Fast Log Entry - syntax highlighting for vim!

Many of you know that I am a big fan of DF3CB’s ‘Fast Log Entry’ (FLE) syntax for entering my paper logs after an activation. FLE is the most efficient way to capture paper logs. If you don’t already know about FLE (and you log on paper), then I suggest you check it out here: :: Fast Log Entry (FLE)

DF3CB’s FLE is only available for Windows. However if like me you are a Mac / Linux user, you can still take full advantage of FLE thanks to the work of some great people!

‘Syntax highlighting’ means highlighting different parts of the log for readability. For example, times might be green, band/mode info might be red, summit refs might be yellow, etc. This helps you find mistakes when you are entering your logs. Here is an example where I have made a typo in a summit ref, which is easy to find because of the syntax highlighting:


Michael Clemens DK1MI has made a very nice FLE syntax highlighting ‘plugin’ for the venerable vim text editor. I asked if he could include highlighting for SOTA refs and within a few hours Michael had a new version that includes highlighting for SOTA and POTA refs! The project is available here: mclemens/vim-fle-syntax: Vim syntax plugin for writing Fast Log Entry ( compatible log files in Vim - vim-fle-syntax -

OK, so you have your log entered in a text file in FLE format… now what? Thanks to our own SOTA MT rockstar dev @VK3ARR you can directly import your FLE files via SOTAData. Just click ‘Uploads’ then ‘Import FLE’ and off you go.

What if you want to convert your FLE file into a CSV or ADIF for importing into some other logging application? @ON4KJM has you covered - take a look at FLECli: GitHub - on4kjm/FLEcli: Multi-platform "Fast Log Entry"(FLE) processing tool

We are lucky to have so many talented people in our amateur radio community. My hat is off to these fine folks - thank you for your contributions to our hobby!


-Josh WU7H


Wow, FLE file direct upload? :star_struck: This is great, now I can very simply upload logs from my phone!

Thank you @VK3ARR !

We’ve had FLE direct upload since 30th August Romain. It had a few rough edges initially but it’s my go to method for logging entry now. I just type the paper log in to a text file in FLE style and upload it. A few clicks and the job is done.


There appears to be a lingering version available here, still:
The original codeberg link is 404.

I have been using FLe for a number of years for my WWFF park activations and I love it, it is easy and fast. A great logging program. I notice that the latest revision of FLe has a provision for SOTA.
de W6LEN / Jess

The band names need changing for SOTA.

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Thanks for posting the link. My original link went to Michael’s Blog which then linked to the git page you posted. Not sure what happened to his blog.

I highly recommend his syntax file for anyone using vim to enter FLE logs. Finding typos is MUCH easier! As Andy pointed out you may need to tweak the band names, but it is simple to do… the syntax is defined in a text file. Here is what I have for bands in my file:

syn keyword fle_band 2190m 630m 560m 160m 80m 60m 40m 30m
syn keyword fle_band 20m 17m 15m 12m 10m 6m 4m 2m 1.25m
syn keyword fle_band 70cm 33cm 23cm 13cm 9cm 6cm 3cm 1.25cm
syn keyword fle_band 6mm 4mm 2.5mm 2mm 1mm


Vim is Beelzebub’s own editor. It was produced and released after PL-259 et al. had been placed into circulation as something equally unwieldy and crufty.

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Surely that’s emacs.


It really is great, isn’t it? :smiling_imp:

I’ve been using it for ages. I think I first ran it on an Amiga in '91 or '92. It was developed on the Amiga. I still have some disks around here with some early versions of vim.

I exchanged an email with DK1MI a few days ago in reference to the URL change as the Readme still had the old URL. He responded very quickly and corrected it, so I do believe it is still in active development, just on a new site!


@WU7H Thanks for your thorough research into this matter, Josh. I am a Linux Vim aficionado.

As for @MM0FMF , more Vim spells for you! :mage: :magic_wand:

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Vim and vi are what you have to use if you don’t have nano and you need to configure emacs.

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iThe only thingxh cwwrongbad about ~Vim is the inability of other editors to implement the appropriate, god-given key actions!:%s/implement/understand/g:wq

Most of you children using Vim will be using the cursor keys version and not hjkl like us old dudes did when I used vi on V7 on an 11/44 in 1982/3. Now get off my lawn!

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It was a godsend after edlin

ed and other line editors were ok if you were using them on an ASR33 :wink: Not so good on a glass TTY.

Had to google that one. You win!

‘vim’ is ‘vi-improved’. Actually, it was originally ‘vi-imposter’, but later changed to ‘improved’. You CAN use the arrow keys (part of the improvements?), but that is an inefficient method. There are commands to move by words/lines/etc, and yes if I need to move by single chars I use hjkl because my fingers are already on/near those keys.

This will really blow your mind… they have versions of vim that even use a MOUSE. :scream:

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More vim learning aids on my website, including other language layouts.

@ZL4NVW Hardcore vim users tend to build their custom 60% or less mechanical keyboards without cursor keys to save valuable desk space. The Discord community is as nice, welcoming and addictive as that of the SOTA folk. You’ve been warned. :wink: