As we talked about last time, Sublime Text will autocomplete specific keywords that are defined by either the Sublime Text crew or a plugins developers. What if I told you that it’s possible to create snippets to create your own keywords to speed up your development.

As an example, in my Symfony projects I have a tendency to create a lot of links and they usually look like this:

<a href="{{ path('route_name', {'id': item.id})}}">Do Something</a>

Now I can (and have) copy and pasted that over and over again but I can create a snippet so I can type a short keyword, hit tab, and the code will automatically fill in.

Let’s try it.

Creating the Snippet

To create a new Snippet go to the “Tools” menu then “Developer” and finally “New Snippet…”

How to access the create snippet menu item

This will open a new snippet file. Like settings these are just text files so you can easily back them up and move them around. The snippet files are saved in “~/Library/Application Support/Sublime Text 3/Packages/User” on OSX and “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Sublime Text 3\Packages\User” on Windows.

Image of a blank snippet

The first thing we’re going to do is to save this. When you save the file it’s VERY important your file extension is “sublime-snippet” or it will not work. We’re going to name this “apath.sublime-snippet” (for reasons that will become apparent shortly).

Image of save dialog

To start we’re just going to past in the full text from above into the content node. We’re also going to uncomment the tabTrigger node and set it’s value to “apath” (a shortened version of “a element with path” but use whatever you can remember)

<snippet>
    <content><![CDATA[
<a href="{{ path('route_name', {'id': item.id})}}">Do Something</a>
]]></content>
    <!-- Optional: Set a tabTrigger to define how to trigger the snippet -->
    <tabTrigger>apath</tabTrigger>
    <!-- Optional: Set a scope to limit where the snippet will trigger -->
    <!-- <scope>source.python</scope> -->
</snippet>

Now you can enter a file type “apath” hit tab and see our content:

alt

Filtering To A Specific File Type

A slight downside to the way this snippet is setup is that it will works in every file extension. I’m working in a Markdown file right now and if I type “apath” and hit “tab” it auto fills:

image of oops autofill

To fix we this we need to fill in the scope node. To determine what value we’re going to put in the node we need to go into a .html.twig file (or whatever you’re working on) go into the “Tools” menu then “Developer” and then “Show Scope Name” and this box will show up:

Image of path information

You can click the “copy” link and then paste it into the sublime-snippet file:

<snippet>
    <content><![CDATA[
<a href="{{ path('route_name', {'id': item.id})}}">Do Something</a>
]]></content>
    <!-- Optional: Set a tabTrigger to define how to trigger the snippet -->
    <tabTrigger>apath</tabTrigger>
    <!-- Optional: Set a scope to limit where the snippet will trigger -->
    <scope>text.html.twig</scope>
</snippet>

Now apath doesn’t do anything special outside of twig files.

Fields

So the nice thing about this is that we now have a reusable anchor tag with Symfony’s path included but we could make it a little easier to flagging the sections we usually enter data as fields. This is a simple process of replacing the sections we’re going to replace with a dollar sign and then a number:

<snippet>
    <content><![CDATA[
<a href="{{ path('$1', {'id': item.id})}}">$2</a>
]]></content>
    <!-- Optional: Set a tabTrigger to define how to trigger the snippet -->
    <tabTrigger>apath</tabTrigger>
    <!-- Optional: Set a scope to limit where the snippet will trigger -->
    <scope>text.html.twig</scope>
</snippet>

The thing I love about this is that you can tab between the different fields so it’s easy to fill in the needed values. After you’ve tabbed though all the fields it will move the cursor to the end of the line so you can keep typing.

apath with fields

In this case it’s fairly evident what we want to insert but you can also add placeholder text to explain it.

<snippet>
    <content><![CDATA[
<a href="{{ path('${1:route}', {'id': item.id})}}">${2:Link Title}</a>
]]></content>
    <!-- Optional: Set a tabTrigger to define how to trigger the snippet -->
    <tabTrigger>apath</tabTrigger>
    <!-- Optional: Set a scope to limit where the snippet will trigger -->
    <scope>text.html.twig</scope>
</snippet>

Using placeholders tells you what to enter

$SELECTION Field

There are a couple fields that have special significants inside the snippet. If you’re interested there’s a list available online. For the most part I’ve never needed to use most of them but the $SELECTION field can be helpful but a little difficult to use. The $SELECTION field takes what’s selected and places it into the $SELECTION location. To get this to work type the tabTrigger then select the text plus the tab trigger and then press tab with the cursor at the end of the tabTrigger.

<snippet>
    <content><![CDATA[
<a href="{{ path('${1:route}', {'id': item.id})}}">$SELECTION</a>
]]></content>
    <!-- Optional: Set a tabTrigger to define how to trigger the snippet -->
    <tabTrigger>apath</tabTrigger>
    <!-- Optional: Set a scope to limit where the snippet will trigger -->
    <scope>text.html.twig</scope>
</snippet>

Using the $SELECTION field allow you to enter some text

Mirrored Fields

I want to mention mirror fields because they’re also helpful. You can reuse the numbers inside the snippet at which point they become mirrored fields and when you’re initially setting them up they’ll have the same text entered:

<snippet>
    <content><![CDATA[
<a href="{{ path('${1:route}', {'id': item.id})}}">${1:Link Title}</a>
]]></content>
    <!-- Optional: Set a tabTrigger to define how to trigger the snippet -->
    <tabTrigger>apath</tabTrigger>
    <!-- Optional: Set a scope to limit where the snippet will trigger -->
    <scope>text.html.twig</scope>
</snippet>

Example of mirrored fields

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