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VIM Tips

Old News ;-) VIM -- VI-style Editor with folding capabilities Recommended Links Vim Options and Set command VIM Configuration .vimrc
Vim Buffers and Text-buffer Execution Vimrc Examples VIM Syntax Highlighting  Color schemes in VIM VIM Multiwindows Support Indenting Your Code in VIM
To switch from vertical split to File managers in VI Copying and Moving sections of text VIM Humor Humor Etc

Note: Non-Ex commands (normal mode commands) can be also executed from the command line using :norm[al]non-ex command  mechanism.

Some set command options are really useful.

The first in this like is  set number  which adds line numbers as the first column 

To remove  number column use

set nonumber
It makes sense to put some set command in your in your .exrc :
    set showmode number ai 
    set shiftwidth=3
    set tabstop=3
    set showmatch 

Notes:

See also

:Sex -- Split window and open integrated file explorer (horizontal split) – user3218088 Jun 16 '14 at 9:51

Basic command, yet extremely useful.

:w !sudo tee %

I often forget to sudo before editing a file I don't have write permissions on. When I come to save that file and get a permission error, I just issue that vim command in order to save the file without the need to save it to a temp file and then copy it back again.

You obviously have to be on a system with sudo installed and have sudo rights.

jm666, May 12, 2011 at 6:09

cmap w!! w !sudo tee %jm666 May 12 '11 at 6:09

migu, Sep 2, 2013 at 20:42

@maximus: vim replaces % by the name of the current buffer/file. – migu Sep 2 '13 at 20:42

Chad Birch, Apr 7, 2009 at 18:09

Something I just discovered recently that I thought was very cool:
:earlier 15m

Reverts the document back to how it was 15 minutes ago. Can take various arguments for the amount of time you want to roll back, and is dependent on undolevels. Can be reversed with the opposite command :later

Etienne PIERRE, Jul 21, 2009 at 13:53

Also very usefull is g+ and g- to go backward and forward in time. This is so much more powerful than an undo/redo stack since you don't loose the history when you do something after an undo. – Etienne PIERRE Jul 21 '09 at 13:53

Ehtesh Choudhury, Nov 29, 2011 at 12:09

You don't lose the redo history if you make a change after an undo. It's just not easily accessed. There are plugins to help you visualize this, like Gundo.vim – Ehtesh Choudhury Nov 29 '11 at 12:09

community wiki,2 revs, 2 users 92%, ,Mar 31, 2016 at 17:54

:! [command] executes an external command while you're in Vim.

But add a dot after the colon, :.! [command], and it'll dump the output of the command into your current window. That's : . !

For example:

:.! ls

I use this a lot for things like adding the current date into a document I'm typing:

:.! date

saffsd, May 6, 2009 at 14:41

This is quite similar to :r! The only difference as far as I can tell is that :r! opens a new line, :.! overwrites the current line. – saffsd May 6 '09 at 14:41

Nefrubyr, Mar 25, 2010 at 16:24

:.! is actually a special case of :{range}!, which filters a range of lines (the current line when the range is . ) through a command and replaces those lines with the output. I find :%! useful for filtering whole buffers. – Nefrubyr Mar 25 '10 at 16:24

community wiki 2 revs , Apr 8, 2009 at 12:17

Not exactly obscure, but there are several "delete in" commands which are extremely useful, like..

Others can be found on :help text-objects

sjh, Apr 8, 2009 at 15:33

dab "delete arounb brackets", daB for around curly brackets, t for xml type tags, combinations with normal commands are as expected cib/yaB/dit/vat etc – sjh Apr 8 '09 at 15:33

Don Reba, Apr 13, 2009 at 21:41

@Masi: yi(va(p deletes only the brackets – Don Reba Apr 13 '09 at 21:41

community wiki, 9 revs, 9 users 84%, ultraman, Apr 21, 2017 at 14:06

de Delete everything till the end of the word by pressing . at your heart's desire.

ci(xyz[Esc] -- This is a weird one. Here, the 'i' does not mean insert mode. Instead it means inside the parenthesis. So this sequence cuts the text inside parenthesis you're standing in and replaces it with "xyz". It also works inside square and figure brackets -- just do ci[ or ci{ correspondingly. Naturally, you can do di (if you just want to delete all text without typing anything. You can also do a instead of i if you want to delete the parentheses as well and not just text inside them.

ci" - cuts the text in current quotes

ciw - cuts the current word. This works just like the previous one except that ( is replaced with w .

C - cut the rest of the line and switch to insert mode.

ZZ -- save and close current file (WAY faster than Ctrl-F4 to close the current tab!)

ddp - move current line one row down

xp -- move current character one position to the right

U - uppercase, so viwU upercases the word

~ - switches case, so viw~ will reverse casing of entire word

Ctrl+u / Ctrl+d scroll the page half-a-screen up or down. This seems to be more useful than the usual full-screen paging as it makes it easier to see how the two screens relate. For those who still want to scroll entire screen at a time there's Ctrl+f for Forward and Ctrl+b for Backward. Ctrl+Y and Ctrl+E scroll down or up one line at a time.

Crazy but very useful command is zz -- it scrolls the screen to make this line appear in the middle. This is excellent for putting the piece of code you're working on in the center of your attention. Sibling commands -- zt and zb -- make this line the top or the bottom one on the sreen which is not quite as useful.

% finds and jumps to the matching parenthesis.

de -- delete from cursor to the end of the word (you can also do dE to delete until the next space)

bde -- delete the current word, from left to right delimiter

df[space] -- delete up until and including the next space

dt. -- delete until next dot

dd -- delete this entire line

ye (or yE) -- yanks text from here to the end of the word

ce - cuts through the end of the word

bye -- copies current word (makes me wonder what "hi" does!)

yy -- copies the current line

cc -- cuts the current line, you can also do S instead. There's also lower cap s which cuts current character and switches to insert mode.

viwy or viwc . Yank or change current word. Hit w multiple times to keep selecting each subsequent word, use b to move backwards

vi{ - select all text in figure brackets. va{ - select all text including {}s

vi(p - highlight everything inside the ()s and replace with the pasted text

b and e move the cursor word-by-word, similarly to how Ctrl+Arrows normally do . The definition of word is a little different though, as several consecutive delmiters are treated as one word. If you start at the middle of a word, pressing b will always get you to the beginning of the current word, and each consecutive b will jump to the beginning of the next word. Similarly, and easy to remember, e gets the cursor to the end of the current, and each subsequent, word.

similar to b / e, capital B and E move the cursor word-by-word using only whitespaces as delimiters.

capital D (take a deep breath) Deletes the rest of the line to the right of the cursor, same as Shift+End/Del in normal editors (notice 2 keypresses -- Shift+D -- instead of 3)

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 83%, ,Sep 17, 2010 at 16:55

One that I rarely find in most Vim tutorials, but it's INCREDIBLY useful (at least to me), is the

g; and g,

to move (forward, backward) through the changelist.

Let me show how I use it. Sometimes I need to copy and paste a piece of code or string, say a hex color code in a CSS file, so I search, jump (not caring where the match is), copy it and then jump back (g;) to where I was editing the code to finally paste it. No need to create marks. Simpler.

Just my 2cents.

aehlke, Feb 12, 2010 at 1:19

similarly, '. will go to the last edited line, And `. will go to the last edited position – aehlke Feb 12 '10 at 1:19

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:29

Ctrl-O and Ctrl-I (tab) will work similarly, but not the same. They move backward and forward in the "jump list", which you can view by doing :jumps or :ju For more information do a :help jumplist – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:29

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:30

You can list the change list by doing :changes – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:30

Wayne Werner, Jan 30, 2013 at 14:49

Hot dang that's useful. I use <C-o> / <C-i> for this all the time - or marking my place. – Wayne Werner Jan 30 '13 at 14:49

community wiki AaronS, Jan 12, 2011 at 20:03

gv

Reselects last visual selection.

community wiki 3 revs, 3 users 70% ,May 31, 2015 at 19:30

Not sure if this counts as dark-corner-ish at all, but I've only just learnt it...
:g/match/y A

will yank (copy) all lines containing "match" into the "a / @a register. (The capitalization as A makes vim append yankings instead of replacing the previous register contents.) I used it a lot recently when making Internet Explorer stylesheets.

tsukimi, May 27, 2012 at 6:17

You can use :g! to find lines that don't match a pattern e.x. :g!/set/normal dd (delete all lines that don't contain set) – tsukimi May 27 '12 at 6:17

pandubear, Oct 12, 2013 at 8:39

Sometimes it's better to do what tsukimi said and just filter out lines that don't match your pattern. An abbreviated version of that command though: :v/PATTERN/d Explanation: :v is an abbreviation for :g!, and the :g command applies any ex command to lines. :y[ank] works and so does :normal, but here the most natural thing to do is just :d[elete] . – pandubear Oct 12 '13 at 8:39

Kimball Robinson, Feb 5, 2016 at 17:58

You can also do :g/match/normal "Ayy -- the normal keyword lets you tell it to run normal-mode commands (which you are probably more familiar with). – Kimball Robinson Feb 5 '16 at 17:58

Opening URL

community wiki, 2 revs, 2 users 89%, ,Jun 4, 2014 at 14:52

Vim will open a URL, for example
vim http://stackoverflow.com/

Nice when you need to pull up the source of a page for reference.

community wiki Roberto Bonvallet, May 6, 2009 at 7:38

:r! <command>

pastes the output of an external command into the buffer. Do some math and get the result directly in the text:

:r! echo $((3 + 5 + 8))

Get the list of files to compile when writing a Makefile:

:r! ls *.c

Don't look up that fact you read on wikipedia, have it directly pasted into the document you are writing:

:r! lynx -dump http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whatever

 

Command history

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 86% ,May 11, 2011 at 19:30

Want to look at your :command history? q: Then browse, edit and finally to execute the command.

Ever make similar changes to two files and switch back and forth between them? (Say, source and header files?)

:set hidden
:map <TAB> :e#<CR>

Then tab back and forth between those files.

Josh Lee, Sep 22, 2009 at 16:58

I hit q: by accident all the time... – Josh Lee Sep 22 '09 at 16:58

Jason Down, Oct 6, 2009 at 4:14

Alternatively, from the ex editor (:), you can do CTRL-f to pop up the command history window.Jason Down Oct 6 '09 at 4:14

bradlis7, Mar 23, 2010 at 17:10

@jleedev me too. I almost hate this command, just because I use it accidentally way too much. – bradlis7 Mar 23 '10 at 17:10

bpw1621, Feb 19, 2011 at 15:01

q/ and q? can be used to do a similar thing for your search patterns. bpw1621 Feb 19 '11 at 15:01

idbrii, Feb 23, 2011 at 19:07

Hitting <C-f> after : or / (or any time you're in command mode) will bring up the same history menu. So you can remap q: if you hit it accidentally a lot and still access this awesome mode. – idbrii Feb 23 '11 at 19:07

Other VIM tips

Checking perl syntax in VIM on each save

au BufWritePost *.pl,*.pm !perl -cw %

Every time you save a .pl or .pm file, it executes perl -cw and shows you the output.

~~
naChoZ

Using lastsatus option

When Vim creates more than one window, its default behavior is to create a status line for each window (whereas the default behavior for a single window is not to display any status line). You can control this behavior with Vim’s laststatus  option, e.g.:

:set laststatus=1

Set laststatus  to 2 to always see a status line for each window, even in single window mode. (It is best to set this in your .vimrc file.)

Because window size affects readability and usability, you may want to control Vim’s limits for window sizes. Use Vim’s winheight  and winwidth  options to define reasonable limits for the current window (other windows may be resized to accommodate it).

Split the edit window and scroll each window so that each shows the same area of the file. Make changes. Watch the other window. Magic.

Don’t believe you’re editing the same file at the same time? Split the edit window and scroll each window so that each shows the same area of the file. Make changes. Watch the other window. Magic.

Why or how is this useful? One common use by this author, when writing shell scripts or C programs, is to code a block of text that describes the program’s usage. (Typically, the program will display the block when passed a --help  option.)  I split the display so that one window displays the usage text, and I use this as a template to edit the code in the other window that parses all the options and command-line arguments described in the usage text. Often (almost always) this code is complex and ends up far enough from the usage text that I can’t display everything I want in a single window.

If you want to edit or browse another file without losing your place in your current file, provide the new file as an argument to your :split  command. For instance:

:split otherfile

If you want windows to always split equally, set the equalalways  option, preferably putting it in your .vimrc to make it persistent over sessions. By default, setting equalalways  splits both horizontal and vertical windows equally. Add the eadirection  option (hor, ver, both, for horizontal, vertical, or both, respectively) to control which direction splits equally.

The following form of the :split  command opens a new horizontal window as before, but with a slight nuance:

:[n]new [++opt] [+cmd] [file]

In addition to creating the new window, the WinLeave, WinEnter, BufLeave, and BufEnter autocommands execute. (For more information on autocommands, see the section Autocommands.)

Along with the horizontal split commands, Vim offers analogous vertical ones. So, for example, to split a vertical window, instead of :split  or :new, use :vsplit  and :vnew  respectively. The same optional parameters are available as for the horizontal split commands.

There are two horizontal split commands without vertical cousins:

:sview  filename
Splits the screen horizontally to open a new window and sets the readonly  for that buffer. :sview  requires the filename argument.
:sfind [++  opt ] [+  cmd ]  filename
Works like :split, but looks for the filename in the path. If Vim does not find the file, it doesn’t split the window.

Mnemonic Tips

t  and b  are mnemonic for top and bottom windows.

In keeping with the convention that lowercase and uppercase implement opposites, CTRL-W w moves you through the windows in the opposite direction from CTRL-W W.

The Control characters do not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase; in other words, pressing the Shift key while pressing a CTRL- key itself has no effect. However, an upper/lowercase distinction is recognized for the regular keyboard key you press afterward.

One way to simplify working with multiple windows

One of the authors’ favorite ways to use the CTRL-W + and CTRL-W - commands is by mapping each to keys, both keys adjacent. The + key is a convenient choice. Though it is already the Vim “up” command, that behavior is redundant and little used by veteran Vim users (who use the k command instead). Therefore, this key is a good candidate to map to something else, in this case CTRL-W +. Immediately to that key’s left (on most standard keyboards) is the -. But since it is unshifted and the + is shifted, map the shifted key, _, to CTRL-W -. Now you have two convenient side-by-side keys to easily and quickly expand and contract your current window horizontally.

:resizen sets the horizontal size of the current window to n lines. It sets an absolute size, in contrast to the previously described commands that make a relative change.

zn  sets the current window height to n lines. Note that n is not optional! Omitting it results in the vi/Vim command z, which moves the cursor to the top of the screen.

CTRL-W< and CTRL-W> decrease and increase the window width, respectively. Think of the mnemonic device of “shift left” (<<) and “shift right” (>>) to associate these commands to their function.

Finally, CTRL-W | resizes the current window to the widest size possible (by default). You can also specify explicitly how to change the window width with vertical resize  n. The n defines the window’s new width.

VIM Tip of the Day: running external commands in a shell

A common sequence of events when editing files is to make a change and then need to test by executing the file you edited in a shell. If you're using vim, you could suspend your session (ctrl-Z), and then run the command in your shell.

That's a lot of keystrokes, though.

So, instead, you could use vim's built-in "run a shell command"!

:!{cmd} Run a shell command, shows you the output and prompts you before returning to your current buffer.

Even sweeter, is to use the vim special character for current filename: %

Here's ':! %' is in action!

A few more helpful shortcuts related to executing things in the shell:

  • :! By itself, runs the last external command (from your shell history)
  • :!! Repeats the last command
  • :silent !{cmd} Eliminates the need to hit enter after the command is done
  • :r !{cmd} Puts the output of $cmd into the current buffer

Selena Deckelmann at

6 comments:

depesz said...
you can also use "%!" to pass current buffer via some filtering command.

For example : %!nl - to number lines (different from :set nu), :%!wc to check word count on current buffer, :%!tac to reverse order of lines, and so on.
March 10, 2009 12:24:00 PM EDT  
Jon Jensen said...
Yes, and you can also send line ranges rather than the whole buffer, for example, lines 4-7:

:4,7! sort -u

or line 4 through end of file:

:4,$! sort -u

And when a visual selection is active, that will automatically be the range used:

:! sort -u
March 10, 2009 12:31:00 PM EDT  
Christopher Nehren said...
And in a homologous fashion, one can read the results of an external command by passing the command to run to the :r command like so:

:r !/bin/ls
March 10, 2009 12:31:00 PM EDT  
Jon Jensen said...
Chris, that's the final example Selena gave in the original post, isn't it?
March 10, 2009 12:33:00 PM EDT  
Christopher Nehren said...
Yes, indeed. I must have missed that part somehow. Apologies for the noise.
March 10, 2009 12:35:00 PM EDT  
Selena Deckelmann said...
@depesz & Jon: Yes! Sorting is one of @gorthx's (Gabrielle Roth) favorite uses :)

Thanks for sharing!
March 10, 2009 1:14:00 PM EDT

Duplicating Lines

Every now and then you’ll have a need to duplicate a line, either directly below the line that needs to be duplicated or to some other place in the current buffer. When this problem arises, I’ve found there are a few different ways you can handle it.

The first is to use the :t. command, which is a combination of t (itself a synonym for “copy”; see :h :t) and the . command (you’ll remember from Chapter 5 that this is the “repeat” command). In this instance, :t. would paste the copied content into the following line. You could also specify a line number to copy to. For example, :t5 would copy the current line (or selection) to line 5 of the buffer.

We can also use yyp, which means to yank the current line (yy) and paste (p) it into the following line. We could even add a count to the beginning of that command, if we needed to duplicate the same line multiple times.

 Note  You can duplicate a specific line (or range of lines) to another line by using the following command :1t10, which would copy line 1 into line 10.

Moving Lines

Similar to duplicating lines of content is the common requirement to move lines of content. In this instance, we can use the move (:m) command in much the same way as we use the :t command.

If we want to move the current line down by one, we would execute :m+1, whereas if we wanted to move the current line up by one, we would execute :m-2 . . .wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. Imagine we have the following content:

A
B
C
D

If we wanted line three (C) to be one line up (consequently making the order A, C, B, D), we would have to move the line up by two and not one. That’s because the move command actually places the specified line one line below the destination. So when our cursor is on line three and we run :m-2, what we’re telling Vim is to move the line up by two (which would be line one) and then insert it (thus sticking it on line two).


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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Nov 12, 2018] Vim buffer FAQ

Notable quotes:
"... A buffer is a file loaded into memory for editing. All opened files are associated with a buffer. There are also buffers not associated with any file. ..."
Nov 12, 2018 | vim.wikia.com

Named Buffers

You can use a Named buffer with any of the Delete, Yank, or Put commands. Each of the 26 Named buffers is named by a letter of the alphabet. Each Named buffer can store a different block of text and you can recall each block as needed. Unlike the General-Purpose buffer, vim does not change the contents of a Named buffer unless you issue a command that specifically overwrites that buffer. The vim editor maintains the contents of the Named buffers throughout an editing session.

The vim editor stores text in a Named buffer if you precede a Delete or Yank command with a double quotation mark ( " ) and a buffer name (for example, " kyy yanks a copy of the current line into buffer k ). You can put information from the Work buffer into a Named buffer in two ways. First, if you give the name of the buffer as a lowercase letter, vim overwrites the contents of the buffer when it deletes or yanks text into the buffer. Second, if you use an uppercase letter for the buffer name, vim appends the newly deleted or yanked text to the end of the buffer. This feature enables you to collect blocks of text from various sections of a file and deposit them at one place in the file with a single command. Named buffers are also useful when you are moving a section of a file and do not want to give a Put command immediately after the corresponding Delete command, and when you want to insert a paragraph, sentence, or phrase repeatedly in a document.

If you have one sentence you use throughout a document, you can yank that sentence into a Named buffer and put it wherever you need it by using the following procedure: After entering the first occurrence of the sentence and pressing ESCAPE to return to Command mode, leave the cursor on the line containing the sentence. (The sentence must appear on a line or lines by itself for this procedure to work.) Then yank the sentence into Named buffer a by giving the " ayy command (or " a2yy if the sentence takes up two lines). Now anytime you need the sentence, you can return to Command mode and give the command " ap to put a copy of the sentence below the current line.

This technique provides a quick and easy way to insert text that you use frequently in a document. For example, if you were editing a legal document, you might store the phrase The Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant in a Named buffer to save yourself the trouble of typing it every time you want to use it. Similarly, if you were creating a letter that frequently used a long company name, such as National Standards Institute , you might put it into a Named buffer.

Numbered Buffers

In addition to the 26 Named buffers and 1 General-Purpose buffer, 9 Numbered buffers are available. They are, in one sense, readonly buffers. The vim editor fills them with the nine most recently deleted chunks of text that are at least one line long. The most recently deleted text is held in " 1 , the next most recent in " 2 , and so on. If you delete a block of text and then give other vim commands so that you cannot reclaim the deleted text with an Undo command, you can use " 1p to paste the most recently deleted chunk of text below the location of the cursor. If you have deleted several blocks of text and want to reclaim a specific one, proceed as follows: Paste the contents of the first buffer with "1p . If the first buffer does not hold the text you are looking for, undo the paste operation with u and then give the period ( . ) command to repeat the previous command. The Numbered buffers work in a unique way with the period command: Instead of pasting the contents of buffer " 1 , the period command pastes the contents of the next buffer ( " 2 ). Another u and period would replace the contents of buffer " 2 with that of buffer " 3 , and so on through the nine buffers.

What is a Vim buffer?

A buffer is a file loaded into memory for editing. All opened files are associated with a buffer. There are also buffers not associated with any file.

:help windows-intro

How do I identify a buffer?

Vim buffers are identified using a name and a number. The name of the buffer is the name of the file associated with that buffer. The buffer number is a unique sequential number assigned by Vim. This buffer number will not change in a single Vim session.

:help buffers

How do I create a buffer?

When you open a file using any of the Vim commands, a buffer is automatically created. For example, if you use :edit file to edit a file, a new buffer is automatically created. An empty buffer can be created by entering :new or :vnew .

How do I add a new buffer for a file to the buffer list without opening the file?

You can add a new buffer for a file without opening it, using the ":badd" command. For example,

:badd f1.txt
:badd f2.txt

The above commands will add two new buffers for the files f1.txt and f2.txt to the buffer list.

:help :badd

How do I get a list of all the existing buffers?

You can get a list of all the existing buffers using the ":buffers" or ":ls" or ":files" command. This list is called the 'buffer list'.

To display all the buffers including unlisted buffers, use the ":buffers!" or ":ls!" or ":files!" command.

How do I delete a buffer?

You can delete a buffer using the ":bdelete" command. You can use either the buffer name or the buffer number to specify a buffer. For example,

:bdelete f1.txt
:bdelete 4

The above commands will delete the buffer named "f1.txt" and the fourth buffer in the buffer list. The ":bdelete" command will remove the buffer from the buffer list.

When a buffer is deleted, the buffer becomes an unlisted-buffer and is no longer included in the buffer list. But the buffer name and other information associated with the buffer is still remembered. To completely delete the buffer, use the ":bwipeout" command. This command will remove the buffer completely (i.e. the buffer will not become a unlisted buffer).

How do I delete multiple buffers?

You can delete multiple buffers in several ways:

  • Pass a range argument to the ":bdelete" command. For example, the following command deletes the buffers 3, 4 and 5.
:3,5bdelete
  • Pass multiple buffer names to the ":bdelete" command. For example, the following command deletes buffers buf1.txt, buf2.c and buf3.h.
:bdelete buf1.txt buf2.c buf3.h

In this example, after typing ":bdelete buf", you can press <Ctrl-A> to expand all the buffer names starting with 'buf'.

How do I remove a buffer from a window?

You can remove a buffer displayed in a window in several ways:

  1. Close the window or edit another buffer/file in that window.
  2. Use the ":bunload" command. This command will remove the buffer from the window and unload the buffer contents from memory. The buffer will not be removed from the buffer list.

:help :bunload

How do I edit an existing buffer from the buffer list?

You can edit or jump to a buffer in the buffer list in several ways:

  1. Use the ":buffer" command passing the name of an existing buffer or the buffer number. Note that buffer name completion can be used here by pressing the <Tab> key.
  2. You can enter the buffer number you want to jump/edit and press the Ctrl-^ key.
  3. Use the ":sbuffer" command passing the name of the buffer or the buffer number. Vim will split open a new window and open the specified buffer in that window.
  4. You can enter the buffer number you want to jump/edit and press the Ctrl-W ^ or Ctrl-W Ctrl-^ keys. This will open the specified buffer in a new window.

How do I browse through all the available buffers?

You can browse through the buffers in the buffer list in several ways:

  1. To jump to the first buffer in the buffer list, use the ":bfirst" or ":brewind" command.
  2. To jump to the first buffer in the buffer list in a new window, use the ":sbfirst" or ":sbrewind" command.
  3. To edit the next buffer in the buffer list, use the ":bnext" command., or the abbreviated ":bn"
  4. To open the next buffer in the buffer list in a new window, use the ":sbnext" command.
  5. To edit the previous buffer in the buffer list, use the ":bprevious" or ":bNext" command. or the abbreviated ":bp"
  6. To open the previous buffer in the buffer list in a new window, use the ":sbprevious" or ":sbNext" command.
  7. To open the last buffer in the buffer list, use the ":blast" command.
  8. To open the last buffer in the buffer list in a new window, use the ":sblast" command.

How do I open all the buffers in the buffer list?

You can open all the buffers present in the buffer list using the ":ball" or ":sball" commands.

How do I open all the loaded buffers?

You can open all the loaded buffers in the buffer list using the ":unhide" or ":sunhide" commands. Each buffer will be loaded in a separate new window.

How do I open the next modified buffer?

You can open the next or a specific modified buffer using the ":bmodified" command. You can open the next or a specific modified buffer in a new window using the ":sbmodified" command.

Is there a simpler way for using the buffers under gvim (GUI Vim)?

Yes, use the 'Buffers' menu to list all the buffers. You can select a buffer name to edit the buffer. You can also delete a buffer or browse the buffer list. Click the dashed line at the top of the menu to tear it off so you can always see a list of the buffers.

:help buffers-menu

Is there a Vim script that simplifies using buffers with Vim?

Yes, try the Buffer Explorer , minibufexpl or bufmru plugins.

Is it possible to save and restore the buffer list across Vim sessions?

Yes. To save and restore the buffer list across Vim session, include the '%' flag in the 'viminfo' option. Note that if Vim is invoked with a filename argument, then the buffer list will not be restored from the last session. To use buffer lists across sessions, invoke Vim without passing filename arguments.

We can save different buffer list for different folders, by setting a local 'viminfo' file.

http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=441

The point is to overwrite the global setting by calling local setting after the 'viminfo' setting, for example.

set viminfo='1025,f1,%1024
call SetLocalOptions(".")

How do I remove all the entries from the buffer list?

You can remove all the entries in the buffer list by starting Vim with a file argument. You can also manually remove all the buffers using the ":bdelete" command.

What is a hidden buffer?

A hidden buffer is a buffer with some unsaved modifications and is not displayed in a window. Hidden buffers are useful, if you want to edit multiple buffers without saving the modifications made to a buffer while loading other buffers.

How do I load buffers in a window, which currently has a buffer with unsaved modifications?

By setting the option 'hidden', you can load a buffer in a window that currently has a modified buffer. Vim will remember your modifications to the buffer. When you quit Vim, you will be asked to save the modified buffers. It is important to note that, if you have the 'hidden' option set, and you quit Vim forcibly, for example using ":quit!", then you will lose all your modifications to the hidden buffers.

:help 'hidden'

Is it possible to unload or delete a buffer when it becomes hidden?

By setting the 'bufhidden' option to either 'hide' or 'unload' or 'delete', you can control what happens to a buffer when it becomes hidden. When 'bufhidden' is set to 'delete', the buffer is deleted when it becomes hidden. When 'bufhidden' is set to 'unload', the buffer is unloaded when it becomes hidden. When 'bufhidden' is set to 'hide', the buffer is hidden.

:help 'bufhidden'

How do I execute a command on all the buffers in the buffer list?

You can use the ":bufdo" command to execute a command on all the buffers in the buffer list.

:help :bufdo

When I open an existing buffer from the buffer list, if the buffer is already displayed in one of the existing windows, I want Vim to jump to that window instead of creating a new window for this buffer. How do I do this?

When opening a buffer using one of the split open buffer commands (:sbuffer, :sbnext), Vim will open the specified buffer in a new window. If the buffer is already opened in one of the existing windows, then you will have two windows containing the same buffer. You can change this behavior by setting the 'switchbuf' option to 'useopen'. With this setting, if a buffer is already opened in one of the windows, Vim will jump to that window, instead of creating a new window.

:help 'switchbuf'

What information is stored as part of a buffer?

Every buffer in the buffer list contains information about the last cursor position, marks, jump list, etc.

What is the difference between deleting a buffer and unloading a buffer?

When a buffer is unloaded, it is not removed from the buffer list. Only the file contents associated with the buffer are removed from memory. When a buffer is deleted, it is unloaded and removed from the buffer list. A deleted buffer becomes an 'unlisted' buffer.

Is it possible to configure Vim, by setting some option, to re-use the number of a deleted buffer for a new buffer?

No. Vim will not re-use the buffer number of a deleted buffer for a new buffer. Vim will always assign the next sequential number for a new buffer. The buffer number assignment is implemented this way, so that you can always jump to a buffer using the same buffer number. One method to achieve buffer number reordering is to restart Vim. If you restart Vim, it will re-assign numbers sequentially to all the buffers in the buffer list (assuming you have properly set 'viminfo' to save and restore the buffer list across Vim sessions).

:help buffers

How is a scratch (temporary) buffer created?

In any buffer (for example, after entering :new to create a new buffer), enter the following options to change the current buffer to a scratch buffer:

:setlocal buftype=nofile
:setlocal bufhidden=hide
:setlocal noswapfile

This creates a temporary buffer which is not associated with a file, which does not have an associated swap file, and which will be hidden when its window is closed. On exit, Vim discards any text in a scratch buffer without warning.

Also you can use scratch.vim for creating a scratch buffer.

How do I prevent a buffer from being added to the buffer list?

You can prevent a buffer from being added to the buffer list by resetting the 'buflisted' option.

:set nobuflisted

:help 'buflisted'

How do I determine whether a buffer is modified or not?

There are several ways to find out whether a buffer is modified or not. The simplest way is to look at the status line or the title bar. If the displayed string contains a '+' character, then the buffer is modified. Another way is to check whether the 'modified' option is set or not. If 'modified' is set, then the buffer is modified. To check the value of modified, use

:set modified?

You can also explicitly set the 'modified' option to mark the buffer as modified like this:

:set modified

:help 'modified'

How can I prevent modifications to a buffer?

You can prevent any modification to a buffer by re-setting the 'modifiable' option. To reset this option, use

:set nomodifiable

To again allow modifications to the buffer, use:

:set modifiable

:help 'modifiable'

How do I set options specific to the current buffer?

You can set Vim options which are specific to a buffer using the "setlocal" command. For example,

:setlocal textwidth=70

This will set the 'textwidth' option to 70 only for the current buffer. All other buffers will have the default or the previous 'textwidth' value.

How do I define mappings specific to the current buffer?

You can define mappings specific to the current buffer by using the keyword "<buffer>" in the map command. For example,

:map <buffer> ,w /[.,;]<CR>

:help map-local

How do I define abbreviations specific to the current buffer?

You can define abbreviations specific to the current buffer by using the keyword "<buffer>" in the :abbreviate command. For example,

:abb <buffer> FF for (i = 0; i < ; ++i)

:help abbreviate-local

[Oct 23, 2018] To switch from vertical split to horizontal split fast in Vim

Nov 24, 2013 | stackoverflow.com

ДМИТРИЙ МАЛИКОВ, Nov 24, 2013 at 7:55

How can you switch your current windows from horizontal split to vertical split and vice versa in Vim?

I did that a moment ago by accident but I cannot find the key again.

Mark Rushakoff

Vim mailing list says (re-formatted for better readability):

  • To change two vertically split windows to horizontal split: Ctrl - W t Ctrl - W K
  • Horizontally to vertically: Ctrl - W t Ctrl - W H

Explanations:

  • Ctrl - W t -- makes the first (topleft) window current
  • Ctrl - W K -- moves the current window to full-width at the very top
  • Ctrl - W H -- moves the current window to full-height at far left

Note that the t is lowercase, and the K and H are uppercase.

Also, with only two windows, it seems like you can drop the Ctrl - W t part because if you're already in one of only two windows, what's the point of making it current?

Too much php Aug 13 '09 at 2:17

So if you have two windows split horizontally, and you are in the lower window, you just use ^WL

Alex Hart Dec 7 '12 at 14:10

There are a ton of interesting ^w commands (b, w, etc)

holms Feb 28 '13 at 9:07

somehow doesn't work for me.. =/ –

Lambart Mar 26 at 19:34

Just toggle your NERDTree panel closed before 'rotating' the splits, then toggle it back open. :NERDTreeToggle (I have it mapped to a function key for convenience).

xxx Feb 19 '13 at 20:26

^w followed by capital H , J , K or L will move the current window to the far left , bottom , top or right respectively like normal cursor navigation.

The lower case equivalents move focus instead of moving the window.

respectTheCode, Jul 21 '13 at 9:55

1 Wow, cool! Thanks! :-) – infous Feb 6 at 8:46 it's much better since users use hjkl to move between buffers. – Afshin Mehrabani

In VIM, take a look at the following to see different alternatives for what you might have done:

:help opening-window

For instance:

Ctrl - W s
Ctrl - W o
Ctrl - W v
Ctrl - W o
Ctrl - W s

Anon, Apr 29 at 21:45

The command ^W-o is great! I did not know it. – Masi Aug 13 '09 at 2:20 add a comment | up vote 6 down vote The following ex commands will (re-)split any number of windows:
  • To split vertically (e.g. make vertical dividers between windows), type :vertical ball
  • To split horizontally, type :ball

If there are hidden buffers, issuing these commands will also make the hidden buffers visible.

Mark Oct 22 at 19:31

When you have two or more windows open horizontally or vertically and want to switch them all to the other orientation, you can use the following:
  • :windo wincmd K (switch to vertical)
  • :windo wincmd H -- It's effectively going to each window individually and using ^WK or ^WH

[Oct 22, 2018] move selection to a separate file

Highly recommended!
Oct 22, 2018 | superuser.com

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:29

With vim, how can I move a piece of text to a new file? For the moment, I do this:
  • select the text
  • use :w new_file
  • select the text again
  • delete the text

Is there a more efficient way to do this?

Before

a.txt

sometext
some other text
some other other text
end
After

a.txt

sometext
end

b.txt

some other text
some other other text

Ingo Karkat, Jan 23, 2013 at 15:20

How about these custom commands:
:command! -bang -range -nargs=1 -complete=file MoveWrite  <line1>,<line2>write<bang> <args> | <line1>,<line2>delete _
:command! -bang -range -nargs=1 -complete=file MoveAppend <line1>,<line2>write<bang> >> <args> | <line1>,<line2>delete _

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 15:27

This is very ugly, but hey, it seems to do in one step exactly what I asked for (I tried). +1, and accepted. I was looking for a native way to do this quickly but since there does not seem to be one, yours will do just fine. Thanks! – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 15:27

Ingo Karkat ,Jan 23, 2013 at 16:15

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I find this pretty elegant; you only need to type it once (into your .vimrc). – Ingo Karkat Jan 23 '13 at 16:15

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 16:21

You're right, "very ugly" shoud have been "very unfamiliar". Your command is very handy, and I think I definitely going to carve it in my .vimrc – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 16:21

embedded.kyle ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:08

By "move a piece of text to a new file" I assume you mean cut that piece of text from the current file and create a new file containing only that text.

Various examples:

  • :1,1 w new_file to create a new file containing only the text from line number 1
  • :5,50 w newfile to create a new file containing the text from line 5 to line 50
  • :'a,'b w newfile to create a new file containing the text from mark a to mark b
    • set your marks by using ma and mb where ever you like

The above only copies the text and creates a new file containing that text. You will then need to delete afterward.

This can be done using the same range and the d command:

  • :5,50 d to delete the text from line 5 to line 50
  • :'a,'b d to delete the text from mark a to mark b

Or by using dd for the single line case.

If you instead select the text using visual mode, and then hit : while the text is selected, you will see the following on the command line:

:'<,'>

Which indicates the selected text. You can then expand the command to:

:'<,'>w >> old_file

Which will append the text to an existing file. Then delete as above.


One liner:

:2,3 d | new +put! "

The breakdown:

  • :2,3 d - delete lines 2 through 3
  • | - technically this redirects the output of the first command to the second command but since the first command doesn't output anything, we're just chaining the commands together
  • new - opens a new buffer
  • +put! " - put the contents of the unnamed register ( " ) into the buffer
    • The bang ( ! ) is there so that the contents are put before the current line. This causes and empty line at the end of the file. Without it, there is an empty line at the top of the file.

greg0ire, Jan 23, 2013 at 14:09

Your assumption is right. This looks good, I'm going to test. Could you explain 2. a bit more? I'm not very familiar with ranges. EDIT: If I try this on the second line, it writes the first line to the other file, not the second line. – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 14:09

embedded.kyle ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:16

@greg0ire I got that a bit backward, I'll edit to better explain – embedded.kyle Jan 23 '13 at 14:16

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:18

I added an example to make my question clearer. – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 14:18

embedded.kyle ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:22

@greg0ire I corrected my answer. It's still two steps. The first copies and writes. The second deletes. – embedded.kyle Jan 23 '13 at 14:22

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 14:41

Ok, if I understand well, the trick is to use ranges to select and write in the same command. That's very similar to what I did. +1 for the detailed explanation, but I don't think this is more efficient, since the trick with hitting ':' is what I do for the moment. – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 14:41

Xyon ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:32

Select the text in visual mode, then press y to "yank" it into the buffer (copy) or d to "delete" it into the buffer (cut).

Then you can :split <new file name> to split your vim window up, and press p to paste in the yanked text. Write the file as normal.

To close the split again, pass the split you want to close :q .

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:42

I have 4 steps for the moment: select, write, select, delete. With your method, I have 6 steps: select, delete, split, paste, write, close. I asked for something more efficient :P – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 13:42

Xyon ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:44

Well, if you pass the split :x instead, you can combine writing and closing into one and make it five steps. :P – Xyon Jan 23 '13 at 13:44

greg0ire ,Jan 23, 2013 at 13:46

That's better, but 5 still > 4 :P – greg0ire Jan 23 '13 at 13:46 Based on @embedded.kyle's answer and this Q&A , I ended up with this one liner to append a selection to a file and delete from current file. After selecting some lines with Shift+V , hit : and run:
'<,'>w >> test | normal gvd

The first part appends selected lines. The second command enters normal mode and runs gvd to select the last selection and then deletes.

[Oct 22, 2018] Cut/copy and paste using visual selection

Oct 22, 2018 | vim.wikia.com
Visual selection is a common feature in applications, but Vim's visual selection has several benefits.

To cut-and-paste or copy-and-paste:

  1. Position the cursor at the beginning of the text you want to cut/copy.
  2. Press v to begin character-based visual selection, or V to select whole lines, or Ctrl-v or Ctrl-q to select a block.
  3. Move the cursor to the end of the text to be cut/copied. While selecting text, you can perform searches and other advanced movement.
  4. Press d (delete) to cut, or y (yank) to copy.
  5. Move the cursor to the desired paste location.
  6. Press p to paste after the cursor, or P to paste before.

Visual selection (steps 1-3) can be performed using a mouse.

If you want to change the selected text, press c instead of d or y in step 4. In a visual selection, pressing c performs a change by deleting the selected text and entering insert mode so you can type the new text.

Pasting over a block of text

You can copy a block of text by pressing Ctrl-v (or Ctrl-q if you use Ctrl-v for paste), then moving the cursor to select, and pressing y to yank. Now you can move elsewhere and press p to paste the text after the cursor (or P to paste before). The paste inserts a block (which might, for example, be 4 rows by 3 columns of text).

Instead of inserting the block, it is also possible to replace (paste over) the destination. To do this, move to the target location then press 1vp ( 1v selects an area equal to the original, and p pastes over it).

When a count is used before v , V , or ^V (character, line or block selection), an area equal to the previous area, multiplied by the count, is selected. See the paragraph after :help <LeftRelease> .

Note that this will only work if you actually did something to the previous visual selection, such as a yank, delete, or change operation. It will not work after visually selecting an area and leaving visual mode without taking any actions.

See also Comments

NOTE: after selecting the visual copy mode, you can hold the shift key while selection the region to get a multiple line copy. For example, to copy three lines, press V, then hold down the Shift key while pressing the down arrow key twice. Then do your action on the buffer.

I have struck out the above new comment because I think it is talking about something that may apply to those who have used :behave mswin . To visually select multiple lines, you type V , then press j (or cursor down). You hold down Shift only to type the uppercase V . Do not press Shift after that. If I am wrong, please explain here. JohnBeckett 10:48, October 7, 2010 (UTC)

If you just want to copy (yank) the visually marked text, you do not need to 'y'ank it. Marking it will already copy it.

Using a mouse, you can insert it at another position by clicking the middle mouse button.

This also works in across Vim applications on Windows systems (clipboard is inserted)


This is a really useful thing in Vim. I feel lost without it in any other editor. I have some more points I'd like to add to this tip:

  • While in (any of the three) Visual mode(s), pressing 'o' will move the cursor to the opposite end of the selection. In Visual Block mode, you can also press 'O', allowing you to position the cursor in any of the four corners.
  • If you have some yanked text, pressing 'p' or 'P' while in Visual mode will replace the selected text with the already yanked text. (After this, the previously selected text will be yanked.)
  • Press 'gv' in Normal mode to restore your previous selection.
  • It's really worth it to check out the register functionality in Vim: ':help registers'.
  • If you're still eager to use the mouse-juggling middle-mouse trick of common unix copy-n-paste, or are into bending space and time with i_CTRL-R<reg>, consider checking out ':set paste' and ':set pastetoggle'. (Or in the latter case, try with i_CTRL-R_CTRL-O..)

You can replace a set of text in a visual block very easily by selecting a block, press c and then make changes to the first line. Pressing <Esc> twice replaces all the text of the original selection. See :help v_b_c .


On Windows the <mswin.vim> script seems to be getting sourced for many users.

Result: more Windows like behavior (ctrl-v is "paste", instead of visual-block selection). Hunt down your system vimrc and remove sourcing thereof if you don't like that behavior (or substitute <mrswin.vim> in its place, see VimTip63 .

With VimTip588 one can sort lines or blocks based on visual-block selection.


With reference to the earlier post asking how to paste an inner block

  1. Select the inner block to copy usint ctrl-v and highlighting with the hjkl keys
  2. yank the visual region (y)
  3. Select the inner block you want to overwrite (Ctrl-v then hightlight with hjkl keys)
  4. paste the selection P (that is shift P) , this will overwrite keeping the block formation

The "yank" buffers in Vim are not the same as the Windows clipboard (i.e., cut-and-paste) buffers. If you're using the yank, it only puts it in a Vim buffer - that buffer is not accessible to the Windows paste command. You'll want to use the Edit | Copy and Edit | Paste (or their keyboard equivalents) if you're using the Windows GUI, or select with your mouse and use your X-Windows cut-n-paste mouse buttons if you're running UNIX.


Double-quote and star gives one access to windows clippboard or the unix equivalent. as an example if I wanted to yank the current line into the clipboard I would type "*yy

If I wanted to paste the contents of the clippboard into Vim at my current curser location I would type "*p

The double-qoute and start trick work well with visual mode as well. ex: visual select text to copy to clippboard and then type "*y

I find this very useful and I use it all the time but it is a bit slow typing "* all the time so I am thinking about creating a macro to speed it up a bit.


Copy and Paste using the System Clipboard

There are some caveats regarding how the "*y (copy into System Clipboard) command works. We have to be sure that we are using vim-full (sudo aptitude install vim-full on debian-based systems) or a Vim that has X11 support enabled. Only then will the "*y command work.

For our convenience as we are all familiar with using Ctrl+c to copy a block of text in most other GUI applications, we can also map Ctrl+c to "*y so that in Vim Visual Mode, we can simply Ctrl+c to copy the block of text we want into our system buffer. To do that, we simply add this line in our .vimrc file:

map <C-c> "+y<CR>

Restart our shell and we are good. Now whenever we are in Visual Mode, we can Ctrl+c to grab what we want and paste it into another application or another editor in a convenient and intuitive manner.

[Oct 21, 2018] Common visual block selection scenarios

Notable quotes:
"... column oriented ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com
You are talking about text selecting and copying, I think that you should give a look to the Vim Visual Mode .

In the visual mode, you are able to select text using Vim commands, then you can do whatever you want with the selection.

Consider the following common scenarios:

You need to select to the next matching parenthesis.

You could do:

  • v% if the cursor is on the starting/ending parenthesis
  • vib if the cursor is inside the parenthesis block

You want to select text between quotes:

  • vi" for double quotes
  • vi' for single quotes

You want to select a curly brace block (very common on C-style languages):

  • viB
  • vi{

You want to select the entire file:

  • ggVG

Visual block selection is another really useful feature, it allows you to select a rectangular area of text, you just have to press Ctrl - V to start it, and then select the text block you want and perform any type of operation such as yank, delete, paste, edit, etc. It's great to edit column oriented text.

[Oct 21, 2018] Moving lines between split windows in vim

Notable quotes:
"... "send the line I am on (or the test I selected) to the other window" ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | superuser.com

brad ,Nov 24, 2015 at 12:28

I have two files, say a.txt and b.txt , in the same session of vim and I split the screen so I have file a.txt in the upper window and b.txt in the lower window.

I want to move lines here and there from a.txt to b.txt : I select a line with Shift + v , then I move to b.txt in the lower window with Ctrl + w , paste with p , get back to a.txt with Ctrl + w and I can repeat the operation when I get to another line I want to move.

My question: is there a quicker way to say vim "send the line I am on (or the test I selected) to the other window" ?

Chong ,Nov 24, 2015 at 12:33

Use q macro? q[some_letter] [whatever operations] q , then call the macro with [times to be called]@qChong Nov 24 '15 at 12:33

Anthony Geoghegan ,Nov 24, 2015 at 13:00

I presume that you're deleting the line that you've selected in a.txt . If not, you'd be pasting something else into b.txt . If so, there's no need to select the line first. – Anthony Geoghegan Nov 24 '15 at 13:00

Anthony Geoghegan ,Nov 24, 2015 at 13:17

This sounds like a good use case for a macro. Macros are commands that can be recorded and stored in a Vim register. Each register is identified by a letter from a to z. Recording

From Recording keys for repeated jobs - Vim Tips

To start recording, press q in Normal mode followed by a letter (a to z). That starts recording keystrokes to the specified register. Vim displays "recording" in the status line. Type any Normal mode commands, or enter Insert mode and type text. To stop recording, again press q while in Normal mode.

For this particular macro, I chose the m (for move) register to store it.

I pressed qm to record the following commands:

  • dd to delete the current line (and save it to the default register)
  • CtrlWj to move to the window below
  • p to paste the contents of the default register
  • and CtrlWk to return to the window above.

When I typed q to finish recording the macro, the contents of the m register were:

dd^Wjp^Wk
Usage
  • To move the current line, simply type @m in Normal mode.
  • To repeat the macro on a different line, @@ can be used to execute the most recently used macro.
  • To execute the macro 5 times (i.e., move the current line with the following four lines below it), use 5@m or 5@@ .

brad ,Nov 24, 2015 at 14:26

I asked to see if there is a command unknown to me that does the job: it seems there is none. In absence of such a command, this can be a good solution. – brad Nov 24 '15 at 14:26

romainl ,Nov 26, 2015 at 9:54

@brad, you can find all the commands available to you in the documentation. If it's not there it doesn't exist no need to ask random strangers. – romainl Nov 26 '15 at 9:54

brad ,Nov 26, 2015 at 10:17

@romainl, yes, I know this but vim documentation is really huge and, although it doesn't scare me, there is always the possibility to miss something. Moreover, it could also be that you can obtain the effect using the combination of 2 commands and in this case it would be hardly documented – brad Nov 26 '15 at 10:17

[Oct 21, 2018] How to move around buffers in vim?

Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

user3721893 ,Jul 23, 2014 at 5:43

I normally work with more than 5 files at a time. I use buffers to open different files. I use commands such as :buf file1, :buf file2 etc. Is there a faster way to move to different files?

eckes ,Jul 23, 2014 at 5:49

What I use:
  • Go to the previous buffer: :b# or :bp
  • Go to the next buffer: :bn
  • If you know your file is loaded in buffer 5: :b5
  • To get a list of buffers: :buffers or shorter: :ls

And have a short look on :he buffer

And the wiki entry on Easier Buffer Switching on the Vim Wiki: http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Easier_buffer_switching

SO already has a question regarding yours: How do you prefer to switch between buffers in Vim?

romainl ,Jul 23, 2014 at 6:13

A few mappings can make your life a lot easier.

This one lists your buffers and prompts you for a number:

nnoremap gb :buffers<CR>:buffer<Space>

This one lists your buffers in the "wildmenu". Depends on the 'wildcharm' option as well as 'wildmenu' and 'wildmode' :

nnoremap <leader>b :buffer <C-z>

These ones allow you to cycle between all your buffers without much thinking:

nnoremap <PageUp>   :bprevious<CR>
nnoremap <PageDown> :bnext<CR>

Also, don't forget <C-^> which allows you to alternate between two buffers.

mikew ,Jul 23, 2014 at 6:38

Once the buffers are already open, you can just type :b partial_filename to switch

So if :ls shows that i have my ~./vimrc open, then I can just type :b vimr or :b rc to switch to that buffer

Brady Trainor ,Jul 25, 2014 at 22:13

Below I describe some excerpts from sections of my .vimrc . It includes mapping the leader key, setting wilds tab completion, and finally my buffer nav key choices (all mostly inspired by folks on the interweb, including romainl). Edit: Then I ramble on about my shortcuts for windows and tabs.
" easier default keys {{{1

let mapleader=','
nnoremap <leader>2 :@"<CR>

The leader key is a prefix key for mostly user-defined key commands (some plugins also use it). The default is \ , but many people suggest the easier to reach , .

The second line there is a command to @ execute from the " clipboard, in case you'd like to quickly try out various key bindings (without relying on :so % ). (My nmeumonic is that Shift - 2 is @ .)

" wilds {{{1

set wildmenu wildmode=list:full
set wildcharm=<C-z>
set wildignore+=*~ wildignorecase

For built-in completion, wildmenu is probably the part that shows up yellow on your Vim when using tab completion on command-line. wildmode is set to a comma-separated list, each coming up in turn on each tab completion (that is, my list is simply one element, list:full ). list shows rows and columns of candidates. full 's meaning includes maintaining existence of the wildmenu . wildcharm is the way to include Tab presses in your macros. The *~ is for my use in :edit and :find commands.

" nav keys {{{1
" windows, buffers and tabs {{{2
" buffers {{{3

nnoremap <leader>bb :b <C-z><S-Tab>
nnoremap <leader>bh :ls!<CR>:b<Space>
nnoremap <leader>bw :ls!<CR>:bw<Space>
nnoremap <leader>bt :TSelectBuffer<CR>
nnoremap <leader>be :BufExplorer<CR>
nnoremap <leader>bs :BufExplorerHorizontalSplit<CR>
nnoremap <leader>bv :BufExplorerVerticalSplit<CR>
nnoremap <leader>3 :e#<CR>
nmap <C-n> :bn<cr>
nmap <C-p> :bp<cr>

The ,3 is for switching between the "two" last buffers (Easier to reach than built-in Ctrl - 6 ). Nmeuonic is Shift - 3 is # , and # is the register symbol for last buffer. (See :marks .)

,bh is to select from hidden buffers ( ! ).

,bw is to bwipeout buffers by number or name. For instance, you can wipeout several while looking at the list, with ,bw 1 3 4 8 10 <CR> . Note that wipeout is more destructive than :bdelete . They have their pros and cons. For instance, :bdelete leaves the buffer in the hidden list, while :bwipeout removes global marks (see :help marks , and the description of uppercase marks).

I haven't settled on these keybindings, I would sort of prefer that my ,bb was simply ,b (simply defining while leaving the others defined makes Vim pause to see if you'll enter more).

Those shortcuts for :BufExplorer are actually the defaults for that plugin, but I have it written out so I can change them if I want to start using ,b without a hang.

You didn't ask for this:

If you still find Vim buffers a little awkward to use, try to combine the functionality with tabs and windows (until you get more comfortable?).

" windows {{{3

" window nav
nnoremap <leader>w <C-w>
nnoremap <M-h> <C-w>h
nnoremap <M-j> <C-w>j
nnoremap <M-k> <C-w>k
nnoremap <M-l> <C-w>l
" resize window
nnoremap <C-h> <C-w><
nnoremap <C-j> <C-w>+
nnoremap <C-k> <C-w>-
nnoremap <C-l> <C-w>>

Notice how nice ,w is for a prefix. Also, I reserve Ctrl key for resizing, because Alt ( M- ) is hard to realize in all environments, and I don't have a better way to resize. I'm fine using ,w to switch windows.

" tabs {{{3

nnoremap <leader>t :tab
nnoremap <M-n> :tabn<cr>
nnoremap <M-p> :tabp<cr>
nnoremap <C-Tab> :tabn<cr>
nnoremap <C-S-Tab> :tabp<cr>
nnoremap tn :tabe<CR>
nnoremap te :tabe<Space><C-z><S-Tab>
nnoremap tf :tabf<Space>
nnoremap tc :tabc<CR>
nnoremap to :tabo<CR>
nnoremap tm :tabm<CR>
nnoremap ts :tabs<CR>

nnoremap th :tabr<CR>
nnoremap tj :tabn<CR>
nnoremap tk :tabp<CR>
nnoremap tl :tabl<CR>

" or, it may make more sense to use
" nnoremap th :tabp<CR>
" nnoremap tj :tabl<CR>
" nnoremap tk :tabr<CR>
" nnoremap tl :tabn<CR>

In summary of my window and tabs keys, I can navigate both of them with Alt , which is actually pretty easy to reach. In other words:

" (modifier) key choice explanation {{{3
"
"       KEYS        CTRL                  ALT            
"       hjkl        resize windows        switch windows        
"       np          switch buffer         switch tab      
"
" (resize windows is hard to do otherwise, so we use ctrl which works across
" more environments. i can use ',w' for windowcmds o.w.. alt is comfortable
" enough for fast and gui nav in tabs and windows. we use np for navs that 
" are more linear, hjkl for navs that are more planar.) 
"

This way, if the Alt is working, you can actually hold it down while you find your "open" buffer pretty quickly, amongst the tabs and windows.

,

There are many ways to solve. The best is the best that WORKS for YOU. You have lots of fuzzy match plugins that help you navigate. The 2 things that impress me most are

1) CtrlP or Unite's fuzzy buffer search

2) LustyExplorer and/or LustyJuggler

And the simplest :

:map <F5> :ls<CR>:e #

Pressing F5 lists all buffer, just type number.

[Oct 21, 2018] Favorite (G)Vim plugins/scripts?

Dec 27, 2009 | stackoverflow.com
What are your favorite (G)Vim plugins/scripts?

community wiki 2 revs ,Jun 24, 2009 at 13:35

Nerdtree

The NERD tree allows you to explore your filesystem and to open files and directories. It presents the filesystem to you in the form of a tree which you manipulate with the keyboard and/or mouse. It also allows you to perform simple filesystem operations.

The tree can be toggled easily with :NERDTreeToggle which can be mapped to a more suitable key. The keyboard shortcuts in the NERD tree are also easy and intuitive.

Edit: Added synopsis

SpoonMeiser ,Sep 17, 2008 at 19:32

For those of us not wanting to follow every link to find out about each plugin, care to furnish us with a brief synopsis? – SpoonMeiser Sep 17 '08 at 19:32

AbdullahDiaa ,Sep 10, 2012 at 19:51

and NERDTree with NERDTreeTabs are awesome combination github.com/jistr/vim-nerdtree-tabsAbdullahDiaa Sep 10 '12 at 19:51

community wiki 2 revs ,May 27, 2010 at 0:08

Tim Pope has some kickass plugins. I love his surround plugin.

Taurus Olson ,Feb 21, 2010 at 18:01

Surround is a great plugin for sure. – Taurus Olson Feb 21 '10 at 18:01

Benjamin Oakes ,May 27, 2010 at 0:11

Link to all his vim contributions: vim.org/account/profile.php?user_id=9012Benjamin Oakes May 27 '10 at 0:11

community wiki SergioAraujo, Mar 15, 2011 at 15:35

Pathogen plugin and more things commented by Steve Losh

Patrizio Rullo ,Sep 26, 2011 at 12:11

Pathogen is the FIRST plugin you have to install on every Vim installation! It resolves the plugin management problems every Vim developer has. – Patrizio Rullo Sep 26 '11 at 12:11

Profpatsch ,Apr 12, 2013 at 8:53

I would recommend switching to Vundle . It's better by a long shot and truly automates. You can give vim-addon-manager a try, too. – Profpatsch Apr 12 '13 at 8:53

community wiki JPaget, Sep 15, 2008 at 20:47

Taglist , a source code browser plugin for Vim, is currently the top rated plugin at the Vim website and is my favorite plugin.

mindthief ,Jun 27, 2012 at 20:53

A more recent alternative to this is Tagbar , which appears to have some improvements over Taglist. This blog post offers a comparison between the two plugins. – mindthief Jun 27 '12 at 20:53

community wiki 1passenger, Nov 17, 2009 at 9:15

I love snipMate . It's simular to snippetsEmu, but has a much better syntax to read (like Textmate).

community wiki cschol, Aug 22, 2008 at 4:19

A very nice grep replacement for GVim is Ack . A search plugin written in Perl that beats Vim's internal grep implementation and externally invoked greps, too. It also by default skips any CVS directories in the project directory, e.g. '.svn'. This blog shows a way to integrate Ack with vim.

FUD, Aug 27, 2013 at 15:50

github.com/mileszs/ack.vimFUD Aug 27 '13 at 15:50

community wiki Dominic Dos Santos ,Sep 12, 2008 at 12:44

A.vim is a great little plugin. It allows you to quickly switch between header and source files with a single command. The default is :A , but I remapped it to F2 reduce keystrokes.

community wiki 2 revs, Aug 25, 2008 at 15:06

I really like the SuperTab plugin, it allows you to use the tab key to do all your insert completions.

community wiki Greg Hewgill, Aug 25, 2008 at 19:23

I have recently started using a plugin that highlights differences in your buffer from a previous version in your RCS system (Subversion, git, whatever). You just need to press a key to toggle the diff display on/off. You can find it here: http://github.com/ghewgill/vim-scmdiff . Patches welcome!

Nathan Fellman, Sep 15, 2008 at 18:51

Do you know if this supports bitkeeper? I looked on the website but couldn't even see whom to ask. – Nathan Fellman Sep 15 '08 at 18:51

Greg Hewgill, Sep 16, 2008 at 9:26

It doesn't explicitly support bitkeeper at the moment, but as long as bitkeeper has a "diff" command that outputs a normal patch file, it should be easy enough to add. – Greg Hewgill Sep 16 '08 at 9:26

Yogesh Arora, Mar 10, 2010 at 0:47

does it support clearcase – Yogesh Arora Mar 10 '10 at 0:47

Greg Hewgill, Mar 10, 2010 at 1:39

@Yogesh: No, it doesn't support ClearCase at this time. However, if you can add ClearCase support, a patch would certainly be accepted. – Greg Hewgill Mar 10 '10 at 1:39

Olical ,Jan 23, 2013 at 11:05

This version can be loaded via pathogen in a git submodule: github.com/tomasv/vim-scmdiffOlical Jan 23 '13 at 11:05

community wiki 4 revs, May 23, 2017 at 11:45

  1. Elegant (mini) buffer explorer - This is the multiple file/buffer manager I use. Takes very little screen space. It looks just like most IDEs where you have a top tab-bar with the files you've opened. I've tested some other similar plugins before, and this is my pick.
  2. TagList - Small file explorer, without the "extra" stuff the other file explorers have. Just lets you browse directories and open files with the "enter" key. Note that this has already been noted by previous commenters to your questions.
  3. SuperTab - Already noted by WMR in this post, looks very promising. It's an auto-completion replacement key for Ctrl-P.
  4. Desert256 color Scheme - Readable, dark one.
  5. Moria color scheme - Another good, dark one. Note that it's gVim only.
  6. Enahcned Python syntax - If you're using Python, this is an enhanced syntax version. Works better than the original. I'm not sure, but this might be already included in the newest version. Nonetheless, it's worth adding to your syntax folder if you need it.
  7. Enhanced JavaScript syntax - Same like the above.
  8. EDIT: Comments - Great little plugin to [un]comment chunks of text. Language recognition included ("#", "/", "/* .. */", etc.) .

community wiki Konrad Rudolph, Aug 25, 2008 at 14:19

Not a plugin, but I advise any Mac user to switch to the MacVim distribution which is vastly superior to the official port.

As for plugins, I used VIM-LaTeX for my thesis and was very satisfied with the usability boost. I also like the Taglist plugin which makes use of the ctags library.

community wiki Yariv ,Nov 25, 2010 at 19:58

clang complete - the best c++ code completion I have seen so far. By using an actual compiler (that would be clang) the plugin is able to complete complex expressions including STL and smart pointers.

community wiki Greg Bowyer, Jul 30, 2009 at 19:51

No one said matchit yet ? Makes HTML / XML soup much nicer http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=39

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 91% ,Nov 24, 2011 at 5:18

Tomas Restrepo posted on some great Vim scripts/plugins . He has also pointed out some nice color themes on his blog, too. Check out his Vim category .

community wiki HaskellElephant ,Mar 29, 2011 at 17:59,

With version 7.3, undo branches was added to vim. A very powerful feature, but hard to use, until Steve Losh made Gundo which makes this feature possible to use with a ascii representation of the tree and a diff of the change. A must for using undo branches.

community wiki, Auguste ,Apr 20, 2009 at 8:05

Matrix Mode .

community wiki wilhelmtell ,Dec 10, 2010 at 19:11

My latest favourite is Command-T . Granted, to install it you need to have Ruby support and you'll need to compile a C extension for Vim. But oy-yoy-yoy does this plugin make a difference in opening files in Vim!

Victor Farazdagi, Apr 19, 2011 at 19:16

Definitely! Let not the ruby + c compiling stop you, you will be amazed on how well this plugin enhances your toolset. I have been ignoring this plugin for too long, installed it today and already find myself using NERDTree lesser and lesser. – Victor Farazdagi Apr 19 '11 at 19:16

datentyp ,Jan 11, 2012 at 12:54

With ctrlp now there is something as awesome as Command-T written in pure Vimscript! It's available at github.com/kien/ctrlp.vimdatentyp Jan 11 '12 at 12:54

FUD ,Dec 26, 2012 at 4:48

just my 2 cents.. being a naive user of both plugins, with a few first characters of file name i saw a much better result with commandt plugin and a lots of false positives for ctrlp. – FUD Dec 26 '12 at 4:48

community wiki
f3lix
,Mar 15, 2011 at 12:55

Conque Shell : Run interactive commands inside a Vim buffer

Conque is a Vim plugin which allows you to run interactive programs, such as bash on linux or powershell.exe on Windows, inside a Vim buffer. In other words it is a terminal emulator which uses a Vim buffer to display the program output.

http://code.google.com/p/conque/

http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=2771

community wiki 2 revs ,Nov 20, 2009 at 14:51

The vcscommand plugin provides global ex commands for manipulating version-controlled source files and it supports CVS,SVN and some other repositories.

You can do almost all repository related tasks from with in vim:
* Taking the diff of current buffer with repository copy
* Adding new files
* Reverting the current buffer to the repository copy by nullifying the local changes....

community wiki Sirupsen ,Nov 20, 2009 at 15:00

Just gonna name a few I didn't see here, but which I still find extremely helpful:
  • Gist plugin - Github Gists (Kind of Githubs answer to Pastebin, integrated with Git for awesomeness!)
  • Mustang color scheme (Can't link directly due to low reputation, Google it!) - Dark, and beautiful color scheme. Looks really good in the terminal, and even better in gVim! (Due to 256 color support)

community wiki thestoneage ,Dec 22, 2011 at 16:25

One Plugin that is missing in the answers is NERDCommenter , which let's you do almost anything with comments. For example {add, toggle, remove} comments. And more. See this blog entry for some examples.

community wiki james ,Feb 19, 2010 at 7:17

I like taglist and fuzzyfinder, those are very cool plugin

community wiki JAVH ,Aug 15, 2010 at 11:54

TaskList

This script is based on the eclipse Task List. It will search the file for FIXME, TODO, and XXX (or a custom list) and put them in a handy list for you to browse which at the same time will update the location in the document so you can see exactly where the tag is located. Something like an interactive 'cw'

community wiki Peter Hoffmann ,Aug 29, 2008 at 4:07

I really love the snippetsEmu Plugin. It emulates some of the behaviour of Snippets from the OS X editor TextMate, in particular the variable bouncing and replacement behaviour.

community wiki Anon ,Sep 11, 2008 at 10:20

Zenburn color scheme and good fonts - [Droid Sans Mono]( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droid_(font)) on Linux, Consolas on Windows.

Gary Willoughby ,Jul 7, 2011 at 21:21

Take a look at DejaVu Sans Mono too dejavu-fonts.org/wiki/Main_PageGary Willoughby Jul 7 '11 at 21:21

Santosh Kumar ,Mar 28, 2013 at 4:48

Droid Sans Mono makes capital m and 0 appear same. – Santosh Kumar Mar 28 '13 at 4:48

community wiki julienXX ,Jun 22, 2010 at 12:05

If you're on a Mac, you got to use peepopen , fuzzyfinder on steroids.

Khaja Minhajuddin ,Apr 5, 2012 at 9:24

Command+T is a free alternative to this: github.com/wincent/Command-TKhaja Minhajuddin Apr 5 '12 at 9:24

community wiki Peter Stuifzand ,Aug 25, 2008 at 19:16

I use the following two plugins all the time:
  • project
  • vimoutliner

Csaba_H ,Jun 24, 2009 at 13:47

vimoutliner is really good for managing small pieces of information (from tasks/todo-s to links) – Csaba_H Jun 24 '09 at 13:47

ThiefMaster ♦ ,Nov 25, 2010 at 20:35

Adding some links/descriptions would be nice – ThiefMaster ♦ Nov 25 '10 at 20:35

community wiki chiggsy ,Aug 26, 2009 at 18:22

For vim I like a little help with completions. Vim has tons of completion modes, but really, I just want vim to complete anything it can, whenver it can.

I hate typing ending quotes, but fortunately this plugin obviates the need for such misery.

Those two are my heavy hitters.

This one may step up to roam my code like an unquiet shade, but I've yet to try it.

community wiki Brett Stahlman, Dec 11, 2009 at 13:28

Txtfmt (The Vim Highlighter) Screenshots

The Txtfmt plugin gives you a sort of "rich text" highlighting capability, similar to what is provided by RTF editors and word processors. You can use it to add colors (foreground and background) and formatting attributes (all combinations of bold, underline, italic, etc...) to your plain text documents in Vim.

The advantage of this plugin over something like Latex is that with Txtfmt, your highlighting changes are visible "in real time", and as with a word processor, the highlighting is WYSIWYG. Txtfmt embeds special tokens directly in the file to accomplish the highlighting, so the highlighting is unaffected when you move the file around, even from one computer to another. The special tokens are hidden by the syntax; each appears as a single space. For those who have applied Vince Negri's conceal/ownsyntax patch, the tokens can even be made "zero-width".

community wiki 2 revs, Dec 10, 2010 at 4:37

tcomment

"I map the "Command + /" keys so i can just comment stuff out while in insert mode imap :i

[Oct 21, 2018] Duplicate a whole line in Vim

Notable quotes:
"... Do people not run vimtutor anymore? This is probably within the first five minutes of learning how to use Vim. ..."
"... Can also use capital Y to copy the whole line. ..."
"... I think the Y should be "copy from the cursor to the end" ..."
"... In normal mode what this does is copy . copy this line to just below this line . ..."
"... And in visual mode it turns into '<,'> copy '> copy from start of selection to end of selection to the line below end of selection . ..."
"... I like: Shift + v (to select the whole line immediately and let you select other lines if you want), y, p ..."
"... Multiple lines with a number in between: y7yp ..."
"... 7yy is equivalent to y7y and is probably easier to remember how to do. ..."
"... or :.,.+7 copy .+7 ..."
"... When you press : in visual mode, it is transformed to '<,'> so it pre-selects the line range the visual selection spanned over ..."
Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

sumek, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:02

How do I duplicate a whole line in Vim in a similar way to Ctrl + D in IntelliJ IDEA/Resharper or Ctrl + Alt + / in Eclipse?

dash-tom-bang, Feb 15, 2016 at 23:31

Do people not run vimtutor anymore? This is probably within the first five minutes of learning how to use Vim.dash-tom-bang Feb 15 '16 at 23:31

Mark Biek, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:06

yy or Y to copy the line
or
dd to delete (cutting) the line

then

p to paste the copied or deleted text after the current line
or
P to paste the copied or deleted text before the current line

camflan, Sep 28, 2008 at 15:55

Can also use capital Y to copy the whole line.camflan Sep 28 '08 at 15:55

nXqd, Jul 19, 2012 at 11:35

@camflan I think the Y should be "copy from the cursor to the end" nXqd Jul 19 '12 at 11:35

Amir Ali Akbari, Oct 9, 2012 at 10:33

and 2yy can be used to copy 2 lines (and for any other n) – Amir Ali Akbari Oct 9 '12 at 10:33

zelk, Mar 9, 2014 at 13:29

To copy two lines, it's even faster just to go yj or yk, especially since you don't double up on one character. Plus, yk is a backwards version that 2yy can't do, and you can put the number of lines to reach backwards in y9j or y2k, etc.. Only difference is that your count has to be n-1 for a total of n lines, but your head can learn that anyway. – zelk Mar 9 '14 at 13:29

DarkWiiPlayer, Apr 13 at 7:26

I know I'm late to the party, but whatever; I have this in my .vimrc:
nnoremap <C-d> :copy .<CR>
vnoremap <C-d> :copy '><CR>

the :copy command just copies the selected line or the range (always whole lines) to below the line number given as its argument.

In normal mode what this does is copy . copy this line to just below this line .

And in visual mode it turns into '<,'> copy '> copy from start of selection to end of selection to the line below end of selection .

yolenoyer, Apr 11 at 16:34

I like to use this mapping:
:nnoremap yp Yp

because it makes it consistent to use alongside the native YP command.

Gabe add a comment, Jul 14, 2009 at 4:45

I like: Shift + v (to select the whole line immediately and let you select other lines if you want), y, p

jedi, Feb 11 at 17:20

If you would like to duplicate a line and paste it right away below the current like, just like in Sublime Ctrl + Shift + D, then you can add this to your .vimrc file.

imap <S-C-d> <Esc>Yp

jedi, Apr 14 at 17:48

This works perfectly fine for me: imap <S-C-d> <Esc>Ypi insert mode and nmap <S-C-d> <Esc>Yp in normal mode – jedi Apr 14 at 17:48

Chris Penner, Apr 20, 2015 at 4:33

Default is yyp, but I've been using this rebinding for a year or so and love it:

" set Y to duplicate lines, works in visual mode as well. nnoremap Y yyp vnoremap Y y`>pgv

yemu, Oct 12, 2013 at 18:23

yyp - paste after

yyP - paste before

Mikk, Dec 4, 2015 at 9:09

@A-B-B However, there is a miniature difference here - what line will your cursor land on. – Mikk Dec 4 '15 at 9:09

theschmitzer, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:16

yyp - remember it with "yippee!"

Multiple lines with a number in between: y7yp

graywh, Jan 4, 2009 at 21:25

7yy is equivalent to y7y and is probably easier to remember how to do.graywh Jan 4 '09 at 21:25

Nefrubyr, Jul 29, 2014 at 14:09

y7yp (or 7yyp) is rarely useful; the cursor remains on the first line copied so that p pastes the copied lines between the first and second line of the source. To duplicate a block of lines use 7yyP – Nefrubyr Jul 29 '14 at 14:09

DarkWiiPlayer, Apr 13 at 7:28

@Nefrubyr or :.,.+7 copy .+7 :P – DarkWiiPlayer Apr 13 at 7:28

Michael, May 12, 2016 at 14:54

For someone who doesn't know vi, some answers from above might mislead him with phrases like "paste ... after/before current line ".
It's actually "paste ... after/before cursor ".

yy or Y to copy the line
or
dd to delete the line

then

p to paste the copied or deleted text after the cursor
or
P to paste the copied or deleted text before the cursor


For more key bindings, you can visit this site: vi Complete Key Binding List

ap-osd, Feb 10, 2016 at 13:23

For those starting to learn vi, here is a good introduction to vi by listing side by side vi commands to typical Windows GUI Editor cursor movement and shortcut keys. It lists all the basic commands including yy (copy line) and p (paste after) or P (paste before).

vi (Vim) for Windows Users

pjz, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:04

yy

will yank the current line without deleting it

dd

will delete the current line

p

will put a line grabbed by either of the previous methods

Benoit, Apr 17, 2012 at 15:17

Normal mode: see other answers.

The Ex way:

  • :t. will duplicate the line,
  • :t 7 will copy it after line 7,
  • :,+t0 will copy current and next line at the beginning of the file (, + is a synonym for the range .,.+1 ),
  • :1,t$ will copy lines from beginning till cursor position to the end ( 1, is a synonym for the range 1,. ).

If you need to move instead of copying, use :m instead of :t .

This can be really powerful if you combine it with :g or :v :

  • :v/foo/m$ will move all lines not matching the pattern "foo" to the end of the file.
  • :+,$g/^\s*class\s\+\i\+/t. will copy all subsequent lines of the form class xxx right after the cursor.

Reference: :help range, :help :t, :help :g, :help :m and :help :v

Benoit, Jun 30, 2012 at 14:17

When you press : in visual mode, it is transformed to '<,'> so it pre-selects the line range the visual selection spanned over. So, in visual mode, :t0 will copy the lines at the beginning. – Benoit Jun 30 '12 at 14:17

Niels Bom, Jul 31, 2012 at 8:21

For the record: when you type a colon (:) you go into command line mode where you can enter Ex commands. vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/cmdline.html Ex commands can be really powerful and terse. The yyp solutions are "Normal mode" commands. If you want to copy/move/delete a far-away line or range of lines an Ex command can be a lot faster. – Niels Bom Jul 31 '12 at 8:21

Burak Erdem, Jul 8, 2016 at 16:55

:t. is the exact answer to the question. – Burak Erdem Jul 8 '16 at 16:55

Aaron Thoma, Aug 22, 2013 at 23:31

Y is usually remapped to y$ (yank (copy) until end of line (from current cursor position, not beginning of line)) though. With this line in .vimrc : :nnoremap Y y$Aaron Thoma Aug 22 '13 at 23:31

Kwondri, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:37

If you want another way :-)

"ayy this will store the line in buffer a

"ap this will put the contents of buffer a at the cursor.

There are many variations on this.

"a5yy this will store the 5 lines in buffer a

see http://www.vim.org/htmldoc/help.html for more fun

frbl, Jun 21, 2015 at 21:04

Thanks, I used this as a bind: map <Leader>d "ayy"ap – frbl Jun 21 '15 at 21:04

Rook, Jul 14, 2009 at 4:37

Another option would be to go with:
nmap <C-d> mzyyp`z

gives you the advantage of preserving the cursor position.

,Sep 18, 2008 at 20:32

You can also try <C-x><C-l> which will repeat the last line from insert mode and brings you a completion window with all of the lines. It works almost like <C-p>

Jorge Gajon, May 11, 2009 at 6:38

This is very useful, but to avoid having to press many keys I have mapped it to just CTRL-L, this is my map: inoremap ^L ^X^L – Jorge Gajon May 11 '09 at 6:38

cori, Sep 16, 2008 at 15:06

1 gotcha: when you use "p" to put the line, it puts it after the line your cursor is on, so if you want to add the line after the line you're yanking, don't move the cursor down a line before putting the new line.

Ghoti, Jan 31, 2016 at 11:05

or use capital P - put before – Ghoti Jan 31 '16 at 11:05

[Oct 21, 2018] Indent multiple lines quickly in vi

Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

Allain Lalonde, Oct 25, 2008 at 3:27

Should be trivial, and it might even be in the help, but I can't figure out how to navigate it. How do I indent multiple lines quickly in vi?

Greg Hewgill, Oct 25, 2008 at 3:28

Use the > command. To indent 5 lines, 5>> . To mark a block of lines and indent it, Vjj> to indent 3 lines (vim only). To indent a curly-braces block, put your cursor on one of the curly braces and use >% .

If you're copying blocks of text around and need to align the indent of a block in its new location, use ]p instead of just p . This aligns the pasted block with the surrounding text.

Also, the shiftwidth setting allows you to control how many spaces to indent.

akdom, Oct 25, 2008 at 3:31

<shift>-v also works to select a line in Vim. – akdom Oct 25 '08 at 3:31

R. Martinho Fernandes, Feb 15, 2009 at 17:26

I use >i} (indent inner {} block). Works in vim. Not sure it works in vi. – R. Martinho Fernandes Feb 15 '09 at 17:26

Kamran Bigdely, Feb 28, 2011 at 23:25

My problem(in gVim) is that the command > indents much more than 2 blanks (I want just two blanks but > indent something like 5 blanks) – Kamran Bigdely Feb 28 '11 at 23:25

Greg Hewgill, Mar 1, 2011 at 18:42

@Kamran: See the shiftwidth setting for the way to change that. – Greg Hewgill Mar 1 '11 at 18:42

Greg Hewgill, Feb 28, 2013 at 3:36

@MattStevens: You can find extended discussion about this phenomenon here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9731/Greg Hewgill Feb 28 '13 at 3:36

Michael Ekoka, Feb 15, 2009 at 5:42

When you select a block and use > to indent, it indents then goes back to normal mode. I have this in my .vimrc file:
vnoremap < <gv

vnoremap > >gv

It lets you indent your selection as many time as you want.

sundar, Sep 1, 2009 at 17:14

To indent the selection multiple times, you can simply press . to repeat the previous command. – sundar Sep 1 '09 at 17:14

masukomi, Dec 6, 2013 at 21:24

The problem with . in this situation is that you have to move your fingers. With @mike's solution (same one i use) you've already got your fingers on the indent key and can just keep whacking it to keep indenting rather than switching and doing something else. Using period takes longer because you have to move your hands and it requires more thought because it's a second, different, operation. – masukomi Dec 6 '13 at 21:24

Johan, Jan 20, 2009 at 21:11

A big selection would be:
gg=G

It is really fast, and everything gets indented ;-)

asgs, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:57

I've an XML file and turned on syntax highlighting. Typing gg=G just puts every line starting from position 1. All the white spaces have been removed. Is there anything else specific to XML? – asgs Jan 28 '14 at 21:57

Johan, Jan 29, 2014 at 6:10

stackoverflow.com/questions/7600860/

Amanuel Nega, May 19, 2015 at 19:51

I think set cindent should be in vimrc or should run :set cindent before running that command – Amanuel Nega May 19 '15 at 19:51

Amanuel Nega, May 19, 2015 at 19:57

I think cindent must be set first. and @asgs i think this only works for cstyle programming languages. – Amanuel Nega May 19 '15 at 19:57

sqqqrly, Sep 28, 2017 at 23:59

I use block-mode visual selection:
  • Go to the front of the block to move (at the top or bottom).
  • Press ctrl-v to enter visual block mode.
  • Navigate to select a column in front of the lines.
  • Press I (shift i) to enter insert mode.
  • Type some spaces.
  • Press ESC. All lines will shift.

This is not a uni-tasker. It works:

  • In the middle of lines.
  • To insert any string on all lines.
  • To change a column (use c instead of I).
  • yank, delete, substitute, etc...

oligofren, Mar 27 at 15:23

This is cumbersome, but is the way to go if you do formatting outside of core VIM (for instance, using vim-prettier instead of the default indenting engine). Using > will otherwise royally scew up the formatting done by Prettier. – oligofren Mar 27 at 15:23

sqqqrly, Jun 15 at 16:30

Funny, I find it anything but cumbersome. This is not a uni-tasker! Learning this method has many uses beyond indenting. – sqqqrly Jun 15 at 16:30

user4052054, Aug 17 at 17:50

I find it better than the accepted answer, as I can see what is happening, the lines I'm selecting and the action I'm doing, and not just type some sort of vim incantation. – user4052054 Aug 17 at 17:50

Sergio, Apr 25 at 7:14

Suppose | represents the position of the cursor in Vim. If the text to be indented is enclosed in a code block like:
int main() {
line1
line2|
line3
}

you can do >i{ which means " indent ( > ) inside ( i ) block ( { ) " and get:

int main() {
    line1
    line2|
    line3
}

Now suppose the lines are contiguous but outside a block, like:

do
line2|
line3
line4
done

To indent lines 2 thru 4 you can visually select the lines and type > . Or even faster you can do >2j to get:

do
    line2|
    line3
    line4
done

Note that >Nj means indent from current line to N lines below. If the number of lines to be indented is large, it could take some seconds for the user to count the proper value of N . To save valuable seconds you can activate the option of relative number with set relativenumber (available since Vim version 7.3).

Sagar Jain, Apr 18, 2014 at 18:41

The master of all commands is
gg=G

This indents the entire file!

And below are some of the simple and elegant commands used to indent lines quickly in Vim or gVim.

To indent the current line
==

To indent the all the lines below the current line

=G

To indent n lines below the current line

n==

For example, to indent 4 lines below the current line

4==

To indent a block of code, go to one of the braces and use command

=%

These are the simplest, yet powerful commands to indent multiple lines.

rojomoke, Jul 30, 2014 at 15:48

This is just in vim, not vi . – rojomoke Jul 30 '14 at 15:48

Sagar Jain, Jul 31, 2014 at 3:40

@rojomoke: No, it works in vi as well – Sagar Jain Jul 31 '14 at 3:40

rojomoke, Jul 31, 2014 at 10:09

Not on my Solaris or AIX boxes it doesn't. The equals key has always been one of my standard ad hoc macro assignments. Are you sure you're not looking at a vim that's been linked to as vi ? – rojomoke Jul 31 '14 at 10:09

rojomoke, Aug 1, 2014 at 8:22

Yeah, on Linux, vi is almost always a link to vim. Try running the :ve command inside vi. – rojomoke Aug 1 '14 at 8:22

datelligence, Dec 28, 2015 at 17:28

I love this kind of answers: clear, precise and succinct. Worked for me in Debian Jessie. Thanks, @SJain – datelligence Dec 28 '15 at 17:28

kapil, Mar 1, 2015 at 13:20

To indent every line in a file type, esc then G=gg

zundarz, Sep 10, 2015 at 18:41

:help left

In ex mode you can use :left or :le to align lines a specified amount. Specifically, :left will Left align lines in the [range]. It sets the indent in the lines to [indent] (default 0).

:%le3 or :%le 3 or :%left3 or :%left 3 will align the entire file by padding with three spaces.

:5,7 le 3 will align lines 5 through 7 by padding them with 3 spaces.

:le without any value or :le 0 will left align with a padding of 0.

This works in vim and gvim .

Subfuzion, Aug 11, 2017 at 22:02

Awesome, just what I was looking for (a way to insert a specific number of spaces -- 4 spaces for markdown code -- to override my normal indent). In my case I wanted to indent a specific number of lines in visual mode, so shift-v to highlight the lines, then :'<,'>le4 to insert the spaces. Thanks! – Subfuzion Aug 11 '17 at 22:02

Nykakin, Aug 21, 2015 at 13:33

There is one more way that hasn't been mentioned yet - you can use norm i command to insert given text at the beginning of the line. To insert 10 spaces before lines 2-10:
:2,10norm 10i

Remember that there has to be space character at the end of the command - this will be the character we want to have inserted. We can also indent line with any other text, for example to indent every line in file with 5 underscore characters:

:%norm 5i_

Or something even more fancy:

:%norm 2i[ ]

More practical example is commenting Bash/Python/etc code with # character:

:1,20norm i#

To re-indent use x instead of i . For example to remove first 5 characters from every line:

:%norm 5x

Eliethesaiyan, Jun 13, 2016 at 14:18

this starts from the left side of the file...not the the current position of the block – Eliethesaiyan Jun 13 '16 at 14:18

John Sonderson, Jan 31, 2015 at 19:17

Suppose you use 2 spaces to indent your code. Type:
:set shiftwidth=2
  • Type v (to enter visual block editing mode)
  • Move the cursor with the arrow keys (or with h / j / k / l ) to highlight the lines you want to indent or unindent.

Then:

  • Type > to indent once (2 spaces).
  • Type 2> to indent twice (4 spaces).
  • Type 3> to indent thrice (6 spaces).
  • ...
  • Type < to unindent once (2 spaces).
  • Type 2< to unindent twice (4 spaces).
  • Type 3< to unindent thrice (6 spaces).
  • ...

You get the idea.

( Empty lines will not get indented, which I think is kind of nice. )


I found the answer in the (g)vim documentation for indenting blocks:

:help visual-block
/indent

If you want to give a count to the command, do this just before typing the operator character: "v{move-around}3>" (move lines 3 indents to the right).

Michael, Dec 19, 2014 at 20:18

To indent all file by 4:
esc 4G=G

underscore_d, Oct 17, 2015 at 19:35

...what? 'indent by 4 spaces'? No, this jumps to line 4 and then indents everything from there to the end of the file, using the currently selected indent mode (if any). – underscore_d Oct 17 '15 at 19:35

Abhishesh Sharma, Jul 15, 2014 at 9:22

:line_num_start,line_num_end>

e.g.

14,21> shifts line number 14 to 21 to one tab

Increase the '>' symbol for more tabs

e.g.

14,21>>> for 3 tabs

HoldOffHunger, Dec 5, 2017 at 15:50

There are clearly a lot of ways to solve this, but this is the easiest to implement, as line numbers show by default in vim and it doesn't require math. – HoldOffHunger Dec 5 '17 at 15:50

rohitkadam19, May 7, 2013 at 7:13

5== will indent 5 lines from current cursor position. so you can type any number before ==, it will indent number of lines. This is in command mode.

gg=G will indent whole file from top to bottom.

Kamlesh Karwande, Feb 6, 2014 at 4:04

I dont know why its so difficult to find a simple answer like this one...

I myself had to struggle a lot to know this its its very simple

edit your .vimrc file under home directory add this line

set cindent

in you file where you want to indent properly

in normal/command mode type

10==   (this will indent 10 lines from the current cursor location )
gg=G   (complete file will be properly indented)

Michael Durrant, Nov 4, 2013 at 22:57

Go to the start of the text
  • press v for visual mode.
  • use up / down arrow to highlight text.
  • press = to indent all the lines you highlighted.

Eric Leschinski, Dec 23, 2013 at 3:30

How to indent highlighted code in vi immediately by a # of spaces:

Option 1: Indent a block of code in vi to three spaces with Visual Block mode:

  1. Select the block of code you want to indent. Do this using Ctrl+V in normal mode and arrowing down to select text. While it is selected, enter : to give a command to the block of selected text.
  2. The following will appear in the command line: :'<,'>
  3. To set indent to 3 spaces, type le 3 and press enter. This is what appears: :'<,'>le 3
  4. The selected text is immediately indented to 3 spaces.

Option 2: Indent a block of code in vi to three spaces with Visual Line mode:

  1. Open your file in VI.
  2. Put your cursor over some code
  3. Be in normal mode press the following keys:
    Vjjjj:le 3
    

    Interpretation of what you did:

    V means start selecting text.

    jjjj arrows down 4 lines, highlighting 4 lines.

    : tells vi you will enter an instruction for the highlighted text.

    le 3 means indent highlighted text 3 lines.

    The selected code is immediately increased or decreased to three spaces indentation.

Option 3: use Visual Block mode and special insert mode to increase indent:

  1. Open your file in VI.
  2. Put your cursor over some code
  3. Be in normal mode press the following keys:

    Ctrl+V

    jjjj
    

    (press spacebar 5 times)

    Esc Shift+i

    All the highlighted text is indented an additional 5 spaces.

ire_and_curses, Mar 6, 2011 at 17:29

This answer summarises the other answers and comments of this question, and adds extra information based on the Vim documentation and the Vim wiki . For conciseness, this answer doesn't distinguish between Vi and Vim-specific commands.

In the commands below, "re-indent" means "indent lines according to your indentation settings ." shiftwidth is the primary variable that controls indentation.

General Commands

>>   Indent line by shiftwidth spaces
<<   De-indent line by shiftwidth spaces
5>>  Indent 5 lines
5==  Re-indent 5 lines

>%   Increase indent of a braced or bracketed block (place cursor on brace first)
=%   Reindent a braced or bracketed block (cursor on brace)
<%   Decrease indent of a braced or bracketed block (cursor on brace)
]p   Paste text, aligning indentation with surroundings

=i{  Re-indent the 'inner block', i.e. the contents of the block
=a{  Re-indent 'a block', i.e. block and containing braces
=2a{ Re-indent '2 blocks', i.e. this block and containing block

>i{  Increase inner block indent
<i{  Decrease inner block indent

You can replace { with } or B, e.g. =iB is a valid block indent command. Take a look at "Indent a Code Block" for a nice example to try these commands out on.

Also, remember that

.    Repeat last command

, so indentation commands can be easily and conveniently repeated.

Re-indenting complete files

Another common situation is requiring indentation to be fixed throughout a source file:

gg=G  Re-indent entire buffer

You can extend this idea to multiple files:

" Re-indent all your c source code:
:args *.c
:argdo normal gg=G
:wall

Or multiple buffers:

" Re-indent all open buffers:
:bufdo normal gg=G:wall

In Visual Mode

Vjj> Visually mark and then indent 3 lines

In insert mode

These commands apply to the current line:

CTRL-t   insert indent at start of line
CTRL-d   remove indent at start of line
0 CTRL-d remove all indentation from line

Ex commands

These are useful when you want to indent a specific range of lines, without moving your cursor.

:< and :> Given a range, apply indentation e.g.
:4,8>   indent lines 4 to 8, inclusive

Indenting using markers

Another approach is via markers :

ma     Mark top of block to indent as marker 'a'

...move cursor to end location

>'a    Indent from marker 'a' to current location

Variables that govern indentation

You can set these in your .vimrc file .

set expandtab       "Use softtabstop spaces instead of tab characters for indentation
set shiftwidth=4    "Indent by 4 spaces when using >>, <<, == etc.
set softtabstop=4   "Indent by 4 spaces when pressing <TAB>

set autoindent      "Keep indentation from previous line
set smartindent     "Automatically inserts indentation in some cases
set cindent         "Like smartindent, but stricter and more customisable

Vim has intelligent indentation based on filetype. Try adding this to your .vimrc:

if has ("autocmd")
    " File type detection. Indent based on filetype. Recommended.
    filetype plugin indent on
endif

References

Amit, Aug 10, 2011 at 13:26

Both this answer and the one above it were great. But I +1'd this because it reminded me of the 'dot' operator, which repeats the last command. This is extremely useful when needing to indent an entire block several shiftspaces (or indentations) without needing to keep pressing >} . Thanks a long – Amit Aug 10 '11 at 13:26

Wipqozn, Aug 24, 2011 at 16:00

5>> Indent 5 lines : This command indents the fifth line, not 5 lines. Could this be due to my VIM settings, or is your wording incorrect? – Wipqozn Aug 24 '11 at 16:00

ire_and_curses, Aug 24, 2011 at 16:21

@Wipqozn - That's strange. It definitely indents the next five lines for me, tested on Vim 7.2.330. – ire_and_curses Aug 24 '11 at 16:21

Steve, Jan 6, 2012 at 20:13

>42gg Indent from where you are to line 42. – Steve Jan 6 '12 at 20:13

aqn, Mar 6, 2013 at 4:42

Great summary! Also note that the "indent inside block" and "indent all block" (<i{ >a{ etc.) also works with parentheses and brackets: >a( <i] etc. (And while I'm at it, in addition to <>'s, they also work with d,c,y etc.) – aqn Mar 6 '13 at 4:42

NickSoft, Nov 5, 2013 at 16:19

I didn't find a method I use in the comments, so I'll share it (I think vim only):
  1. Esc to enter command mode
  2. Move to the first character of the last line you want to ident
  3. ctrl - v to start block select
  4. Move to the first character of the first line you want to ident
  5. shift - i to enter special insert mode
  6. type as many spases/tabs as you need to indent to (2 for example
  7. press Esc and spaces will appear in all lines

This is useful when you don't want to change ident/tab settings in vimrc or to remember them to change it while editing.

To unindent I use the same ctrl - v block select to select spaces and delete it with d .

svec, Oct 25, 2008 at 4:21

Also try this for C-indenting indentation, do :help = for more info:

={

That will auto-indent the current code block you're in.

Or just:

==

to auto-indent the current line.

underscore_d, Oct 17, 2015 at 19:39

doesn't work for me, just dumps my cursor to the line above the opening brace of 'the current code block i'm in'. – underscore_d Oct 17 '15 at 19:39

John La Rooy, Jul 2, 2013 at 7:24

Using Python a lot, I find myself needing frequently needing to shift blocks by more than one indent. You can do this by using any of the block selection methods, and then just enter the number of indents you wish to jump right before the >

Eg. V5j3> will indent 5 lines 3 times - which is 12 spaces if you use 4 spaces for indents

Juan Lanus, Sep 18, 2012 at 14:12

The beauty of vim's UI is that it's consistent. Editing commands are made up of the command and a cursor move. The cursor moves are always the same:
  • H to top of screen, L to bottom, M to middle
  • n G to go to line n, G alone to bottom of file, gg to top
  • n to move to next search match, N to previous
  • } to end of paragraph
  • % to next matching bracket, either of the parentheses or the tag kind
  • enter to the next line
  • 'x to mark x where x is a letter or another '
  • many more, including w and W for word, $ or 0 to tips of the line, etc, that don't apply here because are not line movements.

So, in order to use vim you have to learn to move the cursor and remember a repertoire of commands like, for example, > to indent (and < to "outdent").
Thus, for indenting the lines from the cursor position to the top of the screen you do >H, >G to indent to the bottom of the file.

If, instead of typing >H, you type dH then you are deleting the same block of lines, cH for replacing it, etc.

Some cursor movements fit better with specific commands. In particular, the % command is handy to indent a whole HTML or XML block.
If the file has syntax highlighted ( :syn on ) then setting the cursor in the text of a tag (like, in the "i" of <div> and entering >% will indent up to the closing </div> tag.

This is how vim works: one has to remember only the cursor movements and the commands, and how to mix them.
So my answer to this question would be "go to one end of the block of lines you want to indent, and then type the > command and a movement to the other end of the block" if indent is interpreted as shifting the lines, = if indent is interpreted as in pretty-printing.

aqn, Mar 6, 2013 at 4:38

I would say that vi/vim is mostly consistent. For instance, D does not behave the same as S and Y! :) – aqn Mar 6 '13 at 4:38

Kent Fredric, Oct 25, 2008 at 9:16

Key-Presses for more visual people:
  1. Enter Command Mode:
    Escape
  2. Move around to the start of the area to indent:
    hjkl↑↓←→
  3. Start a block:
    v
  4. Move around to the end of the area to indent:
    hjkl↑↓←→
  5. (Optional) Type the number of indentation levels you want
    0..9
  6. Execute the indentation on the block:
    >

Shane Reustle, Mar 10, 2011 at 22:24

This is great, but it uses spaces and not tabs. Any possible way to fix this? – Shane Reustle Mar 10 '11 at 22:24

Kent Fredric, Mar 16, 2011 at 8:33

If its using spaces instead of tabs, then its probably because you have indentation set to use spaces. =). – Kent Fredric Mar 16 '11 at 8:33

Kent Fredric, Mar 16, 2011 at 8:36

When the 'expandtab' option is off (this is the default) Vim uses <Tab>s as much as possible to make the indent. ( :help :> ) – Kent Fredric Mar 16 '11 at 8:36

Shane Reustle, Dec 2, 2012 at 3:17

The only tab/space related vim setting I've changed is :set tabstop=3. It's actually inserting this every time I use >>: "<tab><space><space>". Same with indenting a block. Any ideas? – Shane Reustle Dec 2 '12 at 3:17

Kent Fredric, Dec 2, 2012 at 17:08

The three settings you want to look at for "spaces vs tabs" are 1. tabstop 2. shiftwidth 3. expandtab. You probably have "shiftwidth=5 noexpandtab", so a "tab" is 3 spaces, and an indentation level is "5" spaces, so it makes up the 5 with 1 tab, and 2 spaces. – Kent Fredric Dec 2 '12 at 17:08

mda, Jun 4, 2012 at 5:12

For me, the MacVim (Visual) solution was, select with mouse and press ">", but after putting the following lines in "~/.vimrc" since I like spaces instead of tabs:
set expandtab
set tabstop=2
set shiftwidth=2

Also it's useful to be able to call MacVim from the command-line (Terminal.app), so since I have the following helper directory "~/bin", where I place a script called "macvim":

#!/usr/bin/env bash
/usr/bin/open -a /Applications/MacPorts/MacVim.app $@

And of course in "~/.bashrc":

export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin

Macports messes with "~/.profile" a lot, so the PATH environment variable can get quite long.

jash, Feb 17, 2012 at 15:16

>} or >{ indent from current line up to next paragraph

<} or <{ same un-indent

Eric Kigathi, Jan 4, 2012 at 0:41

A quick way to do this using VISUAL MODE uses the same process as commenting a block of code.

This is useful if you would prefer not to change your shiftwidth or use any set directives and is flexible enough to work with TABS or SPACES or any other character.

  1. Position cursor at the beginning on the block
  2. v to switch to -- VISUAL MODE --
  3. Select the text to be indented
  4. Type : to switch to the prompt
  5. Replacing with 3 leading spaces:

    :'<,'>s/^/ /g

  6. Or replacing with leading tabs:

    :'<,'>s/^/\t/g

  7. Brief Explanation:

    '<,'> - Within the Visually Selected Range

    s/^/ /g - Insert 3 spaces at the beginning of every line within the whole range

    (or)

    s/^/\t/g - Insert Tab at the beginning of every line within the whole range

pankaj ukumar, Nov 11, 2009 at 17:33

do this
$vi .vimrc

and add this line

autocmd FileType cpp setlocal expandtab shiftwidth=4 softtabstop=4 cindent

this is only for cpp file you can do this for another file type also just by modifying the filetype...

SteveO, Nov 10, 2010 at 19:16

I like to mark text for indentation:
  1. go to beginning of line of text then type ma (a is the label from the 'm'ark: it could be any letter)
  2. go to end line of text and type mz (again z could be any letter)
  3. :'a,'z> or :'a,'z< will indent or outdent (is this a word?)
  4. Voila! the text is moved (empty lines remain empty with no spaces)

PS: you can use :'a,'z technique to mark a range for any operation (d,y,s///, etc) where you might use lines, numbers, or %

Paul Tomblin, Oct 25, 2008 at 4:08

As well as the offered solutions, I like to do things a paragraph at a time with >}

aqn, Mar 6, 2013 at 4:47

Yup, and this is why one of my big peeves is white spaces on an otherwise empty line: they messes up vim's notion of a "paragraph". – aqn Mar 6 '13 at 4:47

Daniel Spiewak, Oct 25, 2008 at 4:00

In addition to the answer already given and accepted, it is also possible to place a marker and then indent everything from the current cursor to the marker. Thus, enter ma where you want the top of your indented block, cursor down as far as you need and then type >'a (note that " a " can be substituted for any valid marker name). This is sometimes easier than 5>> or vjjj> .

user606723, Mar 17, 2011 at 15:31

This is really useful. I am going to have to look up what all works with this. I know d'a and y'a, what else? – user606723 Mar 17 '11 at 15:31

ziggy, Aug 25, 2014 at 14:14

This is very useful as it avoids the need to count how many lines you want to indent. – ziggy Aug 25 '14 at 14:14

[Oct 21, 2018] vim - how to move a block or column of text - Stack Overflow

Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

how to move a block or column of text Ask Question up vote 23 down vote favorite 5


David.Chu.ca ,Mar 6, 2009 at 20:47

I have the following text as a simple case:

...
abc xxx 123 456
wer xxx 345 678676
...

what I need to move a block of text xxx to another location:

...
abc 123 xxx 456
wer 345 xxx 678676
...

I think I use visual mode to block a column of text, what are the other commands to move the block to another location?

Paul ,Mar 6, 2009 at 20:52

You should use blockwise visual mode ( Ctrl + v ). Then d to delete block, p or P to paste block.

Klinger ,Mar 6, 2009 at 20:53

Try the link .


Marking text (visual mode)

  • v - start visual mode, mark lines, then do command (such as y-yank)
  • V - start Linewise visual mode
  • o - move to other end of marked area
  • Ctrl + v - start visual block mode
  • O - move to Other corner of block
  • aw - mark a word
  • ab - a () block (with braces)
  • aB - a {} block (with brackets)
  • ib - inner () block
  • iB - inner {} block
  • Esc - exit visual mode

Visual commands

  • > - shift right
  • < - shift left
  • y - yank (copy) marked text
  • d - delete marked text
  • ~ - switch case

Cut and Paste

  • yy - yank (copy) a line
  • 2yy - yank 2 lines
  • yw - yank word
  • y$ - yank to end of line
  • p - put (paste) the clipboard after cursor
  • P - put (paste) before cursor
  • dd - delete (cut) a line
  • dw - delete (cut) the current word
  • x - delete (cut) current character

Kemin Zhou ,Nov 6, 2015 at 23:59

One of the few useful command I learned at the beginning of learning VIM is :1,3 mo 5 This means move text line 1 through 3 to line 5.

Júda Ronén ,Jan 18, 2017 at 21:20

And you can select the lines in visual mode, then press : to get :'<,'> (equivalent to the :1,3 part in your answer), and add mo N . If you want to move a single line, just :mo N . If you are really lazy, you can omit the space (e.g. :mo5 ). Use marks with mo '{a-zA-Z} . – Júda Ronén Jan 18 '17 at 21:20

Miles ,Jun 29, 2017 at 23:44

just m also works – Miles Jun 29 '17 at 23:44

John Ellinwood ,Mar 6, 2009 at 20:52

  1. In VIM, press Ctrl + V to go in Visual Block mode
  2. Select the required columns with your arrow keys and press x to cut them in the buffer.
  3. Move cursor to row 1 column 9 and press P (thats capital P) in command mode.
  4. Press Ctrl + Shift + b to get in and out of it. ( source )

SergioAraujo ,Jan 4 at 21:49

Using an external command "awk".

%!awk '{print $1,$3,$2,$4}' test.txt

With pure vim

:%s,\v(\w+) (\w+) (\w+) (\w+),\1 \3 \2 \4,g

Another vim solution using global command

:g/./normal wdwwP

[Oct 21, 2018] What is your most productive shortcut with Vim?

Notable quotes:
"... less productive ..."
"... column oriented ..."
Feb 17, 2013 | stackoverflow.com
I've heard a lot about Vim, both pros and cons. It really seems you should be (as a developer) faster with Vim than with any other editor. I'm using Vim to do some basic stuff and I'm at best 10 times less productive with Vim.

The only two things you should care about when you talk about speed (you may not care enough about them, but you should) are:

  1. Using alternatively left and right hands is the fastest way to use the keyboard.
  2. Never touching the mouse is the second way to be as fast as possible. It takes ages for you to move your hand, grab the mouse, move it, and bring it back to the keyboard (and you often have to look at the keyboard to be sure you returned your hand properly to the right place)

Here are two examples demonstrating why I'm far less productive with Vim.

Copy/Cut & paste. I do it all the time. With all the contemporary editors you press Shift with the left hand, and you move the cursor with your right hand to select text. Then Ctrl + C copies, you move the cursor and Ctrl + V pastes.

With Vim it's horrible:

  • yy to copy one line (you almost never want the whole line!)
  • [number xx]yy to copy xx lines into the buffer. But you never know exactly if you've selected what you wanted. I often have to do [number xx]dd then u to undo!

Another example? Search & replace.

  • In PSPad : Ctrl + f then type what you want you search for, then press Enter .
  • In Vim: /, then type what you want to search for, then if there are some special characters put \ before each special character, then press Enter .

And everything with Vim is like that: it seems I don't know how to handle it the right way.

NB : I've already read the Vim cheat sheet :)

My question is: What is the way you use Vim that makes you more productive than with a contemporary editor?

community wiki 18 revs, 16 users 64%, Dec 22, 2011 at 11:43

Your problem with Vim is that you don't grok vi .

You mention cutting with yy and complain that you almost never want to cut whole lines. In fact programmers, editing source code, very often want to work on whole lines, ranges of lines and blocks of code. However, yy is only one of many way to yank text into the anonymous copy buffer (or "register" as it's called in vi ).

The "Zen" of vi is that you're speaking a language. The initial y is a verb. The statement yy is a synonym for y_ . The y is doubled up to make it easier to type, since it is such a common operation.

This can also be expressed as dd P (delete the current line and paste a copy back into place; leaving a copy in the anonymous register as a side effect). The y and d "verbs" take any movement as their "subject." Thus yW is "yank from here (the cursor) to the end of the current/next (big) word" and y'a is "yank from here to the line containing the mark named ' a '."

If you only understand basic up, down, left, and right cursor movements then vi will be no more productive than a copy of "notepad" for you. (Okay, you'll still have syntax highlighting and the ability to handle files larger than a piddling ~45KB or so; but work with me here).

vi has 26 "marks" and 26 "registers." A mark is set to any cursor location using the m command. Each mark is designated by a single lower case letter. Thus ma sets the ' a ' mark to the current location, and mz sets the ' z ' mark. You can move to the line containing a mark using the ' (single quote) command. Thus 'a moves to the beginning of the line containing the ' a ' mark. You can move to the precise location of any mark using the ` (backquote) command. Thus `z will move directly to the exact location of the ' z ' mark.

Because these are "movements" they can also be used as subjects for other "statements."

So, one way to cut an arbitrary selection of text would be to drop a mark (I usually use ' a ' as my "first" mark, ' z ' as my next mark, ' b ' as another, and ' e ' as yet another (I don't recall ever having interactively used more than four marks in 15 years of using vi ; one creates one's own conventions regarding how marks and registers are used by macros that don't disturb one's interactive context). Then we go to the other end of our desired text; we can start at either end, it doesn't matter. Then we can simply use d`a to cut or y`a to copy. Thus the whole process has a 5 keystrokes overhead (six if we started in "insert" mode and needed to Esc out command mode). Once we've cut or copied then pasting in a copy is a single keystroke: p .

I say that this is one way to cut or copy text. However, it is only one of many. Frequently we can more succinctly describe the range of text without moving our cursor around and dropping a mark. For example if I'm in a paragraph of text I can use { and } movements to the beginning or end of the paragraph respectively. So, to move a paragraph of text I cut it using { d} (3 keystrokes). (If I happen to already be on the first or last line of the paragraph I can then simply use d} or d{ respectively.

The notion of "paragraph" defaults to something which is usually intuitively reasonable. Thus it often works for code as well as prose.

Frequently we know some pattern (regular expression) that marks one end or the other of the text in which we're interested. Searching forwards or backwards are movements in vi . Thus they can also be used as "subjects" in our "statements." So I can use d/foo to cut from the current line to the next line containing the string "foo" and y?bar to copy from the current line to the most recent (previous) line containing "bar." If I don't want whole lines I can still use the search movements (as statements of their own), drop my mark(s) and use the `x commands as described previously.

In addition to "verbs" and "subjects" vi also has "objects" (in the grammatical sense of the term). So far I've only described the use of the anonymous register. However, I can use any of the 26 "named" registers by prefixing the "object" reference with " (the double quote modifier). Thus if I use "add I'm cutting the current line into the ' a ' register and if I use "by/foo then I'm yanking a copy of the text from here to the next line containing "foo" into the ' b ' register. To paste from a register I simply prefix the paste with the same modifier sequence: "ap pastes a copy of the ' a ' register's contents into the text after the cursor and "bP pastes a copy from ' b ' to before the current line.

This notion of "prefixes" also adds the analogs of grammatical "adjectives" and "adverbs' to our text manipulation "language." Most commands (verbs) and movement (verbs or objects, depending on context) can also take numeric prefixes. Thus 3J means "join the next three lines" and d5} means "delete from the current line through the end of the fifth paragraph down from here."

This is all intermediate level vi . None of it is Vim specific and there are far more advanced tricks in vi if you're ready to learn them. If you were to master just these intermediate concepts then you'd probably find that you rarely need to write any macros because the text manipulation language is sufficiently concise and expressive to do most things easily enough using the editor's "native" language.


A sampling of more advanced tricks:

There are a number of : commands, most notably the :% s/foo/bar/g global substitution technique. (That's not advanced but other : commands can be). The whole : set of commands was historically inherited by vi 's previous incarnations as the ed (line editor) and later the ex (extended line editor) utilities. In fact vi is so named because it's the visual interface to ex .

: commands normally operate over lines of text. ed and ex were written in an era when terminal screens were uncommon and many terminals were "teletype" (TTY) devices. So it was common to work from printed copies of the text, using commands through an extremely terse interface (common connection speeds were 110 baud, or, roughly, 11 characters per second -- which is slower than a fast typist; lags were common on multi-user interactive sessions; additionally there was often some motivation to conserve paper).

So the syntax of most : commands includes an address or range of addresses (line number) followed by a command. Naturally one could use literal line numbers: :127,215 s/foo/bar to change the first occurrence of "foo" into "bar" on each line between 127 and 215. One could also use some abbreviations such as . or $ for current and last lines respectively. One could also use relative prefixes + and - to refer to offsets after or before the curent line, respectively. Thus: :.,$j meaning "from the current line to the last line, join them all into one line". :% is synonymous with :1,$ (all the lines).

The :... g and :... v commands bear some explanation as they are incredibly powerful. :... g is a prefix for "globally" applying a subsequent command to all lines which match a pattern (regular expression) while :... v applies such a command to all lines which do NOT match the given pattern ("v" from "conVerse"). As with other ex commands these can be prefixed by addressing/range references. Thus :.,+21g/foo/d means "delete any lines containing the string "foo" from the current one through the next 21 lines" while :.,$v/bar/d means "from here to the end of the file, delete any lines which DON'T contain the string "bar."

It's interesting that the common Unix command grep was actually inspired by this ex command (and is named after the way in which it was documented). The ex command :g/re/p (grep) was the way they documented how to "globally" "print" lines containing a "regular expression" (re). When ed and ex were used, the :p command was one of the first that anyone learned and often the first one used when editing any file. It was how you printed the current contents (usually just one page full at a time using :.,+25p or some such).

Note that :% g/.../d or (its reVerse/conVerse counterpart: :% v/.../d are the most common usage patterns. However there are couple of other ex commands which are worth remembering:

We can use m to move lines around, and j to join lines. For example if you have a list and you want to separate all the stuff matching (or conversely NOT matching some pattern) without deleting them, then you can use something like: :% g/foo/m$ ... and all the "foo" lines will have been moved to the end of the file. (Note the other tip about using the end of your file as a scratch space). This will have preserved the relative order of all the "foo" lines while having extracted them from the rest of the list. (This would be equivalent to doing something like: 1G!GGmap!Ggrep foo<ENTER>1G:1,'a g/foo'/d (copy the file to its own tail, filter the tail through grep, and delete all the stuff from the head).

To join lines usually I can find a pattern for all the lines which need to be joined to their predecessor (all the lines which start with "^ " rather than "^ * " in some bullet list, for example). For that case I'd use: :% g/^ /-1j (for every matching line, go up one line and join them). (BTW: for bullet lists trying to search for the bullet lines and join to the next doesn't work for a couple reasons ... it can join one bullet line to another, and it won't join any bullet line to all of its continuations; it'll only work pairwise on the matches).

Almost needless to mention you can use our old friend s (substitute) with the g and v (global/converse-global) commands. Usually you don't need to do so. However, consider some case where you want to perform a substitution only on lines matching some other pattern. Often you can use a complicated pattern with captures and use back references to preserve the portions of the lines that you DON'T want to change. However, it will often be easier to separate the match from the substitution: :% g/foo/s/bar/zzz/g -- for every line containing "foo" substitute all "bar" with "zzz." (Something like :% s/\(.*foo.*\)bar\(.*\)/\1zzz\2/g would only work for the cases those instances of "bar" which were PRECEDED by "foo" on the same line; it's ungainly enough already, and would have to be mangled further to catch all the cases where "bar" preceded "foo")

The point is that there are more than just p, s, and d lines in the ex command set.

The : addresses can also refer to marks. Thus you can use: :'a,'bg/foo/j to join any line containing the string foo to its subsequent line, if it lies between the lines between the ' a ' and ' b ' marks. (Yes, all of the preceding ex command examples can be limited to subsets of the file's lines by prefixing with these sorts of addressing expressions).

That's pretty obscure (I've only used something like that a few times in the last 15 years). However, I'll freely admit that I've often done things iteratively and interactively that could probably have been done more efficiently if I'd taken the time to think out the correct incantation.

Another very useful vi or ex command is :r to read in the contents of another file. Thus: :r foo inserts the contents of the file named "foo" at the current line.

More powerful is the :r! command. This reads the results of a command. It's the same as suspending the vi session, running a command, redirecting its output to a temporary file, resuming your vi session, and reading in the contents from the temp. file.

Even more powerful are the ! (bang) and :... ! ( ex bang) commands. These also execute external commands and read the results into the current text. However, they also filter selections of our text through the command! This we can sort all the lines in our file using 1G!Gsort ( G is the vi "goto" command; it defaults to going to the last line of the file, but can be prefixed by a line number, such as 1, the first line). This is equivalent to the ex variant :1,$!sort . Writers often use ! with the Unix fmt or fold utilities for reformating or "word wrapping" selections of text. A very common macro is {!}fmt (reformat the current paragraph). Programmers sometimes use it to run their code, or just portions of it, through indent or other code reformatting tools.

Using the :r! and ! commands means that any external utility or filter can be treated as an extension of our editor. I have occasionally used these with scripts that pulled data from a database, or with wget or lynx commands that pulled data off a website, or ssh commands that pulled data from remote systems.

Another useful ex command is :so (short for :source ). This reads the contents of a file as a series of commands. When you start vi it normally, implicitly, performs a :source on ~/.exinitrc file (and Vim usually does this on ~/.vimrc, naturally enough). The use of this is that you can change your editor profile on the fly by simply sourcing in a new set of macros, abbreviations, and editor settings. If you're sneaky you can even use this as a trick for storing sequences of ex editing commands to apply to files on demand.

For example I have a seven line file (36 characters) which runs a file through wc, and inserts a C-style comment at the top of the file containing that word count data. I can apply that "macro" to a file by using a command like: vim +'so mymacro.ex' ./mytarget

(The + command line option to vi and Vim is normally used to start the editing session at a given line number. However it's a little known fact that one can follow the + by any valid ex command/expression, such as a "source" command as I've done here; for a simple example I have scripts which invoke: vi +'/foo/d|wq!' ~/.ssh/known_hosts to remove an entry from my SSH known hosts file non-interactively while I'm re-imaging a set of servers).

Usually it's far easier to write such "macros" using Perl, AWK, sed (which is, in fact, like grep a utility inspired by the ed command).

The @ command is probably the most obscure vi command. In occasionally teaching advanced systems administration courses for close to a decade I've met very few people who've ever used it. @ executes the contents of a register as if it were a vi or ex command.
Example: I often use: :r!locate ... to find some file on my system and read its name into my document. From there I delete any extraneous hits, leaving only the full path to the file I'm interested in. Rather than laboriously Tab -ing through each component of the path (or worse, if I happen to be stuck on a machine without Tab completion support in its copy of vi ) I just use:

  1. 0i:r (to turn the current line into a valid :r command),
  2. "cdd (to delete the line into the "c" register) and
  3. @c execute that command.

That's only 10 keystrokes (and the expression "cdd @c is effectively a finger macro for me, so I can type it almost as quickly as any common six letter word).


A sobering thought

I've only scratched to surface of vi 's power and none of what I've described here is even part of the "improvements" for which vim is named! All of what I've described here should work on any old copy of vi from 20 or 30 years ago.

There are people who have used considerably more of vi 's power than I ever will.

Jim Dennis, Feb 12, 2010 at 4:08

@Wahnfieden -- grok is exactly what I meant: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok (It's apparently even in the OED --- the closest we anglophones have to a canonical lexicon). To "grok" an editor is to find yourself using its commands fluently ... as if they were your natural language. – Jim Dennis Feb 12 '10 at 4:08

knittl, Feb 27, 2010 at 13:15

wow, a very well written answer! i couldn't agree more, although i use the @ command a lot (in combination with q : record macro) – knittl Feb 27 '10 at 13:15

Brandon Rhodes, Mar 29, 2010 at 15:26

Superb answer that utterly redeems a really horrible question. I am going to upvote this question, that normally I would downvote, just so that this answer becomes easier to find. (And I'm an Emacs guy! But this way I'll have somewhere to point new folks who want a good explanation of what vi power users find fun about vi. Then I'll tell them about Emacs and they can decide.) – Brandon Rhodes Mar 29 '10 at 15:26

Marko, Apr 1, 2010 at 14:47

Can you make a website and put this tutorial there, so it doesn't get burried here on stackoverflow. I have yet to read better introduction to vi then this. – Marko Apr 1 '10 at 14:47

CMS, Aug 2, 2009 at 8:27

You are talking about text selecting and copying, I think that you should give a look to the Vim Visual Mode .

In the visual mode, you are able to select text using Vim commands, then you can do whatever you want with the selection.

Consider the following common scenarios:

You need to select to the next matching parenthesis.

You could do:

  • v% if the cursor is on the starting/ending parenthesis
  • vib if the cursor is inside the parenthesis block

You want to select text between quotes:

  • vi" for double quotes
  • vi' for single quotes

You want to select a curly brace block (very common on C-style languages):

  • viB
  • vi{

You want to select the entire file:

  • ggVG

Visual block selection is another really useful feature, it allows you to select a rectangular area of text, you just have to press Ctrl - V to start it, and then select the text block you want and perform any type of operation such as yank, delete, paste, edit, etc. It's great to edit column oriented text.

finnw, Aug 2, 2009 at 8:49

Every editor has something like this, it's not specific to vim. – finnw Aug 2 '09 at 8:49

guns, Aug 2, 2009 at 9:54

Yes, but it was a specific complaint of the poster. Visual mode is Vim's best method of direct text-selection and manipulation. And since vim's buffer traversal methods are superb, I find text selection in vim fairly pleasurable. – guns Aug 2 '09 at 9:54

Hamish Downer, Mar 16, 2010 at 13:34

I think it is also worth mentioning Ctrl-V to select a block - ie an arbitrary rectangle of text. When you need it it's a lifesaver. – Hamish Downer Mar 16 '10 at 13:34

CMS, Apr 2, 2010 at 2:07

@viksit: I'm using Camtasia, but there are plenty of alternatives: codinghorror.com/blog/2006/11/screencasting-for-windows.htmlCMS Apr 2 '10 at 2:07

Nathan Long, Mar 1, 2011 at 19:05

Also, if you've got a visual selection and want to adjust it, o will hop to the other end. So you can move both the beginning and the end of the selection as much as you like. – Nathan Long Mar 1 '11 at 19:05

community wiki
12 revs, 3 users 99%
,Oct 29, 2012 at 18:51

Some productivity tips:

Smart movements

  • * and # search for the word under the cursor forward/backward.
  • w to the next word
  • W to the next space-separated word
  • b / e to the begin/end of the current word. ( B / E for space separated only)
  • gg / G jump to the begin/end of the file.
  • % jump to the matching { .. } or ( .. ), etc..
  • { / } jump to next paragraph.
  • '. jump back to last edited line.
  • g; jump back to last edited position.

Quick editing commands

  • I insert at the begin.
  • A append to end.
  • o / O open a new line after/before the current.
  • v / V / Ctrl+V visual mode (to select text!)
  • Shift+R replace text
  • C change remaining part of line.

Combining commands

Most commands accept a amount and direction, for example:

  • cW = change till end of word
  • 3cW = change 3 words
  • BcW = to begin of full word, change full word
  • ciW = change inner word.
  • ci" = change inner between ".."
  • ci( = change text between ( .. )
  • ci< = change text between < .. > (needs set matchpairs+=<:> in vimrc)
  • 4dd = delete 4 lines
  • 3x = delete 3 characters.
  • 3s = substitute 3 characters.

Useful programmer commands

  • r replace one character (e.g. rd replaces the current char with d ).
  • ~ changes case.
  • J joins two lines
  • Ctrl+A / Ctrl+X increments/decrements a number.
  • . repeat last command (a simple macro)
  • == fix line indent
  • > indent block (in visual mode)
  • < unindent block (in visual mode)

Macro recording

  • Press q[ key ] to start recording.
  • Then hit q to stop recording.
  • The macro can be played with @[ key ] .

By using very specific commands and movements, VIM can replay those exact actions for the next lines. (e.g. A for append-to-end, b / e to move the cursor to the begin or end of a word respectively)

Example of well built settings

# reset to vim-defaults
if &compatible          # only if not set before:
  set nocompatible      # use vim-defaults instead of vi-defaults (easier, more user friendly)
endif

# display settings
set background=dark     # enable for dark terminals
set nowrap              # dont wrap lines
set scrolloff=2         # 2 lines above/below cursor when scrolling
set number              # show line numbers
set showmatch           # show matching bracket (briefly jump)
set showmode            # show mode in status bar (insert/replace/...)
set showcmd             # show typed command in status bar
set ruler               # show cursor position in status bar
set title               # show file in titlebar
set wildmenu            # completion with menu
set wildignore=*.o,*.obj,*.bak,*.exe,*.py[co],*.swp,*~,*.pyc,.svn
set laststatus=2        # use 2 lines for the status bar
set matchtime=2         # show matching bracket for 0.2 seconds
set matchpairs+=<:>     # specially for html

# editor settings
set esckeys             # map missed escape sequences (enables keypad keys)
set ignorecase          # case insensitive searching
set smartcase           # but become case sensitive if you type uppercase characters
set smartindent         # smart auto indenting
set smarttab            # smart tab handling for indenting
set magic               # change the way backslashes are used in search patterns
set bs=indent,eol,start # Allow backspacing over everything in insert mode

set tabstop=4           # number of spaces a tab counts for
set shiftwidth=4        # spaces for autoindents
#set expandtab           # turn a tabs into spaces

set fileformat=unix     # file mode is unix
#set fileformats=unix,dos    # only detect unix file format, displays that ^M with dos files

# system settings
set lazyredraw          # no redraws in macros
set confirm             # get a dialog when :q, :w, or :wq fails
set nobackup            # no backup~ files.
set viminfo='20,\"500   # remember copy registers after quitting in the .viminfo file -- 20 jump links, regs up to 500 lines'
set hidden              # remember undo after quitting
set history=50          # keep 50 lines of command history
set mouse=v             # use mouse in visual mode (not normal,insert,command,help mode


# color settings (if terminal/gui supports it)
if &t_Co > 2 || has("gui_running")
  syntax on          # enable colors
  set hlsearch       # highlight search (very useful!)
  set incsearch      # search incremently (search while typing)
endif

# paste mode toggle (needed when using autoindent/smartindent)
map <F10> :set paste<CR>
map <F11> :set nopaste<CR>
imap <F10> <C-O>:set paste<CR>
imap <F11> <nop>
set pastetoggle=<F11>

# Use of the filetype plugins, auto completion and indentation support
filetype plugin indent on

# file type specific settings
if has("autocmd")
  # For debugging
  #set verbose=9

  # if bash is sh.
  let bash_is_sh=1

  # change to directory of current file automatically
  autocmd BufEnter * lcd %:p:h

  # Put these in an autocmd group, so that we can delete them easily.
  augroup mysettings
    au FileType xslt,xml,css,html,xhtml,javascript,sh,config,c,cpp,docbook set smartindent shiftwidth=2 softtabstop=2 expandtab
    au FileType tex set wrap shiftwidth=2 softtabstop=2 expandtab

    # Confirm to PEP8
    au FileType python set tabstop=4 softtabstop=4 expandtab shiftwidth=4 cinwords=if,elif,else,for,while,try,except,finally,def,class
  augroup END

  augroup perl
    # reset (disable previous 'augroup perl' settings)
    au!  

    au BufReadPre,BufNewFile
    \ *.pl,*.pm
    \ set formatoptions=croq smartindent shiftwidth=2 softtabstop=2 cindent cinkeys='0{,0},!^F,o,O,e' " tags=./tags,tags,~/devel/tags,~/devel/C
    # formatoption:
    #   t - wrap text using textwidth
    #   c - wrap comments using textwidth (and auto insert comment leader)
    #   r - auto insert comment leader when pressing <return> in insert mode
    #   o - auto insert comment leader when pressing 'o' or 'O'.
    #   q - allow formatting of comments with "gq"
    #   a - auto formatting for paragraphs
    #   n - auto wrap numbered lists
    #   
  augroup END


  # Always jump to the last known cursor position. 
  # Don't do it when the position is invalid or when inside
  # an event handler (happens when dropping a file on gvim). 
  autocmd BufReadPost * 
    \ if line("'\"") > 0 && line("'\"") <= line("$") | 
    \   exe "normal g`\"" | 
    \ endif 

endif # has("autocmd")

The settings can be stored in ~/.vimrc, or system-wide in /etc/vimrc.local and then by read from the /etc/vimrc file using:

source /etc/vimrc.local

(you'll have to replace the # comment character with " to make it work in VIM, I wanted to give proper syntax highlighting here).

The commands I've listed here are pretty basic, and the main ones I use so far. They already make me quite more productive, without having to know all the fancy stuff.

naught101, Apr 28, 2012 at 2:09

Better than '. is g;, which jumps back through the changelist . Goes to the last edited position, instead of last edited line – naught101 Apr 28 '12 at 2:09

community wiki
5 revs, 4 users 53%
,Apr 12, 2012 at 7:46

The Control + R mechanism is very useful :-) In either insert mode or command mode (i.e. on the : line when typing commands), continue with a numbered or named register:
  • a - z the named registers
  • " the unnamed register, containing the text of the last delete or yank
  • % the current file name
  • # the alternate file name
  • * the clipboard contents (X11: primary selection)
  • + the clipboard contents
  • / the last search pattern
  • : the last command-line
  • . the last inserted text
  • - the last small (less than a line) delete
  • =5*5 insert 25 into text (mini-calculator)

See :help i_CTRL-R and :help c_CTRL-R for more details, and snoop around nearby for more CTRL-R goodness.

vdboor, Jun 3, 2010 at 9:08

FYI, this refers to Ctrl+R in insert mode . In normal mode, Ctrl+R is redo. – vdboor Jun 3 '10 at 9:08

Aryeh Leib Taurog, Feb 26, 2012 at 19:06

+1 for current/alternate file name. Control-A also works in insert mode for last inserted text, and Control-@ to both insert last inserted text and immediately switch to normal mode. – Aryeh Leib Taurog Feb 26 '12 at 19:06

community wiki
Benson
, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:44

Vim Plugins

There are a lot of good answers here, and one amazing one about the zen of vi. One thing I don't see mentioned is that vim is extremely extensible via plugins. There are scripts and plugins to make it do all kinds of crazy things the original author never considered. Here are a few examples of incredibly handy vim plugins:

rails.vim

Rails.vim is a plugin written by tpope. It's an incredible tool for people doing rails development. It does magical context-sensitive things that allow you to easily jump from a method in a controller to the associated view, over to a model, and down to unit tests for that model. It has saved dozens if not hundreds of hours as a rails developer.

gist.vim

This plugin allows you to select a region of text in visual mode and type a quick command to post it to gist.github.com . This allows for easy pastebin access, which is incredibly handy if you're collaborating with someone over IRC or IM.

space.vim

This plugin provides special functionality to the spacebar. It turns the spacebar into something analogous to the period, but instead of repeating actions it repeats motions. This can be very handy for moving quickly through a file in a way you define on the fly.

surround.vim

This plugin gives you the ability to work with text that is delimited in some fashion. It gives you objects which denote things inside of parens, things inside of quotes, etc. It can come in handy for manipulating delimited text.

supertab.vim

This script brings fancy tab completion functionality to vim. The autocomplete stuff is already there in the core of vim, but this brings it to a quick tab rather than multiple different multikey shortcuts. Very handy, and incredibly fun to use. While it's not VS's intellisense, it's a great step and brings a great deal of the functionality you'd like to expect from a tab completion tool.

syntastic.vim

This tool brings external syntax checking commands into vim. I haven't used it personally, but I've heard great things about it and the concept is hard to beat. Checking syntax without having to do it manually is a great time saver and can help you catch syntactic bugs as you introduce them rather than when you finally stop to test.

fugitive.vim

Direct access to git from inside of vim. Again, I haven't used this plugin, but I can see the utility. Unfortunately I'm in a culture where svn is considered "new", so I won't likely see git at work for quite some time.

nerdtree.vim

A tree browser for vim. I started using this recently, and it's really handy. It lets you put a treeview in a vertical split and open files easily. This is great for a project with a lot of source files you frequently jump between.

FuzzyFinderTextmate.vim

This is an unmaintained plugin, but still incredibly useful. It provides the ability to open files using a "fuzzy" descriptive syntax. It means that in a sparse tree of files you need only type enough characters to disambiguate the files you're interested in from the rest of the cruft.

Conclusion

There are a lot of incredible tools available for vim. I'm sure I've only scratched the surface here, and it's well worth searching for tools applicable to your domain. The combination of traditional vi's powerful toolset, vim's improvements on it, and plugins which extend vim even further, it's one of the most powerful ways to edit text ever conceived. Vim is easily as powerful as emacs, eclipse, visual studio, and textmate.

Thanks

Thanks to duwanis for his vim configs from which I have learned much and borrowed most of the plugins listed here.

Tom Morris, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:50

The magical tests-to-class navigation in rails.vim is one of the more general things I wish Vim had that TextMate absolutely nails across all languages: if I am working on Person.scala and I do Cmd+T, usually the first thing in the list is PersonTest.scala. – Tom Morris Apr 1 '10 at 8:50

Gavin Gilmour, Jan 15, 2011 at 13:44

I think it's time FuzzyFinderTextmate started to get replaced with github.com/wincent/Command-TGavin Gilmour Jan 15 '11 at 13:44

Nathan Long, Mar 1, 2011 at 19:07

+1 for Syntastic. That, combined with JSLint, has made my Javascript much less error-prone. See superuser.com/questions/247012/ about how to set up JSLint to work with Syntastic. – Nathan Long Mar 1 '11 at 19:07

AlG, Sep 13, 2011 at 17:37

@Benson Great list! I'd toss in snipMate as well. Very helpful automation of common coding stuff. if<tab> instant if block, etc. – AlG Sep 13 '11 at 17:37

EarlOfEgo, May 12, 2012 at 15:13

I think nerdcommenter is also a good plugin: here . Like its name says, it is for commenting your code. – EarlOfEgo May 12 '12 at 15:13

community wiki
4 revs, 2 users 89%
,Mar 31, 2010 at 23:01

. Repeat last text-changing command

I save a lot of time with this one.

Visual mode was mentioned previously, but block visual mode has saved me a lot of time when editing fixed size columns in text file. (accessed with Ctrl-V).

vdboor, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:34

Additionally, if you use a concise command (e.g. A for append-at-end) to edit the text, vim can repeat that exact same action for the next line you press the . key at. – vdboor Apr 1 '10 at 8:34

community wiki
3 revs, 3 users 87%
,Dec 24, 2012 at 14:50

gi

Go to last edited location (very useful if you performed some searching and than want go back to edit)

^P and ^N

Complete previous (^P) or next (^N) text.

^O and ^I

Go to previous ( ^O - "O" for old) location or to the next ( ^I - "I" just near to "O" ). When you perform searches, edit files etc., you can navigate through these "jumps" forward and back.

R. Martinho Fernandes, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:02

Thanks for gi ! Now I don't need marks for that! – R. Martinho Fernandes Apr 1 '10 at 3:02

Kungi, Feb 10, 2011 at 16:23

I Think this can also be done with `` – Kungi Feb 10 '11 at 16:23

Grant McLean, Aug 23, 2011 at 8:21

@Kungi `. will take you to the last edit `` will take you back to the position you were in before the last 'jump' - which /might/ also be the position of the last edit. – Grant McLean Aug 23 '11 at 8:21

community wiki
Ronny Brendel
, Mar 31, 2010 at 19:37

I recently (got) discovered this site: http://vimcasts.org/

It's pretty new and really really good. The guy who is running the site switched from textmate to vim and hosts very good and concise casts on specific vim topics. Check it out!

Jeromy Anglim, Jan 13, 2011 at 6:40

If you like vim tutorials, check out Derek Wyatt's vim videos as well. They're excellent. – Jeromy Anglim Jan 13 '11 at 6:40

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Feb 27, 2010 at 11:20

CTRL + A increments the number you are standing on.

innaM, Aug 3, 2009 at 9:14

... and CTRL-X decrements. – innaM Aug 3 '09 at 9:14

SolutionYogi, Feb 26, 2010 at 20:43

It's a neat shortcut but so far I have NEVER found any use for it. – SolutionYogi Feb 26 '10 at 20:43

matja, Feb 27, 2010 at 14:21

if you run vim in screen and wonder why this doesn't work - ctrl+A, A – matja Feb 27 '10 at 14:21

hcs42, Feb 27, 2010 at 19:05

@SolutionYogi: Consider that you want to add line number to the beginning of each line. Solution: ggI1<space><esc>0qqyawjP0<c-a>0q9999@q – hcs42 Feb 27 '10 at 19:05

blueyed, Apr 1, 2010 at 14:47

Extremely useful with Vimperator, where it increments (or decrements, Ctrl-X) the last number in the URL. Useful for quickly surfing through image galleries etc. – blueyed Apr 1 '10 at 14:47

community wiki
3 revs
,Aug 28, 2009 at 15:23

All in Normal mode:

f<char> to move to the next instance of a particular character on the current line, and ; to repeat.

F<char> to move to the previous instance of a particular character on the current line and ; to repeat.

If used intelligently, the above two can make you killer-quick moving around in a line.

* on a word to search for the next instance.

# on a word to search for the previous instance.

Jim Dennis, Mar 14, 2010 at 6:38

Whoa, I didn't know about the * and # (search forward/back for word under cursor) binding. That's kinda cool. The f/F and t/T and ; commands are quick jumps to characters on the current line. f/F put the cursor on the indicated character while t/T puts it just up "to" the character (the character just before or after it according to the direction chosen. ; simply repeats the most recent f/F/t/T jump (in the same direction). – Jim Dennis Mar 14 '10 at 6:38

Steve K, Apr 3, 2010 at 23:50

:) The tagline at the top of the tips page at vim.org: "Can you imagine how many keystrokes could have been saved, if I only had known the "*" command in time?" - Juergen Salk, 1/19/2001" – Steve K Apr 3 '10 at 23:50

puk, Feb 24, 2012 at 6:45

As Jim mentioned, the "t/T" combo is often just as good, if not better, for example, ct( will erase the word and put you in insert mode, but keep the parantheses! – puk Feb 24 '12 at 6:45

community wiki
agfe2
, Aug 19, 2010 at 8:08

Session

a. save session

:mks sessionname

b. force save session

:mks! sessionname

c. load session

gvim or vim -S sessionname


Adding and Subtracting

a. Adding and Subtracting

CTRL-A ;Add [count] to the number or alphabetic character at or after the cursor. {not in Vi

CTRL-X ;Subtract [count] from the number or alphabetic character at or after the cursor. {not in Vi}

b. Window key unmapping

In window, Ctrl-A already mapped for whole file selection you need to unmap in rc file. mark mswin.vim CTRL-A mapping part as comment or add your rc file with unmap

c. With Macro

The CTRL-A command is very useful in a macro. Example: Use the following steps to make a numbered list.

  1. Create the first list entry, make sure it starts with a number.
  2. qa - start recording into buffer 'a'
  3. Y - yank the entry
  4. p - put a copy of the entry below the first one
  5. CTRL-A - increment the number
  6. q - stop recording
  7. @a - repeat the yank, put and increment times

Don Reba, Aug 22, 2010 at 5:22

Any idea what the shortcuts are in Windows? – Don Reba Aug 22 '10 at 5:22

community wiki
8 revs, 2 users 98%
,Aug 18, 2012 at 21:44

Last week at work our project inherited a lot of Python code from another project. Unfortunately the code did not fit into our existing architecture - it was all done with global variables and functions, which would not work in a multi-threaded environment.

We had ~80 files that needed to be reworked to be object oriented - all the functions moved into classes, parameters changed, import statements added, etc. We had a list of about 20 types of fix that needed to be done to each file. I would estimate that doing it by hand one person could do maybe 2-4 per day.

So I did the first one by hand and then wrote a vim script to automate the changes. Most of it was a list of vim commands e.g.

" delete an un-needed function "
g/someFunction(/ d

" add wibble parameter to function foo "
%s/foo(/foo( wibble,/

" convert all function calls bar(thing) into method calls thing.bar() "
g/bar(/ normal nmaf(ldi(`aPa.

The last one deserves a bit of explanation:

g/bar(/  executes the following command on every line that contains "bar("
normal   execute the following text as if it was typed in in normal mode
n        goes to the next match of "bar(" (since the :g command leaves the cursor position at the start of the line)
ma       saves the cursor position in mark a
f(       moves forward to the next opening bracket
l        moves right one character, so the cursor is now inside the brackets
di(      delete all the text inside the brackets
`a       go back to the position saved as mark a (i.e. the first character of "bar")
P        paste the deleted text before the current cursor position
a.       go into insert mode and add a "."

For a couple of more complex transformations such as generating all the import statements I embedded some python into the vim script.

After a few hours of working on it I had a script that will do at least 95% of the conversion. I just open a file in vim then run :source fixit.vim and the file is transformed in a blink of the eye.

We still have the work of changing the remaining 5% that was not worth automating and of testing the results, but by spending a day writing this script I estimate we have saved weeks of work.

Of course it would have been possible to automate this with a scripting language like Python or Ruby, but it would have taken far longer to write and would be less flexible - the last example would have been difficult since regex alone would not be able to handle nested brackets, e.g. to convert bar(foo(xxx)) to foo(xxx).bar() . Vim was perfect for the task.

Olivier Pons, Feb 28, 2010 at 14:41

Thanks a lot for sharing that's really nice to learn from "useful & not classical" macros. – Olivier Pons Feb 28 '10 at 14:41

Ipsquiggle, Mar 23, 2010 at 16:55

%s/\(bar\)(\(.\+\))/\2.\1()/ would do that too. (Escapes are compatible with :set magic .) Just for the record. :) – Ipsquiggle Mar 23 '10 at 16:55

Ipsquiggle, Mar 23, 2010 at 16:56

Of if you don't like vim-style escapes, use \v to turn on Very Magic: %s/\v(bar)\((.+)\)/\2.\1()/Ipsquiggle Mar 23 '10 at 16:56

Dave Kirby, Mar 23, 2010 at 17:16

@lpsquiggle: your suggestion would not handle complex expressions with more than one set of brackets. e.g. if bar(foo(xxx)) or wibble(xxx): becomes if foo(xxx)) or wibble(xxx.bar(): which is completely wrong. – Dave Kirby Mar 23 '10 at 17:16

community wiki
2 revs
,Aug 2, 2009 at 11:17

Use the builtin file explorer! The command is :Explore and it allows you to navigate through your source code very very fast. I have these mapping in my .vimrc :
map <silent> <F8>   :Explore<CR>
map <silent> <S-F8> :sp +Explore<CR>

The explorer allows you to make file modifications, too. I'll post some of my favorite keys, pressing <F1> will give you the full list:

  • - : The most useful: Change to upper directory ( cd .. )
  • mf : Mark a file
  • D : Delete marked files or the file the cursor is on, if nothing ismarked.
  • R : Rename the file the cursor is on.
  • d : Create a new directory in the current directory
  • % : Create a new file in the current directory

Svend, Aug 2, 2009 at 8:48

I always thought the default methods for browsing kinda sucked for most stuff. It's just slow to browse, if you know where you wanna go. LustyExplorer from vim.org's script section is a much needed improvement. – Svend Aug 2 '09 at 8:48

Taurus Olson, Aug 6, 2009 at 17:37

Your second mapping could be more simple: map <silent> <S-F8> :Sexplore<CR> – Taurus Olson Aug 6 '09 at 17:37

kprobst, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:53

I recommend NERDtree instead of the built-in explorer. It has changed the way I used vim for projects and made me much more productive. Just google for it. – kprobst Apr 1 '10 at 3:53

dash-tom-bang, Aug 24, 2011 at 0:35

I never feel the need to explore the source tree, I just use :find, :tag and the various related keystrokes to jump around. (Maybe this is because the source trees I work on are big and organized differently than I would have done? :) ) – dash-tom-bang Aug 24 '11 at 0:35

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 92%
,Jun 15, 2011 at 13:39

I am a member of the American Cryptogram Association. The bimonthly magazine includes over 100 cryptograms of various sorts. Roughly 15 of these are "cryptarithms" - various types of arithmetic problems with letters substituted for the digits. Two or three of these are sudokus, except with letters instead of numbers. When the grid is completed, the nine distinct letters will spell out a word or words, on some line, diagonal, spiral, etc., somewhere in the grid.

Rather than working with pencil, or typing the problems in by hand, I download the problems from the members area of their website.

When working with these sudokus, I use vi, simply because I'm using facilities that vi has that few other editors have. Mostly in converting the lettered grid into a numbered grid, because I find it easier to solve, and then the completed numbered grid back into the lettered grid to find the solution word or words.

The problem is formatted as nine groups of nine letters, with - s representing the blanks, written in two lines. The first step is to format these into nine lines of nine characters each. There's nothing special about this, just inserting eight linebreaks in the appropriate places.

The result will look like this:

T-O-----C
-E-----S-
--AT--N-L
---NASO--
---E-T---
--SPCL---
E-T--OS--
-A-----P-
S-----C-T

So, first step in converting this into numbers is to make a list of the distinct letters. First, I make a copy of the block. I position the cursor at the top of the block, then type :y}}p . : puts me in command mode, y yanks the next movement command. Since } is a move to the end of the next paragraph, y} yanks the paragraph. } then moves the cursor to the end of the paragraph, and p pastes what we had yanked just after the cursor. So y}}p creates a copy of the next paragraph, and ends up with the cursor between the two copies.

Next, I to turn one of those copies into a list of distinct letters. That command is a bit more complex:

:!}tr -cd A-Z | sed 's/\(.\)/\1\n/g' | sort -u | tr -d '\n'

: again puts me in command mode. ! indicates that the content of the next yank should be piped through a command line. } yanks the next paragraph, and the command line then uses the tr command to strip out everything except for upper-case letters, the sed command to print each letter on a single line, and the sort command to sort those lines, removing duplicates, and then tr strips out the newlines, leaving the nine distinct letters in a single line, replacing the nine lines that had made up the paragraph originally. In this case, the letters are: ACELNOPST .

Next step is to make another copy of the grid. And then to use the letters I've just identified to replace each of those letters with a digit from 1 to 9. That's simple: :!}tr ACELNOPST 0-9 . The result is:

8-5-----1
-2-----7-
--08--4-3
---4075--
---2-8---
--7613---
2-8--57--
-0-----6-
7-----1-8

This can then be solved in the usual way, or entered into any sudoku solver you might prefer. The completed solution can then be converted back into letters with :!}tr 1-9 ACELNOPST .

There is power in vi that is matched by very few others. The biggest problem is that only a very few of the vi tutorial books, websites, help-files, etc., do more than barely touch the surface of what is possible.

hhh, Jan 14, 2011 at 17:12

and an irritation is that some distros such as ubuntu has aliases from the word "vi" to "vim" so people won't really see vi. Excellent example, have to try... +1 – hhh Jan 14 '11 at 17:12

dash-tom-bang, Aug 24, 2011 at 0:45

Doesn't vim check the name it was started with so that it can come up in the right 'mode'? – dash-tom-bang Aug 24 '11 at 0:45

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 20:47

I'm baffled by this repeated error: you say you need : to go into command mode, but then invariably you specify normal mode commands (like y}}p ) which cannot possibly work from the command mode?! – sehe Mar 4 '12 at 20:47

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 20:56

My take on the unique chars challenge: :se tw=1 fo= (preparation) VG:s/./& /g (insert spaces), gvgq (split onto separate lines), V{:sort u (sort and remove duplicates) – sehe Mar 4 '12 at 20:56

community wiki
jqno
, Aug 2, 2009 at 8:59

Bulk text manipulations!

Either through macros:

  • Start with recording: qq
  • Do stuff
  • Stop recording: q
  • Repeat: @q (the first time), @@ after that.
  • Repeat 20 times: 20@@

Or through regular expressions:

  • Replace stuff: :%s/[fo]+/bar/g

(But be warned: if you do the latter, you'll have 2 problems :).)

Jim Dennis, Jan 10, 2010 at 4:03

+1 for the Jamie Zawinski reference. (No points taken back for failing to link to it, even). :) – Jim Dennis Jan 10 '10 at 4:03

jqno, Jan 10, 2010 at 10:06

@Jim I didn't even know it was a Jamie Zawinski quote :). I'll try to remember it from now on. – jqno Jan 10 '10 at 10:06

Jim Dennis, Feb 12, 2010 at 4:15

I find the following trick increasingly useful ... for cases where you want to join lines that match (or that do NOT match) some pattern to the previous line: :% g/foo/-1j or :'a,'z v/bar/-1j for example (where the former is "all lines and matching the pattern" while the latter is "lines between mark a and mark z which fail to match the pattern"). The part after the patter in a g or v ex command can be any other ex commmands, -1j is just a relative line movement and join command. – Jim Dennis Feb 12 '10 at 4:15

JustJeff, Feb 27, 2010 at 12:54

of course, if you name your macro '2', then when it comes time to use it, you don't even have to move your finger from the '@' key to the 'q' key. Probably saves 50 to 100 milliseconds every time right there. =P – JustJeff Feb 27 '10 at 12:54

Simon Steele, Apr 1, 2010 at 13:12

@JustJeff Depends entirely on your keyboard layout, my @ key is at the other side of the keyboard from my 2 key. – Simon Steele Apr 1 '10 at 13:12

community wiki
David Pope
, Apr 2, 2012 at 7:56

I recently discovered q: . It opens the "command window" and shows your most recent ex-mode (command-mode) commands. You can move as usual within the window, and pressing <CR> executes the command. You can edit, etc. too. Priceless when you're messing around with some complex command or regex and you don't want to retype the whole thing, or if the complex thing you want to do was 3 commands back. It's almost like bash's set -o vi, but for vim itself (heh!).

See :help q: for more interesting bits for going back and forth.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 56%
,Feb 27, 2010 at 11:29

I just discovered Vim's omnicompletion the other day, and while I'll admit I'm a bit hazy on what does which, I've had surprisingly good results just mashing either Ctrl + x Ctrl + u or Ctrl + n / Ctrl + p in insert mode. It's not quite IntelliSense, but I'm still learning it.

Try it out! :help ins-completion

community wiki
tfmoraes
, Mar 14, 2010 at 19:49

These are not shortcuts, but they are related:
  1. Make capslock an additional ESC (or Ctrl)
  2. map leader to "," (comma), with this command: let mapleader=","

They boost my productivity.

Olivier Pons, Mar 15, 2010 at 10:09

Hey nice hint about the "\"! Far better to type "," than "\". – Olivier Pons Mar 15 '10 at 10:09

R. Martinho Fernandes, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:30

To make Caps Lock an additional Esc in Windows (what's a caps lock key for? An "any key"?), try this: web.archive.org/web/20100418005858/http://webpages.charter.net/R. Martinho Fernandes Apr 1 '10 at 3:30

Tom Morris, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:45

On Mac, you need PCKeyboardHack - details at superuser.com/questions/34223/Tom Morris Apr 1 '10 at 8:45

Jeromy Anglim, Jan 10, 2011 at 4:43

On Windows I use AutoHotKey with Capslock::EscapeJeromy Anglim Jan 10 '11 at 4:43

community wiki
Costyn
, Sep 20, 2010 at 10:34

Another useful vi "shortcut" I frequently use is 'xp'. This will swap the character under the cursor with the next character.

tester, Aug 22, 2011 at 17:19

Xp to go the other way – tester Aug 22 '11 at 17:19

kguest, Aug 27, 2011 at 8:21

Around the time that Windows xp came out, I used to joke that this is the only good use for it. – kguest Aug 27 '11 at 8:21

community wiki
Peter Ellis
, Aug 2, 2009 at 9:47

<Ctrl> + W, V to split the screen vertically
<Ctrl> + W, W to shift between the windows

!python % [args] to run the script I am editing in this window

ZF in visual mode to fold arbitrary lines

Andrew Scagnelli, Apr 1, 2010 at 2:58

<Ctrl> + W and j/k will let you navigate absolutely (j up, k down, as with normal vim). This is great when you have 3+ splits. – Andrew Scagnelli Apr 1 '10 at 2:58

coder_tim, Jan 30, 2012 at 20:08

+1 for zf in visual mode, I like code folding, but did not know about that. – coder_tim Jan 30 '12 at 20:08

puk, Feb 24, 2012 at 7:00

after bashing my keyboard I have deduced that <C-w>n or <C-w>s is new horizontal window, <C-w>b is bottom right window, <C-w>c or <C-w>q is close window, <C-w>x is increase and then decrease window width (??), <C-w>p is last window, <C-w>backspace is move left(ish) window – puk Feb 24 '12 at 7:00

sjas, Jun 25, 2012 at 0:25

:help ctrl-w FTW... do yourself a favour, and force yourself to try these things for at least 15 minutes! – sjas Jun 25 '12 at 0:25

community wiki
2 revs
,Apr 1, 2010 at 17:00

Visual Mode

As several other people have said, visual mode is the answer to your copy/cut & paste problem. Vim gives you 'v', 'V', and C-v. Lower case 'v' in vim is essentially the same as the shift key in notepad. The nice thing is that you don't have to hold it down. You can use any movement technique to navigate efficiently to the starting (or ending) point of your selection. Then hit 'v', and use efficient movement techniques again to navigate to the other end of your selection. Then 'd' or 'y' allows you to cut or copy that selection.

The advantage vim's visual mode has over Jim Dennis's description of cut/copy/paste in vi is that you don't have to get the location exactly right. Sometimes it's more efficient to use a quick movement to get to the general vicinity of where you want to go and then refine that with other movements than to think up a more complex single movement command that gets you exactly where you want to go.

The downside to using visual mode extensively in this manner is that it can become a crutch that you use all the time which prevents you from learning new vi(m) commands that might allow you to do things more efficiently. However, if you are very proactive about learning new aspects of vi(m), then this probably won't affect you much.

I'll also re-emphasize that the visual line and visual block modes give you variations on this same theme that can be very powerful...especially the visual block mode.

On Efficient Use of the Keyboard

I also disagree with your assertion that alternating hands is the fastest way to use the keyboard. It has an element of truth in it. Speaking very generally, repeated use of the same thing is slow. This most significant example of this principle is that consecutive keystrokes typed with the same finger are very slow. Your assertion probably stems from the natural tendency to use the s/finger/hand/ transformation on this pattern. To some extent it's correct, but at the extremely high end of the efficiency spectrum it's incorrect.

Just ask any pianist. Ask them whether it's faster to play a succession of a few notes alternating hands or using consecutive fingers of a single hand in sequence. The fastest way to type 4 keystrokes is not to alternate hands, but to type them with 4 fingers of the same hand in either ascending or descending order (call this a "run"). This should be self-evident once you've considered this possibility.

The more difficult problem is optimizing for this. It's pretty easy to optimize for absolute distance on the keyboard. Vim does that. It's much harder to optimize at the "run" level, but vi(m) with it's modal editing gives you a better chance at being able to do it than any non-modal approach (ahem, emacs) ever could.

On Emacs

Lest the emacs zealots completely disregard my whole post on account of that last parenthetical comment, I feel I must describe the root of the difference between the emacs and vim religions. I've never spoken up in the editor wars and I probably won't do it again, but I've never heard anyone describe the differences this way, so here it goes. The difference is the following tradeoff:

Vim gives you unmatched raw text editing efficiency Emacs gives you unmatched ability to customize and program the editor

The blind vim zealots will claim that vim has a scripting language. But it's an obscure, ad-hoc language that was designed to serve the editor. Emacs has Lisp! Enough said. If you don't appreciate the significance of those last two sentences or have a desire to learn enough about functional programming and Lisp to develop that appreciation, then you should use vim.

The emacs zealots will claim that emacs has viper mode, and so it is a superset of vim. But viper mode isn't standard. My understanding is that viper mode is not used by the majority of emacs users. Since it's not the default, most emacs users probably don't develop a true appreciation for the benefits of the modal paradigm.

In my opinion these differences are orthogonal. I believe the benefits of vim and emacs as I have stated them are both valid. This means that the ultimate editor doesn't exist yet. It's probably true that emacs would be the easiest platform on which to base the ultimate editor. But modal editing is not entrenched in the emacs mindset. The emacs community could move that way in the future, but that doesn't seem very likely.

So if you want raw editing efficiency, use vim. If you want the ultimate environment for scripting and programming your editor use emacs. If you want some of both with an emphasis on programmability, use emacs with viper mode (or program your own mode). If you want the best of both worlds, you're out of luck for now.

community wiki
konryd
, Mar 31, 2010 at 22:44

Spend 30 mins doing the vim tutorial (run vimtutor instead of vim in terminal). You will learn the basic movements, and some keystrokes, this will make you at least as productive with vim as with the text editor you used before. After that, well, read Jim Dennis' answer again :)

dash-tom-bang, Aug 24, 2011 at 0:47

This is the first thing I thought of when reading the OP. It's obvious that the poster has never run this; I ran through it when first learning vim two years ago and it cemented in my mind the superiority of Vim to any of the other editors I've used (including, for me, Emacs since the key combos are annoying to use on a Mac). – dash-tom-bang Aug 24 '11 at 0:47

community wiki
Johnsyweb
, Jan 12, 2011 at 22:52

What is the way you use Vim that makes you more productive than with a contemporary editor?

Being able to execute complex, repetitive edits with very few keystrokes (often using macros ). Take a look at VimGolf to witness the power of Vim!

After over ten years of almost daily usage, it's hard to imagine using any other editor.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Jun 15, 2011 at 13:42

Use \c anywhere in a search to ignore case (overriding your ignorecase or smartcase settings). E.g. /\cfoo or /foo\c will match foo, Foo, fOO, FOO, etc.

Use \C anywhere in a search to force case matching. E.g. /\Cfoo or /foo\C will only match foo.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Jun 15, 2011 at 13:44

I was surprised to find no one mention the t movement. I frequently use it with parameter lists in the form of dt, or yt,

hhh, Jan 14, 2011 at 17:09

or dfx, dFx, dtx, ytx, etc where x is a char, +1 – hhh Jan 14 '11 at 17:09

dash-tom-bang, Aug 24, 2011 at 0:48

@hhh yep, T t f and F are all pretty regular keys for me to hit... – dash-tom-bang Aug 24 '11 at 0:48

markle976, Mar 30, 2012 at 13:52

Yes! And don't forget ct (change to). – markle976 Mar 30 '12 at 13:52

sjas, Jun 24, 2012 at 23:35

t for teh win!!! – sjas Jun 24 '12 at 23:35

community wiki
3 revs
,May 6, 2012 at 20:50

Odd nobody's mentioned ctags. Download "exuberant ctags" and put it ahead of the crappy preinstalled version you already have in your search path. Cd to the root of whatever you're working on; for example the Android kernel distribution. Type "ctags -R ." to build an index of source files anywhere beneath that dir in a file named "tags". This contains all tags, nomatter the language nor where in the dir, in one file, so cross-language work is easy.

Then open vim in that folder and read :help ctags for some commands. A few I use often:

  • Put cursor on a method call and type CTRL-] to go to the method definition.
  • Type :ta name to go to the definition of name.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Feb 27, 2010 at 11:19

Automatic indentation:

gg (go to start of document)
= (indent time!)
shift-g (go to end of document)

You'll need 'filetype plugin indent on' in your .vimrc file, and probably appropriate 'shiftwidth' and 'expandtab' settings.

xcramps, Aug 28, 2009 at 17:14

Or just use the ":set ai" (auto-indent) facility, which has been in vi since the beginning. – xcramps Aug 28 '09 at 17:14

community wiki
autodidakto
, Jul 24, 2010 at 5:41

You asked about productive shortcuts, but I think your real question is: Is vim worth it? The answer to this stackoverflow question is -> "Yes"

You must have noticed two things. Vim is powerful, and vim is hard to learn. Much of it's power lies in it's expandability and endless combination of commands. Don't feel overwhelmed. Go slow. One command, one plugin at a time. Don't overdo it.

All that investment you put into vim will pay back a thousand fold. You're going to be inside a text editor for many, many hours before you die. Vim will be your companion.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Feb 27, 2010 at 11:23

Multiple buffers, and in particular fast jumping between them to compare two files with :bp and :bn (properly remapped to a single Shift + p or Shift + n )

vimdiff mode (splits in two vertical buffers, with colors to show the differences)

Area-copy with Ctrl + v

And finally, tab completion of identifiers (search for "mosh_tab_or_complete"). That's a life changer.

community wiki
David Wolever
, Aug 28, 2009 at 16:07

Agreed with the top poster - the :r! command is very useful.

Most often I use it to "paste" things:

:r!cat
**Ctrl-V to paste from the OS clipboard**
^D

This way I don't have to fiddle with :set paste .

R. Martinho Fernandes, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:17

Probably better to set the clipboard option to unnamed ( set clipboard=unnamed in your .vimrc) to use the system clipboard by default. Or if you still want the system clipboard separate from the unnamed register, use the appropriately named clipboard register: "*p . – R. Martinho Fernandes Apr 1 '10 at 3:17

kevpie, Oct 12, 2010 at 22:38

Love it! After being exasperated by pasting code examples from the web and I was just starting to feel proficient in vim. That was the command I dreamed up on the spot. This was when vim totally hooked me. – kevpie Oct 12 '10 at 22:38

Ben Mordecai, Feb 6, 2013 at 19:54

If you're developing on a Mac, Command+C and Command+V copy and paste using the system clipboard, no remap required. – Ben Mordecai Feb 6 '13 at 19:54

David Wolever, Feb 6, 2013 at 20:55

Only with GVIm From the console, pasting without :set paste doesn't work so well if autoindent is enabled. – David Wolever Feb 6 '13 at 20:55

[Oct 21, 2018] What are the dark corners of Vim your mom never told you about?

Notable quotes:
"... Want to look at your :command history? q: Then browse, edit and finally to execute the command. ..."
"... from the ex editor (:), you can do CTRL-f to pop up the command history window. ..."
"... q/ and q? can be used to do a similar thing for your search patterns. ..."
"... adjacent to the one I just edit ..."
Nov 16, 2011 | stackoverflow.com

Ask Question, Nov 16, 2011 at 0:44

There are a plethora of questions where people talk about common tricks, notably " Vim+ctags tips and tricks ".

However, I don't refer to commonly used shortcuts that someone new to Vim would find cool. I am talking about a seasoned Unix user (be they a developer, administrator, both, etc.), who thinks they know something 99% of us never heard or dreamed about. Something that not only makes their work easier, but also is COOL and hackish .

After all, Vim resides in the most dark-corner-rich OS in the world, thus it should have intricacies that only a few privileged know about and want to share with us.

user3218088, Jun 16, 2014 at 9:51

:Sex -- Split window and open integrated file explorer (horizontal split) – user3218088 Jun 16 '14 at 9:51

community wiki, 2 revs, Apr 7, 2009 at 19:04

Might not be one that 99% of Vim users don't know about, but it's something I use daily and that any Linux+Vim poweruser must know.

Basic command, yet extremely useful.

:w !sudo tee %

I often forget to sudo before editing a file I don't have write permissions on. When I come to save that file and get a permission error, I just issue that vim command in order to save the file without the need to save it to a temp file and then copy it back again.

You obviously have to be on a system with sudo installed and have sudo rights.

jm666, May 12, 2011 at 6:09

cmap w!! w !sudo tee % – jm666 May 12 '11 at 6:09

Gerardo Marset, Jul 5, 2011 at 0:49

You should never run sudo vim . Instead you should export EDITOR as vim and run sudoedit . – Gerardo Marset Jul 5 '11 at 0:49

migu, Sep 2, 2013 at 20:42

@maximus: vim replaces % by the name of the current buffer/file. – migu Sep 2 '13 at 20:42

community wiki
Chad Birch
, Apr 7, 2009 at 18:09

Something I just discovered recently that I thought was very cool:
:earlier 15m

Reverts the document back to how it was 15 minutes ago. Can take various arguments for the amount of time you want to roll back, and is dependent on undolevels. Can be reversed with the opposite command :later

ephemient, Apr 8, 2009 at 16:15

@skinp: If you undo and then make further changes from the undone state, you lose that redo history. This lets you go back to a state which is no longer in the undo stack. – ephemient Apr 8 '09 at 16:15

Etienne PIERRE, Jul 21, 2009 at 13:53

Also very usefull is g+ and g- to go backward and forward in time. This is so much more powerfull than an undo/redo stack since you don't loose the history when you do something after an undo. – Etienne PIERRE Jul 21 '09 at 13:53

Ehtesh Choudhury, Nov 29, 2011 at 12:09

You don't lose the redo history if you make a change after an undo. It's just not easily accessed. There are plugins to help you visualize this, like Gundo.vim – Ehtesh Choudhury Nov 29 '11 at 12:09

Igor Popov, Dec 29, 2011 at 6:59

Wow, so now I can just do :later 8h and I'm done for today? :P – Igor Popov Dec 29 '11 at 6:59

Ring Ø, Jul 11, 2014 at 5:14

Your command assumes one will spend at least 15 minutes in vim ! – Ring Ø Jul 11 '14 at 5:14

community wiki,2 revs, 2 users 92%, ,Mar 31, 2016 at 17:54

:! [command] executes an external command while you're in Vim.

But add a dot after the colon, :.! [command], and it'll dump the output of the command into your current window. That's : . !

For example:

:.! ls

I use this a lot for things like adding the current date into a document I'm typing:

:.! date

saffsd, May 6, 2009 at 14:41

This is quite similar to :r! The only difference as far as I can tell is that :r! opens a new line, :.! overwrites the current line. – saffsd May 6 '09 at 14:41

hlovdal, Jan 25, 2010 at 21:11

An alternative to :.!date is to write "date" on a line and then run !$sh (alternatively having the command followed by a blank line and run !jsh ). This will pipe the line to the "sh" shell and substitute with the output from the command. – hlovdal Jan 25 '10 at 21:11

Nefrubyr, Mar 25, 2010 at 16:24

:.! is actually a special case of :{range}!, which filters a range of lines (the current line when the range is . ) through a command and replaces those lines with the output. I find :%! useful for filtering whole buffers. – Nefrubyr Mar 25 '10 at 16:24

jabirali, Jul 13, 2010 at 4:30

@sundar: Why pass a line to sed, when you can use the similar built-in ed / ex commands? Try running :.s/old/new/g ;-) – jabirali Jul 13 '10 at 4:30

aqn, Apr 26, 2013 at 20:52

And also note that '!' is like 'y', 'd', 'c' etc. i.e. you can do: !!, number!!, !motion (e.g. !Gshell_command<cr> replace from current line to end of file ('G') with output of shell_command). – aqn Apr 26 '13 at 20:52

community wiki 2 revs , Apr 8, 2009 at 12:17

Not exactly obscure, but there are several "delete in" commands which are extremely useful, like..
  • diw to delete the current word
  • di( to delete within the current parens
  • di" to delete the text between the quotes

Others can be found on :help text-objects

sjh, Apr 8, 2009 at 15:33

dab "delete arounb brackets", daB for around curly brackets, t for xml type tags, combinations with normal commands are as expected cib/yaB/dit/vat etc – sjh Apr 8 '09 at 15:33

Don Reba, Apr 13, 2009 at 21:41

@Masi: yi(va(p deletes only the brackets – Don Reba Apr 13 '09 at 21:41

thomasrutter, Apr 26, 2009 at 11:11

This is possibly the biggest reason for me staying with Vim. That and its equivalent "change" commands: ciw, ci(, ci", as well as dt<space> and ct<space> – thomasrutter Apr 26 '09 at 11:11

Roger Pate Oct 12 '10 at 16:40 ,

@thomasrutter: Why not dW/cW instead of dt<space>? –

Roger Pate Oct 12 '10 at 16:43, Oct 12, 2010 at 16:43

@Masi: With the surround plugin: ds(. –

community wiki, 9 revs, 9 users 84%, ultraman, Apr 21, 2017 at 14:06

de Delete everything till the end of the word by pressing . at your heart's desire.

ci(xyz[Esc] -- This is a weird one. Here, the 'i' does not mean insert mode. Instead it means inside the parenthesis. So this sequence cuts the text inside parenthesis you're standing in and replaces it with "xyz". It also works inside square and figure brackets -- just do ci[ or ci{ correspondingly. Naturally, you can do di (if you just want to delete all text without typing anything. You can also do a instead of i if you want to delete the parentheses as well and not just text inside them.

ci" - cuts the text in current quotes

ciw - cuts the current word. This works just like the previous one except that ( is replaced with w .

C - cut the rest of the line and switch to insert mode.

ZZ -- save and close current file (WAY faster than Ctrl-F4 to close the current tab!)

ddp - move current line one row down

xp -- move current character one position to the right

U - uppercase, so viwU upercases the word

~ - switches case, so viw~ will reverse casing of entire word

Ctrl+u / Ctrl+d scroll the page half-a-screen up or down. This seems to be more useful than the usual full-screen paging as it makes it easier to see how the two screens relate. For those who still want to scroll entire screen at a time there's Ctrl+f for Forward and Ctrl+b for Backward. Ctrl+Y and Ctrl+E scroll down or up one line at a time.

Crazy but very useful command is zz -- it scrolls the screen to make this line appear in the middle. This is excellent for putting the piece of code you're working on in the center of your attention. Sibling commands -- zt and zb -- make this line the top or the bottom one on the sreen which is not quite as useful.

% finds and jumps to the matching parenthesis.

de -- delete from cursor to the end of the word (you can also do dE to delete until the next space)

bde -- delete the current word, from left to right delimiter

df[space] -- delete up until and including the next space

dt. -- delete until next dot

dd -- delete this entire line

ye (or yE) -- yanks text from here to the end of the word

ce - cuts through the end of the word

bye -- copies current word (makes me wonder what "hi" does!)

yy -- copies the current line

cc -- cuts the current line, you can also do S instead. There's also lower cap s which cuts current character and switches to insert mode.

viwy or viwc . Yank or change current word. Hit w multiple times to keep selecting each subsequent word, use b to move backwards

vi{ - select all text in figure brackets. va{ - select all text including {}s

vi(p - highlight everything inside the ()s and replace with the pasted text

b and e move the cursor word-by-word, similarly to how Ctrl+Arrows normally do . The definition of word is a little different though, as several consecutive delmiters are treated as one word. If you start at the middle of a word, pressing b will always get you to the beginning of the current word, and each consecutive b will jump to the beginning of the next word. Similarly, and easy to remember, e gets the cursor to the end of the current, and each subsequent, word.

similar to b / e, capital B and E move the cursor word-by-word using only whitespaces as delimiters.

capital D (take a deep breath) Deletes the rest of the line to the right of the cursor, same as Shift+End/Del in normal editors (notice 2 keypresses -- Shift+D -- instead of 3)

Nick Lewis, Jul 17, 2009 at 16:41

zt is quite useful if you use it at the start of a function or class definition. – Nick Lewis Jul 17 '09 at 16:41

Nathan Fellman, Sep 7, 2009 at 8:27

vity and vitc can be shortened to yit and cit respectively. – Nathan Fellman Sep 7 '09 at 8:27

Laurence Gonsalves, Feb 19, 2011 at 23:49

All the things you're calling "cut" is "change". eg: C is change until the end of the line. Vim's equivalent of "cut" is "delete", done with d/D. The main difference between change and delete is that delete leaves you in normal mode but change puts you into a sort of insert mode (though you're still in the change command which is handy as the whole change can be repeated with . ). – Laurence Gonsalves Feb 19 '11 at 23:49

Almo, May 29, 2012 at 20:09

I thought this was for a list of things that not many people know. yy is very common, I would have thought. – Almo May 29 '12 at 20:09

Andrea Francia, Jul 3, 2012 at 20:50

bye does not work when you are in the first character of the word. yiw always does. – Andrea Francia Jul 3 '12 at 20:50

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 83%, ,Sep 17, 2010 at 16:55

One that I rarely find in most Vim tutorials, but it's INCREDIBLY useful (at least to me), is the

g; and g,

to move (forward, backward) through the changelist.

Let me show how I use it. Sometimes I need to copy and paste a piece of code or string, say a hex color code in a CSS file, so I search, jump (not caring where the match is), copy it and then jump back (g;) to where I was editing the code to finally paste it. No need to create marks. Simpler.

Just my 2cents.

aehlke, Feb 12, 2010 at 1:19

similarly, '. will go to the last edited line, And `. will go to the last edited position – aehlke Feb 12 '10 at 1:19

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:29

Ctrl-O and Ctrl-I (tab) will work similarly, but not the same. They move backward and forward in the "jump list", which you can view by doing :jumps or :ju For more information do a :help jumplist – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:29

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:30

You can list the change list by doing :changes – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:30

Wayne Werner, Jan 30, 2013 at 14:49

Hot dang that's useful. I use <C-o> / <C-i> for this all the time - or marking my place. – Wayne Werner Jan 30 '13 at 14:49

community wiki, 4 revs, 4 users 36%, ,May 5, 2014 at 13:06

:%!xxd

Make vim into a hex editor.

:%!xxd -r

Revert.

Warning: If you don't edit with binary (-b), you might damage the file. – Josh Lee in the comments.

Christian, Jul 7, 2009 at 19:11

And how do you revert it back? – Christian Jul 7 '09 at 19:11

Naga Kiran, Jul 8, 2009 at 13:46

:!xxd -r //To revert back from HEX – Naga Kiran Jul 8 '09 at 13:46

Andreas Grech, Nov 14, 2009 at 10:37

I actually think it's :%!xxd -r to revert it back – Andreas Grech Nov 14 '09 at 10:37

dotancohen, Jun 7, 2013 at 5:50

@JoshLee: If one is careful not to traverse newlines, is it safe to not use the -b option? I ask because sometimes I want to make a hex change, but I don't want to close and reopen the file to do so. – dotancohen Jun 7 '13 at 5:50

Bambu, Nov 23, 2014 at 23:58

@dotancohen: If you don't want to close/reopen the file you can do :set binary – Bambu Nov 23 '14 at 23:58

community wiki AaronS, Jan 12, 2011 at 20:03

gv

Reselects last visual selection.

community wiki 3 revs, 2 users 92%
,Jul 7, 2014 at 19:10

Sometimes a setting in your .vimrc will get overridden by a plugin or autocommand. To debug this a useful trick is to use the :verbose command in conjunction with :set. For example, to figure out where cindent got set/unset:
:verbose set cindent?

This will output something like:

cindent
    Last set from /usr/share/vim/vim71/indent/c.vim

This also works with maps and highlights. (Thanks joeytwiddle for pointing this out.) For example:

:verbose nmap U
n  U             <C-R>
        Last set from ~/.vimrc

:verbose highlight Normal
Normal         xxx guifg=#dddddd guibg=#111111 font=Inconsolata Medium 14
        Last set from ~/src/vim-holodark/colors/holodark.vim

Artem Russakovskii, Oct 23, 2009 at 22:09

Excellent tip - exactly what I was looking for today. – Artem Russakovskii Oct 23 '09 at 22:09

joeytwiddle, Jul 5, 2014 at 22:08

:verbose can also be used before nmap l or highlight Normal to find out where the l keymap or the Normal highlight were last defined. Very useful for debugging! – joeytwiddle Jul 5 '14 at 22:08

SidOfc, Sep 24, 2017 at 11:26

When you get into creating custom mappings, this will save your ass so many times, probably one of the most useful ones here (IMO)! – SidOfc Sep 24 '17 at 11:26

community wiki 3 revs, 3 users 70% ,May 31, 2015 at 19:30

Not sure if this counts as dark-corner-ish at all, but I've only just learnt it...
:g/match/y A

will yank (copy) all lines containing "match" into the "a / @a register. (The capitalization as A makes vim append yankings instead of replacing the previous register contents.) I used it a lot recently when making Internet Explorer stylesheets.

tsukimi, May 27, 2012 at 6:17

You can use :g! to find lines that don't match a pattern e.x. :g!/set/normal dd (delete all lines that don't contain set) – tsukimi May 27 '12 at 6:17

pandubear, Oct 12, 2013 at 8:39

Sometimes it's better to do what tsukimi said and just filter out lines that don't match your pattern. An abbreviated version of that command though: :v/PATTERN/d Explanation: :v is an abbreviation for :g!, and the :g command applies any ex command to lines. :y[ank] works and so does :normal, but here the most natural thing to do is just :d[elete] . – pandubear Oct 12 '13 at 8:39

Kimball Robinson, Feb 5, 2016 at 17:58

You can also do :g/match/normal "Ayy -- the normal keyword lets you tell it to run normal-mode commands (which you are probably more familiar with). – Kimball Robinson Feb 5 '16 at 17:58

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 80% ,Apr 5, 2013 at 15:55

:%TOhtml Creates an html rendering of the current file.

kenorb, Feb 19, 2015 at 11:27

Related: How to convert a source code file into HTML? at Vim SE – kenorb Feb 19 '15 at 11:27

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 86% ,May 11, 2011 at 19:30

Want to look at your :command history? q: Then browse, edit and finally to execute the command.

Ever make similar changes to two files and switch back and forth between them? (Say, source and header files?)

:set hidden
:map <TAB> :e#<CR>

Then tab back and forth between those files.

Josh Lee, Sep 22, 2009 at 16:58

I hit q: by accident all the time... – Josh Lee Sep 22 '09 at 16:58

Jason Down, Oct 6, 2009 at 4:14

Alternatively, from the ex editor (:), you can do CTRL-f to pop up the command history window.Jason Down Oct 6 '09 at 4:14

bradlis7, Mar 23, 2010 at 17:10

@jleedev me too. I almost hate this command, just because I use it accidentally way too much. – bradlis7 Mar 23 '10 at 17:10

bpw1621, Feb 19, 2011 at 15:01

q/ and q? can be used to do a similar thing for your search patterns. bpw1621 Feb 19 '11 at 15:01

idbrii, Feb 23, 2011 at 19:07

Hitting <C-f> after : or / (or any time you're in command mode) will bring up the same history menu. So you can remap q: if you hit it accidentally a lot and still access this awesome mode. – idbrii Feb 23 '11 at 19:07

community wiki, 2 revs, 2 users 89%, ,Jun 4, 2014 at 14:52

Vim will open a URL, for example
vim http://stackoverflow.com/

Nice when you need to pull up the source of a page for reference.

Ivan Vučica, Sep 21, 2010 at 8:07

For me it didn't open the source; instead it apparently used elinks to dump rendered page into a buffer, and then opened that. – Ivan Vučica Sep 21 '10 at 8:07

Thomas, Apr 19, 2013 at 21:00

Works better with a slash at the end. Neat trick! – Thomas Apr 19 '13 at 21:00

Isaac Remuant, Jun 3, 2013 at 15:23

@Vdt: It'd be useful if you posted your error. If it's this one: " error (netrw) neither the wget nor the fetch command is available" you obviously need to make one of those tools available from your PATH environment variable. – Isaac Remuant Jun 3 '13 at 15:23

Dettorer, Oct 29, 2014 at 13:47

I find this one particularly useful when people send links to a paste service and forgot to select a syntax highlighting, I generally just have to open the link in vim after appending "&raw". – Dettorer Oct 29 '14 at 13:47

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 94% ,Jan 20, 2015 at 23:14

Macros can call other macros, and can also call itself.

eg:

qq0dwj@qq@q

...will delete the first word from every line until the end of the file.

This is quite a simple example but it demonstrates a very powerful feature of vim

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:39

I didn't know macros could repeat themselves. Cool. Note: qx starts recording into register x (he uses qq for register q). 0 moves to the start of the line. dw delets a word. j moves down a line. @q will run the macro again (defining a loop). But you forgot to end the recording with a final "q", then actually run the macro by typing @q. – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:39

Yktula, Apr 18, 2010 at 5:32

I think that's intentional, as a nested and recursive macro. – Yktula Apr 18 '10 at 5:32

Gerardo Marset, Jul 5, 2011 at 1:38

qqqqqifuu<Esc>h@qq@qGerardo Marset Jul 5 '11 at 1:38

Nathan Long, Aug 29, 2011 at 15:33

Another way of accomplishing this is to record a macro in register a that does some transformation to a single line, then linewise highlight a bunch of lines with V and type :normal! @a to applyyour macro to every line in your selection. – Nathan Long Aug 29 '11 at 15:33

dotancohen, May 14, 2013 at 6:00

I found this post googling recursive VIM macros. I could find no way to stop the macro other than killing the VIM process. – dotancohen May 14 '13 at 6:00

community wiki
Brian Carper
, Apr 8, 2009 at 1:15

Assuming you have Perl and/or Ruby support compiled in, :rubydo and :perldo will run a Ruby or Perl one-liner on every line in a range (defaults to entire buffer), with $_ bound to the text of the current line (minus the newline). Manipulating $_ will change the text of that line.

You can use this to do certain things that are easy to do in a scripting language but not so obvious using Vim builtins. For example to reverse the order of the words in a line:

:perldo $_ = join ' ', reverse split

To insert a random string of 8 characters (A-Z) at the end of every line:

:rubydo $_ += ' ' + (1..8).collect{('A'..'Z').to_a[rand 26]}.join

You are limited to acting on one line at a time and you can't add newlines.

Sujoy, May 6, 2009 at 18:27

what if i only want perldo to run on a specified line? or a selected few lines? – Sujoy May 6 '09 at 18:27

Brian Carper, May 6, 2009 at 18:52

You can give it a range like any other command. For example :1,5perldo will only operate on lines 1-5. – Brian Carper May 6 '09 at 18:52

Greg, Jul 2, 2009 at 16:41

Could you do $_ += '\nNEWLINE!!!' to get a newline after the current one? – Greg Jul 2 '09 at 16:41

Brian Carper, Jul 2, 2009 at 17:26

Sadly not, it just adds a funky control character to the end of the line. You could then use a Vim search/replace to change all those control characters to real newlines though. – Brian Carper Jul 2 '09 at 17:26

Derecho, Mar 14, 2014 at 8:48

Similarly, pydo and py3do work for python if you have the required support compiled in. – Derecho Mar 14 '14 at 8:48

community wiki
4 revs
,Jul 28, 2009 at 19:05

^O and ^I

Go to older/newer position. When you are moving through the file (by searching, moving commands etc.) vim rember these "jumps", so you can repeat these jumps backward (^O - O for old) and forward (^I - just next to I on keyboard). I find it very useful when writing code and performing a lot of searches.

gi

Go to position where Insert mode was stopped last. I find myself often editing and then searching for something. To return to editing place press gi.

gf

put cursor on file name (e.g. include header file), press gf and the file is opened

gF

similar to gf but recognizes format "[file name]:[line number]". Pressing gF will open [file name] and set cursor to [line number].

^P and ^N

Auto complete text while editing (^P - previous match and ^N next match)

^X^L

While editing completes to the same line (useful for programming). You write code and then you recall that you have the same code somewhere in file. Just press ^X^L and the full line completed

^X^F

Complete file names. You write "/etc/pass" Hmm. You forgot the file name. Just press ^X^F and the filename is completed

^Z or :sh

Move temporary to the shell. If you need a quick bashing:

  • press ^Z (to put vi in background) to return to original shell and press fg to return to vim back
  • press :sh to go to sub shell and press ^D/exit to return to vi back

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 21:50

With ^X^F my pet peeve is that filenames include = signs, making it do rotten things in many occasions (ini files, makefiles etc). I use se isfname-== to end that nuisance – sehe Mar 4 '12 at 21:50

joeytwiddle, Jul 5, 2014 at 22:10

+1 the built-in autocomplete is just sitting there waiting to be discovered. – joeytwiddle Jul 5 '14 at 22:10

community wiki
2 revs
,Apr 7, 2009 at 18:59

This is a nice trick to reopen the current file with a different encoding:
:e ++enc=cp1250 %:p

Useful when you have to work with legacy encodings. The supported encodings are listed in a table under encoding-values (see help encoding-values ). Similar thing also works for ++ff, so that you can reopen file with Windows/Unix line ends if you get it wrong for the first time (see help ff ).

>, Apr 7, 2009 at 18:43

Never had to use this sort of a thing, but we'll certainly add to my arsenal of tricks... – Sasha Apr 7 '09 at 18:43

Adriano Varoli Piazza, Apr 7, 2009 at 18:44

great tip, thanks. For bonus points, add a list of common valid encodings. – Adriano Varoli Piazza Apr 7 '09 at 18:44

Ivan Vučica, Jul 8, 2009 at 19:29

I have used this today, but I think I didn't need to specify "%:p"; just opening the file and :e ++enc=cp1250 was enough. I – Ivan Vučica Jul 8 '09 at 19:29

laz, Jul 8, 2009 at 19:32

would :set encoding=cp1250 have the same effect? – laz Jul 8 '09 at 19:32

intuited, Jun 4, 2010 at 2:51

`:e +b %' is similarly useful for reopening in binary mode (no munging of newlines) – intuited Jun 4 '10 at 2:51

community wiki
4 revs, 3 users 48%
,Nov 6, 2012 at 8:32

" insert range ip's
"
"          ( O O )
" =======oOO=(_)==OOo======

:for i in range(1,255) | .put='10.0.0.'.i | endfor

Ryan Edwards, Nov 16, 2011 at 0:42

I don't see what this is good for (besides looking like a joke answer). Can anybody else enlighten me? – Ryan Edwards Nov 16 '11 at 0:42

Codygman, Nov 6, 2012 at 8:33

open vim and then do ":for i in range(1,255) | .put='10.0.0.'.i | endfor" – Codygman Nov 6 '12 at 8:33

Ruslan, Sep 30, 2013 at 10:30

@RyanEdwards filling /etc/hosts maybe – Ruslan Sep 30 '13 at 10:30

dotancohen, Nov 30, 2014 at 14:56

This is a terrific answer. Not the bit about creating the IP addresses, but the bit that implies that VIM can use for loops in commands . – dotancohen Nov 30 '14 at 14:56

BlackCap, Aug 31, 2017 at 7:54

Without ex-mode: i10.0.0.1<Esc>Y254p$<C-v>}g<C-a>BlackCap Aug 31 '17 at 7:54

community wiki
2 revs
,Aug 6, 2010 at 0:30

Typing == will correct the indentation of the current line based on the line above.

Actually, you can do one = sign followed by any movement command. = {movement}

For example, you can use the % movement which moves between matching braces. Position the cursor on the { in the following code:

if (thisA == that) {
//not indented
if (some == other) {
x = y;
}
}

And press =% to instantly get this:

if (thisA == that) {
    //not indented
    if (some == other) {
        x = y;
    }
}

Alternately, you could do =a{ within the code block, rather than positioning yourself right on the { character.

Ehtesh Choudhury, May 2, 2011 at 0:48

Hm, I didn't know this about the indentation. – Ehtesh Choudhury May 2 '11 at 0:48

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 22:03

No need, usually, to be exactly on the braces. Thought frequently I'd just =} or vaBaB= because it is less dependent. Also, v}}:!astyle -bj matches my code style better, but I can get it back into your style with a simple %!astyle -ajsehe Mar 4 '12 at 22:03

kyrias, Oct 19, 2013 at 12:12

gg=G is quite neat when pasting in something. – kyrias Oct 19 '13 at 12:12

kenorb, Feb 19, 2015 at 11:30

Related: Re-indenting badly indented code at Vim SE – kenorb Feb 19 '15 at 11:30

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:16

@kyrias Oh, I've been doing it like ggVG= . – Braden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:16

community wiki
Trumpi
, Apr 19, 2009 at 18:33

imap jj <esc>

hasen, Jun 12, 2009 at 6:08

how will you type jj then? :P – hasen Jun 12 '09 at 6:08

ojblass, Jul 5, 2009 at 18:29

How often to you type jj? In English at least? – ojblass Jul 5 '09 at 18:29

Alex, Oct 5, 2009 at 5:32

I remapped capslock to esc instead, as it's an otherwise useless key. My mapping was OS wide though, so it has the added benefit of never having to worry about accidentally hitting it. The only drawback IS ITS HARDER TO YELL AT PEOPLE. :) – Alex Oct 5 '09 at 5:32

intuited, Jun 4, 2010 at 4:18

@Alex: definitely, capslock is death. "wait, wtf? oh, that was ZZ?....crap." – intuited Jun 4 '10 at 4:18

brianmearns, Oct 3, 2012 at 12:45

@ojblass: Not sure how many people ever right matlab code in Vim, but ii and jj are commonly used for counter variables, because i and j are reserved for complex numbers. – brianmearns Oct 3 '12 at 12:45

community wiki
4 revs, 3 users 71%
,Feb 12, 2015 at 15:55

Let's see some pretty little IDE editor do column transposition.
:%s/\(.*\)^I\(.*\)/\2^I\1/

Explanation

\( and \) is how to remember stuff in regex-land. And \1, \2 etc is how to retrieve the remembered stuff.

>>> \(.*\)^I\(.*\)

Remember everything followed by ^I (tab) followed by everything.

>>> \2^I\1

Replace the above stuff with "2nd stuff you remembered" followed by "1st stuff you remembered" - essentially doing a transpose.

chaos, Apr 7, 2009 at 18:33

Switches a pair of tab-separated columns (separator arbitrary, it's all regex) with each other. – chaos Apr 7 '09 at 18:33

rlbond, Apr 26, 2009 at 4:11

This is just a regex; plenty of IDEs have regex search-and-replace. – rlbond Apr 26 '09 at 4:11

romandas, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:58

@rlbond - It comes down to how good is the regex engine in the IDE. Vim's regexes are pretty powerful; others.. not so much sometimes. – romandas Jun 19 '09 at 16:58

Kimball Robinson, Apr 16, 2010 at 0:32

The * will be greedy, so this regex assumes you have just two columns. If you want it to be nongreedy use {-} instead of * (see :help non-greedy for more information on the {} multiplier) – Kimball Robinson Apr 16 '10 at 0:32

mk12, Jun 22, 2012 at 17:31

This is actually a pretty simple regex, it's only escaping the group parentheses that makes it look complicated. – mk12 Jun 22 '12 at 17:31

community wiki
KKovacs
, Apr 11, 2009 at 7:14

Not exactly a dark secret, but I like to put the following mapping into my .vimrc file, so I can hit "-" (minus) anytime to open the file explorer to show files adjacent to the one I just edit . In the file explorer, I can hit another "-" to move up one directory, providing seamless browsing of a complex directory structures (like the ones used by the MVC frameworks nowadays):
map - :Explore<cr>

These may be also useful for somebody. I like to scroll the screen and advance the cursor at the same time:

map <c-j> j<c-e>
map <c-k> k<c-y>

Tab navigation - I love tabs and I need to move easily between them:

map <c-l> :tabnext<enter>
map <c-h> :tabprevious<enter>

Only on Mac OS X: Safari-like tab navigation:

map <S-D-Right> :tabnext<cr>
map <S-D-Left> :tabprevious<cr>

Roman Plášil, Oct 1, 2009 at 21:33

You can also browse files within Vim itself, using :Explore – Roman Plášil Oct 1 '09 at 21:33

KKovacs, Oct 15, 2009 at 15:20

Hi Roman, this is exactly what this mapping does, but assigns it to a "hot key". :) – KKovacs Oct 15 '09 at 15:20

community wiki
rampion
, Apr 7, 2009 at 20:11

Often, I like changing current directories while editing - so I have to specify paths less.
cd %:h

Leonard, May 8, 2009 at 1:54

What does this do? And does it work with autchdir? – Leonard May 8 '09 at 1:54

rampion, May 8, 2009 at 2:55

I suppose it would override autochdir temporarily (until you switched buffers again). Basically, it changes directory to the root directory of the current file. It gives me a bit more manual control than autochdir does. – rampion May 8 '09 at 2:55

Naga Kiran, Jul 8, 2009 at 13:44

:set autochdir //this also serves the same functionality and it changes the current directory to that of file in buffer – Naga Kiran Jul 8 '09 at 13:44

community wiki
4 revs
,Jul 21, 2009 at 1:12

I like to use 'sudo bash', and my sysadmin hates this. He locked down 'sudo' so it could only be used with a handful of commands (ls, chmod, chown, vi, etc), but I was able to use vim to get a root shell anyway:
bash$ sudo vi +'silent !bash' +q
Password: ******
root#

RJHunter, Jul 21, 2009 at 0:53

FWIW, sudoedit (or sudo -e) edits privileged files but runs your editor as your normal user. – RJHunter Jul 21 '09 at 0:53

sundar, Sep 23, 2009 at 9:41

@OP: That was cunning. :) – sundar Sep 23 '09 at 9:41

jnylen, Feb 22, 2011 at 15:58

yeah... I'd hate you too ;) you should only need a root shell VERY RARELY, unless you're already in the habit of running too many commands as root which means your permissions are all screwed up. – jnylen Feb 22 '11 at 15:58

d33tah, Mar 30, 2014 at 17:50

Why does your sysadmin even give you root? :D – d33tah Mar 30 '14 at 17:50

community wiki
Taurus Olson
, Apr 7, 2009 at 21:11

I often use many windows when I work on a project and sometimes I need to resize them. Here's what I use:
map + <C-W>+
map - <C-W>-

These mappings allow to increase and decrease the size of the current window. It's quite simple but it's fast.

Bill Lynch, Apr 8, 2009 at 2:49

There's also Ctrl-W =, which makes the windows equal width. – Bill Lynch Apr 8 '09 at 2:49

joeytwiddle, Jan 29, 2012 at 18:12

Don't forget you can prepend numbers to perform an action multiple times in Vim. So to expand the current window height by 8 lines: 8<C-W>+ – joeytwiddle Jan 29 '12 at 18:12

community wiki
Roberto Bonvallet
, May 6, 2009 at 7:38

:r! <command>

pastes the output of an external command into the buffer.

Do some math and get the result directly in the text:

:r! echo $((3 + 5 + 8))

Get the list of files to compile when writing a Makefile:

:r! ls *.c

Don't look up that fact you read on wikipedia, have it directly pasted into the document you are writing:

:r! lynx -dump http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whatever

Sudhanshu, Jun 7, 2010 at 8:40

^R=3+5+8 in insert mode will let you insert the value of the expression (3+5+8) in text with fewer keystrokes. – Sudhanshu Jun 7 '10 at 8:40

dcn, Mar 27, 2011 at 10:13

How can I get the result/output to a different buffer than the current? – dcn Mar 27 '11 at 10:13

kenorb, Feb 19, 2015 at 11:31

Related: How to dump output from external command into editor? at Vim SE – kenorb Feb 19 '15 at 11:31

community wiki
jqno
, Jul 8, 2009 at 19:19

Map F5 to quickly ROT13 your buffer:
map <F5> ggg?G``

You can use it as a boss key :).

sehe, Mar 4, 2012 at 21:57

I don't know what you are writing... But surely, my boss would be more curious when he saw me write ROT13 jumble :) – sehe Mar 4 '12 at 21:57

romeovs, Jun 19, 2014 at 19:22

or to spoof your friends: nmap i ggg?G`` . Or the diabolical: nmap i ggg?G``i ! – romeovs Jun 19 '14 at 19:22

Amit Gold, Aug 7, 2016 at 10:14

@romeovs 2nd one is infinite loop, use nnoremap – Amit Gold Aug 7 '16 at 10:14

community wiki
mohi666
, Mar 4, 2011 at 2:20

Not an obscure feature, but very useful and time saving.

If you want to save a session of your open buffers, tabs, markers and other settings, you can issue the following:

mksession session.vim

You can open your session using:

vim -S session.vim

TankorSmash, Nov 3, 2012 at 13:45

You can also :so session.vim inside vim. – TankorSmash Nov 3 '12 at 13:45

community wiki
Grant Limberg
, May 11, 2009 at 21:59

I just found this one today via NSFAQ :

Comment blocks of code.

Enter Blockwise Visual mode by hitting CTRL-V.

Mark the block you wish to comment.

Hit I (capital I) and enter your comment string at the beginning of the line. (// for C++)

Hit ESC and all lines selected will have // prepended to the front of the line.

Neeraj Singh, Jun 17, 2009 at 16:56

I added # to comment out a block of code in ruby. How do I undo it. – Neeraj Singh Jun 17 '09 at 16:56

Grant Limberg, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:29

well, if you haven't done anything else to the file, you can simply type u for undo. Otherwise, I haven't figured that out yet. – Grant Limberg Jun 17 '09 at 19:29

nos, Jul 28, 2009 at 20:00

You can just hit ctrl+v again, mark the //'s and hit x to "uncomment" – nos Jul 28 '09 at 20:00

ZyX, Mar 7, 2010 at 14:18

I use NERDCommenter for this. – ZyX Mar 7 '10 at 14:18

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:23

Commented out code is probably one of the worst types of comment you could possibly put in your code. There are better uses for the awesome block insert. – Braden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:23

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 84%
Ian H
, Jul 3, 2015 at 23:44

I use vim for just about any text editing I do, so I often times use copy and paste. The problem is that vim by default will often times distort imported text via paste. The way to stop this is to use
:set paste

before pasting in your data. This will keep it from messing up.

Note that you will have to issue :set nopaste to recover auto-indentation. Alternative ways of pasting pre-formatted text are the clipboard registers ( * and + ), and :r!cat (you will have to end the pasted fragment with ^D).

It is also sometimes helpful to turn on a high contrast color scheme. This can be done with

:color blue

I've noticed that it does not work on all the versions of vim I use but it does on most.

jamessan, Dec 28, 2009 at 8:27

The "distortion" is happening because you have some form of automatic indentation enabled. Using set paste or specifying a key for the pastetoggle option is a common way to work around this, but the same effect can be achieved with set mouse=a as then Vim knows that the flood of text it sees is a paste triggered by the mouse. – jamessan Dec 28 '09 at 8:27

kyrias, Oct 19, 2013 at 12:15

If you have gvim installed you can often (though it depends on what your options your distro compiles vim with) use the X clipboard directly from vim through the * register. For example "*p to paste from the X xlipboard. (It works from terminal vim, too, it's just that you might need the gvim package if they're separate) – kyrias Oct 19 '13 at 12:15

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:26

@kyrias for the record, * is the PRIMARY ("middle-click") register. The clipboard is +Braden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:26

community wiki
viraptor
, Apr 7, 2009 at 22:29

Here's something not obvious. If you have a lot of custom plugins / extensions in your $HOME and you need to work from su / sudo / ... sometimes, then this might be useful.

In your ~/.bashrc:

export VIMINIT=":so $HOME/.vimrc"

In your ~/.vimrc:

if $HOME=='/root'
        if $USER=='root'
                if isdirectory('/home/your_typical_username')
                        let rtuser = 'your_typical_username'
                elseif isdirectory('/home/your_other_username')
                        let rtuser = 'your_other_username'
                endif
        else
                let rtuser = $USER
        endif
        let &runtimepath = substitute(&runtimepath, $HOME, '/home/'.rtuser, 'g')
endif

It will allow your local plugins to load - whatever way you use to change the user.

You might also like to take the *.swp files out of your current path and into ~/vimtmp (this goes into .vimrc):

if ! isdirectory(expand('~/vimtmp'))
   call mkdir(expand('~/vimtmp'))
endif
if isdirectory(expand('~/vimtmp'))
   set directory=~/vimtmp
else
   set directory=.,/var/tmp,/tmp
endif

Also, some mappings I use to make editing easier - makes ctrl+s work like escape and ctrl+h/l switch the tabs:

inoremap <C-s> <ESC>
vnoremap <C-s> <ESC>
noremap <C-l> gt
noremap <C-h> gT

Kyle Challis, Apr 2, 2014 at 21:18

Just in case you didn't already know, ctrl+c already works like escape. – Kyle Challis Apr 2 '14 at 21:18

shalomb, Aug 24, 2015 at 8:02

I prefer never to run vim as root/under sudo - and would just run the command from vim e.g. :!sudo tee %, :!sudo mv % /etc or even launch a login shell :!sudo -ishalomb Aug 24 '15 at 8:02

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 67%
,Nov 7, 2009 at 7:54

Ctrl-n while in insert mode will auto complete whatever word you're typing based on all the words that are in open buffers. If there is more than one match it will give you a list of possible words that you can cycle through using ctrl-n and ctrl-p.

community wiki
daltonb
, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:28

gg=G

Corrects indentation for entire file. I was missing my trusty <C-a><C-i> in Eclipse but just found out vim handles it nicely.

sjas, Jul 15, 2012 at 22:43

I find G=gg easier to type. – sjas Jul 15 '12 at 22:43

sri, May 12, 2013 at 16:12

=% should do it too. – sri May 12 '13 at 16:12

community wiki
mohi666
, Mar 24, 2011 at 22:44

Ability to run Vim on a client/server based modes.

For example, suppose you're working on a project with a lot of buffers, tabs and other info saved on a session file called session.vim.

You can open your session and create a server by issuing the following command:

vim --servername SAMPLESERVER -S session.vim

Note that you can open regular text files if you want to create a server and it doesn't have to be necessarily a session.

Now, suppose you're in another terminal and need to open another file. If you open it regularly by issuing:

vim new_file.txt

Your file would be opened in a separate Vim buffer, which is hard to do interactions with the files on your session. In order to open new_file.txt in a new tab on your server use this command:

vim --servername SAMPLESERVER --remote-tab-silent new_file.txt

If there's no server running, this file will be opened just like a regular file.

Since providing those flags every time you want to run them is very tedious, you can create a separate alias for creating client and server.

I placed the followings on my bashrc file:

alias vims='vim --servername SAMPLESERVER'
alias vimc='vim --servername SAMPLESERVER --remote-tab-silent'

You can find more information about this at: http://vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/remote.html

community wiki
jm666
, May 11, 2011 at 19:54

Variation of sudo write:

into .vimrc

cmap w!! w !sudo tee % >/dev/null

After reload vim you can do "sudo save" as

:w!!

community wiki
3 revs, 3 users 74%
,Sep 17, 2010 at 17:06

HOWTO: Auto-complete Ctags when using Vim in Bash. For anyone else who uses Vim and Ctags, I've written a small auto-completer function for Bash. Add the following into your ~/.bash_completion file (create it if it does not exist):

Thanks go to stylishpants for his many fixes and improvements.

_vim_ctags() {
    local cur prev

    COMPREPLY=()
    cur="${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD]}"
    prev="${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD-1]}"

    case "${prev}" in
        -t)
            # Avoid the complaint message when no tags file exists
            if [ ! -r ./tags ]
            then
                return
            fi

            # Escape slashes to avoid confusing awk
            cur=${cur////\\/}

            COMPREPLY=( $(compgen -W "`awk -vORS=" "  "/^${cur}/ { print \\$1 }" tags`" ) )
            ;;
        *)
            _filedir_xspec
            ;;
    esac
}

# Files matching this pattern are excluded
excludelist='*.@(o|O|so|SO|so.!(conf)|SO.!(CONF)|a|A|rpm|RPM|deb|DEB|gif|GIF|jp?(e)g|JP?(E)G|mp3|MP3|mp?(e)g|MP?(E)G|avi|AVI|asf|ASF|ogg|OGG|class|CLASS)'

complete -F _vim_ctags -f -X "${excludelist}" vi vim gvim rvim view rview rgvim rgview gview

Once you restart your Bash session (or create a new one) you can type:

Code:

~$ vim -t MyC<tab key>

and it will auto-complete the tag the same way it does for files and directories:

Code:

MyClass MyClassFactory
~$ vim -t MyC

I find it really useful when I'm jumping into a quick bug fix.

>, Apr 8, 2009 at 3:05

Amazing....I really needed it – Sasha Apr 8 '09 at 3:05

TREE, Apr 27, 2009 at 13:19

can you summarize? If that external page goes away, this answer is useless. :( – TREE Apr 27 '09 at 13:19

Hamish Downer, May 5, 2009 at 16:38

Summary - it allows ctags autocomplete from the bash prompt for opening files with vim. – Hamish Downer May 5 '09 at 16:38

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 80%
,Dec 22, 2016 at 7:44

I often want to highlight a particular word/function name, but don't want to search to the next instance of it yet:
map m* *#

René Nyffenegger, Dec 3, 2009 at 7:36

I don't understand this one. – René Nyffenegger Dec 3 '09 at 7:36

Scotty Allen, Dec 3, 2009 at 19:55

Try it:) It basically highlights a given word, without moving the cursor to the next occurrance (like * would). – Scotty Allen Dec 3 '09 at 19:55

jamessan, Dec 27, 2009 at 19:10

You can do the same with "nnoremap m* :let @/ = '\<' . expand('<cword>') . '\>'<cr>" – jamessan Dec 27 '09 at 19:10

community wiki
Ben
, Apr 9, 2009 at 12:37

% is also good when you want to diff files across two different copies of a project without wearing out the pinkies (from root of project1):
:vert diffs /project2/root/%

community wiki
Naga Kiran
, Jul 8, 2009 at 19:07

:setlocal autoread

Auto reloads the current buffer..especially useful while viewing log files and it almost serves the functionality of "tail" program in unix from within vim.

Checking for compile errors from within vim. set the makeprg variable depending on the language let's say for perl

:setlocal makeprg = perl\ -c \ %

For PHP

set makeprg=php\ -l\ %
set errorformat=%m\ in\ %f\ on\ line\ %l

Issuing ":make" runs the associated makeprg and displays the compilation errors/warnings in quickfix window and can easily navigate to the corresponding line numbers.

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 73%
,Sep 14 at 20:16

Want an IDE?

:make will run the makefile in the current directory, parse the compiler output, you can then use :cn and :cp to step through the compiler errors opening each file and seeking to the line number in question.

:syntax on turns on vim's syntax highlighting.

community wiki
Luper Rouch
, Apr 9, 2009 at 12:53

Input a character from its hexadecimal value (insert mode):
<C-Q>x[type the hexadecimal byte]

MikeyB, Sep 22, 2009 at 21:57

<C-V> is the more generic command that works in both the text-mode and gui – MikeyB Sep 22 '09 at 21:57

jamessan, Dec 27, 2009 at 19:06

It's only <C-q> if you're using the awful mswin.vim (or you mapped it yourself). – jamessan Dec 27 '09 at 19:06

community wiki
Brad Cox
, May 8, 2009 at 1:54

I was sure someone would have posted this already, but here goes.

Take any build system you please; make, mvn, ant, whatever. In the root of the project directory, create a file of the commands you use all the time, like this:

mvn install
mvn clean install
... and so forth

To do a build, put the cursor on the line and type !!sh. I.e. filter that line; write it to a shell and replace with the results.

The build log replaces the line, ready to scroll, search, whatever.

When you're done viewing the log, type u to undo and you're back to your file of commands.

ojblass, Jul 5, 2009 at 18:27

This doesn't seem to fly on my system. Can you show an example only using the ls command? – ojblass Jul 5 '09 at 18:27

Brad Cox, Jul 29, 2009 at 19:30

!!ls replaces current line with ls output (adding more lines as needed). – Brad Cox Jul 29 '09 at 19:30

jamessan, Dec 28, 2009 at 8:29

Why wouldn't you just set makeprg to the proper tool you use for your build (if it isn't set already) and then use :make ? :copen will show you the output of the build as well as allowing you to jump to any warnings/errors. – jamessan Dec 28 '09 at 8:29

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 95%
,Dec 28, 2009 at 8:38

==========================================================
In normal mode
==========================================================
gf ................ open file under cursor in same window --> see :h path
Ctrl-w f .......... open file under cursor in new window
Ctrl-w q .......... close current window
Ctrl-w 6 .......... open alternate file --> see :h #
gi ................ init insert mode in last insertion position
'0 ................ place the cursor where it was when the file was last edited

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:33

I believe it's <C-w> c to close a window, actually. :h ctrl-wBraden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:33

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 84%
,Sep 17, 2010 at 16:53

Due to the latency and lack of colors (I love color schemes :) I don't like programming on remote machines in PuTTY . So I developed this trick to work around this problem. I use it on Windows.

You will need

  • 1x gVim
  • 1x rsync on remote and local machines
  • 1x SSH private key auth to the remote machine so you don't need to type the password
  • 1x Pageant
  • 1x PuTTY

Setting up remote machine

Configure rsync to make your working directory accessible. I use an SSH tunnel and only allow connections from the tunnel:

address = 127.0.0.1
hosts allow = 127.0.0.1
port = 40000
use chroot = false
[bledge_ce]
    path = /home/xplasil/divine/bledge_ce
    read only = false

Then start rsyncd: rsync --daemon --config=rsyncd.conf

Setting up local machine

Install rsync from Cygwin. Start Pageant and load your private key for the remote machine. If you're using SSH tunelling, start PuTTY to create the tunnel. Create a batch file push.bat in your working directory which will upload changed files to the remote machine using rsync:

rsync --blocking-io *.cc *.h SConstruct rsync://localhost:40001/bledge_ce

SConstruct is a build file for scons. Modify the list of files to suit your needs. Replace localhost with the name of remote machine if you don't use SSH tunelling.

Configuring Vim That is now easy. We will use the quickfix feature (:make and error list), but the compilation will run on the remote machine. So we need to set makeprg:

set makeprg=push\ &&\ plink\ -batch\ xplasil@anna.fi.muni.cz\ \"cd\ /home/xplasil/divine/bledge_ce\ &&\ scons\ -j\ 2\"

This will first start the push.bat task to upload the files and then execute the commands on remote machine using SSH ( Plink from the PuTTY suite). The command first changes directory to the working dir and then starts build (I use scons).

The results of build will show conviniently in your local gVim errors list.

matpie, Sep 17, 2010 at 23:02

A much simpler solution would be to use bcvi: sshmenu.sourceforge.net/articles/bcvimatpie Sep 17 '10 at 23:02

Uri Goren, Jul 20 at 20:21

cmder is much easier and simpler, it also comes with its own ssh client – Uri Goren Jul 20 at 20:21

community wiki
3 revs, 2 users 94%
,Jan 16, 2014 at 14:10

I use Vim for everything. When I'm editing an e-mail message, I use:

gqap (or gwap )

extensively to easily and correctly reformat on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis, even with quote leadin characters. In order to achieve this functionality, I also add:

-c 'set fo=tcrq' -c 'set tw=76'

to the command to invoke the editor externally. One noteworthy addition would be to add ' a ' to the fo (formatoptions) parameter. This will automatically reformat the paragraph as you type and navigate the content, but may interfere or cause problems with errant or odd formatting contained in the message.

Andrew Ferrier, Jul 14, 2014 at 22:22

autocmd FileType mail set tw=76 fo=tcrq in your ~/.vimrc will also work, if you can't edit the external editor command. – Andrew Ferrier Jul 14 '14 at 22:22

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 94%
,May 6, 2009 at 12:22

Put this in your .vimrc to have a command to pretty-print xml:
function FormatXml()
    %s:\(\S\)\(<[^/]\)\|\(>\)\(</\):\1\3\r\2\4:g
    set filetype=xml
    normal gg=G
endfunction

command FormatXml :call FormatXml()

David Winslow, Nov 24, 2009 at 20:43

On linuxes (where xmllint is pretty commonly installed) I usually just do :%! xmllint - for this. – David Winslow Nov 24 '09 at 20:43

community wiki
searlea
, Aug 6, 2009 at 9:33

:sp %:h - directory listing / file-chooser using the current file's directory

(belongs as a comment under rampion's cd tip, but I don't have commenting-rights yet)

bpw1621, Feb 19, 2011 at 15:13

":e ." does the same thing for your current working directory which will be the same as your current file's directory if you set autochdir – bpw1621 Feb 19 '11 at 15:13

community wiki
2 revs
,Sep 22, 2009 at 22:23

Just before copying and pasting to stackoverflow:
:retab 1
:% s/^I/ /g
:% s/^/    /

Now copy and paste code.

As requested in the comments:

retab 1. This sets the tab size to one. But it also goes through the code and adds extra tabs and spaces so that the formatting does not move any of the actual text (ie the text looks the same after ratab).

% s/^I/ /g: Note the ^I is tthe result of hitting tab. This searches for all tabs and replaces them with a single space. Since we just did a retab this should not cause the formatting to change but since putting tabs into a website is hit and miss it is good to remove them.

% s/^/ /: Replace the beginning of the line with four spaces. Since you cant actually replace the beginning of the line with anything it inserts four spaces at the beging of the line (this is needed by SO formatting to make the code stand out).

vehomzzz, Sep 22, 2009 at 20:52

explain it please... – vehomzzz Sep 22 '09 at 20:52

cmcginty, Sep 22, 2009 at 22:31

so I guess this won't work if you use 'set expandtab' to force all tabs to spaces. – cmcginty Sep 22 '09 at 22:31

Martin York, Sep 23, 2009 at 0:07

@Casey: The first two lines will not apply. The last line will make sure you can just cut and paste into SO. – Martin York Sep 23 '09 at 0:07

Braden Best, Feb 4, 2016 at 16:40

Note that you can achieve the same thing with cat <file> | awk '{print " " $line}' . So try :w ! awk '{print " " $line}' | xclip -i . That's supposed to be four spaces between the ""Braden Best Feb 4 '16 at 16:40

community wiki
Anders Holmberg
, Dec 28, 2009 at 9:21

When working on a project where the build process is slow I always build in the background and pipe the output to a file called errors.err (something like make debug 2>&1 | tee errors.err ). This makes it possible for me to continue editing or reviewing the source code during the build process. When it is ready (using pynotify on GTK to inform me that it is complete) I can look at the result in vim using quickfix . Start by issuing :cf[ile] which reads the error file and jumps to the first error. I personally like to use cwindow to get the build result in a separate window.

community wiki
quabug
, Jul 12, 2011 at 12:21

set colorcolumn=+1 or set cc=+1 for vim 7.3

Luc M, Oct 31, 2012 at 15:12

A short explanation would be appreciated... I tried it and could be very usefull! You can even do something like set colorcolumn=+1,+10,+20 :-) – Luc M Oct 31 '12 at 15:12

DBedrenko, Oct 31, 2014 at 16:17

@LucM If you tried it why didn't you provide an explanation? – DBedrenko Oct 31 '14 at 16:17

mjturner, Aug 19, 2015 at 11:16

colorcolumn allows you to specify columns that are highlighted (it's ideal for making sure your lines aren't too long). In the original answer, set cc=+1 highlights the column after textwidth . See the documentation for more information. – mjturner Aug 19 '15 at 11:16

community wiki
mpe
, May 11, 2009 at 4:39

For making vim a little more like an IDE editor:
  • set nu - for line numbers in the left margin.
  • set cul - highlights the line containing the cursor.

Rook, May 11, 2009 at 4:42

How does that make Vim more like an IDE ?? – Rook May 11 '09 at 4:42

mpe, May 12, 2009 at 12:29

I did say "a little" :) But it is something many IDEs do, and some people like it, eg: eclipse.org/screenshots/images/JavaPerspective-WinXP.pngmpe May 12 '09 at 12:29

Rook, May 12, 2009 at 21:25

Yes, but that's like saying yank/paste functions make an editor "a little" more like an IDE. Those are editor functions. Pretty much everything that goes with the editor that concerns editing text and that particular area is an editor function. IDE functions would be, for example, project/files management, connectivity with compiler&linker, error reporting, building automation tools, debugger ... i.e. the stuff that doesn't actually do nothing with editing text. Vim has some functions & plugins so he can gravitate a little more towards being an IDE, but these are not the ones in question. – Rook May 12 '09 at 21:25

Rook, May 12, 2009 at 21:26

After all, an IDE = editor + compiler + debugger + building tools + ... – Rook May 12 '09 at 21:26

Rook, May 12, 2009 at 21:31

Also, just FYI, vim has an option to set invnumber. That way you don't have to "set nu" and "set nonu", i.e. remember two functions - you can just toggle. – Rook May 12 '09 at 21:31

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 50%
PuzzleCracker
, Sep 13, 2009 at 23:20

I love :ls command.

aehlke, Oct 28, 2009 at 3:16

Well what does it do? – aehlke Oct 28 '09 at 3:16

>, Dec 7, 2009 at 10:51

gives the current file name opened ? – user59634 Dec 7 '09 at 10:51

Nona Urbiz, Dec 20, 2010 at 8:25

:ls lists all the currently opened buffers. :be opens a file in a new buffer, :bn goes to the next buffer, :bp to the previous, :b filename opens buffer filename (it auto-completes too). buffers are distinct from tabs, which i'm told are more analogous to views. – Nona Urbiz Dec 20 '10 at 8:25

community wiki
2 revs, 2 users 80%
,Sep 17, 2010 at 16:45

A few useful ones:
:set nu # displays lines
:44     # go to line 44
'.      # go to last modification line

My favourite: Ctrl + n WORD COMPLETION!

community wiki
2 revs
,Jun 18, 2013 at 11:10

In insert mode, ctrl + x, ctrl + p will complete (with menu of possible completions if that's how you like it) the current long identifier that you are typing.
if (SomeCall(LONG_ID_ <-- type c-x c-p here
            [LONG_ID_I_CANT_POSSIBLY_REMEMBER]
             LONG_ID_BUT_I_NEW_IT_WASNT_THIS_ONE
             LONG_ID_GOSH_FORGOT_THIS
             LONG_ID_ETC
             ∶

Justin L., Jun 13, 2013 at 16:21

i type <kbd>ctrl</kbd>+<kbd>p</kbd> way too much by accident while trying to hit <kbd>ctrl</kbd>+<kbd>[</kbd> >< – Justin L. Jun 13 '13 at 16:21

community wiki
Fritz G. Mehner
, Apr 22, 2009 at 16:41

Use the right mouse key to toggle insert mode in gVim with the following settings in ~/.gvimrc :
"
"------------------------------------------------------------------
" toggle insert mode <--> 'normal mode with the <RightMouse>-key
"------------------------------------------------------------------
nnoremap  <RightMouse> <Insert>
inoremap  <RightMouse> <ESC>
"

Andreas Grech, Jun 20, 2010 at 17:22

This is stupid. Defeats the productivity gains from not using the mouse. – Andreas Grech Jun 20 '10 at 17:22

Brady Trainor, Jul 5, 2014 at 21:07

Maybe fgm has head gestures mapped to mouse clicks. – Brady Trainor Jul 5 '14 at 21:07

community wiki
AIB
, Apr 27, 2009 at 13:06

Replace all
  :%s/oldtext/newtext/igc

Give a to replace all :)

Nathan Fellman, Jan 12, 2011 at 20:58

or better yet, instead of typing a, just remove the c . c means confirm replacementNathan Fellman Jan 12 '11 at 20:58

community wiki
2 revs
,Sep 13, 2009 at 18:39

Neither of the following is really diehard, but I find it extremely useful.

Trivial bindings, but I just can't live without. It enables hjkl-style movement in insert mode (using the ctrl key). In normal mode: ctrl-k/j scrolls half a screen up/down and ctrl-l/h goes to the next/previous buffer. The µ and ù mappings are especially for an AZERTY-keyboard and go to the next/previous make error.

imap <c-j> <Down>
imap <c-k> <Up>
imap <c-h> <Left>
imap <c-l> <Right>
nmap <c-j> <c-d>
nmap <c-k> <c-u>
nmap <c-h> <c-left>
nmap <c-l> <c-right>

nmap ù :cp<RETURN>
nmap µ :cn<RETURN>

A small function I wrote to highlight functions, globals, macro's, structs and typedefs. (Might be slow on very large files). Each type gets different highlighting (see ":help group-name" to get an idea of your current colortheme's settings) Usage: save the file with ww (default "\ww"). You need ctags for this.

nmap <Leader>ww :call SaveCtagsHighlight()<CR>

"Based on: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/736701/class-function-names-highlighting-in-vim
function SaveCtagsHighlight()
    write

    let extension = expand("%:e")
    if extension!="c" && extension!="cpp" && extension!="h" && extension!="hpp"
        return
    endif

    silent !ctags --fields=+KS *
    redraw!

    let list = taglist('.*')
    for item in list
        let kind = item.kind

        if     kind == 'member'
            let kw = 'Identifier'
        elseif kind == 'function'
            let kw = 'Function'
        elseif kind == 'macro'
            let kw = 'Macro'
        elseif kind == 'struct'
            let kw = 'Structure'
        elseif kind == 'typedef'
            let kw = 'Typedef'
        else
            continue
        endif

        let name = item.name
        if name != 'operator=' && name != 'operator ='
            exec 'syntax keyword '.kw.' '.name
        endif
    endfor
    echo expand("%")." written, tags updated"
endfunction

I have the habit of writing lots of code and functions and I don't like to write prototypes for them. So I made some function to generate a list of prototypes within a C-style sourcefile. It comes in two flavors: one that removes the formal parameter's name and one that preserves it. I just refresh the entire list every time I need to update the prototypes. It avoids having out of sync prototypes and function definitions. Also needs ctags.

"Usage: in normal mode, where you want the prototypes to be pasted:
":call GenerateProptotypes()
function GeneratePrototypes()
    execute "silent !ctags --fields=+KS ".expand("%")
    redraw!
    let list = taglist('.*')
    let line = line(".")
    for item in list
        if item.kind == "function"  &&  item.name != "main"
            let name = item.name
            let retType = item.cmd
            let retType = substitute( retType, '^/\^\s*','','' )
            let retType = substitute( retType, '\s*'.name.'.*', '', '' ) 

            if has_key( item, 'signature' )
                let sig = item.signature
                let sig = substitute( sig, '\s*\w\+\s*,',        ',',   'g')
                let sig = substitute( sig, '\s*\w\+\(\s)\)', '\1', '' )
            else
                let sig = '()'
            endif
            let proto = retType . "\t" . name . sig . ';'
            call append( line, proto )
            let line = line + 1
        endif
    endfor
endfunction


function GeneratePrototypesFullSignature()
    "execute "silent !ctags --fields=+KS ".expand("%")
    let dir = expand("%:p:h");
    execute "silent !ctags --fields=+KSi --extra=+q".dir."/* "
    redraw!
    let list = taglist('.*')
    let line = line(".")
    for item in list
        if item.kind == "function"  &&  item.name != "main"
            let name = item.name
            let retType = item.cmd
            let retType = substitute( retType, '^/\^\s*','','' )
            let retType = substitute( retType, '\s*'.name.'.*', '', '' ) 

            if has_key( item, 'signature' )
                let sig = item.signature
            else
                let sig = '(void)'
            endif
            let proto = retType . "\t" . name . sig . ';'
            call append( line, proto )
            let line = line + 1
        endif
    endfor
endfunction

community wiki
Yada
, Nov 24, 2009 at 20:21

I collected these over the years.
" Pasting in normal mode should append to the right of cursor
nmap <C-V>      a<C-V><ESC>
" Saving
imap <C-S>      <C-o>:up<CR>
nmap <C-S>      :up<CR>
" Insert mode control delete
imap <C-Backspace> <C-W>
imap <C-Delete> <C-O>dw
nmap    <Leader>o       o<ESC>k
nmap    <Leader>O       O<ESC>j
" tired of my typo
nmap :W     :w

community wiki
jonyamo
, May 10, 2010 at 15:01

Create a function to execute the current buffer using it's shebang (assuming one is set) and call it with crtl-x.
map <C-X> :call CallInterpreter()<CR>

au BufEnter *
\ if match (getline(1),  '^\#!') == 0 |
\   execute("let b:interpreter = getline(1)[2:]") |
\ endif

fun! CallInterpreter()
    if exists("b:interpreter")
        exec("! ".b:interpreter." %")
    endif
endfun

community wiki
Marcus Borkenhagen
, Jan 12, 2011 at 15:22

map macros

I rather often find it useful to on-the-fly define some key mapping just like one would define a macro. The twist here is, that the mapping is recursive and is executed until it fails.

Example:

enum ProcStats
{
        ps_pid,
        ps_comm,
        ps_state,
        ps_ppid,
        ps_pgrp,
:map X /ps_<CR>3xixy<Esc>X

Gives:

enum ProcStats
{
        xypid,
        xycomm,
        xystate,
        xyppid,
        xypgrp,

Just an silly example :).

I am completely aware of all the downsides - it just so happens that I found it rather useful in some occasions. Also it can be interesting to watch it at work ;).

00dani, Aug 2, 2013 at 11:25

Macros are also allowed to be recursive and work in pretty much the same fashion when they are, so it's not particularly necessary to use a mapping for this. – 00dani Aug 2 '13 at 11:25

>,

Reuse

Motions to mix with other commands, more here .

tx
fx
Fx

Use your favorite tools in Vim.

:r !python anything you want or awk or Y something

Repeat in visual mode, powerful when combined with tips above.

;

[Oct 21, 2018] What are your suggestions for an ideal Vim configuration for Perl development?

Notable quotes:
"... The .vimrc settings should be heavily commented ..."
"... Look also at perl-support.vim (a Perl IDE for Vim/gVim). Comes with suggestions for customizing Vim (.vimrc), gVim (.gvimrc), ctags, perltidy, and Devel:SmallProf beside many other things. ..."
"... Perl Best Practices has an appendix on Editor Configurations . vim is the first editor listed. ..."
"... Andy Lester and others maintain the official Perl, Perl 6 and Pod support files for Vim on Github: https://github.com/vim-perl/vim-perl ..."
Aug 18, 2016 | stackoverflow.com
There are a lot of threads pertaining to how to configure Vim/GVim for Perl development on PerlMonks.org .

My purpose in posting this question is to try to create, as much as possible, an ideal configuration for Perl development using Vim/GVim. Please post your suggestions for .vimrc settings as well as useful plugins.

I will try to merge the recommendations into a set of .vimrc settings and to a list of recommended plugins, ftplugins and syntax files.

.vimrc settings
"Create a command :Tidy to invoke perltidy"
"By default it operates on the whole file, but you can give it a"
"range or visual range as well if you know what you're doing."
command -range=% -nargs=* Tidy <line1>,<line2>!
    \perltidy -your -preferred -default -options <args>

vmap <tab> >gv    "make tab in v mode indent code"
vmap <s-tab> <gv

nmap <tab> I<tab><esc> "make tab in normal mode indent code"
nmap <s-tab> ^i<bs><esc>

let perl_include_pod   = 1    "include pod.vim syntax file with perl.vim"
let perl_extended_vars = 1    "highlight complex expressions such as @{[$x, $y]}"
let perl_sync_dist     = 250  "use more context for highlighting"

set nocompatible "Use Vim defaults"
set backspace=2  "Allow backspacing over everything in insert mode"

set autoindent   "Always set auto-indenting on"
set expandtab    "Insert spaces instead of tabs in insert mode. Use spaces for indents"
set tabstop=4    "Number of spaces that a <Tab> in the file counts for"
set shiftwidth=4 "Number of spaces to use for each step of (auto)indent"

set showmatch    "When a bracket is inserted, briefly jump to the matching one"
syntax plugins ftplugins CPAN modules Debugging tools

I just found out about VimDebug . I have not yet been able to install it on Windows, but looks promising from the description.

innaM, Oct 15, 2009 at 19:06

The .vimrc settings should be heavily commented. E.g., what does perl_include_pod do? – innaM Oct 15 '09 at 19:06

Sinan Ünür, Oct 15, 2009 at 20:02

@Manni: You are welcome. I have been using the same .vimrc for many years and a recent bunch of vim related questions got me curious. I was too lazy to wade through everything that was posted on PerlMonks (and see what was current etc.), so I figured we could put together something here. – Sinan Ünür Oct 15 '09 at 20:02

innaM, Oct 16, 2009 at 8:22

I think that that's a great idea. Sorry that my own contribution is that lame. – innaM Oct 16 '09 at 8:22

Telemachus, Jul 8, 2010 at 0:40

Rather than closepairs, I would recommend delimitMate or one of the various autoclose plugins. (There are about three named autoclose, I think.) The closepairs plugin can't handle a single apostrophe inside a string (i.e. print "This isn't so hard, is it?" ), but delimitMate and others can. github.com/Raimondi/delimitMateTelemachus Jul 8 '10 at 0:40

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 74% ,Dec 21, 2009 at 20:57

From chromatic's blog (slightly adapted to be able to use the same mapping from all modes).
vmap, pt :!perltidy<CR> 
nmap, pt :%! perltidy<CR>

hit, pt in normal mode to clean up the whole file, or in visual mode to clean up the selection. You could also add:

imap, pt <ESC>:%! perltidy<CR>

But using commands from input mode is not recommended.

innaM, Oct 21, 2009 at 9:21

I seem to be missing something here: How can I type, ptv without vim running perltidy on the entire file? – innaM Oct 21 '09 at 9:21

innaM, Oct 21, 2009 at 9:23

Ovid's comment (#3) seems offer a much better solution. – innaM Oct 21 '09 at 9:23

innaM, Oct 21, 2009 at 13:22

Three hours later: turns out that the 'p' in that mapping is a really bad idea. It will bite you when vim's got something to paste. – innaM Oct 21 '09 at 13:22

Ether, Oct 21, 2009 at 15:23

@Manni: select a region first: with the mouse if using gvim, or with visual mode ( v and then use motion commands). – Ether Oct 21 '09 at 15:23

Ether, Oct 21, 2009 at 19:44

@Manni: I just gave it a try: if you type, pt, vim waits for you to type something else (e.g. <cr>) as a signal that the command is ended. Hitting, ptv will immediately format the region. So I would expect that vim recognizes that there is overlap between the mappings, and waits for disambiguation before proceeding. – Ether Oct 21 '09 at 19:44

community wiki hobbs, Oct 16, 2009 at 0:35

" Create a command :Tidy to invoke perltidy.
" By default it operates on the whole file, but you can give it a
" range or visual range as well if you know what you're doing.
command -range=% -nargs=* Tidy <line1>,<line2>!
    \perltidy -your -preferred -default -options <args>

community wiki Fritz G. Mehner, Oct 17, 2009 at 7:44

Look also at perl-support.vim (a Perl IDE for Vim/gVim). Comes with suggestions for customizing Vim (.vimrc), gVim (.gvimrc), ctags, perltidy, and Devel:SmallProf beside many other things.

innaM, Oct 19, 2009 at 12:32

I hate that one. The comments feature alone deserves a thorough 'rm -rf', IMHO. – innaM Oct 19 '09 at 12:32

sundar, Mar 11, 2010 at 20:54

I hate the fact that \$ is changed automatically to a "my $" declaration (same with \@ and \%). Does the author never use references or what?! – sundar Mar 11 '10 at 20:54

chiggsy, Sep 14, 2010 at 13:48

I take pieces of that one. If it were a man, you'd say about him, "He was only good for transplants..." – chiggsy Sep 14 '10 at 13:48

community wiki Permanuno, Oct 20, 2009 at 16:55

Perl Best Practices has an appendix on Editor Configurations . vim is the first editor listed.

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 67% ,May 10, 2014 at 21:08

Andy Lester and others maintain the official Perl, Perl 6 and Pod support files for Vim on Github: https://github.com/vim-perl/vim-perl

Sinan Ünür, Jan 26, 2010 at 21:20

Note that that link is already listed in the body of the question (look under syntax ). – Sinan Ünür Jan 26 '10 at 21:20

community wiki 2 revs, 2 users 94% ,Dec 7, 2010 at 19:42

For tidying, I use the following; either \t to tidy the whole file, or I select a few lines in shift+V mode and then do \t
nnoremap <silent> \t :%!perltidy -q<Enter>
vnoremap <silent> \t :!perltidy -q<Enter>

Sometimes it's also useful to deparse code. As the above lines, either for the whole file or for a selection.

nnoremap <silent> \D :.!perl -MO=Deparse 2>/dev/null<CR>
vnoremap <silent> \D :!perl -MO=Deparse 2>/dev/null<CR>

community wiki 3 revs, 3 users 36% ,Oct 16, 2009 at 14:25

.vimrc:
" Allow :make to run 'perl -c' on the current buffer, jumping to 
" errors as appropriate
" My copy of vimparse: http://irc.peeron.com/~zigdon/misc/vimparse.pl

set makeprg=$HOME/bin/vimparse.pl\ -c\ %\ $*

" point at wherever you keep the output of pltags.pl, allowing use of ^-]
" to jump to function definitions.

set tags+=/path/to/tags

innaM, Oct 15, 2009 at 19:34

What is pltags.pl? Is it better than ctags? – innaM Oct 15 '09 at 19:34

Sinan Ünür, Oct 15, 2009 at 19:46

I think search.cpan.org/perldoc/Perl::Tags is based on it. – Sinan Ünür Oct 15 '09 at 19:46

Sinan Ünür, Oct 15, 2009 at 20:00

Could you please explain if there are any advantages to using pltags.pl rather than taglist.vim w/ ctags ? – Sinan Ünür Oct 15 '09 at 20:00

innaM, Oct 16, 2009 at 14:24

And vimparse.pl really works for you? Is that really the correct URL? – innaM Oct 16 '09 at 14:24

zigdon, Oct 16, 2009 at 18:51

@sinan it enables quickfix - all it does is reformat the output of perl -c so that vim parses it as compiler errors. The the usual quickfix commands work. – zigdon Oct 16 '09 at 18:51

community wiki
innaM
, Oct 19, 2009 at 8:57

Here's an interesting module I found on the weekend: App::EditorTools::Vim . Its most interesting feature seems to be its ability to rename lexical variables. Unfortunately, my tests revealed that it doesn't seem to be ready yet for any production use, but it sure seems worth to keep an eye on.

community wiki 3 revs, 2 users 79%, Oct 19, 2009 at 13:50

Here are a couple of my .vimrc settings. They may not be Perl specific, but I couldn't work without them:
set nocompatible        " Use Vim defaults (much better!) "
set bs=2                " Allow backspacing over everything in insert mode "
set ai                  " Always set auto-indenting on "
set showmatch           " show matching brackets "

" for quick scripts, just open a new buffer and type '_perls' "
iab _perls #!/usr/bin/perl<CR><BS><CR>use strict;<CR>use warnings;<CR>

community wiki, J.J., Feb 17, 2010 at 21:35

I have 2.

The first one I know I picked up part of it from someone else, but I can't remember who. Sorry unknown person. Here's how I made "C^N" auto complete work with Perl. Here's my .vimrc commands.

" to use CTRL+N with modules for autocomplete "
set iskeyword+=:
set complete+=k~/.vim_extras/installed_modules.dat

Then I set up a cron to create the installed_modules.dat file. Mine is for my mandriva system. Adjust accordingly.

locate *.pm | grep "perl5" | sed -e "s/\/usr\/lib\/perl5\///" | sed -e "s/5.8.8\///" | sed -e "s/5.8.7\///" | sed -e "s/vendor_perl\///" | sed -e "s/site_perl\///" | sed -e "s/x86_64-linux\///" | sed -e "s/\//::/g" | sed -e "s/\.pm//" >/home/jeremy/.vim_extras/installed_modules.dat

The second one allows me to use gf in Perl. Gf is a shortcut to other files. just place your cursor over the file and type gf and it will open that file.

" To use gf with perl "
set path+=$PWD/**,
set path +=/usr/lib/perl5/*,
set path+=/CompanyCode/*,   " directory containing work code "
autocmd BufRead *.p? set include=^use
autocmd BufRead *.pl set includeexpr=substitute(v:fname,'\\(.*\\)','\\1.pm','i')

community wiki
zzapper
, Sep 23, 2010 at 9:41

I find the following abbreviations useful
iab perlb  print "Content-type: text/html\n\n <p>zdebug + $_ + $' + $`  line ".__LINE__.__FILE__."\n";exit;
iab perlbb print "Content-type: text/html\n\n<p>zdebug  <C-R>a  line ".__LINE__.__FILE__."\n";exit;
iab perlbd do{print "Content-type: text/html\n\n<p>zdebug  <C-R>a  line ".__LINE__."\n";exit} if $_ =~ /\w\w/i;
iab perld print "Content-type: text/html\n\n dumper";use Data::Dumper;$Data::Dumper::Pad="<br>";print Dumper <C-R>a ;exit;

iab perlf foreach $line ( keys %ENV )<CR> {<CR> }<LEFT><LEFT>
iab perle while (($k,$v) = each %ENV) { print "<br>$k = $v\n"; }
iab perli x = (i<4) ? 4 : i;
iab perlif if ($i==1)<CR>{<CR>}<CR>else<CR>{<CR>}
iab perlh $html=<<___HTML___;<CR>___HTML___<CR>

You can make them perl only with

au bufenter *.pl iab xbug print "<p>zdebug ::: $_ :: $' :: $`  line ".__LINE__."\n";exit;

mfontani, Dec 7, 2010 at 14:47

there's no my anywhere there; I take it you usually write CGIs with no use strict; ? (just curious if this is so) – mfontani Dec 7 '10 at 14:47

Sean McMillan, Jun 30, 2011 at 0:43

Oh wow, and without CGI.pm as well. It's like a 15 year flashback. – Sean McMillan Jun 30 '11 at 0:43

community wiki Benno, May 3, 2013 at 12:45

By far the most useful are
  1. Perl filetype pluging (ftplugin) - this colour-codes various code elements
  2. Creating a check-syntax-before-saving command "W" preventing you from saving bad code (you can override with the normal 'w').

Installing he plugins are a bit dicky as the version of vim (and linux) put the plugins in different places. Mine are in ~/.vim/after/

my .vimrc below.

set vb
set ts=2
set sw=2
set enc=utf-8
set fileencoding=utf-8
set fileencodings=ucs-bom,utf8,prc
set guifont=Monaco:h11
set guifontwide=NSimsun:h12
set pastetoggle=<F3>
command -range=% -nargs=* Tidy <line1>,<line2>!
    \perltidy
filetype plugin on
augroup JumpCursorOnEdit
 au!
 autocmd BufReadPost *
 \ if expand("<afile>:p:h") !=? $TEMP |
 \ if line("'\"") > 1 && line("'\"") <= line("$") |
 \ let JumpCursorOnEdit_foo = line("'\"") |
 \ let b:doopenfold = 1 |
 \ if (foldlevel(JumpCursorOnEdit_foo) > foldlevel(JumpCursorOnEdit_foo - 1)) |
 \ let JumpCursorOnEdit_foo = JumpCursorOnEdit_foo - 1 |
 \ let b:doopenfold = 2 |
 \ endif |
 \ exe JumpCursorOnEdit_foo |
 \ endif |
 \ endif
 " Need to postpone using "zv" until after reading the modelines.
 autocmd BufWinEnter *
 \ if exists("b:doopenfold") |
 \ exe "normal zv" |
 \ if(b:doopenfold > 1) |
 \ exe "+".1 |
 \ endif |
 \ unlet b:doopenfold |
 \ endif
augroup END

[Oct 21, 2018] What is vim recording and how can it be disabled?

Oct 21, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

vehomzzz, Oct 6, 2009 at 20:03

I keep seeing the recording message at the bottom of my gvim 7.2 window.

What is it and how do I turn it off?

Joey Adams, Aug 17, 2010 at 16:26

To turn off vim recording for good, add map q <Nop> to your .vimrc file. – Joey Adams Aug 17 '10 at 16:26

0xc0de, Aug 12, 2016 at 9:04

I can't believe you want to turn recording off! I would show a really annoying popup 'Are you sure?' if one asks to turn it off (or probably would like to give options like the Windows 10 update gives). – 0xc0de Aug 12 '16 at 9:04

yogsototh, Oct 6, 2009 at 20:08

You start recording by q<letter> and you can end it by typing q again.

Recording is a really useful feature of Vim.

It records everything you type. You can then replay it simply by typing @<letter> . Record search, movement, replacement...

One of the best feature of Vim IMHO.

Cascabel, Oct 6, 2009 at 20:13

As seen other places, it's q followed by a register. A really cool (and possibly non-intuitive) part of this is that these are the same registers used by things like delete, yank, and put. This means that you can yank text from the editor into a register, then execute it as a command. – Cascabel Oct 6 '09 at 20:13

Tolga E, Aug 17, 2013 at 3:07

One more thing to note is you can hit any number before the @ to replay the recording that many times like (100@<letter>) will play your actions 100 times – Tolga E Aug 17 '13 at 3:07

anisoptera, Dec 4, 2014 at 9:43

You could add it afterward, by editing the register with put/yank. But I don't know why you'd want to turn recording on or off as part of a macro. ('q' doesn't affect anything when typed in insert mode.) – anisoptera Dec 4 '14 at 9:43

L0j1k, Jul 16, 2015 at 21:08

Vim is so freakin' cool, man. – L0j1k Jul 16 '15 at 21:08

Cascabel, Jul 29, 2015 at 14:52

@Wade " - it's called the default register. – Cascabel Jul 29 '15 at 14:52

ephemient, Oct 6, 2009 at 20:17

Type :h recording to learn more.
                           *q* *recording*
q{0-9a-zA-Z"}           Record typed characters into register {0-9a-zA-Z"}
                        (uppercase to append).  The 'q' command is disabled
                        while executing a register, and it doesn't work inside
                        a mapping.  {Vi: no recording}

q                       Stops recording.  (Implementation note: The 'q' that
                        stops recording is not stored in the register, unless
                        it was the result of a mapping)  {Vi: no recording}


                                                        *@*
@{0-9a-z".=*}           Execute the contents of register {0-9a-z".=*} [count]
                        times.  Note that register '%' (name of the current
                        file) and '#' (name of the alternate file) cannot be
                        used.  For "@=" you are prompted to enter an
                        expression.  The result of the expression is then
                        executed.  See also |@:|.  {Vi: only named registers}

Tim Henigan, Oct 6, 2009 at 20:07

It sounds like you have macro recording turned on. To shut it off, press q .

Refer to " :help recording " for further information.

Related links:

mitchus, Feb 13, 2015 at 14:16

Typing q starts macro recording, and the recording stops when the user hits q again.

As Joey Adams mentioned, to disable recording, add the following line to .vimrc in your home directory:

map q <Nop>

n611x007, Oct 4, 2015 at 7:16

only answer about "how to turn off" part of the question. Well, it makes recording inaccessible, effectively turning it off - at least noone expects vi to have a separate thread for this code, I guess, including me. – n611x007 Oct 4 '15 at 7:16

JeffH, Oct 6, 2009 at 20:10

As others have said, it's macro recording, and you turn it off with q. Here's a nice article about how-to and why it's useful.

John Millikin, Oct 6, 2009 at 20:06

It means you're in "record macro" mode. This mode is entered by typing q followed by a register name, and can be exited by typing q again.

ephemient, Oct 6, 2009 at 20:08

It's actually entered by typing q followed by any register name, which is 0-9, a-z, A-Z, and ". – ephemient Oct 6 '09 at 20:08

Cascabel, Oct 6, 2009 at 20:08

Actually, it's q{0-9a-zA-Z"} - you can record a macro into any register (named by digit, letter, "). In case you actually want to use it... you execute the contents of a register with @<register>. See :help q and :help @ if you're interested in using it. – Cascabel Oct 6 '09 at 20:08

[Oct 20, 2018] Do commands (bufdo, windo, tabdo, argdo)

Oct 20, 2018 | my.safaribooksonline.com

Vim provides an incredibly powerful (and flexible) set of commands, which allow a set of arbitrary commands to be executed against an entire list. In Vim parlance a "list" could be one of the following: a group of open buffers, tabs, windows, and even Vim's argument list (which I'll explain near the end of this chapter).

For each list type (buffer list, tab list, window list, argument list) Vim provides a command which enables us to carry out actions in bulk (i.e., across multiple items). Let's take a look at each of these commands in turn.

  • bufdo
  • windo
  • tabdo
  • argdo

bufdo

As we already know, when you open a file in Vim, you're, in fact, actually opening a buffer that holds a copy of the file you requested. (If you're unsure, I suggest going back and reading Chapter 3 ).

Every buffer we create in Vim is added into an internal buffer list. This internal list is what allows Vim to keep track of the current buffer and facilitates commands such as bn and bp , among others, for navigating back and forth among all open buffers.

If we wanted to execute the same command for each buffer that exists in our buffer list, we would have to use the :bufdo command

. The flow of how this looks internally is something like the following:

  • :bf : Vim moves to the first buffer.
  • :{command} : Vim executes the command specified.
  • :bn : Vim moves to the next buffer in the list.
  • :{command} : Vim executes the command specified.
  • . . . etc. . . .

At this point, if an error occurs, Vim will stop processing the buffers and return the error. If, on the other hand, Vim manages to process all the buffers, the last one becomes the current buffer within the viewport.

Simple Example

Now that we have an understanding of what a buffer list is, we can look at how the bufdo command works. Let's consider a simple example, in which we have a set of buffers already open within Vim and we've made changes to each of the buffers already.

We want to exit Vim, but as we do, we have to make sure that each buffer is written back to the relevant file it corresponds to, so we don't lose any of our changes. The following command demonstrates how to do this:

:bufdo wq

Effectively, we've told Vim to process each buffer (using the bufdo command), and within each buffer, we want Vim to execute the command wq (meaning we want it to first write the buffer, then close the buffer).

Image Note In the preceding example, you can also achieve the same result with :wa ( :h :wa ), which effectively allows you to write only the buffers that have been changed in some way.

[Oct 19, 2018] Visual Mode

Notable quotes:
"... Vim's Operator Commands ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | my.safaribooksonline.com

Vim's Visual mode allows us to define a selection of text and then operate upon it. This should feel pretty intuitive, since it is the model that most editing software follows. But Vim's take is characteristically different, so we'll start by making sure we grok Visual mode ( Tip 20 ).

Vim has three variants of Visual mode involving working with characters, lines, or rectangular blocks of text. We'll explore ways of switching between these modes as well as some useful tricks for modifying the bounds of a selection ( Tip 21 ).

We'll see that the dot command can be used to repeat Visual mode commands, but that it's especially effective when operating on line-wise regions. When working with character-wise selections, the dot command can sometimes fall short of our expectations. We'll see that in these scenarios, operator commands may be preferable.

Visual-Block mode is rather special in that it allows us to operate on rectangular columns of text. You'll find many uses for this feature, but we'll focus on three tips that demonstrate some of its capabilities.

Visual mode allows us to select a range of text and then operate upon it. However intuitive this might seem, Vim's perspective on selecting text is different from other text editors.

Suppose for a minute that we're not working with Vim but instead filling out a text area on a web page. We've written the word "March," but it should read "April," so using the mouse, we double-click the word to select it. Having highlighted the word, we could hit the backspace key to delete it and then type out the correct month as a replacement.

You probably already know that there's no need to hit the backspace key in this example. With the word "March" selected, we would only have to type the letter "A" and it would replace the selection, preparing the way so that we could type out the rest of the word "April." It's not much, but a keystroke saved is a keystroke earned.

If you expect this behavior to carry over to Vim's Visual mode, you're in for a surprise. The clue is right there in the name: Visual mode is just another mode, which means that each key performs a different function.

Many of the commands that you are familiar with from Normal mode work just the same in Visual mode. We can still use h , j , k , and l as cursor keys. We can use f{char} to jump to a character on the current line and then repeat or reverse the jump with the ; and , commands, respectively. We can even use the search command (and n / N ) to jump to pattern matches. Each time we move our cursor in Visual mode, we change the bounds of the selection.

Some Visual mode commands perform the same basic function as in Normal mode but with a slight twist. For example, the c command is consistent in both modes in that it deletes the specified text and then switches to Insert mode. The difference is in how we specify the range on which to act. From Normal mode, we trigger the change command first and then specify the range as a motion. This, if you'll remember from Tip 12 , is called an operator command. Whereas in Visual mode, we start off by making the selection and then trigger the change command. This inversion of control can be generalized for all operator commands (see Table 2, ​ Vim's Operator Commands ). For most people, the Visual mode approach feels more intuitive.

Let's revisit the simple example where we wanted to change the word "March" to "April." This time, suppose that we have left the confines of the text area on a web page and we're comfortably back inside Vim. We place our cursor somewhere on the word "March" and run viw to visually select the word. Now, we can't just type the word "April" because that would trigger the A command and append the text "pril"! Instead, we'll use the c command to change the selection, deleting the word and dropping us into Insert mode, where we can type out the word "April" in full. This pattern of usage is similar to our original example, except that we use the c key instead of backspace.

Meet Select Mode

In a typical text editing environment, selected text is deleted when we type any printable character. Vim's Visual mode doesn't follow this convention -- but Select mode does. According to Vim's built-in documentation, it "resembles the selection mode in Microsoft Windows" (see Select-mode ). Printable characters cause the selection to be deleted, Vim enters Insert mode, and the typed character is inserted.

We can toggle between Visual and Select modes by pressing <C-g> . The only visible difference is the message at the bottom of screen, which switches between -- VISUAL -- and -- SELECT -- . But if we type any printable character in Select mode, it will replace the selection and switch to Insert mode. Of course, from Visual mode you could just as well use the c key to change the selection.

If you are happy to embrace the modal nature of Vim, then you should find little use for Select mode, which holds the hand of users who want to make Vim behave more like other text editors. I can think of only one place where I consistently use Select mode: when using a plugin that emulates TextMate's snippet functionality, Select mode highlights the active placeholder.

[Oct 19, 2018] Vim faster way to select blocks of text in visual mode - Stack Overflow

Oct 19, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

Vim: faster way to select blocks of text in visual mode Ask Question up vote 149 down vote favorite 65


Calvin Cheng ,Sep 13, 2011 at 18:52

I have been using vim for quite some time and am aware that selecting blocks of text in visual mode is as simple as SHIFT + V and moving the arrow key up or down line-by-line until I reach the end of the block of text that I want selected.

My question is - is there a faster way in visual mode to select a block of text for example by SHIFT + V followed by specifying the line number in which I want the selection to stop? (via :35 for example, where 35 is the line number I want to select up to - this obviously does not work so my question is to find how if something similar to this can be done...)

user786653 ,Sep 13, 2011 at 19:08

+1 Good question as I have found myself doing something like this often. I am wondering if perhaps this isn't the place start using using v% or v/pattern or something else? – user786653 Sep 13 '11 at 19:08

SergioAraujo ,Sep 13, 2011 at 20:30

vip select inner paragraph vis select inner sentence. – SergioAraujo Sep 13 '11 at 20:30

Stephan ,Sep 29, 2014 at 22:49

V35G will visually select from current line to line 35, also V10j or V10k will visually select the next or previous 10 lines – Stephan Sep 29 '14 at 22:49

shriek ,Feb 20, 2015 at 4:28

@Stephan, that's just what I was looking for. Thanks!! – shriek Feb 20 '15 at 4:28

Mikhail V ,Mar 27, 2015 at 16:52

for line selecting I use shortcut: nnoremap <Space> V . When in visual line mode just right-click with mouse to define selection (at least on linux it is so). Anyway, more effective than with keyboard only. – Mikhail V Mar 27 '15 at 16:52

Jay ,Sep 13, 2011 at 19:05

In addition to what others have said, you can also expand your selection using pattern searches.

For example, v/foo will select from your current position to the next instance of "foo." If you actually wanted to expand to the next instance of "foo," on line 35, for example, just press n to expand selection to the next instance, and so on.

update

I don't often do it, but I know that some people use marks extensively to make visual selections. For example, if I'm on line 5 and I want to select to line 35, I might press ma to place mark a on line 5, then :35 to move to line 35. Shift + v to enter linewise visual mode, and finally `a to select back to mark a .

Calvin Cheng ,Sep 13, 2011 at 19:19

now this is COOL. Thanks! – Calvin Cheng Sep 13 '11 at 19:19

Peter Rincker ,Sep 13, 2011 at 19:41

If you need to include the pattern you can use v/foo/e . The e stands for "end" of the matched pattern. – Peter Rincker Sep 13 '11 at 19:41

bheeshmar ,Sep 13, 2011 at 20:29

And you can modify from that line with offsets: V/foo/+5 or V/foo/-5 (I'm using linewise visual mode like the author). – bheeshmar Sep 13 '11 at 20:29

Jay ,Oct 31, 2013 at 0:18

@DanielPark To select the current word, use v i w . If you want to select the current contiguous non-whitespace, use v i Shift + w . The difference would be when the caret is here MyCla|ss.Method , the first combo would select MyClass and second would select the whole thing. – Jay Oct 31 '13 at 0:18

Daniel Park ,Oct 31, 2013 at 1:55

Thanks. Found that also using v i w s allows you to effectively do a "replace" operation. – Daniel Park Oct 31 '13 at 1:55

bheeshmar ,Sep 13, 2011 at 19:00

G                       Goto line [count], default last line, on the first
                        non-blank character linewise.  If 'startofline' not
                        set, keep the same column.
                        G is a one of jump-motions.

V35G achieves what you want

Daniel Kobe ,Apr 24, 2017 at 18:16

My vim gives me the error Not an editor command: VDaniel Kobe Apr 24 '17 at 18:16

kzh ,Apr 24, 2017 at 19:42

@Daniel vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/visual.html#Vkzh Apr 24 '17 at 19:42

bheeshmar ,Apr 25, 2017 at 19:06

@DanielKobe, it's a Normal mode command, so don't press ":". – bheeshmar Apr 25 '17 at 19:06

kzh ,Jun 1, 2013 at 12:29

Vim is a language. To really understand Vim, you have to know the language. Many commands are verbs, and vim also has objects and prepositions.
V100G
V100gg

This means "select the current line up to and including line 100."

Text objects are where a lot of the power is at. They introduce more objects with prepositions.

Vap

This means "select around the current paragraph", that is select the current paragraph and the blank line following it.

V2ap

This means "select around the current paragraph and the next paragraph."

}V-2ap

This means "go to the end of the current paragraph and then visually select it and the preceding paragraph."

Understanding Vim as a language will help you to get the best mileage out of it.

After you have selecting down, then you can combine with other commands:

Vapd

With the above command, you can select around a paragraph and delete it. Change the d to a y to copy or to a c to change or to a p to paste over.

Once you get the hang of how all these commands work together, then you will eventually not need to visually select anything. Instead of visually selecting and then deleting a paragraph, you can just delete the paragraph with the dap command.

Daniel Kobe ,Apr 24, 2017 at 18:17

My vim gives me the error Not an editor command: VDaniel Kobe Apr 24 '17 at 18:17

kzh ,Apr 24, 2017 at 19:43

@Daniel vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/visual.html#Vkzh Apr 24 '17 at 19:43

michaelmichael ,Sep 13, 2011 at 18:58

v35G will select everything from the cursor up to line 35.

v puts you in select mode, 35 specifies the line number that you want to G go to.

You could also use v} which will select everything up to the beginning of the next paragraph.

mateusz.fiolka ,Sep 13, 2011 at 18:58

For selecting number of lines:

shift+v 9j - select 10 lines

Peter Rincker ,Sep 13, 2011 at 19:38

For small ranges this is good, especially when paired with :set rnuPeter Rincker Sep 13 '11 at 19:38

µBio ,Sep 13, 2011 at 18:55

v 35 j

text added for 30 character minimum

Peng Zhang ,Feb 17, 2016 at 3:28

Shift+V n j or Shift+V n k

This selects the current line and the next/previous n lines. I find it very useful.

Kevin Yue ,Sep 24, 2016 at 5:20

It's very useful, thanks. – Kevin Yue Sep 24 '16 at 5:20

Arsal ,Apr 24, 2017 at 20:09

This is a simple way I was looking for. Thanks – Arsal Apr 24 '17 at 20:09

> ,

Text objects: http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Creating_new_text_objects

http://vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/motion.html#text-objects

[Oct 19, 2018] Advanced Vim

Oct 19, 2018 | vimsheet.com

I've compiled a list of essential Vim commands that I use every day. I then give a few instructions on how to making Vim as great as it should be, because it's painful without configuration.

##Cursor movement (Inside command/normal mode)

The four directions in Vim, keys h, j, k, and l.

  • w - jump by start of words (punctuation considered words)
  • W - jump by words (spaces separate words)
  • e - jump to end of words (punctuation considered words)
  • E - jump to end of words (no punctuation)
  • b - jump backward by words (punctuation considered words)
  • B - jump backward by words (no punctuation)
  • 0 - (zero) start of line
  • ^ - first non-blank character of line (same as 0w)
  • $ - end of line
  • Advanced (in order of what I find useful)
    • Ctrl+d - move down half a page
    • Ctrl+u - move up half a page
    • } - go forward by paragraph (the next blank line)
    • { - go backward by paragraph (the next blank line)
    • gg - go to the top of the page
    • G - go the bottom of the page
    • : [num] [enter] - Go To that line in the document
    • Searching
      • f [char] - Move to the next char on the current line after the cursor
      • F [char] - Move to the next char on the current line before the cursor
      • t [char] - Move to before the next char on the current line after the cursor
      • T [char] - Move to before the next char on the current line before the cursor
      • All these commands can be followed by ; (semicolon) to go to the next searched item, and , (comma) to go the the previous searched item

##Insert/Appending/Editing Text

  • Results in insert mode
    • i - start insert mode at cursor
    • I - insert at the beginning of the line
    • a - append after the cursor
    • A - append at the end of the line
    • o - open (append) blank line below current line (no need to press return)
    • O - open blank line above current line
    • cc - change (replace) an entire line
    • c [movement command] - change (replace) from the cursor to the move-to point.
    • ex. ce changes from the cursor to the end of the cursor word
  • Esc or Ctrl+[ - exit insert mode
  • r [char] - replace a single character with the specified char (does not use insert mode)
  • d - delete
    • d - [movement command] deletes from the cursor to the move-to point.
    • ex. de deletes from the cursor to the end of the current word
  • dd - delete the current line
  • Advanced
    • J - join line below to the current one

##Marking text (visual mode)

  • v - starts visual mode
    • From here you can move around as in normal mode (hjkl, etc.) and can then do a command (such as y , d , or c )
  • V - starts linewise visual mode
  • Ctrl+v - start visual block mode
  • Esc or Ctrl+[ - exit visual mode
  • Advanced
    • O - move to Other corner of block
    • o - move to other end of marked area

##Visual commands Type any of these while some text is selected to apply the action

  • y - yank (copy) marked text
  • d - delete marked text
  • c - delete the marked text and go into insert mode (like c does above)

##Cut and Paste

  • yy - yank (copy) a line
  • p - put (paste) the clipboard after cursor
  • P - put (paste) before cursor
  • dd - delete (cut) a line
  • x - delete (cut) current character
  • X - delete previous character (like backspace)

##Exiting

  • :w - write (save) the file, but don't exit
  • :wq - write (save) and quit
  • :q - quit (fails if anything has changed)
  • :q! - quit and throw away changes

##Search/Replace

  • /pattern - search for pattern
  • ?pattern - search backward for pattern
  • n - repeat search in same direction
  • N - repeat search in opposite direction
  • :%s/old/new/g - replace all old with new throughout file ( gn is better though)
  • :%s/old/new/gc - replace all old with new throughout file with confirmations

##Working with multiple files

  • :e filename - Edit a file
  • :tabe - Make a new tab
  • gt - Go to the next tab
  • gT - Go to the previous tab
  • Advanced
    • :vsp - vertically split windows
    • ctrl+ws - Split windows horizontally
    • ctrl+wv - Split windows vertically
    • ctrl+ww - switch between windows
    • ctrl+wq - Quit a window

##Marks Marks allow you to jump to designated points in your code.

  • m{a-z} - Set mark {a-z} at cursor position
  • A capital mark {A-Z} sets a global mark and will work between files
  • '{a-z} - move the cursor to the start of the line where the mark was set
  • '' - go back to the previous jump location

##General

  • u - undo
  • Ctrl+r - redo
  • . - repeat last command

#Making Vim actually useful Vim is quite unpleasant out of the box. For example, typeing :w for every file save is awkward and copying and pasting to the system clipboard does not work. But a few changes will get you much closer to the editor of your dreams.

##.vimrc

  • My .vimrc file has some pretty great ideas I haven't seen elsewhere.
  • This is a minimal vimrc that focuses on three priorities:
    • adding options that are strictly better (like more information showing in autocomplete)
    • more convenient keystrokes (like [space]w for write, instead of :w [enter] )
    • a similar workflow to normal text editors (like enabling the mouse)
Installation
  • Copy this to your home directory and restart Vim. Read through it to see what you can now do (like [space]w to save a file)
    • Mac users - making a hidden normal file is suprisingly tricky. Here's one way:
      • in the command line, go to the home directory
      • type nano .vimrc
      • paste in the contents of the .vimrc file
      • ctrl+x , y , [enter] to save
  • You should now be able to press [space]w in normal mode to save a file.
  • [space]p should paste from the system clipboard (outside of Vim).
    • If you can't paste, it's probably because Vim was not built with the system clipboard option. To check, run vim --version and see if +clipboard exists. If it says -clipboard , you will not be able to copy from outside of Vim.
    • For Mac users, homebrew install Vim with the clipboard option. Install homebrew and then run brew install vim .
      • then move the old Vim binary: $ mv /usr/bin/vim /usr/bin/vimold
      • restart your terminal and you should see vim --version now with +clipboard

##Plugins

  • The easiest way to make Vim more powerful is to use Vintageous in Sublime Text (version 3). This gives you Vim mode inside sublime. I suggest this (or a similar setup with the Atom editor) if you aren't a Vim master. Check out Advanced Vim if you are.
  • Vintageous is great, but I suggest you change a few settings to make it better.
    • Clone this repository to ~/.config/sublime-text-3/Packages/Vintageous , or similar. Then check out the "custom" branch.
      • Alternatively, you can get a more updated Vintageous version by cloning the official repository and then copying over this patch .
    • Change the user settings ( User/Preferences.sublime-settings ) to include:
      • "caret_style": "solid"
      • This will make the cursor not blink, like in Vim.
      • Sublime Text might freeze when you do this. It's a bug; just restart Sublime Text after changing the file.
    • ctrl+r in Vim means "redo". But there is a handy Ctrl + R shortcut in Sublime Text that gives an "outline" of a file. I remapped it to alt+r by putting this in the User keymap
      • { "keys": ["alt+r"], "command": "show_overlay", "args": {"overlay": "goto", "text": "@"} },
    • Add the ability to toggle Vintageous on and off
    • Mac users: you will not have the ability to hold down a navigation key (like holding j to go down). To fix this, run the commands specified here: https://gist.github.com/kconragan/2510186
  • Now you should be able to restart sublime and have a great vim environment! Sweet Dude.

##Switch Caps Lock and Escape

  • I highly recommend you switch the mapping of your caps lock and escape keys. You'll love it, promise! Switching the two keys is platform dependent; Google should get you the answer

##Other I don't personally use these yet, but I've heard other people do!

  • :wqa - Write and quit all open tabs (thanks Brian Zick)

[Oct 19, 2018] A quick reference list of vi editor commands

Oct 19, 2018 | kb.iu.edu

Vi editor command keys:

  ZZ      Exit, saving changes           t<x>   Up to <x> forward
  Q       Enter ex mode                  T<x>   Back up to <x>
  <ESC>   End of insert                  <x>|   Go to column <x>
  :<cmd>  Execute ex command             w,W    Forward one word
  :!<cmd> Shell command                  b,B    Back one word
  ^g      Show filename/size             e,E    End of word
  ^f      Forward one screen             ^h     Erase last character
  ^b      Back one screen                ^w     Erase last word
  ^d      Forward half screen            ^?     Interrupt
  ^u      Backward half screen           ~      Toggle character case
  <x>G    Go to line <x>                 a      Append after
  /<x>    Search forward for <x>         i,I    Insert before
  ?<x>    Search backward for <x>        A      Append at end of line
  n       Repeat last search             o      Open line below
  N       Reverse last search            O      Open line above
  ]]      Next section/function          r      Replace character
  [[      Previous section/function      R      Replace characters
  %       Find matching () { or }        d      Delete
  ^l      Redraw screen                  dd     Delete line
  ^r      Refresh screen                 c      Change              
  z<CR>   Current line at top            y      Yank lines to buffer
  z-      Current line at bottom         C      Change rest of line 
  ^e      Scroll down one line           D      Delete rest of line 
  ^y      Scroll up one line             s      Substitute character
  ``      Previous context               S      Substitute lines    
  H       Home window line               J      Join lines          
  L       Last window line               x      Delete after        
  M       Middle window line             X      Delete before       
  +       Next line                      Y      Yank current line   
  hjkl    Cursor movement:               p      Put back lines      
          left/down/up/right             P      Put before          
  0       Beginning of line              <<     Shift line left     
  $       End of line                    >>     Shift line right    
  f<x>    Find <x> forward               u      Undo last change    
  F<x>    Find <x> backward              U      Restore current line
Ex mode commands:
  q       Quit                        set <x>   Enable option
  q!      Quit, discard changes       set no<v> Disable option
  r <f>   Read in file <f>            set all   Show all options
  sh      Invoke shell
  vi      Vi mode
  wq      Write and quit
  w <f>   Write file <f>
  w! <f>  Overwrite file <f>
Options:
  autoindent      Automatic line indentation
  autowrite       Write before quit
  ignorecase      Ignore case in searches
  number          Display line numbers
  showmatch       Show matches to ) and } as typed
  terse           Quiet mode
  wrapscan        Wraparound in searches
  wrapmargin      Automatic line splitting

[Oct 19, 2018] Accessing Multiple Files in VIM

Oct 19, 2018 | stackoverflow.com

Léo Léopold Hertz, Apr 19, 2009 at 2:44

The book "Unix in a Nutshell" discusses about accessing multiple files on pages 572-573. There seem to be very useful commands such as ":e", ":e #", ":e new_file", ":n files", ":args", ":prev" and ":n!". The commands confuse me:

":n Edit next file in the list of files."

":args Display list of files to be edited."

":prev Edit previous file in the list of files."

I cannot see no real list when I do ":args". There is only a small text at the corner. I would like to see all files that I accessed with ":e", ie a list of files in the buffer.

Where can I see the list when I do the command ":n files"? What are the commands ":prev" and ":n" supposed to do? I got the error message:

There is only one file to edit.

Rook, Apr 19, 2009 at 3:25

Regarding the last part: If you have only one buffer open, then you cannot toggle through them ('cause there is only one open). – Rook Apr 19 '09 at 3:25

Rook, Apr 19, 2009 at 3:20

I've not read the book in mention, but I'll try to explain how vim handles files.

Vim has buffers. You open every file with:

:e name_of_the_file.txt (loads file in a buffer, i.e. "opens file")

You can also:

:e *.txt

Useful options while doing this are

:set laststatus=2 (to always show the statusline)

:set wildmenu (to ease opening files)

If you have standard vim with netrw plugin, you can:

:e . (for one of vim's file managers, so to say)

To manage buffers:

:ls will give you a list of currently opened buffers (files)

:bnext , and :bprevious (or :bn and :bp ) enable you to cycle through buffers

:bd closes the buffer/file (buffer done)

Other buffer types serve other purposes (yanking/pasting, temporary, vim's internal, ... etc.)

Léo Léopold Hertz 준영 ,Apr 19, 2009 at 3:57

Is the notation of buffer the same as in Emacs? Interestingly, the book defines buffer only for Emacs :( It states "When you open a file in Emacs, the file is put into a Buffer. -- The view of the buffer contents that you have at any point in time is called a window." Are the buffers and windows different to the things in Vim? – Léo Léopold Hertz 준영 Apr 19 '09 at 3:57

Rook ,Apr 19, 2009 at 11:08

Yes, you could say that. There are some differences in types of available buffers, but in principle, that's it. I'm not sure about emacs, he has windows/frames .., while vim has windows/tabs. Regarding vim: a window is only y method of showing what vim has in a buffer. A tab is a method of showing several windows on screen (tabs in vim have only recently been introduced). – Rook Apr 19 '09 at 11:08

Kyle Strand ,Sep 28, 2015 at 17:24

I don't think :e *.txt can be used to open multiple files. :next appears to work, though: stackoverflow.com/a/12304605/1858225Kyle Strand Sep 28 '15 at 17:24

Brian Carper ,Apr 19, 2009 at 4:05

In addition to what Jonathan Leffler said, if you don't invoke Vim with multiple files from the commandline, you can set Vim's argument list after Vim is open via:
:args *.c

Note that the argument list is different from the list of open buffers you get from :ls . Even if you close all open buffers in Vim, the argument list stays the same. :n and :prev may open a brand new buffer in Vim (if a buffer for that file isn't already open), or may take you to an existing buffer.

Similarly you can open multiple buffers in Vim without affecting the argument list (or even if the arg list is empty). :e opens a new buffer but doesn't necessarily affect the argument list. The list of open buffers and the argument list are independent. If you want to iterate through the list of open buffers rather than iterate through the argument list, use :bn and :bp and friends.

Jonathan Leffler ,Apr 19, 2009 at 2:54

For those commands to make sense, you do:
vim *.c

in a directory where there are twenty C files, for example. With a single file, there is no next or previous or significant list of files.

Léo Léopold Hertz 준영 ,Apr 19, 2009 at 3:48

Wow! Very nice example :) Great thanks! – Léo Léopold Hertz 준영 Apr 19 '09 at 3:48

DanM ,Apr 19, 2009 at 4:02

The :n :p :ar :rew :last operate on the command line argument list.

E.g.

> touch aaa.txt bbb.txt ccc.txt
> gvim *.txt

vim opens in aaa.txt

:ar gives a status line

[aaa.txt] bbb.txt ccc.txt

:n moves to bbb.txt

:ar gives the status line

aaa.txt [bbb.txt] ccc.txt

:rew rewinds us back to the start of the command line arg list to aaa.txt

:last sends us to ccc.txt

:e ddd.txt edits a new file ddd.txt

:ar gives the status line

aaa.txt bbb.txt [ccc.txt]

So the command set only operates on the initial command line argument list.

,

To clarify, Vim has the argument list, the buffer list, windows, and tab pages. The argument list is the list of files you invoked vim with (e.g. vim file1 file2); the :n and :p commands work with this. The buffer list is the list of in-memory copies of the files you are editing, just like emacs. Note that all the files loaded at start (in the argument list) are also in the buffer list. Try :help buffer-list for more information on both.

Windows are viewports for buffers. Think of windows as "desks" on which you can put buffers to work on them. Windows can be empty or be displaying buffers that can also be displayed in other windows, which you can use for example to look at two different areas of the same buffer at the same time. Try :help windows for more info.

Tabs are collections of windows. For example, you can have one tab with one window, and another tab with two windows vertically split. Try :help tabpage for more info

[Oct 19, 2018] Run a command in multiple buffers Vim Tips Wiki FANDOM powered by Wikia

Oct 19, 2018 | vim.wikia.com

Run a command in multiple buffers Edit

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Tip 133 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2001 · complexity basic · version 6.0


This tip shows how to apply a command multiple times using :argdo (all files in argument list), or :bufdo (all buffers), or :tabdo (all tabs), or :windo (all windows in the current tab). See search and replace in multiple buffers for the common requirement to perform a substitute multiple times.

Bufdo Edit

You may want to perform the same operation on each buffer. For example, you may have recorded a macro to register a and want to apply the macro to each buffer. You could do that by entering:

:bufdo execute "normal! @a" | w

The w will write each buffer to disk (whether the buffer was changed or not). To only write if changed, use:

:bufdo execute "normal! @a" | update

An alternative is to set the 'autowrite' option so changed buffers are automatically saved when switching to another buffer:

:set autowrite
:bufdo normal! @a

Yet another alternative is to set the 'hidden' option so buffers do not need to be saved, then use :wa to save all changes (only changed buffers are written):

:set hidden
:bufdo normal! @a
:wa

TO DO

Refactor following.

The command to do normal commands from the command-line is "normal" and I wanted to run the macro recorded in register a , so that explains the "normal @a".

I also wanted to do this over multiple buffers, which explains the "bufdo".

However, I also wanted to make the changes and then save the file so it moved happily onto the next buffer and everything was saved. This required the use of the | w. Initially I tried:

:bufdo normal @a | w

but that didn't work as the "| w" part was interpreted as a normal command, so that's where the exe command comes from.

Restoring position Edit

The commands bufdo, windo and tabdo are great for operating on all buffers or windows or tabs. However, the commands finish in a different place from where you started.

These versions (Bufdo, Windo and Tabdo) restore the current window or buffer or tab, when the command is finished.

For example, to turn on line numbers everywhere, I use :Windo set nu . Using :windo set nu does the same, but the cursor finishes in a different window.

" Like windo but restore the current window.
function! WinDo(command)
  let currwin=winnr()
  execute 'windo ' . a:command
  execute currwin . 'wincmd w'
endfunction
com! -nargs=+ -complete=command Windo call WinDo(<q-args>)
" Like bufdo but restore the current buffer.
function! BufDo(command)
  let currBuff=bufnr("%")
  execute 'bufdo ' . a:command
  execute 'buffer ' . currBuff
endfunction
com! -nargs=+ -complete=command Bufdo call BufDo(<q-args>)
" Like tabdo but restore the current tab.
function! TabDo(command)
  let currTab=tabpagenr()
  execute 'tabdo ' . a:command
  execute 'tabn ' . currTab
endfunction
com! -nargs=+ -complete=command Tabdo call TabDo(<q-args>)

If you care about the alternate window or buffer as well, you can save these along with the current window or buffer:

" Like windo but restore the current window.
function! WinDo(command)
  let currwin=winnr()
  let curaltwin=winnr('#')
  execute 'windo ' . a:command
  " restore previous/alt window
  execute curaltwin . 'wincmd w'
  " restore current window
  execute currwin . 'wincmd w'
endfunction
com! -nargs=+ -complete=command Windo call WinDo(<q-args>)
References Edit Comments Edit Todo Edit

Tips 1160 and 1161 have some interesting code (although I would never use it). Tip 1160 mentions 'autowrite', and can be used as a 'see also' here. Although perhaps my new examples are sufficient?

Tip 1161 has a WinDo command. Perhaps move anything useful from there to here (or perhaps move all the "Xdo and restore" from here to there?).

Need to explain argdo somewhere, and need a little more on windo and tabdo. Should start this tip with something that does not use 'normal' (which requires the tricky execute when using bar).

If you're like me and don't keep your buffer list very tidy, or just work on multiple things at once in a single Vim, bufdo is rarely useful. If you want to act on a bunch of files, too many to readily open a new tab with a window for each of them, then windo is not very useful either. argdo shines for quickly doing a command on a large batch of files when you're already using Vim with a bunch of buffers unrelated to the task. For example, I recently had to:
cd /doc/directory/of/unnamed/tool
args *.html
argdo 0put ='<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC \"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN\" \"http://www.w3.org/TR/html1/DTD/html-trad.dtd\">' | w
A tool which will remain unnamed because they ought to know better, distributed their tool with HTML documentation which is broken partially due to the lack of a doctype causing IE8 to parse it in "quirks mode" (even though they specifically targeted this browser version for the tool itself). So, I used the above command to very quickly correct the problem on every html file in their documentation directory in my install location.
Truth be told, in reality I did not use argdo, I instead recorded a macro to do ggP:wnext<CR> and just pressed @@ on each file (because I wanted to check for a doctype on each before adding one). But, were I confident I needed to do this on ALL the files, I would have used argdo as above.
-- Fritzophrenic 15:16, August 12, 2011 (UTC)

Here is something tricky I needed recently:

:bufdo call search('pattern')

I wanted to put the cursor on the next occurrence of pattern in each buffer, but I found that :bufdo normal! n or other search attempts did not work. I thought I had searched before, but I could not make it work without the trick above. Any insight? JohnBeckett 08:15, August 12, 2011 (UTC)

No idea, I would expect this to work. Maybe you've got some autocmd in your .vimrc to restore a search or something when loading a buffer? I note that search history is in the .viminfo file, but that should only be loaded on startup.
It seems to work for me, though for some reason the current buffer jumps the cursor to the line containing the match, but not to the match itself. Probably that's something in my config.
-- Fritzophrenic 15:16, August 12, 2011 (UTC)
Very strange, I just tried it again and there was no problem. Must have been a blunder or some temporary config glitch. Thanks. I'm getting converted to argdo, and I'm planning a rewrite featuring argdo, and mentioning the others. JohnBeckett 10:37, August 13, 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I almost never used the arglist until I discovered :args and :argl . Now I use it almost exclusively when doing batch edits. Although, I normally use :next and :wnext rather than :argdo . Fritzophrenic 15:33, August 15, 2011 (UTC)
Tip titles Edit

These tips should handle the basics for argdo/bufdo/tabdo/windo (redirects bufdo , tabdo , windo point to this tip, and I would also make argdo ):

Should we rename these, perhaps:

  • Run a command in multiple files
  • Search and replace in multiple files

The "files" is not strictly correct since it might be just a buffer with no file. However, for simplicity (and Google searching), using "files" for the title seems best? JohnBeckett 10:37, August 13, 2011 (UTC)

I'm all for simplicity. But what about making the actual tip say "buffers" and make a redirect with "files"? I'm not sure how well Google handles that but obviously the wikia search handles it well. That way we can satisfy both the pedantic and those searching for an answer. -- Fritzophrenic 15:33, August 15, 2011 (UTC)
OK. Tips will be "buffers", and redirects "files". Will do, and will remove these comments. JohnBeckett 03:52, August 16, 2011 (UTC)

[Oct 19, 2018] >Vim buffer FAQ

Oct 19, 2018 | vim.wikia.com

Vim buffer FAQ Edit

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Tip 135 Printable Monobook Previous Next

created 2001 · complexity basic · author Yegappan · version 6.0


Vim provides various commands and options to support editing multiple buffers. This document covers some of the questions asked about using multiple buffers with Vim. You can get more detailed information about Vim buffer support using the :help windows.txt command in Vim. You can also use the help keywords mentioned in this document to read more about a particular command or option. To read more about a particular command or option use the ":help <helpkeyword>" command (replace helpkeyword with the command or option name).

See easier buffer switching if all you want is information on switching between buffers.

What is a Vim buffer?

A buffer is a file loaded into memory for editing. All opened files are associated with a buffer. There are also buffers not associated with any file.

:help windows-intro

How do I identify a buffer?

Vim buffers are identified using a name and a number. The name of the buffer is the name of the file associated with that buffer. The buffer number is a unique sequential number assigned by Vim. This buffer number will not change in a single Vim session.

:help buffers

How do I create a buffer?

When you open a file using any of the Vim commands, a buffer is automatically created. For example, if you use :edit file to edit a file, a new buffer is automatically created. An empty buffer can be created by entering :new or :vnew .

How do I add a new buffer for a file to the buffer list without opening the file?

You can add a new buffer for a file without opening it, using the ":badd" command. For example,

:badd f1.txt
:badd f2.txt

The above commands will add two new buffers for the files f1.txt and f2.txt to the buffer list.

:help :badd

How do I get a list of all the existing buffers?

You can get a list of all the existing buffers using the ":buffers" or ":ls" or ":files" command. This list is called the 'buffer list'.

To display all the buffers including unlisted buffers, use the ":buffers!" or ":ls!" or ":files!" command.

How do I delete a buffer?

You can delete a buffer using the ":bdelete" command. You can use either the buffer name or the buffer number to specify a buffer. For example,

:bdelete f1.txt
:bdelete 4

The above commands will delete the buffer named "f1.txt" and the fourth buffer in the buffer list. The ":bdelete" command will remove the buffer from the buffer list.

When a buffer is deleted, the buffer becomes an unlisted-buffer and is no longer included in the buffer list. But the buffer name and other information associated with the buffer is still remembered. To completely delete the buffer, use the ":bwipeout" command. This command will remove the buffer completely (i.e. the buffer will not become a unlisted buffer).

How do I delete multiple buffers?

You can delete multiple buffers in several ways:

  • Pass a range argument to the ":bdelete" command. For example, the following command deletes the buffers 3, 4 and 5.
:3,5bdelete
  • Pass multiple buffer names to the ":bdelete" command. For example, the following command deletes buffers buf1.txt, buf2.c and buf3.h.
:bdelete buf1.txt buf2.c buf3.h

In this example, after typing ":bdelete buf", you can press <Ctrl-A> to expand all the buffer names starting with 'buf'.

How do I remove a buffer from a window?

You can remove a buffer displayed in a window in several ways:

  1. Close the window or edit another buffer/file in that window.
  2. Use the ":bunload" command. This command will remove the buffer from the window and unload the buffer contents from memory. The buffer will not be removed from the buffer list.

:help :bunload

How do I edit an existing buffer from the buffer list?

You can edit or jump to a buffer in the buffer list in several ways:

  1. Use the ":buffer" command passing the name of an existing buffer or the buffer number. Note that buffer name completion can be used here by pressing the <Tab> key.
  2. You can enter the buffer number you want to jump/edit and press the Ctrl-^ key.
  3. Use the ":sbuffer" command passing the name of the buffer or the buffer number. Vim will split open a new window and open the specified buffer in that window.
  4. You can enter the buffer number you want to jump/edit and press the Ctrl-W ^ or Ctrl-W Ctrl-^ keys. This will open the specified buffer in a new window.

How do I browse through all the available buffers?

You can browse through the buffers in the buffer list in several ways:

  1. To jump to the first buffer in the buffer list, use the ":bfirst" or ":brewind" command.
  2. To jump to the first buffer in the buffer list in a new window, use the ":sbfirst" or ":sbrewind" command.
  3. To edit the next buffer in the buffer list, use the ":bnext" command., or the abbreviated ":bn"
  4. To open the next buffer in the buffer list in a new window, use the ":sbnext" command.
  5. To edit the previous buffer in the buffer list, use the ":bprevious" or ":bNext" command. or the abbreviated ":bp"
  6. To open the previous buffer in the buffer list in a new window, use the ":sbprevious" or ":sbNext" command.
  7. To open the last buffer in the buffer list, use the ":blast" command.
  8. To open the last buffer in the buffer list in a new window, use the ":sblast" command.

How do I open all the buffers in the buffer list?

You can open all the buffers present in the buffer list using the ":ball" or ":sball" commands.

How do I open all the loaded buffers?

You can open all the loaded buffers in the buffer list using the ":unhide" or ":sunhide" commands. Each buffer will be loaded in a separate new window.

How do I open the next modified buffer?

You can open the next or a specific modified buffer using the ":bmodified" command. You can open the next or a specific modified buffer in a new window using the ":sbmodified" command.

Is there a simpler way for using the buffers under gvim (GUI Vim)?

Yes, use the 'Buffers' menu to list all the buffers. You can select a buffer name to edit the buffer. You can also delete a buffer or browse the buffer list. Click the dashed line at the top of the menu to tear it off so you can always see a list of the buffers.

:help buffers-menu

Is there a Vim script that simplifies using buffers with Vim?

Yes, try the Buffer Explorer , minibufexpl or bufmru plugins.

Is it possible to save and restore the buffer list across Vim sessions?

Yes. To save and restore the buffer list across Vim session, include the '%' flag in the 'viminfo' option. Note that if Vim is invoked with a filename argument, then the buffer list will not be restored from the last session. To use buffer lists across sessions, invoke Vim without passing filename arguments.

We can save different buffer list for different folders, by setting a local 'viminfo' file.

http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=441

The point is to overwrite the global setting by calling local setting after the 'viminfo' setting, for example.

set viminfo='1025,f1,%1024
call SetLocalOptions(".")

How do I remove all the entries from the buffer list?

You can remove all the entries in the buffer list by starting Vim with a file argument. You can also manually remove all the buffers using the ":bdelete" command.

What is a hidden buffer?

A hidden buffer is a buffer with some unsaved modifications and is not displayed in a window. Hidden buffers are useful, if you want to edit multiple buffers without saving the modifications made to a buffer while loading other buffers.

How do I load buffers in a window, which currently has a buffer with unsaved modifications?

By setting the option 'hidden', you can load a buffer in a window that currently has a modified buffer. Vim will remember your modifications to the buffer. When you quit Vim, you will be asked to save the modified buffers. It is important to note that, if you have the 'hidden' option set, and you quit Vim forcibly, for example using ":quit!", then you will lose all your modifications to the hidden buffers.

:help 'hidden'

Is it possible to unload or delete a buffer when it becomes hidden?

By setting the 'bufhidden' option to either 'hide' or 'unload' or 'delete', you can control what happens to a buffer when it becomes hidden. When 'bufhidden' is set to 'delete', the buffer is deleted when it becomes hidden. When 'bufhidden' is set to 'unload', the buffer is unloaded when it becomes hidden. When 'bufhidden' is set to 'hide', the buffer is hidden.

:help 'bufhidden'

How do I execute a command on all the buffers in the buffer list?

You can use the ":bufdo" command to execute a command on all the buffers in the buffer list.

:help :bufdo

When I open an existing buffer from the buffer list, if the buffer is already displayed in one of the existing windows, I want Vim to jump to that window instead of creating a new window for this buffer. How do I do this?

When opening a buffer using one of the split open buffer commands (:sbuffer, :sbnext), Vim will open the specified buffer in a new window. If the buffer is already opened in one of the existing windows, then you will have two windows containing the same buffer. You can change this behavior by setting the 'switchbuf' option to 'useopen'. With this setting, if a buffer is already opened in one of the windows, Vim will jump to that window, instead of creating a new window.

:help 'switchbuf'

What information is stored as part of a buffer?

Every buffer in the buffer list contains information about the last cursor position, marks, jump list, etc.

What is the difference between deleting a buffer and unloading a buffer?

When a buffer is unloaded, it is not removed from the buffer list. Only the file contents associated with the buffer are removed from memory. When a buffer is deleted, it is unloaded and removed from the buffer list. A deleted buffer becomes an 'unlisted' buffer.

Is it possible to configure Vim, by setting some option, to re-use the number of a deleted buffer for a new buffer?

No. Vim will not re-use the buffer number of a deleted buffer for a new buffer. Vim will always assign the next sequential number for a new buffer. The buffer number assignment is implemented this way, so that you can always jump to a buffer using the same buffer number. One method to achieve buffer number reordering is to restart Vim. If you restart Vim, it will re-assign numbers sequentially to all the buffers in the buffer list (assuming you have properly set 'viminfo' to save and restore the buffer list across Vim sessions).

:help buffers

How is a scratch (temporary) buffer created?

In any buffer (for example, after entering :new to create a new buffer), enter the following options to change the current buffer to a scratch buffer:

:setlocal buftype=nofile
:setlocal bufhidden=hide
:setlocal noswapfile

This creates a temporary buffer which is not associated with a file, which does not have an associated swap file, and which will be hidden when its window is closed. On exit, Vim discards any text in a scratch buffer without warning.

Also you can use scratch.vim for creating a scratch buffer.

How do I prevent a buffer from being added to the buffer list?

You can prevent a buffer from being added to the buffer list by resetting the 'buflisted' option.

:set nobuflisted

:help 'buflisted'

How do I determine whether a buffer is modified or not?

There are several ways to find out whether a buffer is modified or not. The simplest way is to look at the status line or the title bar. If the displayed string contains a '+' character, then the buffer is modified. Another way is to check whether the 'modified' option is set or not. If 'modified' is set, then the buffer is modified. To check the value of modified, use

:set modified?

You can also explicitly set the 'modified' option to mark the buffer as modified like this:

:set modified

:help 'modified'

How can I prevent modifications to a buffer?

You can prevent any modification to a buffer by re-setting the 'modifiable' option. To reset this option, use

:set nomodifiable

To again allow modifications to the buffer, use:

:set modifiable

:help 'modifiable'

How do I set options specific to the current buffer?

You can set Vim options which are specific to a buffer using the "setlocal" command. For example,

:setlocal textwidth=70

This will set the 'textwidth' option to 70 only for the current buffer. All other buffers will have the default or the previous 'textwidth' value.

How do I define mappings specific to the current buffer?

You can define mappings specific to the current buffer by using the keyword "<buffer>" in the map command. For example,

:map <buffer> ,w /[.,;]<CR>

:help map-local

How do I define abbreviations specific to the current buffer?

You can define abbreviations specific to the current buffer by using the keyword "<buffer>" in the :abbreviate command. For example,

:abb <buffer> FF for (i = 0; i < ; ++i)

:help abbreviate-local

Comments Edit

How does one execute a command in a new buffer? For example, execute :tj from the function you're on, in a new buffer window? This is very useful if you don't want to close the buffer you're on, but want to open a new buffer where the code is located.

You're confusing the terminology. What you're really asking for is not a new buffer, but a new window. You can get a new window in many ways. See :help opening-window for the basic commands. In addition, there are many commands (like :tj ) that also have a duplicate command that automatically splits the window first (like :stj ). -- Fritzophrenic 19:36, September 3, 2010 (UTC)

How can one take all open buffers and merge content into a single Buffer? I will try a small script to walk through the bufferlist yank'ing the data to a single buffer but if anyone has a neater way... then thanks in advance. -- Chumbawumba69 06:22, October 5, 2011 (UTC) (sorry if answered but could not find)

I don't think such an answer would belong in an FAQ, but you can probably accomplish this using the Bufdo command, combined with :yank . -- Fritzophrenic 17:39, October 5, 2011 (UTC)
Try uppercase register to keep appending conent like "Ayy and then put "ap. Try also articles on the wiki about the global command Power_of_g

Regarding the section on "creating" a scratch buffer, do those commands actually create a buffer, or do they simply transform an existing buffer into a scratch buffer? (I believe it's the latter.) -- Joe Sewell ( talk ) 19:59, April 8, 2014 (UTC)

Yes, you're right. I edited the section to clarify. JohnBeckett ( talk ) 11:50, April 9, 2014 (UTC)

[Oct 19, 2018] Vim Editing Multiple Files and Windowing Support Under Linux / UNIX

Dec 06, 2014 | www.cyberciti.biz

How do I open and edit multiple files on a VIM text editor running under Ubuntu Linux / UNIX-like operating systems to improve my productivity?

Vim offers multiple file editing with the help of windows. You can easily open multiple files and edit them using the concept of buffers.

Understanding vim buffer

A buffer is nothing but a file loaded into memory for editing. The original file remains unchanged until you write the buffer to the file using w or other file saving related commands.

Understanding vim window

A window is noting but a viewport onto a buffer. You can use multiple windows on one buffer, or several windows on different buffers. By default, Vim starts with one window, for example open /etc/passwd file, enter:
$ vim /etc/passwd

Open two windows using vim at shell promot

Start vim as follows to open two windows stacked, i.e. split horizontally :
$ vim -o /etc/passwd /etc/hosts
OR
$ vim -o file1.txt resume.txt
Sample outputs:

(Fig.01: split horizontal windows under VIM)

The -O option allows you to open two windows side by side, i.e. split vertically , enter:
$ vim -O /etc/passwd /etc/hosts How do I switch or jump between open windows?

This operation is also known as moving cursor to other windows. You need to use the following keys:

  1. Press CTRL + W + <Left arrow key> to activate left windows
  2. Press CTRL + W + <Right arrow key> to activate right windows
  3. Press CTRL + W + <Up arrow key> to activate to windows above current one
  4. Press CTRL + W + <Down arrow key> to activate to windows down current one
  5. Press CTRL-W + CTRL-W (hit CTRL+W twice) to move quickly between all open windows
How do I edit current buffer?

Use all your regular vim command such as i, w and so on for editing and saving text.

How do I close windows?

Press CTRL+W CTRL-Q to close the current windows. You can also press [ESC]+:q to quit current window.

How do I open new empty window?

Press CTRL+W + n to create a new window and start editing an empty file in it.

<="" in="" window="" current="" split="" i="" do="">

Press CTRL+W+ s to split current window in two.

How do I open exiting file in a new windows?

Press [ESC]+:new /path/to/file. This will create a new window and start editing file /path/to/file in it. For example, open file called /etc/hosts.deny, enter:
:new /etc/hosts.deny
Sample outputs:

(Fig.02: Create a new window and start editing file /etc/hosts.deny in it.)


(Fig.03: Two files opened in a two windows)
How do I resize Window?

You can increase or decrease windows size by N number. For example, increase windows size by 5, press [ESC] + 5 + CTRL + W+ + . To decrease windows size by 5, press [ESC]+ 5 + CTRL+ W + - .

Moving windows cheat sheet
Key combination Action
CTRL-W h move to the window on the left
CTRL-W j move to the window below
CTRL-W k move to the window above
CTRL-W l move to the window on the right
CTRL-W t move to the TOP window
CTRL-W b move to the BOTTOM window
How do I quit all windows?

Type the following command (also known as quit all command):
:qall
If any of the windows contain changes, Vim will not exit. The cursor will automatically be positioned in a window with changes. You can then either use ":write" to save the changes:
:write
or ":quit!" to throw them away:
:quit!

How do save and quit all windows?

To save all changes in all windows and quite , use this command:
:wqall
This writes all modified files and quits Vim. Finally, there is a command that quits Vim and throws away all changes:
:qall!

Further readings:
  • Refer "Splitting windows" help by typing :help under vim itself.

[Oct 19, 2018] Vim Commands Cheat Sheet

Oct 19, 2018 | www.fprintf.net
How to Exit
:q[uit] Quit Vim. This fails when changes have been made.
:q[uit]! Quit without writing.
:cq[uit] Quit always, without writing.
:wq Write the current file and exit.
:wq! Write the current file and exit always.
:wq {file} Write to {file}. Exit if not editing the last
:wq! {file} Write to {file} and exit always.
:[range]wq[!] [file] Same as above, but only write the lines in [range].
ZZ Write current file, if modified, and exit.
ZQ Quit current file and exit (same as ":q!").

Editing a File
:e[dit] Edit the current file. This is useful to re-edit the current file, when it has been changed outside of Vim.
:e[dit]! Edit the current file always. Discard any changes to the current buffer. This is useful if you want to start all over again.
:e[dit] {file} Edit {file}.
:e[dit]! {file} Edit {file} always. Discard any changes to the current buffer.
gf Edit the file whose name is under or after the cursor. Mnemonic: "goto file".

Inserting Text
a Append text after the cursor [count] times.
A Append text at the end of the line [count] times.
i Insert text before the cursor [count] times.
I Insert text before the first non-blank in the line [count] times.
gI Insert text in column 1 [count] times.
o Begin a new line below the cursor and insert text, repeat [count] times.
O Begin a new line above the cursor and insert text, repeat [count] times.

Inserting a file
:r[ead] [name] Insert the file [name] below the cursor.
:r[ead] !{cmd} Execute {cmd} and insert its standard output below the cursor.

Deleting Text
<Del> or
x
Delete [count] characters under and after the cursor
X Delete [count] characters before the cursor
d{motion} Delete text that {motion} moves over
dd Delete [count] lines
D Delete the characters under the cursor until the end of the line
{Visual}x or
{Visual}d
Delete the highlighted text (for {Visual} see Selecting Text ).
{Visual}CTRL-H or
{Visual}
When in Select mode: Delete the highlighted text
{Visual}X or
{Visual}D
Delete the highlighted lines
:[range]d[elete] Delete [range] lines (default: current line)
:[range]d[elete] {count} Delete {count} lines, starting with [range]

Changing (or Replacing) Text
r{char} replace the character under the cursor with {char}.
R Enter Insert mode, replacing characters rather than inserting
~ Switch case of the character under the cursor and move the cursor to the right. If a [count] is given, do that many characters.
~{motion} switch case of {motion} text.
{Visual}~ Switch case of highlighted text

[Jan 14, 2018] Working with Vim Editor Advanced concepts

Jan 14, 2018 | linuxtechlab.com

Opening multiple files with VI/VIM editor

To open multiple files, command would be same as is for a single file; we just add the file name for second file as well.

$ vi file1 file2 file 3

Now to browse to next file, we can use

$ :n

or we can also use

$ :e filename

Run external commands inside the editor

We can run external Linux/Unix commands from inside the vi editor, i.e. without exiting the editor. To issue a command from editor, go back to Command Mode if in Insert mode & we use the BANG i.e. '!' followed by the command that needs to be used. Syntax for running a command is,

$ :! command

An example for this would be

$ :! df -H

Searching for a pattern

To search for a word or pattern in the text file, we use following two commands in command mode,

  • command '/' searches the pattern in forward direction
  • command '?' searched the pattern in backward direction

Both of these commands are used for same purpose, only difference being the direction they search in. An example would be,

$ :/ search pattern (If at beginning of the file)

$ :/ search pattern (If at the end of the file)

Searching & replacing a pattern

We might be required to search & replace a word or a pattern from our text files. So rather than finding the occurrence of word from whole text file & replace it, we can issue a command from the command mode to replace the word automatically. Syntax for using search & replacement is,

$ :s/pattern_to_be_found/New_pattern/g

Suppose we want to find word "alpha" & replace it with word "beta", the command would be

$ :s/alpha/beta/g

If we want to only replace the first occurrence of word "alpha", then the command would be

$ :s/alpha/beta/

Using Set commands

We can also customize the behaviour, the and feel of the vi/vim editor by using the set command. Here is a list of some options that can be use set command to modify the behaviour of vi/vim editor,

  • $ :set ic ignores cases while searching
  • $ :set smartcase enforce case sensitive search
  • $ :set nu display line number at the begining of the line
  • $ :set hlsearch highlights the matching words
  • $ : set ro change the file type to read only
  • $ : set term prints the terminal type
  • $ : set ai sets auto-indent
  • $ :set noai unsets the auto-indent

Some other commands to modify vi editors are,

$ :colorscheme its used to change the color scheme for the editor. (for VIM editor only)

$ :syntax on will turn on the color syntax for .xml, .html files etc. (for VIM editor only)

This complete our tutorial, do mention your queries/questions or suggestions in the comment box below.

[Jun 19, 2014] Tricks UrFix's Blog Page 3

"...I often forget to sudo before editing a file I don't have write permissions on. When you come to save that file and get the infamous "E212: Can't open file for writing", just issue that vim command in order to save the file without the need to save it to a temp file and then copy it back again."
1) Save a file you edited in vim without the needed permissions
:w !sudo tee %

I often forget to sudo before editing a file I don't have write permissions on. When you come to save that file and get the infamous "E212: Can't open file for writing", just issue that vim command in order to save the file without the need to save it to a temp file and then copy it back again.

[Dec 05, 2013] If your colors are screwed and elements of text are not visible well

If you colors are screwed you can see text without system highlighting by turning it off
: syntax off
Another way to deal with this situation is to change the colorscheme. See Color schemes in VIM

[Dec 16, 2009] Finally! A decent text editor for Linux with Windows key bindings. 46palermo

Vim Tip, on November 8th, 2009 at 19:32

just thought you might like to know, that vim does actually support windows keybindings. There should be an mswin.vim file on your system, which you can load to get ctrl-x, ctrl-v etc. You may just owe me a White Russian

Useful options for .exrc file:

set ai
set wrapmargin=1
map @* I/*^[A*/^[
map @f !}fmt^M
map @d :r !date +"\%a \%b \%d \%y"^M
map @t :%s/^I/    /g^M

Some set command options are really useful. for example set number . It makes sense to put it in your in your .exrc :

set showmode number ai
set shiftwidth=3
set tabstop=4
set showmatch

#The shiftwidth options allows one to easily indent blocks of code. At any line enter >> ; the line should be shifted 3 spaces; enter 3<< and the 3 lines at the cursor should be shifted 4 spaces. This is useful for increasing the indentation of a block of code.

#Most programmers like tab stops of 4, but the rest of the world use tab stops of 8. If we wish to communicate with the rest of the world, (i.e. send code over email and have it look reasonable) it would be a good idea to remove the tabs, replacing all tabs with spaces. The command that does this from the shell is: pr -t -e4 file.c > file.txt

A solution for the non-writable files problem

Have you ever started editing a file, made a bunch of changes, and then typed :w to write your changes, only to find that the file is read-only? You can deal with that in a couple of ways, but one of the easiest things to do is to invoke a shell from within Vim and change the file's permissions before you save it again.

A vi macro to display line numbers using F1 and F2

While the vi editor has been known to be a little rough around the edges, it still has some pretty nice features. One of those features is the ability to define cool macros. Here we'll show you how to create two macros--one to display line numbers of the file you're editing, and one to hide the line numbers.

First, create a file named .exrc in your home directory (or edit the current file if it already exists). This is the configuration file that vi reads when it is started. Put the following two lines into this file:

:map #1 :set number^M
:map #2 :set nonumber^M

(A very important note: create the ^M characters in this file by typing the key sequence [CTRL-V][CTRL-M]. This key sequence embeds an actual ^M
character (the carriage return) into the file.)

Now, save this file and re-start vi. From vi's command-mode, you'll now be able to display line numbers beside your file contents by hitting the [F1] function key, and clear line numbers by hitting the [F2] key. If you like these macros, create your own powerful macros by following this same technique!

[Dec 31, 2005] Seven useful tips from Editor of Softpanorama (New Year present for readers of this page):

  1. Find a word under cursor: "*" - forward, "#" - backward
  2. Matching bracket - "%".
  3. autocompletion of words: Ctrl-N
  4. change of case in the line: "guu", "gUU"
  5. goto the line with the last change: "'." ("`.")
  6. cursor walk back: Ctrl-O, Ctrl-I.
  7. Visual selection of the block: v - start of the block (V like, Ctrl-V - vertical block), after that any operation like d or y

Tip 1:

frequently you need to do S&R in a text which contains UNIX file paths - text strings with slashes ("/") inside. Because S&R command uses slashes for pattern/replacement separation you have to escape every slash in your pattern, i.e. use "\/" for every "/" in your pattern:

s/\/dir1\/dir2\/dir3\/file/dir4\/dir5\/file2/g

To avoid this so-called "backslashitis" you can use different separators in S&R (I prefer ":")

s:/dir1/dir2/dir3/file:/dir4/dir5/file2:g

Tip 2: You may find these mappings useful (put them in your .vimrc file)

noremap ;; :%s:::g<Left><Left><Left>
noremap ;' :%s:::cg<Left><Left><Left><Left>

These mappings save you some keystrokes and put you where you start typing your search pattern. After typing it you move to the replacement part , type it and hit return. The second version adds confirmation flag.

Creating outline

For this example you need to know a bit of HTML. We want to make a table of contents out of h1 and h2 headings, which I will call majors and minors. HTML heading h1 is a text enclosed by <h1> tags as in <h1>Heading</h1>.

(1) First let's make named anchors in all headings, i.e. put <h1><a name="anchor">Heading</a></h1> around all headings. The "anchor" is a unique identifier of this particular place in HTML document. The following S&R does exactly this:

:s:\(<h[12]>\)\(.*\s\+\([-a-zA-Z]\+\)\)\s*\(</h[12]>\):\1<a name="\3">\2</a>\4:

Explanation: the first pair of \(\) saves the opening tag (h1 or h2) to the \1, the second pair saves all heading text before the closing tag, the third pair saves the last word in the heading which we will later use for "anchor" and the last pair saves the closing tag. The replacement is quite obvious - we just reconstruct a new "named" heading using \1-\4 and link tag <a>.

(2) Now let's copy all headings to one place:

:%g/<h[12]>/ t$

Knowledge Base - ECN @ Purdue

1 Creating Line Numbers

The developers of the VI editor designed VI to be used without line numbers, feeling that the average user would locate and manipulate text by content rather than by line numbers. Additionally, because line numbers are constantly changing due to insertions and deletions, adjusting what you "think" is in a particular line can be dangerous.

The VI editor allows you to view line numbers in your file four ways: determining your current line number, a quick glance at line numbers for the complete file, insertion of line numbers for the current editing session only, and inclusion of line numbers for every session.

To determine the line number for the line the cursor is on, type "control g" as discussed in the Positioning Text on the Screen section.

To have a quick one time glance at line numbers, while you are in the file, type:

     :%nu

This will cause line numbers to be assigned to all lines; unfortunately, this also causes the complete file to scroll past quickly stopping on the last screenful of text. Now if you are working with a short 20-line file, this is great; however, if your file contains 200 lines, you will see the first 180 lines whiz past. To stop the scrolling action, you must press the "control s" to "stop" screen movement and later "control q" to "quit" the frozen screen. Some people get very good at timing the "control s" in order to get the exact point of the file to stop on the screen, most do not.

Many users find it more convenient to have numbers added to a file for the current editing session; knowing that the next time the editor is invoked, the numbers will not appear. To have line numbers inserted for the current session, type:

     :set number

Immediately you will see the line numbers appear in your file and they will remain until you exit the editor or type:

     :set nonu

The long-term line numbering option available with VI is to place a line numbering command in the .exrc file located in your HOME directory. The .exrc file is your personal control file to instruct all faces of the editor (VI, EX, and EDIT) on how you want it to perform when invoked. Not everyone creates a .exrc file. For those without this file, the automatic defaults of the editor are imposed, such as no line numbers. If you place the command "set number" in your .exrc file, the next time you invoke VI the editor will check this file for instructions and will present the file to you with line numbers. Later, if you decide you prefer to forgo line numbers, open your .exrc file and delete the "set number" line.

Type the following to get automatic line numbering each and every time you use the VI editor on all files in your .exrc:

     %  cd
     %  echo  'set number'  >>  .exrc
     %

Alternately, you can set the EXINIT to set nu.

You can set this in your .login or your shell start-up files.

  1. Open your editor to edit your .login or your shell start-up file. Add the following lines:

    For C-Shell:

    	setenv EXINIT "set nu"
    For Bourne or Korn Shell:
    	EXINIT="set nu"; export EXINIT 
    For Korn Shell Only (alternate method):
    	typeset -x EXINIT="set nu"
  2. Either log-out and log back in or "source" your shell start-up file.

2 Lines and Sentences in VI

To be successful in your editing, it is necessary to understand what the editor considers a line and a sentence. Just for clarity, a line and a sentence are different animals to the editor. To the editor, a line begins on the left of a screen and terminates at a carriage return . The carriage return is the invisible character placed in your file every time you press the "RETURN" key. A sentence to the editor is a string of characters of unspecified length (a few characters to many lines) terminating with the punctuation marks " . ", " ? ", " ! " followed by either a carriage return or two blank spaces.

Technical typists, secretaries, and students who produce lots of reports and papers find that editing is much easier to complete if as you are keying in text you make lines very short. The breaking up of sentences into many lines is helpful. Placing a carriage return after phrases and punctuation will make editing words and lines less of a problem.

Some people like wraparound typing (straight typing without inserting carriage returns), this is not recommended. The next example demonstrates the use of the delete operator with the end-of-line scope "d$" on text where the "RETURN" key follows phrases and punctuation versus using the same operator-scope command on wraparound typing. The results are drastically different.

When you print out your file using a text processor, the computer will connect lines and phrases plus insert spacing between sentences to make your material look presentable. For example:

3. Joining Lines

As you are editing files, you will find it is desirable to combine or join lines. This is easily done using the "J" (join) command. An illustration of joining lines is given below. The cursor is located on the top line when the "J" command is issued. VI will move the lower line and butt it to the end of the upper line. The editor takes care of necessary spacing for you.

4 Redrawing the Screen

The VI editor requires cpu (central processing unit) time to function. Each command and action takes a minute amount of time. This interaction is not a problem if only one or two people are accessing the system. However, the Engineering Computer Network has thousands of users and at any given moment many hundreds of users may be editing, running programs, and other system jobs, all competing for cpu time.

The VI designers foresaw that the editor could be a "time hog" and decided that one way to reduce some of the editing interaction with the cpu was to minimize redrawing the screen. This is why when you are in the text input mode you do not see the screen being updated until the action is completed and you return to command mode.

With time conservation as the impetus, the screen is also not redrawn each time a line is deleted. Rather, a removed line is replaced with the "@" symbol to symbolize an empty line, much as the tilde (~) is used. Further editing of the text that remains on the screen is still possible. These "@" symbols remain viewable as long as editing continues on this screen even though they are never inserted into the text.

Sometimes these "@" symbols are distracting and annoying. If a user would prefer not to see the "@" symbols, the screen may be redrawn and the "@" symbols eliminated by issuing the command "control r" or "control l". Experiment to see which command works on the terminal you are using.

5 Accessing the EX Editor

The VI editor has a powerful and useful companion editor, EX. In reality VI and EX are different faces of the same editor; both were developed from and use the same program base. VI is a screen oriented editor, while EX is a line oriented editor. Since both of these editors are built upon the same base, when one editor face is installed on a computer by default the other editor face is also there. This offers great advantages to the user because each face possesses individual strengths. Easy to use commands allow you to transfer from one face to another in order to increase your editing power by permitting you to use the desirable features of both editors and thereby better meet your editing requirements. The "global substitute" and "text marking" are two favorite EX commands.

All VI users, frequently without knowing it, make use of the dual face capability of this editor. For example, ":w", ":wq", or the ":quit!" are in reality EX commands. Also, the "read" command discussed in the Text Insertion section is an EX command! During an editing session, anytime you wish to invoke a single EX command, you must first make sure you are in command mode then type ":" followed by the command. The cursor will hop to the bottom of the screen and the command is echoed. When you press "RETURN", the EX command is executed and you are brought back to the command mode of VI.

Sometimes it is useful to issue a series of EX commands. This is done by typing "Q" while in command mode and you will enter and remain in the EX face until you type "vi" at the EX prompt (:), such as ":vi". Immediately you are returned to VI and can continue the editing session using VI commands.

It is suggested that users do not try to learn both VI and EX at the same time. Learn VI well, then proceed to learn EX. Attempting to learn both faces of the editor at the same time leads to frustration and confusion, as invariably the user mixes up which command to use when.

6 Repeating a Command

To make life a bit easier, VI allows text alteration commands to be repeated by using the "." (repeat) command. A handy way to illustrate the repeat command is with the "cw" command replacing a single word with two new words throughout a paragraph.

In this example, the first occurrence of "PU" is located with the search command PU". Then with the cursor on the "P" of "PU", the "cw" command is issued followed with "Purdue University" and the "ESC". The "n" key is pressed to find the next occurrence of "PU". The cursor relocates on the "P" of the next "PU" and all that is required to change it to "Purdue University" is to type "."

7 Temporarily Interrupting VI

The ability to access the UNIX shell while keeping the current file open with VI is a true convenience. To do this, you should first "write" the current buffer contents to the disk file with ":w". The current editing session may be interrupted by then typing ":!" followed by the desired command. When the requested command action is completed, the message:

     [Hit return to continue]
will appear at the bottom of the screen. After pressing "RETURN", you will be returned to the VI editor to the same location you were at when you temporarily interrupted the editing session.

A common way to use this interrupt ability during a current editing session is to read a recently received mail message, ":! mail". As you work more with UNIX, you will begin to see many ways to make this command work for you.

8 Editing Multiple Files Using VI

The VI editor provides an advanced feature which allows a user to invoke the editor and then edit multiple files by use of the ":e" (edit) command. This ability to access multiple files without leaving the editor permits a user to look up information in another file without exiting the editor. Additionally, because files are opened within the same editor invocation they can share the same named buffers, thereby making the transfer of text possible between the files. The example on page 40 demonstrates how two lines can be "yanked" from the file oranges, placed into a named buffer "k", and then "put" into the file apples.

When VI is invoked, a work area called a buffer is created for editing purposes. It is into this work space that a copy of a specified disk file is placed. The editor permits only one file copy in this buffer space at a time. Thus after making changes to a file (delete, add, or change), you must inform the editor what you wish done to the current buffer contents before you will be permitted to bring another file into this space. You do this by use of the ":w" (write current buffer contents to opened file), ":e!\ newfile" (toss current buffer contents, no update to opened file, and place a copy of newly called file in buffer), or ":quit!" (exit editor and toss buffer and buffer contents). The editor is smart enough to know that if all you have done is copy or read from a file, it can dispose of the unneeded buffer copy without further instructions from you when a new file is called.

When you have two files open, VI permits toggling between files by use of ":e\ #". This works because whenever VI sees the character "#" used in a command where a filename is expected, it substitutes the "#" with the name of the previous file. For example if you had been in apples then opened oranges, the command ":e #" would return you to where you were in the apples file. Repeat ":e #" and you would be back in oranges.

Another method to "cut" and "paste" between files is to use the mark command (m) in conjunction with named buffers ("). Move the cursor to the first line you wish to copy from oranges and type "ma" (m to mark the line and a to specify which mark). Next move the cursor to the last line you wish to copy and type ""zy'a". This command tells VI to open up "z (buffer named z) and y (yank) a copy of all the lines from the line marked 'a to the current line and place them in the aforementioned buffer. Return to apples with ":e #" and proceed to paste the contents of "z by moving to the desired location and p (put) the buffer contents by typing ""zp".

  1. Open the original file with "vi apples".
  2. Correct typo.
  3. Write the contents of the buffer to the file apples using the ":w" command.
  4. Issue the command ":e oranges" to open the second file.
  5. Yank a copy of two lines from the file oranges and put them into the named buffer "k" using the ""k2yy" command.
  6. Recall the original file, apples, to the buffer using the ":e apples" or ":e #" command.
  7. Contents of buffer discarded when apples is recalled to the buffer. The disk copy of oranges remains unaltered.
  8. Position the cursor and put the lines from the buffer "k" into apples using the ""kp" command.
  9. Write and quit the editor with the ":wq" command.
  10. Buffer is discarded upon leaving the editor.

9 Printing from VI

Print the current file (printer name is required if no default printer is set):
:!lp [-d printername] %
Print others files
:!lp [-d printername] filename

Tip #298 - Changing case with regular expressions vim online

I stumbled across this factoid on a website about vi. I haven't been able to locate it in the Vim documentation, but it works in Vim, and it's very handy.

There are times that you might like to go through a file and change the case of characters that match some arbitrary criteria. If you understand regular expressions well, you can actually do this fairly easily.

It's as simple as placing \U or \L in front of any backreferences in your regular expressions. Vim will make the text in the backreference uppercase or lowercase (respectively).

(A "backreference" is a part of a regular expression that refers to a previous part of a regular expression. The most common backrefernces are &, \1, \2, \3, ... , \9).

Some examples that demonstrate the power of this technique:

Lowercase the entire file -
:%s/.*/\L&/g

(& is a handy backreference that refers to the complete text of the match.)

Uppercase all words that are preceded by a < (i.e. opening HTML tag names):
:%s/<\(\w*\)/<\U\1/g

Please add a note if you know where this is in the documentation. I have done Ctrl-D searches on upper, lower, \U, and \L with no luck.

Vim Regular Expressions 101

(1) sent by Antonio Colombo:

"a simple regexp I use quite often to clean up a text: it drops the blanks at the end of the line:"

s:\s*$::

or (to avoid acting on all lines):

s:\s\+$::

[Chapter 30] vi Tips and Tricks

From the old edition of Unix Power Tools
30.37 Neatening Lines

Have you made edits that left some of your lines too short or long? The fmt utility can clean that up. Here's an example. Let's say you're editing a file (email message, whatever) in vi and the lines aren't even. They look like this:

This file is a mess
with some short lines
and some lines that are too long - like this one, which goes on and on for quite a while and etc.
Let's see what 'fmt' does with it.

You put your cursor on the first line and type (in command mode):

5!! 
5!!fmt

which means " filter 5 lines through fmt." Then the lines will look like this:

This file is a mess with some short lines and some lines that are too
long - like this one, which goes on and on for quite a while and etc.
Let's see what 'fmt' does with it.

This is handiest for formatting paragraphs. Put your cursor on the first line of the paragraph and type (in command mode):

!}fmt

If you don't have any text in your file that needs to be kept as is, you can neaten the whole file at once by typing:

% 
:%!fmt

There are a few different versions of fmt, some fancier than others. Most of the articles in the chapter about editing-related tools can be handy too. For example,

  • recomment (35.4) reformats program comment blocks.

  • cut (35.14) can remove columns, fields, or shorten lines;

  • tr (35.11) can do other transformations.

To neaten columns, try filtering through with the setup in article 35.22. In general, if the utility will read its standard input and write converted text to its standard output, you can use the utility as a vi filter.

- JP

more vi tips - wagoneers.com - Copyright © 1995 - 2001 John Meister

buffers
35 buffers based on 26 letters and 9 numbers.

"a5yy - copy 5 lines in buffer a
"ap - paste buffer a

"4p - paste 4th delete

"r5dd - delete five lines, place in bufffer r
"R2dd - delete 2 lines and APPEND them to buffer r

To copy text from a named buffer preface the p or P (put) command,
aka, "paste", with a double quote and the lowercase letter naming the buffer.
markers
ma - mark block of text for buffer a
d'a - delete from cursor to ma
y'a - copy from cursor to ma

If you type 'a you will move to the location of marker a

To sort a section:  mk
	            !'ksort

to sort a list and then place into three columns:
	!'ksort | pr -3tw50

aaaaaa
ccccc
cccc
ddddd
ffff
zzzz

pr option -3 specifies columns,
	the -t suppresses the header
	and the -w50 causes the output to fit within a page of 50 characters.
more ex
:args - lists file(s) working on
:rew - rewind, when editing multiple files

:w !spell to check spelling in work area

more magic
:set magic - enables * and . for pattern searches
:set nomagic - disables, to use meta characters, escape them (\).

:set wrapscan (ws) - allows wrapping of searches

VIM - Questions and Answers -- the most authoritative collection of tips

viTricks -- What every lazy C programmer should know about VI

  1. Running any shell command with within vi . The command
    :! command 

    will run the command without leaving vi. In particular

    :! a.sh

    will run a.sh

    :! cc z.c 

    will compile the program z.c After : the % is a short hand for the current file, so you can compile the current file with the command

    :! cc % 
          
    :!! 

    repeats last shell command you entered. This cuts down on typing when you do repeated compiles. you can compile the current file, place error messages on a file list

    :! cc % 2> err_lst 

    You can move back and forth between two files easily. If you are in file a , and want to edit file b enter :e b . Now you want to go back to file a enter :e # . This is useful if you place the compilation errors on the file err_lst (see above) and want to go back and forth between your file and the error file.

Vi has options which may be useful in programming

  1. the show match option allows one to check check opposite parenthesis or braces. Enter
            :set showmatch 
            

    and type the following

            while ( blah blah blah ) {
                do this loop }

    When you type the closing parenthesis or closing brace you should see the cursor jump to the opening parenthesis or brace. Next place the cursor at one of the parens or braces, and press the % key. The cursor should jump to the matching paren or brace. (also works for square brackets).

  2. the shiftwidth options allows one to easily 
          indent blocks of code. enter
          
            :set shiftwidth=4

    Now at any line enter >> ; the line should be shifted 4 spaces; enter 3<< and the 3 lines at the cursor should be shifted 4 spaces. This is useful for increasing the indentation of a block of code.

  3. the tabstop option allows one to tab over when in insert mode. Enter the command
        :set tabstop=4

    and pressing the tab key in insert mode will move the code over 4 spaces

  4. Most programmers like tab stops of 4, but the rest of the world use tab stops of 8. If we wish to communicate with the rest of the world, (i.e. send code over email and have it look reasonable) it would be a good idea to remove the tabs, replacing all tabs with spaces. The command that does this from the shell is:
            pr -t -e4 file.c > file.txt
  5. It is too much trouble to set all the options everytime we login. In your home directory name .exrc and put in it
        :set showmatch
        :set shiftwidth=4
        :set tabstop=4   

    Everytime vi starts up, it looks for this file and executes all commands in it

  6. How to cut and paste from a terminal. Suppose you had some text like
       while  (a > 0 ) {
            do thing
            
        }
        .....
        more stuff
        .....

    and you wanted to copy the while loop after the more stuff. There are several ways to do the; the more general way may

    1. mark the while loop. Place the cursor at line including 
            the enter :ma (create marker a at current position ) 
    2. move cursor to end of while loop and enter :mb 
            create a marker at the end of while loop 
    3. enter 'a (that's apostrophe a) to move to marker
            a 
    4. enter "aY'b This will copy the text between the 
            between the current postion and 'b into a buffer called a
            
    5. move the cursor to were you want to place the while 
            loop, i.e. after more stuff. 
    6. enter "aP this will put what's in buffer a
            into current position.

  7. You can move text from file a to file b . 
        Suppose you want to place the while loop into another file. Copy the while 
        loop into the buffer a as above, move to the to file b , and 
        paste the while loop into the file.    

  8. This command will replace the 3rd character from the end 
        of each and every line with '::' (nothing else will be changed). Try doing 
        this in Word!
        

    1,$s/.\(..\)$/::\1

TALUG Vi Tips & Tricks

I have the Quickref sheet and the Tips & Tricks sheet available on-line here:

File Postscript PDF
VI Quick Reference quickref.ps (38K) quickref.pdf (24K)
VI Tips & Tricks tips-tricks.ps (21K) tips-tricks. PDF (9K)


EX Command Mode
EX commands begin with a : and are are often used with a command address range to indicate which lines the EX command should be applied to. : commands are executed only after you press Enter. If you want to exit last line mode without executing a command, type Ctrl-c.

The following EX command deletes lines 10 through 25:
:10,25d

The address in the above example is 10,25. The : indicates that this is an EX command, and d is the actual command (delete).

Some of the commonly used ex command addresses are:

. the current line.
$ the last line in the file.
% all the lines in the file.
n line n
n,m lines n through m
-n start at n lines above the current line
+n start at n lines below the current line

For example, to delete the first line in the file through the current line, type:
:1,.d

Summary of EX commands

:n1,n2d Delete from line n1 through line n2.
:n1,n2y Yank lines n1 through n2 into the default buffer.
:n1mn2 Move line n1 below line n2.
:n1,n2mn3 Move lines n1 through n2 below line n3.
:n1tn2 Copy line n1 below line n2.
:n1,n2tn3 Copy lines n1 through n2 below line n3.
:r filename Insert file filename below current line.
:r !command Inserts the results of command at the cursor.
:nr !command Same as above, but place output at line n.
:w! file Force write to file.
:n1,n2w !command Send address specified to command.
:n1,n2w newfile Place lines n1 through n2 into the file newfile.
:n1,n2w >> otherfile Append lines n1 through n2 to otherfile.
:!command Execute a single command.
:n1,n2!command Run the lines specified by the address range through the command and replace with the output.
:sh Execute a shell.
:vi Leave EX mode and return to VI mode.
:args Show files in edit list.
:rew Move to the front of the file edit list.

Search & Substitution

The search and substitute command has two option flags: the g flag for making global changes, and the c flag for making conditional changes (these are described below). The format of the search and substitute command is:

:[address]s/search_string/replace_string/flags

Changing case

:n1,n2s/[a-z]/\U&/g Changes lowercase letters to uppercase in lines n1 through n2.
:n1,n2s/[A-Z]/\L&/g Changes uppercase letters to lowercase in lines n1 through n2.

Global Actions

Global actions allow you to run commands (substitution, delete, etc.) against all lines in a file. The format of the search and substitute command is:

:[address]g/search_string/command

Conversly, you can use the following format to run commands against any lines not matching the pattern:

:[address]v/search_string/command

If [address] is not specified, all lines in the file are evaluated against the EX command.

Jumping to a file

One of VIM's enhanced features allow for a quick jump to a file name. This is usefull in editting HTML documents that have the same directory structure. For example:

<a href="products/index.html">Our products</a>

by placing the cursor on the word products in the anchor tag, then pressing Ctrl-W f, the file will be brought up in a split window for viewing/editing.

Counting words, lines, etc.

To count how often any pattern occurs in a buffer, set 'report' to 0, and use the substitute command to replace the pattern with itself. The reported number of substitutions is the number of items. Examples:

:set report=0
:%s/./&/g characters
:%s/\i\+/&/g words
:%s/^//g lines
:%s/the/&/g "the"

Sample Files

VI Editor Help Tips And Tricks

To use most of the following macros you will need to know how to key in control characters in the map string. For example an escape character is: ^] , to key this in you cannot just hit the escape character or the control and the right bracket keys. You will have to key in a ^V, this character in unix quotes a control character. Basically when you hit CTRL and V keys together you will see a ^ symbol. This is the indication that it is waiting to quote a control character.

To invert order of characters           -    xp
To pluralize a word                     -    eas
To delete till beginning of the line    -    d0
To browse all lines with 'pattern'      -    :g/pattern/p
To browse through numbered buffers      -    "1pu.u.u (u and . alternating)
To substitute 'str' with 'replace' globally -

        :g/str/s//replace/[g][c]
Use word erase, line erase while inserting to backup, for ex:

        hello tim^W     -       would back cursor to 't' of tim
        hello tim^U     -       backs up cursor to beginning of line
Since these keys can be redefined check their status by the Unix
command :
        stty -a
look for : werase , kill
To copy a set of lines from one file to another:
(1)     save current file use :w
(2)     edit the file with reqd. data, use :e <filename>

(3)     now yank lines into a buffer e.g. "a3Y would
        yank 3 lines into buffer `a`.
(4)     edit original file use :e! <filename>

(5)     place cursor where using command "ap or "aP the text in
        the buffer 'a' will be pasted.

To switch back to the place in previous file being edited use:
        CTRL^ (hold control key while pressing ^ key)
this is a short key for :e #
To comment in C language (/*...*/) you can map characters say v
& V in the following manner:

        map v I/*^[$a*/^[^M
        map V /\/\*/^MNxx/\*\//^Mxx``

v will comment a single line by placing /* and */ at the
beginning and end of the line respectively, and V will remove
these from a commented line or paragraph (you must be at or
within the comments).
To print a certain range of lines straight to printer without
having to save in between in a file :

:#1,#2 w !lpr

would send lines from #1 to #2 to the default printer.
Deleted lines can be recovered by going through the numbered buffers:
The nubered buffers 1 through 9 hold the last 9 deletes.
To look through the buffers :

(1) type :       "1p      : this will echo the buffer #1
(2) type :       u        : this will undo the paste
(3) type :       .        : this will exec. the last cmd "1p ..but
                          : in this unique case adds 1 and execs. 
                          : "2p another . would exec. "3p 
(4) when you hit the correct buffer ... keep it!
   Here's a good one. This macro searches for text that is right under the
cursor. It eases the pain of typing search strings.  This map is for
^A (this comes standard in "elvis"), so when your cursor is at
the beginning of a word, and ^A is typed, the cursor will jump
to the next occurrence.

map ^A mz:.t.`zd0:s/[0-9a-zA-Z-><\*\.\:\"#@%&_]*/& /^MEa/ ^[DI/^[:.d z^M@z

Explanation :
mz    mark current position as z
:.t.  copy line below
`z    jump back to marked position z ( note the ` instead of ' )
d0    delete till beginning of line
:s/.../& /^M  find a whole word; include in the word: alphanumeric, and 
        some assorted junk characters. substitute the word with
        a word and a space after.
E     go to end of word ( note E instead of e )
a/ ^[ add a  slash and a space (if the word was at eol then D won't work)
D     delete from the space till eol
I/    insert slash at beginning of line
:.d z delete line into buffer z
@z    execute buffer z ( which is /word/ , will grab same word on same line)

executing a `n' command in vi would go to the `next' occurrence.

        COOL!
 A similar mapping for ^K, this one EDITS the file which is defined by the
  string in the file. For example if you are in a file called `a' and this file
  contains a string such as: jump to file b 
  then setting cursor on `b' and typing ^K jumps to file b.
  the word is delimited slightly differently in this mapping.

                        W A R N I N G
This macro uses :e! , the exclamation will implies that if this command
is used before saving the edits will be lost. Therefore save the file
then use this command. This was necessary because the command itself
edits the file, and hence to jump to another file needs the :e!


map ^K mz:.t.^M`zd0:s/[0-9a-zA-Z-/\._]*/& /^MElDI:e! ^[:.d z^M@z

explanation:

pretty much the same as above.

instead of adding a `/` adds the line :e!

SEAS Computer Operations Vi Useful Tips

  1. What is the best way to learn Vi?
  2. How do I get into a file using Vi?
  3. How do I move the cursor in the file?
  4. How do I insert text?
  5. How do I delete something?
  6. How to undo and repeat commands?
  7. I just finished my document, how do I save?
  8. How can I include text in my document?
  9. How can I edit my text?
  10. Is there a way I can cut and paste?
  11. How do I change the case of letters?
  12. How do I switch between files when editing multiple files?
  13. Is there a way I can switch two characters?
  14. How can I search for specific text?
  15. Can deleting be used with a search operation?
  16. What are some examples of search and replace patterns?
  17. Is there a way to execute a unix command from inside Vi?
  18. How can I set options inside Vi?
  19. I'm tired of having to redefine all of my options every time I go into Vi, is there any way around this?
  20. How do I reformat paragraphs in Vi?
  1. I just finished my document, how do I save?

    There are several save options. One of these should work for you:

    • :w           writes the file and save the changes
      
    • :w name      same, but the changes go into a file with the new name
      
    • :x,y w name  writes only the lines x to y to the file (for excerpting)
      
    • :wq          writes and quits at the same time
      
    • ZZ           writes and quits at the same time
       
  2. How can I include text in my document?

    • :r name      reads in the file name at the point of the cursor
      
    • :r!cmd       executes the shell command cmd and inserts output
                    at the point of the cursor
  3. How can I edit my text?

    • J		joins next line to current line
    • x		deletes the character under the cursor
    • r*		replaces the character under the cursor with *
    • sstring ESC	substitutes the character under the cursor with string
    • cwstring ESC	changes current word to string 
    • c$string ESC	changes from cursor to end of line with string 
    • ccstring ESC	changes current line to string 
  4. Is there a way I can cut and paste?

    • yy      yanks lines into a temporary buffer, where they are
              saved for later use
    • p       pastes the previously yanked lines

    The yanked lines can be put as often as one likes, which is a good way to repeat things. Also, deleted lines can be put as well, so dd is the same as yy dd. Also, there is only one default buffer. To move two things, or to yank and put with other work in between, you can save to named buffers. For example "ayy will yank a line in buffer a. Then buffer a can be pasted using "ap.

  5. How do I change the case of letters?

    Use the tilde (~) to toggle the case (lower/upper) of letters. It will ignore non alphabetical characters.

  6. How do I switch between files when editing multiple files?

    When editing several files, you can switch to file #x using the command: :e#x

  7. Is there a way I can switch two characters?

    You can reverse 2 characters in a word by typing xp (x to delete and p to paste).

  8. Can deleting be used with a search operation?

    d/pattern ESC deletes up to the pattern, but leaves the pattern. Then neat thing about this principle is it works with most other Vi commands such as y.

       
    • :s/pattern/xx/      changes first pattern in current line to xx
      
    • :s/pattern/xx/g     changes every pattern in current line to xx
      
    • :%s/pattern/xx/g    changes every pattern in all lines to xx
      
    • :%s/pat/xx&yy/g     changes every pat in all lines to xxpatyy
      
    • :3s/pattern/\U&     changes first pattern in third line to PATTERN
      
      

    As usual, type u to undo and & to repeat a substitution.

Tips and Tricks for the vi Editor

NOTE: The following collection of tips and tricks is intended for advanced vi users. If you need an introduction to the vi Editor, buy "Learning the vi Editor" by Linda Lamb (from O'Reilly & Associates) or try these online references.

You might also want to take a look at some simple Perl one-liners I wrote that can be used with filtering in vi.

If you want to join every two lines, and you don't have any markings to guide you, you can do this. This script also illustrates VIM's ability to define functions etc. VIM is really closing the functionality gap of vi to EMACS ;-).

:set tabstop=4 # the tabstop option allows one to tab over when in insert mode. Enter the command

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