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:set option or :set nooption for boolean options and
:set option=value for value options.

autoindentAutomatically indent code (different clones have different languages supported)
ignorecaseIgnore case in searches
numberShow line numbering
showmodeDisplay whether you are in input/overwrite etc mode
shiftwidthAmount to shift using the < and > operators
tabstopWidth of tabs

Each vi clone has lots of different options and it is worth looking what the clone you use has. There are lots of variations on how tabs are treated and getting that to feel right can take some time.

~/.exrc can be created to hold a list of default set commands and other : commands. No colon is needed!

Copyright Dr. David Alan Gilbert 2001. vitalk @ - Hacked together with dsh