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I'm trying to tailor vim to my needs and I would like vim to visually indicate when it is in some kind of edit mode (insert/replace) by, for example, coloring the background red. Is there any way to achieve this?

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The vim-powerline plugin provides a nicely colored indicator of the current mode in the statusline: http://i.imgur.com/MsuIB.png

In addition to other useful indicators, like the current git branch.

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I added this to my .vimrc it change the background to yellow only when I am in insert mode

:au InsertEnter * hi Normal term=reverse ctermbg=darkgrey guibg=yellow "

:au InsertLeave * hi Normal term=NONE ctermbg=black guibg=white "

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