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Vim quickies/ cheatsheet

rubiin profile image Rubin Updated on ・2 min read

Vim Cheatsheet

Generally helpful stuff
Navigating around text
Working with multiple files
Manipulating text
Visual Advanced selection
Working with NERDTree

Generally helpful stuff

Open a file for editing             :e path/to/file.txt
Return to Normal mode               ESC   or <CTRL>+C

Navigating around text

You have to be in Normal mode. Use ESC to get out of Visual, Replace, or Insert mode.

(left)                       h
(down)                       j
(up)                         k
(right)                      l
next word                    e
Jump to the first line       gg
Jump to the last line        G

Entering Text

Insert text before cursor               i
Insert text after cursor                a

Working with multiple files

Open a file in a horizontal split   :sp path/to/file.txt
Open a file in a vertical split     :vsp path/to/file.txt
Move to a split window page         <CTRL>+w and a direction key (h, j, k, or l)
Move to next window pane            <CTRL>w w
Make selected pane bigger           CTRL>w +  (yes, you need the shift key for the plus)
Make selected pane smaller          <CTRL>w -


Search for a word                           /<word>
Go to next match                            n
Find and replace on line                    :s/<find>/<replace>
Find and replace globally                   :%s/<find>/<replace>//gc
Go to first quote, replace text in quotes:  ci"

Manipulating text

cut the current line                dd
copy the current line               yy
paste below current line            p
paste above current line            P
Remove the character under cursor   x
Remove the character before cursor  X
Delete the word under cursor        de
Delete to the end of the line       d$

Remove five lines starting here     5dd
Copy five lines starting here       5yy 

indent this line                    >>
indent five lines starting here     5>>

Replace mode (overtype)             r

Visual Advanced selection

Visual mode                         v
Visual Line mode                    V
Visual Block mode                   <CTRL>v

Working with NERDTree

Open the NERDTree                   :NERDTree
Toggle the NERDTree on and off      :NERDTreeToggle
Open selected file                  <ENTER>
Open selected file in horiz. split  i
Open selected file in vert. split   v
File menu                           m
Help                                ?


Run a command                           :!<command>
Open a shell                            :sh

For interactive tutorial, try openvim.com

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Self taught developer,FOSS lover, linux enthusiast


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"Delete the word under cursor" should be diw, de only works for the same purpose if you're already at the start of the word.

"Replace mode (overtype)" should be R, r will only let you change a single character.


Your comment made me go back to Oualline's Vim Book to research this. I totally did not know about the i and a motion commands! Great tip!


de is good for delete word from cursor to end. It is good for different purpose.


I've been working with Vim for quite a while, but there's always something new to learn. Still to this day I'll hit a sequence of keys by mistake and something will happen that I've never seen before.


thats the beauty of vim


There is a catch with visual block mode. If you're running vim in a terminal that maps Ctrl+v to paste action, then Ctrl+v won't work for visual block mode in vim. However, vim also maps Ctrl+q to visual block mode in defaults. IMO, it's safer to memorize Ctrl+q as the key combination for visual block mode.


Unless your OS maps C-q to "quit application" :)


Cool. Haven't tried that one yet


I use vim very often and always hard time to remember all the commands , thanks for this cheat sheet brother


Anytime bro. It takes heck lot of time to get used to Vi , I myself find forgetting many commands , and whenever I do i visit this cheetsheet


Very good article!

Thanks for sharing

in Searching section, where you say:

Find and replace globally :%s/<find>/<replace>//gc

I think you may mean

Find and replace globally :%s/<find>/<replace>/gc

and maybe could comment that the final 'c' is for asking for confirmation on each replacement.

Thanks for your work and time.


To understand more about movements/navigation in vim I would recommend to read the section 03 in the Vim user manual, just execute:

:h usr_03

I have also added a link to an interactive site


I've been using vim for few weeks, and it'getting natural and saves my time a lot! I like its clear rule, text object (sentence, paragraph, word, tag), or action (delete, copy, change).


Yeah. If you are doing things on console, you can see it's power


BTW you can check openvim.com if you are starting out


To toggle the case=> `
This would be pretty useful to correct the typos.

To repeat the previous command=> .


Damn, it's a helluva confidence boost when you look at a cheatsheet and know EVERY SINGLE item


I think I basically use only i a x / n dd : wq since years 😁

Thx for new tips 👍


I have added a link to an interactive vim tutorial at the end of the post so anyone starting out with vim can try it out online


Left out one command I love, cw - or change word. Saves a lot of time.


'u' for undo the last change and
'.' for repeat the last command are two commands I use most frequently despite :wq (write and quit)


ctrl-[ is better then ctrl-c cuz that dose not trigger the |InsertLeave| autocommand event.


i like very much vim , but i like more IDE . Jetbrains product and Xcode and i am feedup using FakeVim . so can i integrate Vim in these IDE


Yes. You can try the vim bindings plugins