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by shagabutdinov ALL

Snippet system on top of default sublime snippets



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Sublime SnippetCaller plugin

Snippet system on top of default sublime snippets. That glorious plugin provides invaluable features if you use snippets much.

Please refer section “Right way to use snippets” if you are not snippet user yet.



This plugin is part of sublime-enhanced plugin set. You can install sublime-enhanced and this plugin will be installed automatically.

If you would like to install this package separately check “Installing packages separately” section of sublime-enhanced package.


This plugin will not works with multicursors properly: all work will be done only for the first cursor and then reused for others; it works like this because sublime's snippet system does not provide way to specify different snippet values for different cursors and workaround requires complete rewriting of sublime's internal snippet system.

This plugin does not work with completions popup (ctrl+space), because sublime does not provide API to catch snippet expansion from completions popup and there is no way to see which completion currently selected in list.

This plugin does not support variable regexps (e.g. ${foo/a/b/ig}). Only plain variables supported (e.g. $foo or $bar).


  • Better scope detection; e.g. you can write snippets for string that sits under ruby code

  • Avoiding scope collisions; if you are writing snippets for both php and html, html snippets will be expanded in php code; it's shame that default sublime snippets work so badly; but this plugin allows you to avoid such unexpected behavior

  • Checking snippet context before execution; is valuable feature allows you to execute snippets only under specific circumstances (e.g. if file is located under “tests” folder or project contains specific framework or selection is not empty and etc.); this allows to overload tab-triggers and use same triggers for different snippets.

  • Executing sublime-commands before and after snippet execution; it is very handy when your snippets require some external library included (e.g. for python “re.search()” you can setup adding “import re” automatically to the header)

  • Evaluating custom python code when executing snippet and insert it results as to snippet placeholders

  • Custom extensible $-placeholders; by default there is $indented_selection (replacement sublime's $selection that works shitty when wrapping code blocks in it) and $last_assigned_variable

  • Obvious snippet execution through quick search panel without typing tab trigger in file

  • Snippets nesting - executing snippet when another snippet is already running

  • Backward compatibility for “.sublime-snippet” files


Snippets should have “.sublime-snippet-enhanced” or “.sublime-snippet” extension in order to work with this plugin. All default snippets should work without changes.

Snippet is xml-file somewhere in packages path. Xml file keys description:

  • “snippet” - root key for snippet

  • “snippets” - root key for several snippets; “snippets” should contain several “snippet” xml-elements and allows you to group snippets in one file

  • “content” - snippet content; allows placeholders ${1:text} or $1 and $text. Numeric placeholders is for cursor navigation, symbol placeholders is for inserting extra values; there is default symbol placeholders ($indentedselection and $last_assigned_variable); symbol placeholders can be used together using __or_ keyword ($indentedselectionor_last_assigned_variable) in order to insert first non-empty variable. Note that dollar “$” and backslash “\” should be escaped with backslash.

  • “tabTrigger” - text that triggers a snippet; works slightly different than default sublime's implementation (allowing to tab-triggering after any non-word character)

  • “scope” - a regular expression that will check the scope under cursor before snippet execution; note that if you want to avoid scope collision you should specify negative lookahead for next scope (e.g. “text.html(?!.*source)” for html that will works only in html but not in embedded languages); note that for html and css snippet-enhanced will fallback to default sublime snippets (“insert_best_completion”) if no snippet will be found. It is better to keep html-snippets with “.sublime-snippet-enhanced” extension in order to avoid hitting it with sublime default snippet system

  • “description” - description of snippet that will be displayed in quick search panel

  • “context” - (json) additional context that will be checked prior to snippet execution; check sublime-context plugin to find out how to use context

  • “commands” - (json) list of sublime commands (same commands used for keymap-files) that will be executed along with snippet; snippet will be executed in “RUN” value; commands can have “context” key to check will this command be executed or not

  • “eval” - evaluate some code through python's eval and insert result to snippet; note that python's eval works like a shit and does not allow you to write more than one statement (so no variables or multiline ifs can be used); I didn't found better way to evaluate python code and get result; if you are python expert and know one please tell me I'll be really thankful.

Example snippet (php yii):

  <?= Html::encode(${1:$indented_selection}) ?>
        // file name should contain .php at the end; does not allow snippet to
        // be executed in .erb and other similar files that have html code
        {"key": "filename", "operator": "regex_contains", "operand": "\\.php(\\.\\w+)?$"},

        // 'yii' should be listed in settings.frameworks (defined in project settings)
        {"key": "settings.frameworks", "operator": "regex_contains", "operand": "'yii'"},
        // ensure "use yii\\helpers\\Html;" is in beginning of file
          "command": "create_keyword",
          "args": {"keyword_type": "php.use", "keyword": "yii\\helpers\\Html"},

Example class snippet (ruby):

  class $class

  {'class': view.file_name() and __import__('re').sub(r'^.*/(.*)\.\w+$', '\\1', view.file_name()).title() or ''}

Extremely helpful for debugging print-snippet (php):


Right way to use snippets

Snippets it is one of the most powerful instruments of developer that reduce plain typing drastically and allows developer to concentrate on solving current task but not typing.

I think most of people are using snippets in wrong way. It is common to type a “while” than hit “tab” and receive “while($1) { $2 }”. There is no profit to type whole “while” even if it makes snippet unambiguous. If you use “while” enough often, the right way to run snippet will be to type “w” then hit “tab”. And there is real profit will begin.

If you'll look over your code you'll find that some words are appears everywhere and there is no reason to type it everywhere again and again manually. Let's your editor to care about typing non-unique content (or common tasks automation). Man should care about what he has to tell editor to do but not doing editor's job instead of it. Along with sublime-autocompletion plugin typing can be reduced to typing unique content of program. Non-unique content can be done by editor.

Snippets should be easy to use but not necessary unambiguous. It is like shorthand of journalists for developers. You type two characters and receive thirty. Or receive some valuable execution like inserting most probable name of class or doing some useful job. When used over time snippets became used automatically so there is no discomfort with strange tab triggers.

It's shame that even snippets systems creators puts large unusable tab triggers to example snippets.

So my advise: map your snippets to 1-3 characters of tab-trigger and make it intellectual. I'll try to help you to do it by providing useful stuff like “last_assigned_variable”.


Description Keyboard shortcut
Insert snippet or goto next field tab
Show snippet caller panel ctrl+\


For “last assigned variable” snippet variable: