Vim Notes

These are learning notes when learning vim key bindings

Vim has three modes

  • INSERT : You can use i for the insert mode
  • VISUAL : You can use v for visual mode.
  • NORMAL MODE : just press ESC to get into normal mode

Basic Navigation

  • In order to get into insert mode use i.
  • gg takes you to the first line of the document.
  • Shift-G takes you to the last line of the document.
  • You can also move to the specfic line by <line number> G.
  • you can use x to delete a character.
  • you can use u to undo a change.
  • you can also specific the number of characters you want to delete <num of char> x
  • to delete a whole word use dw.
  • to delete a line use dd.
  • to number of lines use <num of lines> dd.
  • to move one word at a time goes to the beginning character of the word.
  • to move using last character use e.
  • to move number of words use <num of words> w for example 10 w this moves 10 words.
  • to move backward a word you can use b.
  • to move number of words backward use <num of words> b 10 b.
  • use 0 to go to the beginning of the line.
  • you use p to put a line to desired line number for example you can dd a line then 10 G and then do p to put the line on line 10
  • You can replace a word or a character by using r.
  • Change to get into change command you can change words by using ce to get the end of the word.
  • c$ to change the entire line
  • navigating using command f:(forward <to_word>) and uppercase does this in reverse. for example,fe will take to the character e and Fe will take you backward.
  • to delete a specific line you can do :<line>d

Different Insert Modes.

  • A takes to the end of the line and enters in to insert mode.
  • a takes you into insert mode.
  • S deletes the entire line and enters you into the insert mode.
  • s delete the character and enters you into the insert mode.
  • o enters you into the insert mode in the next line.
  • O enters you into the insert mode in the preceding line.
  • C deletes the entire line c$
  • d$ deletes everything from the cursor to the end of the line. You can use D to do the same thing.


Its the copy command in the vim editor

  • to copy a word just use yw you can paste by using p.
  • yy to copy the entire line.
  • y$ to copy from the cursor to the end of the line.
  • P puts to the preceding line

Searching through the code/doc

  • / search forward in the doc. then hit n to goto the next instance.
  • ? searches backward in the doc.


  • You can :%s/oldstring/newstring/g to replace a word
  • you can also give line numbers 1,2s/old/new/g
  • :%s/old/new/gc gives a prompt.

Executing a command in vim

  • ! <cmd> to execute a command
  • cntrl-d to see what commands are available

note: you can enable vim mode in zsh by adding bindkey -v to zshrc

VIM Macros

  • You can record vim macros by using the q key and followed whatever key you want to assign that macro to.
  • to run the macro number of occurences and key where you saved the macro.

Vim Splits

  • :split does horizontal split :sp
  • :vsplit does vertical split :vs
  • cntrl-w ccloses the split.
  • you can also specific the height when doing a split 10sp <filename>
  • you can do cntrl-w R to swap the split
  • cntrl-w j and cntrl-w k moves you up and down
  • cntrl-w h and cntrl-w l moves you left and right
  • you can also resize the splits vertical resize +5 or resize +5 for horizontal split.
  • you can also open terminal in vim. especially in split :vs | :terminal

Command Mode in Vim.

  • you can run shell commands in vim :! ls this will print the files of your directory.
  • you can also read the outputs of the command and add it to the document :read !date
  • you can also use ranges when replacing the text 11,16s/old/new/g
  • :g/vim/d this will delete vim from every line where it finds the word.
  • !g/vim/d this will delete that will delete that's not vim.
  • g/^/pu/ =\"\n\" puts spaces.
  • g/<word>/m$ moves the lines containing that word to the end of the file

Vim Tabs

  • You can edit a file in a new tab by tabedit <filename>
  • you can gt to cycle through the tabs.

Few Notes

  • ddp allows you to swap a line.
  • g/<word>/+1m-2
  • > allows you to indent 111,114>
  • :{range} '<,'>' norm A" adds " at the end of the line.
  • :{range} '<,'>' norm I" adds " at the beginning of the line.
  • cgn allows you to change the next instance when doing a search.
  • you can also set abbreviations :ab rtfm Read The Friend Manual and use cntrl-v if you don't want to expand it.
  • Read commandline commands into vim :r !ls
  • "+y allows you to copy the selection to the clipboard in vim