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I tried using the alt+i macro to insert list item intelligently, but it didn't work and neither did other alt macros for latex suite. Any insight to resolve this problem is very well appreciated!

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Welcome to TeX.SX! Have you seen the note on the usage of : set winaltkeys=no in §3.10 of the documentation? – henrique Aug 28 '13 at 1:12
Thanks! That didn't work, but that document you linked did help me make another macro that trigger the same functionality. – Willtd Aug 28 '13 at 1:55

It turns out that the way that some terminals expect the alt key combinations differ. Some send "8-bit" codes and some send "7-bit" codes. I haven't invested the time to fully understand this issue. But, I have fixed this problem, myself, by using this solution posted on StackOverflow. Thus, I have added the following my .vimrc:

   let c='a'
   while c <= 'z'
     exec "set <A-".c.">=\e".c
     exec "imap \e".c." <A-".c.">"
     let c = nr2char(1+char2nr(c))
   set timeout ttimeoutlen=50
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