Here is a quick guide to learn and use the Vim editor.
Basically, you always switch between two modes in Vim, which are command mode and insert mode:
- In command mode, you move around the file, delete text, or execute other commands.
- In insert mode, you insert and edit text.
During start, Vim is always at command mode.
- To change from command mode to insert mode, press
i/I/a/A/o/O(refer table below).
- To change from insert mode to command mode, press
To enter insert mode, use any of the following commands.
|Append text following current cursor position|
|Append text to the end of current line|
|Insert text before the current cursor position|
|Insert text at the beginning of the cursor line|
|Open up a new line following the current line and add text there|
|Open up a new line in front of the current line and add text there|
In insert mode, you can type and edit text as you would in a graphical text editor.
To create a page break, press
These are the commands that are used in the command mode.
|Cursor Movement Commands|
|Moves the cursor one character to the left|
|Moves the cursor one character to the right|
|Moves the cursor up one line|
|Moves the cursor down one line|
|Cursor goes to the specified (n) line. (eg: 10G goes to line 10)|
|Note: the caret (^) symbol is used by vim to indicate the |
|One page forward|
|One page backward|
|Up half screenful|
|Down half screenful|
|Move cursor to the end of current line|
|Move cursor to the beginning of current line|
|Forward one word|
|Backward one word|
|Write file to disk and quit the editor|
|Quit (no warning)|
|Quit (a warning is printed if a modified file has not been saved)|
|Save workspace and quit the editor (same as :wq)|
|write lines 10 through 25 into file named temp. Of course, other line numbers can be used. (Use :f to find out the line numbers you want.|
|Text Deletion Commands|
|Delete word from cursor on|
|Delete word backward|
|Delete to end of line|
|(d caret, not CTRL d) Delete to beginning of line|
|Yank (has most of the options of delete)– VI’s copy commmand|
|yank current line|
|yank to end of current line from cursor|
|yank from cursor to end of current word|
|yank, for example, 5 lines|
|Paste (used after delete or yank to recover lines.)|
|paste below cursor|
|paste above cursor|
|paste from buffer 2 (there are 9)|
|Undo last change|
|Join next line down to the end of the current line|
|File Manipulation Commands|
|Write workspace to original file|
|Write workspace to named file|
|Start editing a new file|
|Read contents of a file to the workspace|
|Other Useful Commands|
|Most commands can be repeated n times by typing a number, n, before the command. For example 10dd means delete 10 lines.|
|Repeat last command|
|Change current word to a new word|
|Replace one character at the cursor position|
|Begin overstrike or replace mode – use ESC key to exit|
|pattern Search forward for the pattern|
|pattern Search backward for the pattern|
|(used after either of the 2 search commands above to continue to find next occurrence of the pattern.|
|Replace every occurrence of pattern1 (pat1) with pat2. Examples:|
Note: this command can be undone by
Vim Configuration File
For Debian-based linux, the Vim configuration file is located at
/etc/vim/vimrc. You may comment or uncomment some of the lines to tweek Vim to your likes. Here are some useful options that can be enabled.
Enable syntax highlighting.
Makes the syntax highlighting color suits a dark background. Enable this if your terminal is dark.
Perform case insensitive matching.
Show matching brackets.
Ask Vim to preserve tabs (instead of converting them to spaces), and set tab width to 4.
set noexpandtab set softtabstop=0 set shiftwidth=4 set tabstop=4
Enable smart indenting.
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