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When I navigate a file with vim, the cursor always highlights the current character. This works for normal characters having width 1. But for control characters or tabs which take up more space on display vim only highlights the first space.

When I have for example tabstop=4 and the cursor is at a tab-character, is it possible that the cursor highlights the four spaces on screen that correspond to the tab?

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Though you can influence the appearance of the cursor (cp. :help 'guicursor'), it is still limited to a single display cell (only exception: double-width characters like e.g. Kanji).

With :set virtualedit=all, you can even address each individual cell of a Tab or control character; that wouldn't be possible with a wide cursor shape. I guess the source code doesn't provide for this, neither, so better live with it as it is.

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