Just type vimtutor in your terminal to learn the basic usage of Vim.

Although I usually use VSCode for coding, sometimes you have to edit files in the server. Mastering the basic of Vim is necessary.

1. Basic

1.1 Moving the cursor

     ^
     k
< h     l >
     j
     v

1.2 Exiting vim 😱

  • Normally: :q
  • Write and exit: :x or :wq
  • Without saving changes: :q!
  • Write with sudo: :w !sudo tee %

1.3 Deletion

  • Single character: x

1.4 Insertion

  • Activate insertion mode: i
  • Insert from the beginning of the line: I

1.5 Appending

  • Append to this word: a
  • Append to this line: A

2. Combined Operation

2.1 Delete

d motion where ‘motion’ is what the operator will operate on

  • Delete from cursor to the start of the next word, EXCLUDING its first character: dw
  • Delete from cursor to the end of the current word, INCLUDING the last character: de
  • Delete from cursor th the end of line: ‘d$’

2.2 Using a count for a motion

number motion

  • Moving to the start of the line: 0
  • Moving the cursor 5 words forward: 5w
  • Moving the cursor to the end of the 3rd word forward: 3e

2.3 Using a count to delete more

operator number motion

  • Delete 2 words: d2w

2.4 Delete a whole line

  • Delete current line: dd
  • Delete 2 lines from current line: 2dd

2.5 Undo and redo

  • Undo the last commands: u
  • Undo a whole line: U
  • Redo the commands: CTRL-r

3. Put and replace

3.1 Put

  • Put line below current line: p
  • Put line above current line: P

3.2 Replace

  • Replace current character to ‘x’: rx
  • Replace multiple characters: R

3.3 Change

  • Remove the rest of word and activate insert mode: ce or cw
  • Remove the rest of line and activate insert mode: c$

4. Search and substitute

4.1 Cursor location and file status

  • Show your location in the file and the file status: CTRL-g
  • Move to the bottom of the file: G
  • Move to the start of the file: gg
  • Move to line 233: 233G
  • Search in forward direction: /
  • Search in backward direction: ?
  • Find next in the same direction: n
  • Find next in the opposite direction: N
  • To go back to where you came from: CTRL-o
  • To go forward: CTRL-i
  • Find a match of ‘)’, ‘]’, or ‘}’: %

4.4 The substitute command

  • To change the 1st occurrence of the word in the line: :s/<old>/<new>
  • To change all the occurrence of the word in the line: :s/<old>/<new>/g
  • To change all the occurrence of the word between line #1 and #2: :#1,#2s/<old>/<new>/g
  • To change every occurence of the word in the whole file: :%s/<old>/<new>/g
  • To change every occurence of the word in the whole file with a prompt: :%s/<old>/<new>/gc

5. External

5.1 How to execute an external command

  • Execute an external command: :!<cmd>

5.2 Write to another file

  • Write the whole file to another file: :w <file>
  • Use v to select the text you want to copy, then type : you will see :'<,'>, write to file: :'<,'>w <file>

5.3 Insert to current file

  • Insert file to current file: :r <file>
  • Insert from command line output: :r !<cmd>

6. New line and copy

6.1 Open

  • Open a line below the cursor: o
  • Open a line above the cursor: O

6.2 Copy

  • Copy one word: yw
  • Copy from cursor to the end of the line: y$
  • Copy the whole line: yy

6.3 Set option

  • Ingore case: :set ic
  • Disable ignoring case: :set noic
  • ‘hlsearch’(highlight) and ‘incsearch’(show partial matches): :set hls is

7. Others

7.1 Getting help

  • Press <HELP> or <F1> or type: :help
  • Get help for command: :help <cmd>

7.2 Completion

  • Press <TAB> or <CTRL-d>

7.3 Multiple windows

  • Jump to another window: <CTRL-w>