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Basic Vim commands – For getting started

Repost of the article which I wrote a long ago in coderwall and got quite popular among the community.

1. Insert mode (Where you can just type like normal text editor. Press i for insert mode)

2. Command mode (Where you give commands to the editor to get things done . Press ESC for command mode)

Most of them below are in command mode

  • x – to delete the unwanted character
  • u – to undo the last the command and U to undo the whole line
    CTRL-R to redo
  • A – to append text at the end
  • :wq – to save and exit
  • :q! – to trash all changes
  • dw – move the cursor to the beginning of the word to delete that word
  • 2w – to move the cursor two words forward.
  • 3e – to move the cursor to the end of the third word forward.
  • 0 (zero) to move to the start of the line.
  • d2w – which deletes 2 words .. number can be changed for deleting the number of consecutive words like d3w
  • dd to delete the line and 2dd to delete to line .number can be changed for deleting the number of consecutive words

The format for a change command is: operator [number] motion
-operator – is what to do, such as d for delete
– [number] – is an optional count to repeat the motion
– motion – moves over the text to operate on, such as w (word),
$ (to the end of line), etc.

  • p – puts the previously deleted text after the cursor(Type dd to delete the line and store it in a Vim register. and p to put the line)
  • r – to replace the letter e.g press re to replace the letter with e
  • ce – to change until the end of a word (place the cursor on the u in lubw it will delete ubw )
  • ce – deletes the word and places you in Insert mode
  • G – to move you to the bottom of the file.
  • gg – to move you to the start of the file.
    Type the number of the line you were on and then G
  • % to find a matching ),], or }
  • :s/old/new/g to substitute ‘new’ for ‘old’ where g is globally
  • / backward search n to find the next occurrence and N to search in the opposite direction
  • ? forward search
  • :! to run the shell commands like :!dir, :!ls
  • :w – TEST (where TEST is the filename you chose.) . Save the file
  • v – starts visual mode for selecting the lines and you can perform operation on that like d delete
  • :r – Filename will insert the content into the current file
  • R – to replace more than one character
  • y – operator to copy text using v visual mode and p to paste it
  • yw – (copy)yanks one word
  • o – opens a line below the cursor and start Insert mode.
  • O – opens a line above the cursor.
  • a – inserts text after the cursor.
  • A – inserts text after the end of the line.
  • e – command moves to the end of a word.
  • y – operator yanks (copies) text, p puts (pastes) it.
  • R – enters Replace mode until <ESC> is pressed.
  • ctrl-w to jump from one window to another

type a command :e and press ctrl+D to list all the command name starts with :e and press tab to complete the command

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