Tag Archives: Vim

vi – basic commands

vi is a screen-oriented text editor originally created for the Unix operating system.

Basic commands:

To Start vi:

* vi filename Create or Edit filename starting at line 1
* vi -r filename Recover filename that was being edited 

To Exit vi:

* :x<return> Quit vi, writing out modified file to file named in original invocation
* :wq<return> Quit vi, writing out modified file to file named in original invocation
* :q<return> Quit or exit vi
* :q!<return> Quit vi even though latest changes have not 

Moving the cursor:

* j or <return> [or down-arrow] Move cursor down one line
* k[or up-arrow] Move cursor up one line
* h or<backspace> [or left-arrow]

Move cursor left one line:

* l or<space>[or right-arrow] Move cursor right one line
* 0(zero) Move cursor to start of current line(the one with the arrow)
* $ Move cursor to end of the current line
* w Move cursor to beginning of next word Basic vi commands7. b Move cursor back to beginning of preceding word
* :0<return> or 1G Move cursor to first line in file
* :n<return>or nG Move cursor to line n in file
* :$<return>or G Move cursor to last line in file

Screen Manipulation:

* ^f Move forward one screen
* ^b Move backward one screen
* ^d Move down(forward) one half screen
* ^u Move up(back)one half sreen
* ^l Redraws the screen
* ^r Redraws the screen,removing the deleted lines 

Adding,Changing,Deleting the text:

* u Undo whatever you just did(a simple toggle)

Inserting or Adding text:

* i Insert text before cursor,until<esc>hit
* I Insert text at beginning of current line,until<esc>hit
* a Append text after cursor,until<esc>hit
* A Append text to end of current line,until<esc>hit
* o Open and put text in a new line below current line,until<esc>hit
* O Open and put text in a new line above current line,until<esc>hit

Basic vi commandsChanging the text:

* r Replace single character under cursor(no <esc>needed)
* R Replace characters,starting with current cursor position,until<esc>hit
* cw Change the current word with new text,starting with the character under cursor,until<esc>hit
* cNw Change N words beginning with the character under cursor,until<esc>hit
* c change(replace)the characters in the current line,until<esc>hit
* cc change(replace)the characters in the current line,stopping when <esc>hit
* Ncc or cNc change(replace)the next N lines,starting with the current line,stopping when <esc>hit

Deleting the text:

* x Delete single character under cursor
* Nx Delete N characters, starting with character under cursor
* dw Delete the single word beginning with character under cursor
* dNw Delete N words beginning with character under cursor
* D Delete the remainder of the line,starting with current cursor position
* dd Delete entire current line
* Ndd or dNd Delete N lines beginning with the current line

Basic vi commandsCutting and pasting the text:

* yy Copy (yank,cut) the current line into buffer
* Nyy or yNy copy(yank,cut) the next N lines,including the current line, into the buffer
* p put(paste) the lines in the buffer into the text after the current line

Searching the text:

* /string Search forward for occurence of string in text
* ?string Search backward for occurence of string in text
* n Move to next occurence of search string
* N Move to next occurence of search string in opposite direction

Determining line numbers:

* :.= Returns line number of current line at bottom of screen
* := Returns the total number of lines at bottom of the screen
* ^g Provides the current line number, along with the total number of lines,in the file at the bottom of the screen

Saving and reading files:

* :r filename<return> Read file named filename and insert after current line(the line with arrow) Basic vi commands2. :w<return> Write current contents to a file named in original vi call
* :w newfile<return> Write current contents to a new file named newfile
* :12,35w smallfile<return> Write the contents of the line numbered 12 through 35 to a new file named smallfile
* :w! prevfile<return> Write current contents over a pre-existing file named prevfile
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