched by the |IM-server| first, then |IM-server|
  give the application the result of input.  On the other hand, the BackEnd
  system works reverse order.  MS Windows adopt BackEnd system.  In X, most of
  |IM-server|s adopt FrontEnd system.  The demerit of BackEnd system is the
  large overhead in communication, but it provides safe synchronization with
  no restrictions on applications.

  For example, there are xwnmo and kinput2 Japanese |IM-server|, both are
  FrontEnd system.  Xwnmo is distributed with Wnn (see below), kinput2 can be
 found at:

  For Chinese, there's a great XIM server named "xcin", you can input both
  Traditional and Simplified Chinese characters.  And it can accept other
  locale if you make a correct input table.  Xcin can be found at:
 Others are scim: and fcitx:

- Conversion Server

  Some system needs additional server: conversion server.  Most of Japanese
  |IM-server|s need it, Kana-Kanji conversion server.  For Chinese inputting,
  it depends on the method of inputting, in some methods, PinYin or ZhuYin to
  HanZi conversion server is needed.  For Korean inputting, if you want to
  input Hanja, Hangul-Hanja conversion server is needed.

  For example, the Japanese inputting process is divided into 2 steps.  First
  we pre-input Hira-gana, second Kana-Kanji conversion.  There are so many
  Kanji characters (6349 Kanji characters are defined in JIS X 0208) and the
  number of Hira-gana characters are 76.  So, first, we pre-input text as
  pronounced in Hira-gana, second, we convert Hira-gana to Kanji or Kata-Kana,
  if needed.  There are some Kana-Kanji conversion server: jserver
  (distributed with Wnn, see below) and canna.  Canna can be found at:

There is a good input system: Wnn4.2.  Wnn 4.2 contains,
    xwnmo (|IM-server|)
    jserver (Japanese Kana-Kanji conversion server)
    cserver (Chinese PinYin or ZhuYin to simplified HanZi conversion server)
    tserver (Chinese PinYin or ZhuYin to traditional HanZi conversion server)
    kserver (Hangul-Hanja conversion server)
Wnn 4.2 for several systems can be found at various places on the internet.
Use the RPM or port for your system.

- Input Style

  When inputting CJK, there are four areas:
      1. The area to display of the input while it is being composed
      2. The area to display the currently active input mode.
      3. The area to display the next candidate for the selection.
      4. The area to display other tools.

  The third area is needed when converting.  For example, in Japanese
  inputting, multiple Kanji characters could have the same pronunciation, so
  a sequence of Hira-gana characters could map to a distinct sequence of Kanji

  The first and second areas are defined in international input of X with the
  names of "Preedit Area", "Status Area" respectively.  The third and fourth
  areas are not defined and are left to be managed by the |IM-server|.  In the
  international input, four input styles have been defined using combinations
  of Preedit Area and Status Area: |OnTheSpot|, |OffTheSpot|, |OverTheSpot|
  and |Root|.

  Currently, GUI Vim supports three styles, |OverTheSpot|, |OffTheSpot| and
  When compiled with |+GUI_GTK| feature, GUI Vim supports two styles,
  |OnTheSpot| and |OverTheSpot|.  You can select the style with the 'imstyle'

*.  on-the-spot						*OnTheSpot*
    Preedit Area and Status Area are performed by the client application in
    the area of application.  The client application is directed by the
    |IM-server| to display all pre-edit data at the location of text
    insertion.  The client registers callbacks invoked by the input method
    during pre-editing.
*.  over-the-spot					*OverTheSpot*
    Status Area is created in a fixed position within the area of application,
    in case of Vim, the position is the additional status line.  Preedit Area
    is made at present input position of application.  The input method
    displays pre-edit data in a window which it brings up directly over the
    text insertion position.
*.  off-the-spot					*OffTheSpot*
    Preedit Area and Status Area are performed in the area of application, in
    case of Vim, the area is additional status line.  The client application
    provides display windows for the pre-edit data to the input method which
    displays into them directly.
*.  root-window						*Root*
    Preedit Area and Status Area are outside of the application.  The input
    method displays all pre-edit data in a separate area of the screen in a
    window specific to the input method.

USING XIM			*multibyte-input* *E284* *E286* *E287* *E288*

				*E285* *E289*

Note that Display and Input are independent.  It is possible to see your
language even though you have no input method for it.  But when your Display
method doesn't match your Input method, the text will be displayed wrong.

	Note: You can not use IM unless you specify 'guifontset'.
	      Therefore, Latin users, you have to also use 'guifontset'
	      if you use IM.

To input your language you should run the |IM-server| which supports your
language and |conversion-server| if needed.

The next 3 lines should be put in your ~/.Xdefaults file.  They are common for
all X applications which uses |XIM|.  If you already use |XIM|, you can skip

	*international: True
	*.inputMethod: your_input_server_name
	*.preeditType: your_input_style
input_server_name	is your |IM-server| name (check your |IM-server|
your_input_style	is one of |OverTheSpot|, |OffTheSpot|, |Root|.  See
			also |xim-input-style|.

*international may not necessary if you use X11R6.
*.inputMethod and *.preeditType are optional if you use X11R6.

For example, when you are using kinput2 as |IM-server|,

	*international: True
	*.inputMethod: kinput2
	*.preeditType: OverTheSpot
When using |OverTheSpot|, GUI Vim always connects to the IM Server even in
Normal mode, so you can input your language with commands like "f" and "r".
But when using one of the other two methods, GUI Vim connects to the IM Server
only if it is not in Normal mode.

If your IM Server does not support |OverTheSpot|, and if you want to use your
language with some Normal mode command like "f" or "r", then you should use a
localized xterm  or an xterm which supports |XIM|

If needed, you can set the XMODIFIERS environment variable:

	sh:  export XMODIFIERS="@im=input_server_name"
	csh: setenv XMODIFIERS "@im=input_server_name"

For example, when you are using kinput2 as |IM-server| and sh,

	export XMODIFIERS="@im=kinput2"


You can fully control XIM, like with IME of MS-Windows (see |multibyte-ime|).
This is currently only available for the GTK GUI.

Before using fully controlled XIM, one setting is required.  Set the
'imactivatekey' option to the key that is used for the activation of the input
method.  For example, when you are using kinput2 + canna as IM Server, the
activation key is probably Shift+Space:

	:set imactivatekey=S-space

See 'imactivatekey' for the format.


8.  Input on MS-Windows					*mbyte-IME*

(Windows IME support)				*multibyte-ime* *IME*

{only works Windows GUI and compiled with the |+multi_byte_ime| feature}

To input multibyte characters on Windows, you can use an Input Method Editor
(IME).  In process of your editing text, you must switch status (on/off) of
IME many many many times.  Because IME with status on is hooking all of your
key inputs, you cannot input 'j', 'k', or almost all of keys to Vim directly.

The |+multi_byte_ime| feature helps for this.  It reduces the number of times
the IME status has to be switched manually.  In Normal mode, there is almost
no need to use IME, even when editing multibyte text.  So when exiting Insert
mode, Vim memorizes the last status of IME and turns off IME.  When
re-entering Insert mode, Vim sets the IME status to that memorized status

This works on not only insert-normal mode, but also search-command input and
replace mode.
The options 'iminsert', 'imsearch' and 'imcmdline' can be used to chose
the different input methods or disable them temporarily.

    IME is a part of East asian version Windows.  That helps you to input
    multibyte character.  English and other language version Windows does not
    have any IME.  (Also there is no need usually.) But there is one that
    called Microsoft Global IME.  Global IME is a part of Internet Explorer
    4.0 or above.  You can get more information about Global IME, at below

WHAT IS GLOBAL IME					*global-ime*
    Global IME makes capability to input Chinese, Japanese, and Korean text
    into Vim buffer on any language version of Windows 98, Windows 95, and
    Windows NT 4.0.
    On Windows 2000 and XP it should work as well (without downloading).  On
    Windows 2000 Professional, Global IME is built in, and the Input Locales
    can be added through Control Panel/Regional Options/Input Locales.
    Please see below URL for detail of Global IME.  You can also find various
    language version of Global IME at same place.

    - Global IME detailed information.

    - Active Input Method Manager (Global IME)

    Support for Global IME is an experimental feature.

NOTE: For IME to work you must make sure the input locales of your language
are added to your system.  The exact location of this depends on the version
of Windows you use.  For example, on my Windows 2000 box:
1. Control Panel
2. Regional Options
3. Input Locales Tab
4. Add Installed input locales -> Chinese(PRC)
   The default is still English (United Stated)

Cursor color when IME or XIM is on				*CursorIM*
    There is a little cute feature for IME.  Cursor can indicate status of IME
    by changing its color.  Usually status of IME was indicated by little icon
    at a corner of desktop (or taskbar).  It is not easy to verify status of
    IME.  But this feature help this.
    This works in the same way when using XIM.

    You can select cursor color when status is on by using highlight group
    CursorIM.  For example, add these lines to your YXXYgvimrc|:

	if has('multi_byte_ime')
	    highlight Cursor guifg=NONE guibg=Green
	    highlight CursorIM guifg=NONE guibg=Purple
    Cursor color with off IME is green.  And purple cursor indicates that
    status is on.


9. Input with a keymap					*mbyte-keymap*

When the keyboard doesn't produce the characters you want to enter in your
text, you can use the 'keymap' option.  This will translate one or more
(English) characters to another (non-English) character.  This only happens
when typing text, not when typing Vim commands.  This avoids having to switch
between two keyboard settings.
{only available when compiled with the |+keymap| feature}

The value of the 'keymap' option specifies a keymap file to use.  The name of
this file is one of these two:


Here {keymap} is the value of the 'keymap' option and {encoding} of the
'encoding' option.  The file name with the {encoding} included is tried first.

'runtimepath' is used to find these files.  To see an overview of all
available keymap files, use this:
	:echo globpath(&rtp, "keymap/*.vim")

In Insert and Command-line mode you can use CTRL-^ to toggle between using the
keyboard map or not. |i_CTRL-^| |c_CTRL-^|
This flag is remembered for Insert mode with the 'iminsert' option.  When
leaving and entering Insert mode the previous value is used.  The same value
is also used for commands that take a single character argument, like |f| and
For Command-line mode the flag is NOT remembered.  You are expected to type an
Ex command first, which is ASCII.
For typing search patterns the 'imsearch' option is used.  It can be set to
use the same value as for 'iminsert'.

It is possible to give the GUI cursor another color when the language mappings
are being used.  This is disabled by default, to avoid that the cursor becomes
invisible when you use a non-standard background color.  Here is an example to
use a brightly colored cursor:
	:highlight Cursor guifg=NONE guibg=Green
	:highlight lCursor guifg=NONE guibg=Cyan

		*keymap-file-format* *:loadk* *:loadkeymap* *E105* *E791*
The keymap file looks something like this:

	" Maintainer:	name <email@address>
	" Last Changed:	2001 Jan 1

	let b:keymap_name = "short"

	a	A
	b	B	comment

The lines starting with a " are comments and will be ignored.  Blank lines are
also ignored.  The lines with the mappings may have a comment after the useful

The "b:keymap_name" can be set to a short name, which will be shown in the
status line.  The idea is that this takes less room than the value of
'keymap', which might be long to distinguish between different languages,
keyboards and encodings.

The actual mappings are in the lines below "loadkeymap".  In the example "a"
is mapped to "A" and "b" to "B".  Thus the first item is mapped to the second
item.  This is done for each line, until the end of the file.
These items are exactly the same as what can be used in a |:lnoremap| command,
using "<buffer>" to make the mappings local to the buffer.
You can check the result with this command:
The two items must be separated by white space.  You cannot include white
space inside an item, use the special names "<Tab>" and "<Space>" instead.
The length of the two items together must not exceed 200 bytes.

It's possible to have more than one character in the first column.  This works
like a dead key.  Example:
	'a	á
Since Vim doesn't know if the next character after a quote is really an "a",
it will wait for the next character.  To be able to insert a single quote,
also add this line:
	''	'
Since the mapping is defined with |:lnoremap| the resulting quote will not be
used for the start of another character.

The "accents" keymap uses this.				*keymap-accents*

The first column can also be in |<>| form:
	<C-c>		Ctrl-C
	<A-c>		Alt-c
	<A-C>		Alt-C
Note that the Alt mappings may not work, depending on your keyboard and

Although it's possible to have more than one character in the second column,
this is unusual.  But you can use various ways to specify the character:
	A	a		literal character
	A	<char-97>	decimal value
	A	<char-0x61>	hexadecimal value
	A	<char-0141>	octal value
	x	<Space>		special key name

The characters are assumed to be encoded for the current value of 'encoding'.
It's possible to use ":scriptencoding" when all characters are given
literally.  That doesn't work when using the <char-> construct, because the
conversion is done on the keymap file, not on the resulting character.

The lines after "loadkeymap" are interpreted with 'cpoptions' set to "C".
This means that continuation lines are not used and a backslash has a special
meaning in the mappings.  Examples:

	" a comment line
	\"	x	maps " to x
	\\	y	maps \ to y

If you write a keymap file that will be useful for others, consider submitting
it to the Vim maintainer for inclusion in the distribution:

HEBREW KEYMAP						*keymap-hebrew*

This file explains what characters are available in UTF-8 and CP1255 encodings,
and what the keymaps are to get those characters:

glyph   encoding	   keymap 
Char   utf-8 cp1255  hebrew  hebrewp  name 
א    0x5d0  0xe0     t	      a     'alef
ב    0x5d1  0xe1     c	      b     bet
ג    0x5d2  0xe2     d	      g     gimel
ד    0x5d3  0xe3     s	      d     dalet
ה    0x5d4  0xe4     v	      h     he
ו    0x5d5  0xe5     u	      v     vav
ז    0x5d6  0xe6     z	      z     zayin
ח    0x5d7  0xe7     j	      j     het
ט    0x5d8  0xe8     y	      T     tet
י    0x5d9  0xe9     h	      y     yod
ך    0x5da  0xea     l	      K     kaf sofit
כ    0x5db  0xeb     f	      k     kaf
ל    0x5dc  0xec     k	      l     lamed
ם    0x5dd  0xed     o	      M     mem sofit
מ    0x5de  0xee     n	      m     mem
ן    0x5df  0xef     i	      N     nun sofit
נ    0x5e0  0xf0     b	      n     nun
ס    0x5e1  0xf1     x	      s     samech
ע    0x5e2  0xf2     g	      u     `ayin
ף    0x5e3  0xf3     ;	      P     pe sofit
פ    0x5e4  0xf4     p	      p     pe
ץ    0x5e5  0xf5     .	      X     tsadi sofit
צ    0x5e6  0xf6     m	      x     tsadi
ק    0x5e7  0xf7     e	      q     qof
ר    0x5e8  0xf8     r	      r     resh
ש    0x5e9  0xf9     a	      w     shin
ת    0x5ea  0xfa     ,	      t     tav

Vowel marks and special punctuation:
הְ    0x5b0  0xc0     A:      A:   sheva
הֱ    0x5b1  0xc1     HE      HE   hataf segol
הֲ    0x5b2  0xc2     HA      HA   hataf patah
הֳ    0x5b3  0xc3     HO      HO   hataf qamats
הִ    0x5b4  0xc4     I       I    hiriq
הֵ    0x5b5  0xc5     AY      AY   tsere
הֶ    0x5b6  0xc6     E       E    segol
הַ    0x5b7  0xc7     AA      AA   patah
הָ    0x5b8  0xc8     AO      AO   qamats
הֹ    0x5b9  0xc9     O       O    holam
הֻ    0x5bb  0xcb     U       U    qubuts
כּ    0x5bc  0xcc     D       D    dagesh
הֽ    0x5bd  0xcd     ]T      ]T   meteg
ה־   0x5be  0xce     ]Q      ]Q   maqaf
בֿ    0x5bf  0xcf     ]R      ]R   rafe
ב׀   0x5c0  0xd0     ]p      ]p   paseq
שׁ    0x5c1  0xd1     SR      SR   shin-dot
שׂ    0x5c2  0xd2     SL      SL   sin-dot
׃    0x5c3  0xd3     ]P      ]P   sof-pasuq
װ    0x5f0  0xd4     VV      VV   double-vav
ױ    0x5f1  0xd5     VY      VY   vav-yod
ײ    0x5f2  0xd6     YY      YY   yod-yod

The following are only available in utf-8

Cantillation marks:
Char utf-8 hebrew name
ב֑    0x591   C:   etnahta
ב֒    0x592   Cs   segol
ב֓    0x593   CS   shalshelet
ב֔    0x594   Cz   zaqef qatan
ב֕    0x595   CZ   zaqef gadol
ב֖    0x596   Ct   tipeha
ב֗    0x597   Cr   revia
ב֘    0x598   Cq   zarqa
ב֙    0x599   Cp   pashta
ב֚    0x59a   C!   yetiv
ב֛    0x59b   Cv   tevir
ב֜    0x59c   Cg   geresh
ב֝    0x59d   C*   geresh qadim
ב֞    0x59e   CG   gershayim
ב֟    0x59f   CP   qarnei-parah
ב֪    0x5aa   Cy   yerach-ben-yomo
ב֫    0x5ab   Co   ole
ב֬    0x5ac   Ci   iluy
ב֭    0x5ad   Cd   dehi
ב֮    0x5ae   Cn   zinor
ב֯    0x5af   CC   masora circle

Combining forms:
ﬠ    0xfb20  X`   Alternative `ayin
ﬡ    0xfb21  X'   Alternative 'alef
ﬢ    0xfb22  X-d  Alternative dalet
ﬣ    0xfb23  X-h  Alternative he
ﬤ    0xfb24  X-k  Alternative kaf
ﬥ    0xfb25  X-l  Alternative lamed
ﬦ    0xfb26  X-m  Alternative mem-sofit
ﬧ    0xfb27  X-r  Alternative resh
ﬨ    0xfb28  X-t  Alternative tav
﬩    0xfb29  X-+  Alternative plus
שׁ    0xfb2a  XW   shin+shin-dot
שׂ    0xfb2b  Xw   shin+sin-dot
שּׁ    0xfb2c  X..W  shin+shin-dot+dagesh
שּׂ    0xfb2d  X..w  shin+sin-dot+dagesh
אַ    0xfb2e  XA   alef+patah
אָ    0xfb2f  XO   alef+qamats
אּ    0xfb30  XI   alef+hiriq (mapiq)
בּ    0xfb31  X.b  bet+dagesh
גּ    0xfb32  X.g  gimel+dagesh
דּ    0xfb33  X.d  dalet+dagesh
הּ    0xfb34  X.h  he+dagesh
וּ    0xfb35  Xu  vav+dagesh
זּ    0xfb36  X.z  zayin+dagesh
טּ    0xfb38  X.T  tet+dagesh
יּ    0xfb39  X.y  yud+dagesh
ךּ    0xfb3a  X.K  kaf sofit+dagesh
כּ    0xfb3b  X.k  kaf+dagesh
לּ    0xfb3c  X.l  lamed+dagesh
מּ    0xfb3e  X.m  mem+dagesh
נּ    0xfb40  X.n  nun+dagesh
סּ    0xfb41  X.s  samech+dagesh
ףּ    0xfb43  X.P  pe sofit+dagesh
פּ    0xfb44  X.p  pe+dagesh
צּ    0xfb46  X.x  tsadi+dagesh
קּ    0xfb47  X.q  qof+dagesh
רּ    0xfb48  X.r  resh+dagesh
שּ    0xfb49  X.w  shin+dagesh
תּ    0xfb4a  X.t  tav+dagesh
וֹ    0xfb4b  Xo   vav+holam
בֿ    0xfb4c  XRb  bet+rafe
כֿ    0xfb4d  XRk  kaf+rafe
פֿ    0xfb4e  XRp  pe+rafe
ﭏ    0xfb4f  Xal  alef-lamed


10.  Input with imactivatefunc()				*mbyte-func*

Vim has the 'imactivatefunc' and 'imstatusfunc' options. These are useful to
activate/deactivate the input method from Vim in any way, also with an external
command. For example, fcitx provide fcitx-remote command:

	set iminsert=2
	set imsearch=2
	set imcmdline

	set imactivatefunc=ImActivate
	function! ImActivate(active)
	  if a:active
	    call system('fcitx-remote -o')
	    call system('fcitx-remote -c')

	set imstatusfunc=ImStatus
	function! ImStatus()
	  return system('fcitx-remote')[0] is# '2'

Using this script, you can activate/deactivate XIM via Vim even when it is not
compiled with |+xim|.


11. Using UTF-8				*mbyte-utf8* *UTF-8* *utf-8* *utf8*

							*Unicode* *unicode*
The Unicode character set was designed to include all characters from other
character sets.  Therefore it is possible to write text in any language using
Unicode (with a few rarely used languages excluded).  And it's mostly possible
to mix these languages in one file, which is impossible with other encodings.

Unicode can be encoded in several ways.  The most popular one is UTF-8, which
uses one or more bytes for each character and is backwards compatible with
ASCII.   On MS-Windows UTF-16 is also used (previously UCS-2), which uses
16-bit words.  Vim can support all of these encodings, but always uses UTF-8

Vim has comprehensive UTF-8 support.  It works well in:
- xterm with utf-8 support enabled
- Athena, Motif and GTK GUI
- MS-Windows GUI
- several other platforms

Double-width characters are supported.  This works best with 'guifontwide' or
'guifontset'.  When using only 'guifont' the wide characters are drawn in the
normal width and a space to fill the gap.  Note that the 'guifontset' option
is no longer relevant in the GTK+ 2 GUI.

When reading a file a BOM (Byte Order Mark) can be used to recognize the
Unicode encoding:
	EF BB BF     utf-8
	FE FF        utf-16 big endian
	FF FE        utf-16 little endian
	00 00 FE FF  utf-32 big endian
	FF FE 00 00  utf-32 little endian

Utf-8 is the recommended encoding.  Note that it's difficult to tell utf-16
and utf-32 apart.  Utf-16 is often used on MS-Windows, utf-32 is not
widespread as file format.

					*mbyte-combining* *mbyte-composing*
A composing or combining character is used to change the meaning of the
character before it.  The combining characters are drawn on top of the
preceding character.
Up to two combining characters can be used by default.  This can be changed
with the 'maxcombine' option.
When editing text a composing character is mostly considered part of the
preceding character.  For example "x" will delete a character and its
following composing characters by default.
If the 'delcombine' option is on, then pressing 'x' will delete the combining
characters, one at a time, then the base character.  But when inserting, you
type the first character and the following composing characters separately,
after which they will be joined.  The "r" command will not allow you to type a
combining character, because it doesn't know one is coming.  Use "R" instead.

Bytes which are not part of a valid UTF-8 byte sequence are handled like a
single character and displayed as <xx>, where "xx" is the hex value of the

Overlong sequences are not handled specially and displayed like a valid
character.  However, search patterns may not match on an overlong sequence.
(an overlong sequence is where more bytes are used than required for the
character.)  An exception is NUL (zero) which is displayed as "<00>".

In the file and buffer the full range of Unicode characters can be used (31
bits).  However, displaying only works for the characters present in the
selected font.

Useful commands:
- "ga" shows the decimal, hexadecimal and octal value of the character under
  the cursor.  If there are composing characters these are shown too.  (If the
  message is truncated, use ":messages").
- "g8" shows the bytes used in a UTF-8 character, also the composing
  characters, as hex numbers.
- ":set encoding=utf-8 fileencodings=" forces using UTF-8 for all files.  The
  default is to use the current locale for 'encoding' and set 'fileencodings'
  to automatically detect the encoding of a file.


If your current locale is in an utf-8 encoding, Vim will automatically start
in utf-8 mode.

If you are using another locale:

	set encoding=utf-8

You might also want to select the font used for the menus.  Unfortunately this
doesn't always work.  See the system specific remarks below, and 'langmenu'.

USING UTF-8 IN X-Windows				*utf-8-in-xwindows*

Note: This section does not apply to the GTK+ 2 GUI.

You need to specify a font to be used.  For double-wide characters another
font is required, which is exactly twice as wide.  There are three ways to do

1. Set 'guifont' and let Vim find a matching 'guifontwide'
2. Set 'guifont' and 'guifontwide'
3. Set 'guifontset'

See the documentation for each option for details.  Example:

   :set guifont=-misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--15-140-75-75-c-90-iso10646-1

You might also want to set the font used for the menus.  This only works for
Motif.  Use the ":hi Menu font={fontname}" command for this. |:highlight|

TYPING UTF-8						*utf-8-typing*

If you are using X-Windows, you should find an input method that supports

If your system does not provide support for typing utf-8, you can use the
'keymap' feature.  This allows writing a keymap file, which defines a utf-8
character as a sequence of ASCII characters.  See |mbyte-keymap|.

Another method is to set the current locale to the language you want to use
and for which you have a XIM available.  Then set 'termencoding' to that
language and Vim will convert the typed characters to 'encoding' for you.

If everything else fails, you can type any character as four hex bytes:

	CTRL-V u 1234

"1234" is interpreted as a hex number.  You must type four characters, prepend
a zero if necessary.

COMMAND ARGUMENTS					*utf-8-char-arg*

Commands like |f|, |F|, |t| and |r| take an argument of one character.  For
UTF-8 this argument may include one or two composing characters.  These need
to be produced together with the base character, Vim doesn't wait for the next
character to be typed to find out if it is a composing character or not.
Using 'keymap' or |:lmap| is a nice way to type these characters.

The commands that search for a character in a line handle composing characters
as follows.  When searching for a character without a composing character,
this will find matches in the text with or without composing characters.  When
searching for a character with a composing character, this will only find
matches with that composing character.  It was implemented this way, because
not everybody is able to type a composing character.


12. Overview of options					*mbyte-options*

These options are relevant for editing multi-byte files.  Check the help in
options.txt for detailed information.

'encoding'	Encoding used for the keyboard and display.  It is also the
		default encoding for files.

'fileencoding'	Encoding of a file.  When it's different from 'encoding'
		conversion is done when reading or writing the file.

'fileencodings'	List of possible encodings of a file.  When opening a file
		these will be tried and the first one that doesn't cause an
		error is used for 'fileencoding'.

'charconvert'	Expression used to convert files from one encoding to another.

'formatoptions' The 'm' flag can be included to have formatting break a line
		at a multibyte character of 256 or higher.  Thus is useful for
		languages where a sequence of characters can be broken

'guifontset'	The list of font names used for a multi-byte encoding.  When
		this option is not empty, it replaces 'guifont'.

'keymap'	Specify the name of a keyboard mapping.


Contributions specifically for the multi-byte features by:
	Chi-Deok Hwang <> 
	SungHyun Nam <> 
	K.Nagano <> 
	Taro Muraoka <> 
	Yasuhiro Matsumoto <> 

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