The autocompletion C/C + + in vim

March 2017

Autocompletion is great feature for programmers who work on various types of programming languages like the C/C + + languages. Vim editor provides this feature under Windows or Linux. The autocompletion of C/C + + in Vim searches for words that are typed in from a file that has previously saved its tags in it. The user, with help of the hardware component of the system - i.e. the keyboard, will configure a key to jumpstart the process of looking through the stored tags. However, it would be prudent to keep an eye open for any words that do not make sense.

This tutorial is aimed at people running Vim on Linux. Auto-complete is a familiar function to Linux users, however it can sometimes suggest words that do not make sense in context. This can be frustrating when programming, as Auto-complete may suggest, for example, a type when a method is expected at that point in the code.

class plop(){      
   int plopons;      
   void plopez(){}      

int main(){      
  plop p;      
  p. // <-- Ctrl P proposera successivement : plopez, plop... alors que c'est forcément plopons      
  return 0;      

A plugin, based on ctags Vim enables you to create a more intelligent Auto-complete that can take into account the context in which a word is used.


We begin by installing ctags. For example, under Debian or Debian based distributions (ubuntu, xandros etc.):

sudo aptitude update      
sudo aptitude safe-upgrade      
sudo aptitude install exuberant-ctags

It also recovers the Vim plugin for auto-completion:

We will do everything regarding self-completion in ~ /. Vim:

mkdir -p ~/.vim/tags      
mv omnicpp*zip ~/.vim      
cd ~/.vim      
unzip omnicpp*zip      
cd -

Ctags is able to consider the problem of headers QT, OpenGL, SDL. However, for the STL, you must retrieve headers "simple" here:

It unpacks the archive and creates tags from the STL:

tar xjvf cpp_src.tar.bz2      
ctags -R --c++-kinds=+p --fields=+iaS --extra=+q --language-force=C++ cpp_src && mv tags ~/.vim/tags/stl

Now it generates the tags for the libraries installed (to be adapted if the libraries are installed elsewhere). For example, in the libraries OpenGL, SDL and QT, simply type the following three commands:

tags -R --c++-kinds=+p --fields=+iaS --extra=+q --language-force=C++ /usr/include/GL/  && mv tags ~/.vim/tags/gl      

ctags -R --c++-kinds=+p --fields=+iaS --extra=+q --language-force=C++ /usr/include/SDL/ && mv tags ~/.vim/tags/sdl      

ctags -R --c++-kinds=+p --fields=+iaS --extra=+q --language-force=C++ /usr/include/qt4/ && mv tags ~/.vim/tags/qt4


Now we must tell vim to load the plugin files and the different tags. To do this, simply add to the end of the file ~ /. Vimrc the following lines:

" prérequis tags      
set nocp      
filetype plugin on      

" configure tags - add additional tags here or comment out not-used ones      
set tags+=~/.vim/tags/stl      
set tags+=~/.vim/tags/gl      
set tags+=~/.vim/tags/sdl      
set tags+=~/.vim/tags/qt4      

" build tags of your own project with CTRL+F12      
"map <C-F12> :!ctags -R --c++-kinds=+p --fields=+iaS --extra=+q .<CR>      
noremap <F12> :!ctags -R --c++-kinds=+p --fields=+iaS --extra=+q .<cr>      
inoremap <F12> <Esc>:!ctags -R --c++-kinds=+p --fields=+iaS --extra=+q .<cr>      

" OmniCppComplete      
let OmniCpp_NamespaceSearch = 1      
let OmniCpp_GlobalScopeSearch = 1      
let OmniCpp_ShowAccess = 1      
let OmniCpp_MayCompleteDot = 1      
let OmniCpp_MayCompleteArrow = 1      
let OmniCpp_MayCompleteScope = 1      
let OmniCpp_DefaultNamespaces = ["std", "_GLIBCXX_STD"]      

" automatically open and close the popup menu / preview window      
au CursorMovedI,InsertLeave * if pumvisible() == 0|silent! pclose|endif      
set completeopt=menuone,menu,longest,preview

If tags were only generated for some files, comment on the other by adding to the beginning of the line. For example if we have not generated ~ /.vim/tags/gl and ~ / .vim/tags/sdl:

set tags+=~/.vim/tags/stl      
"set tags+=~/.vim/tags/gl      
"set tags+=~/.vim/tags/sdl      
set tags+=~/.vim/tags/qt4

We just have to save the file and (re) start vim so that they reflect changes to ~ /. Vimrc.


Everything that has been previously tagged (ie in this tutorial tags STL, QT, SDL, and OpenGL) is already available in the auto completion. Simply press ctrl p or n. Once the list appears, you can use the arrows to highlight the good proposal and press enter.

However, it is not completely finished. It should regenerate the tags of symbols (variables, functions, types ...) specific to the project that is being developed. This will once again generate a tags file. And of course, it will refresh the file every time you add, delete or change a symbol of the project so that it is current.

As is quite common, it is recommended that you map a key on the keyboard to trigger a process of ctags. In the example file ~/.Vimrc that I gave, this is ensured by pressing F12.



Published by netty5.
This document, titled "The autocompletion C/C + + in vim," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (