Word Boundaries and kebab-case-variables

· Nano Tips for Vim

#css #word-boundaries #casing

To change a variable name in vim, you would normally use ciw. This works well with most common casing conventions like snake case or camel case. In the case of kebab case, most commonly used in CSS, this only changes part of the variable:

myAwesomeVariable      → |
--my-awesome-variable  → --my-|-variable

The reason for this is that words in vim (and elsewhere) are commonly delimited by the boundary between word-characters and non-word-characters, and _ does count as a word-character, while - (dash) does not. (You can also observe this behavior when double clicking a word in for example the browser.)

Luckily, vim allows us to change the characters that are regarded as word-characters via the iskeyword option. There, we can simply append -, and then kebab-case-variables and variables with other naming conventions will be affected consistently by commands like ciw.

1-- treat `-` as word-character (globally)
2vim.opt.iskeyword = vim.opt.iskeyword + {"-"}

Note, however, that this affects any vim command that is based on word boundaries, like the motions w, e, and b or the text objects iw and aw. Therefore, you might want change the iskeyword option only for CSS files. You can do so by saving the following line in your filetype-specific configuration for CSS (nvim/after/filetype/css.lua):

1-- to only affect css files
2-- saved in config folder: `nvim/after/filetype/css.lua`
3vim.cmd("setlocal iskeyword+=-")