Vim (Vi IMproved) is a clone of the popular vi editor for Unix. It is a text editor designed for speed and increased productivity, and is ubiquitous in most unix-based systems. It has numerous keybindings for speedy navigation to specific points in the file, and for fast editing.
vim <filename> # Open <filename> in vim :help <topic> # Open up built-in help docs about <topic> if any exists :q # Quit vim :w # Save current file :wq # Save file and quit vim ZZ # Save file and quit vim :q! # Quit vim without saving file # ! *forces* :q to execute, hence quiting vim without saving :x # Save file and quit vim, shorter version of :wq u # Undo CTRL+R # Redo h # Move left one character j # Move down one line k # Move up one line l # Move right one character # Moving within the line 0 # Move to beginning of line $ # Move to end of line ^ # Move to first non-blank character in line # Searching in the text /word # Highlights all occurrences of word after cursor ?word # Highlights all occurrences of word before cursor n # Moves cursor to next occurrence of word after search N # Moves cursor to previous occerence of word :%s/foo/bar/g # Change 'foo' to 'bar' on every line in the file :s/foo/bar/g # Change 'foo' to 'bar' on the current line :%s/\n/\r/g # Replace new line characters with new line characters # Jumping to characters f<character> # Jump forward and land on <character> t<character> # Jump forward and land right before <character> # For example, f< # Jump forward and land on < t< # Jump forward and land right before < # Moving by word w # Move forward by one word b # Move back by one word e # Move to end of current word # Other characters for moving around gg # Go to the top of the file G # Go to the bottom of the file :NUM # Go to line number NUM (NUM is any number) H # Move to the top of the screen M # Move to the middle of the screen L # Move to the bottom of the screen
Vim has built in help documentation that can accessed with
:help navigation will pull up documentation about how to navigate
:help can also be used without an option. This will bring up a default help dialog
that aims to make getting started with vim more approachable!
Vim is based on the concept on modes.
Command Mode - vim starts up in this mode, used to navigate and write commands Insert Mode - used to make changes in your file Visual Mode - used to highlight text and do operations to them Ex Mode - used to drop down to the bottom with the ‘:’ prompt to enter commands
i # Puts vim into insert mode, before the cursor position a # Puts vim into insert mode, after the cursor position v # Puts vim into visual mode : # Puts vim into ex mode <esc> # 'Escapes' from whichever mode you're in, into Command mode # Copying and pasting text y # Yank whatever is selected yy # Yank the current line d # Delete whatever is selected dd # Delete the current line p # Paste the copied text after the current cursor position P # Paste the copied text before the current cursor position x # Deleting character under current cursor position
Vim can be thought of as a set of commands in a ‘Verb-Modifier-Noun’ format, where:
Verb - your action Modifier - how you’re doing your action Noun - the object on which your action acts on
A few important examples of ‘Verbs’, ‘Modifiers’, and ‘Nouns’:
# 'Verbs' d # Delete c # Change y # Yank (copy) v # Visually select # 'Modifiers' i # Inside a # Around NUM # Number (NUM is any number) f # Searches for something and lands on it t # Searches for something and stops before it / # Finds a string from cursor onwards ? # Finds a string before cursor # 'Nouns' w # Word s # Sentence p # Paragraph b # Block # Sample 'sentences' or commands d2w # Delete 2 words cis # Change inside sentence yip # Yank inside paragraph (copy the para you're in) ct< # Change to open bracket # Change the text from where you are to the next open bracket d$ # Delete till end of line
<!--TODO: Add more!-->
> # Indent selection by one block < # Dedent selection by one block :earlier 15m # Reverts the document back to how it was 15 minutes ago :later 15m # Reverse above command ddp # Swap position of consecutive lines, dd then p . # Repeat previous action :w !sudo tee % # Save the current file as root :set syntax=c # Set syntax highlighting to 'c' :sort # Sort all lines :sort! # Sort all lines in reverse :sort u # Sort all lines and remove duplicates ~ # Toggle letter case of selected text u # Selected text to lower case U # Selected text to upper case # Fold text zf # Create fold from selected text zo # Open current fold zc # Close current fold zR # Open all folds zM # Close all folds
Macros are basically recordable actions. When you start recording a macro, it records every action and command you use, until you stop recording. On invoking a macro, it applies the exact same sequence of actions and commands again on the text selection.
qa # Start recording a macro named 'a' q # Stop recording @a # Play back the macro
The .vimrc file can be used to configure Vim on startup.
Here’s a sample ~/.vimrc file:
" Example ~/.vimrc " 2015.10 " Required for vim to be iMproved set nocompatible " Determines filetype from name to allow intelligent auto-indenting, etc. filetype indent plugin on " Enable syntax highlighting syntax on " Better command-line completion set wildmenu " Use case insensitive search except when using capital letters set ignorecase set smartcase " When opening a new line and no file-specific indenting is enabled, " keep same indent as the line you're currently on set autoindent " Display line numbers on the left set number " Indentation options, change according to personal preference " Number of visual spaces per TAB set tabstop=4 " Number of spaces in TAB when editing set softtabstop=4 " Number of spaces indented when reindent operations (>> and <<) are used set shiftwidth=4 " Convert TABs to spaces set expandtab " Enable intelligent tabbing and spacing for indentation and alignment set smarttab
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Originally contributed by RadhikaG, and updated by 6 contributor(s).