Vim - Quick Guide

Vim - Quick Guide

Vim is acronym for Vi IMproved. Vim is free and open source text editor which runs in the terminal on Unix-like systems. vim is a very popular file editor, especially among programmers. It’s actively developed and frequently updated, and there’s a very big community around it. There’s even a Vim conference!

vim is a very popular file editor, especially among programmers. It’s actively developed and frequently updated, and there’s a very big community around it. There’s even a Vim conference!

vi in modern systems is just an alias to vim, which means vi improved.

You start it by running vi on the command line.

You can specify a filename at invocation time to edit that specific file:

vi test.txt

You have to know that Vim has 2 main modes:

  • command (or normal) mode
  • insert mode

When you start the editor, you are in command mode. You can’t enter text like you expect from a GUI-based editor. You have to enter insert mode. You can do this by pressing the i key. Once you do so, the -- INSERT -- word appear at the bottom of the editor:

Now you can start typing and filling the screen with the file contents:

You can move around the file with the arrow keys, or using the h - j - k - l keys. h-l for left-right, j-k for down-up.

vim programming developer

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