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DrawX : ASCII and Unicode Art (etch-a-sketch style)

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created by
Richard Bentley-Green
script type
NOTE: Version 16/05/21 onwards changes the mapping for entering trace mode from '<leader>0' to '<leader>00'. This is unfortunate, but was necessary in order to accommodate some of the new paste operations

**GUI PASTE BUG** It has come to my attention that there seems to be a bug in some GUI vim versions that means that getregtype() does not return the correct value for the default clipboard register. I have seen this myself with nvim-qt on Windows but I have read reports of it on other GUI versions (not just nvim, but possibly limited to Windows). Anyway, this bug will cause <Leader>\0p (and P) mappings to refuse to work. A way around this seems to be to use another register (specify "<reg> for yank and paste), or you may find that using "0<Leader>0p (or P) works ok to paste the last yank to the default register. Or just use the terminal version of vim :-)


DrawX makes ASCII-art drawing relatively easy. You can draw boxes and lines, and there is support for easily including special characters in your drawings. As well as supporting standard ASCII characters, it also supports a number of different line-drawing styles courtesy of the wider Unicode character set

There are two (actually quite separate) drawing functions provided;-

1/ Box and ellipse drawing - This allows quick drawing of arbitrary-sized boxes and ellipses, optionally filled with blank space

2/ Tracing - This allows you to move the cursor around and trace a path as you go. Support is provided for joining lines etc

There are also some special cut and paste operations that are better suited than the standard operations to dealing with ASCII art; they all operate in-place rather than performing any delete or insert operations. They also provide support for centre cut-out, upside-down and back-to-front pasting

NOTE: This may well work for vim versions prior to 7 - I haven't tried it though

*** If you have any suggestions for improving this, then please let me know. If you think it's rubbish then PLEASE let me know why - it's far more useful than just 'voting it down' (which really doesn't help at all). Contact details are in the top of the README file ***

Here is a (rather uninspiring) example. I know it doesn't display very well because it needs a fixed-width font, but it's better than nothing and should give you an idea...

    ┌────────────┐       ╔════════════╗
    │Here's a Box     │       ║Here's a Box     ║
    └─────┬──────┘       ╚═════╤══════╝
                 │                                  │
                   ╎And another Box     ╎

                ■┃◍   ◍┃■
                 ┃ ═══ ┃
             │ ┌┨ ┏┅┅┅┓ ┠┐ │
             │ │┃ ┗┅┅┅┛ ┃│ │
             │ │┃ DrawX ┃│ │
             │ │┃       ┃│ │
             └─┘┃       ┃└─┘
                 ┃ ┃ ┃ ┃
                 ┃ ┃ ┃ ┃
                 ┃ ┃ ┃ ┃
                 ┗━┛ ┗━┛

Copy and paste upside-down and back-to-front....

│┌──┐    ┌──┐│
││  │┌─┐ │  ││
│└──┘│ │ └──┘│

│┌──┐ │ │┌──┐│
││  │ └─┘│  ││
│└──┘    └──┘│
(yea I know - that looks really rubbish!)

install details
Just un-tar into ~/.vim/bundle/ as usual and read the README file for config options

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package script version date Vim version user release notes
drawx.tar.gz 05/08/2021 2021-08-05 7.0 Richard Bentley-Green Fixed glaring syntax error that broke 'x' command. Amazed it's taken this long to spot!
drawx.tar.gz 26/05/21 2021-06-04 7.0 Richard Bentley-Green - Made 't' and 'x' operations more 'intelligent' when deciding which character to place (now take account of more variations of character to replace)
- Added operations 'T' and 'X'; these are deliberately 'less intelligent' versions of 't' and 'x'
- Added '!' operation (cancels active direction - useful for T placement - see docs)
drawx.tar.gz 16/05/21 2021-05-16 7.0 Richard Bentley-Green Added cut and paste command and assoc. configuration commands
drawx.tar.gz 02/03/21 2021-03-03 7.0 Richard Bentley-Green Improved 'X' placement (see mapping 'x') and special character placement to prevent them being overwritten (in some cases) when moving away from the place position

drawx.tar.gz 29/01/21 2021-01-29 7.0 Richard Bentley-Green - Added `s` mapping and `DrawXStyle` command to allow setting of arbitrary styles - you can not set a style based on any single character and use it in all drawing functions
- Fixed a bug whereby box drawing function was not drawing dotted lines and curved corners correctly
drawx.tar.gz 26/01/21 2021-01-27 7.0 Richard Bentley-Green - Added ellipse drawing function and associated mappings
- Added fill/no fill option for box drawing; unfortunately, also changed box draw mapping as a result
drawx.tar.gz 03/01/20 2021-01-04 7.0 Richard Bentley-Green - Added 'erase' mode toggle
- Added new mappings to allow moving cursor without tracing (but staying in trace mode)
drawx.tar.gz 30/12/20 2020-12-31 7.0 Richard Bentley-Green - Documented 'cursor keys' and 'exit trace' mappings
- Added ability to change 'exit trace' and `exit menu` keys (both default to `<esc>`) to avoid conflicts with cursor keys
drawx.tar.gz 20/11/20 2020-11-21 7.0 Richard Bentley-Green Initial upload
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