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Demystifying vim

michaelgv profile image Mike ・1 min read

Before I start, just remember, when in doubt just don't close vim and you'll live.

Exiting Vim

It's easier said than done for some, there's countless articles asking for help, here's a shortcut:

Intent: Write and Quit

If you intend to write and quit (save changes, exit), you should follow this key bindings:

  1. ESCAPE
  2. :
  3. wq
  4. ENTER

Intent: Write, but don't quit

If you intend to write and don't quit, simply run:

  1. ESCAPE
  2. :
  3. w
  4. ENTER

Editing content

You can either use the i key, or hit insert to write content in vim. If you hit r or double hit insert, it will open the replace mode.

Undo, anyone?

In order to undo, make sure you're not in write mode (hit escape), and hit the U key until satisfied.

Can I redo it?

Yep, r until satisfied.

How the heck can I fix the indentation?

A little opinionated, but if you run this command then hit F7, it'll format your code in an opinionated way:

  1. ESCAPE
  2. :map mzgg=G`z
  3. ENTER
  4. [KEY:F7]

That's all for now!

This should get you by using vim in it's most basic format!

Discussion

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Editor guide
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pabuisson profile image
Pierre-Adrien Buisson

Hum, r does not redo last undone change. I believe you meant Ctrl-R or :redo (r in normal mode would allow you to replace the char under the cursor with the char you'll type).

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michaelgv profile image
Mike Author

My mistake, I’ve got my keybindings setup for r as redo!

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delbetu profile image
M Bellucci

good mapping suggestion!

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pcvonz profile image
Paul

If you're in a linux environment, try running the command:

vimtutor

In your terminal. If you're like me you'll become a vim convert

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

In your example of fixing indentation you're missing the <F7> bit. Use backticks to escape code.

Actually I hate to say it, but this tutorial is wrong in the undo section too. Use u to undo in the general case, not U. Capital U undoes a single line, and basically works in a different way (and it'll not be obvious to new users how it's working).

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vlasales profile image
Vlastimil Pospichal

Fix the indentation:

  • gg=G for whole file
  • =G from actual row to end of file
  • == actual line
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rattanakchea profile image
Rattanak Chea

This needs to go to my vim cheatsheet. Is there a part 2? How can I copy and paste a section of text?

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jerpint profile image
jerpint

v Will get you in visual mode. You can highlight the section you want, then yank (copy) with y. To paste, use p. You don't need to visually select to copy/paste. You could yank the word yw, or yank to the end of the line y$ , or yank the entire line yy

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vlasales profile image
Vlastimil Pospichal

V will get you in select mode. It's little diferent from visual mode, but commands are similar.

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tbodt profile image
tbodt

V is visual line mode, not select mode. It's the same as visual mode but it's line oriented, so you're cutting or pasting entire lines and not characters.

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thomasjunkos profile image
Thomas Junkツ

And then, there is :x