Unicycle, a Vim plugin for typography junkies

I am not exactly a typography junky. But I read a fair number of books and I got used to good typography. But when it comes to good typographic practice, the web is quite poor. Even some well-known newspaper’s websites have a poor typography.

Here is what I mean by good and bad typography.


"Hello -- my name is O'Brien ..."


“Hello – my name is O’Brien …”

Thanks to Unicycle –a Vim plugin– it is possible to get the right characters directly in Vim as long as your file is encoded in UTF-8.

A quick tour

The installation is quite simple. Download unicycle.vim, copy it to ~/.vim/plugin and restart Vim.

Open a file and type:


Get into insertion mode and type ', instead of the classic straight quote (') You get an opening curly quote (‘). If you really want a straight quote ('), type ' again and you get it. To get a curly closing quote (’), type ' three times.

UniCycle has sensible defaults. If you type O'Brian, you won’t get O‘Brian, but O’Brian. And 'test' get turned automatically into ‘test’.

It also works for:

Thanks to the author Jason Diamond for this plugin, which I will use and abuse.