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Why I Switched to vi/vim

Harvey
・2 min read

When I started writing code, I used Notepad and Notepad++. When I switched to OS X. In my first computer science class in high school we used Visual Studio.

When I finally migrated to Linux, I started using vi/vim after using nano for a while. Unlike nano, vim is a lot more powerful but is harder to learn.

How did I go from never using vim to using it all the time? How does one make a complete switch? I'll walk you through how I got here and share some tips along the way.

Reasons to learn vim

If you are trying to learn Vim, or you are on the fence about it, here are my top 5 reasons why I love this keyboard-centered editor:

  • The more I used it, the faster I became, and the faster I became the more productive I was.

  • It's everywhere. Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and every other operating system supports Vi/Vim.

  • I don't like to use my mouse. I never did anything in Sublime Text without the help of my mouse. This is a annoying, easier to keep hands on the keyboard

  • It can be used over the network using ssh. Login to any box and use it.

  • I use it for almost everything: programming, writing, blogging, etc.

vim editor

Why You Should Switch:

Switching is up to you, but here are my reasons.

Why would somebody use ancient tools like vi/vim when there are so many modern ones out there?

One day I had to answer this question for my friend. He asked, “Why don’t you use Sublime Text like me?” I explain to him that sometimes it’s better to use older/simpler tools than more complex ones.

Here are my reasons:

  1. Learn how to use the best editor ever made.
  2. Never get lost in a sea of menus and toolbars that you never use (just like vim does not have any).
  3. Have an excuse to use powerful, built-in commands that are available in no other editor (and are faster than anything you can do with a GUI).
  4. Work fast using commands

To practice vim, you can use this site

Discussion (2)

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vonheikemen profile image
Heiker

just a quick note about sublime text, since you mentioned a few times. It is possible to achieve a "keyboard-centered" workflow with it. I know there isn't a lot documentation online, but I just want to tell people, it is possible.

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ful1e5 profile image
Kaiz Khatri

I switched to neovim from vscode 🙂