Visual Editor (VI)

From kemiko

Visual Editor

I love the vi editor. Many do not like it because of vi's large learning curve. It is well worth the time and effort need to learn it. vi is very powerful and will save a lot of time in the end. It can do many things that standard editor can and can not edit text documents with a terminal, regular expressions, macros, show hidden characters, show line numbers, pairing brackets/parenthesis, etc, etc.

Using a document containing several pages helps show vi's power. Using the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" to practice your typing with VI is fun because it has all the letters in one sentence.

Some of my favorite commands are below:

Jump to a specific line

  • <number>G or <number>gg

Jump to a specific column

  • <number>|

Jump to opening/closing parenthesis and brackets...(),{},[]...when cursor is sitting on one of them

  •  %

Jump to the beginning of line

  • 0

Jump to the end of line

  • $


Move the cursor's line to the top of the editor

  • z<enter>

Show line numbers

  •  :set number

Show hidden characters

  •  :set list


Delete word (what you delete/copy is automatically put in your buffer...if you want to paste somewhere else)

  • dw

Yank/copy word

  • yw

Delete entire line

  • D or dd

Paste before

  • P

Paste after

  • p


  • u


  • <ctrl>r


Forward search

  • /<pattern>

Backward search

  •  ?<pattern>

Next match of search

  • n

Previous match of search

  • N

Case insensitive search

  • \c<pattern>

Tips/Tricks: Use undo to jump back to where you were editing, then redo to get back to the same change

  • u
  • <ctrl>r

Repeat the same command

  • .

If your terminal's suspend key is set correctly...go back to stuff...and return

  • <ctrl>z
  • fg

While in vi sort the contents

  •  :sort