VIM

Cursor movement

  • h - move cursor left
  • j - move cursor down
  • k - move cursor up
  • l - move cursor right
  • w - jump forwards to the start of a word
  • W - jump forwards to the start of a word (words can contain punctuation)
  • e - jump forwards to the end of a word
  • E - jump forwards to the end of a word (words can contain punctuation)
  • b - jump backwards to the start of a word
  • B - jump backwards to the start of a word (words can contain punctuation)
  • 0 - jump to the start of the line
  • ^ - jump to the first non-blank character of the line
  • $ - jump to the end of the line
  • G - go to the last line of the document
  • 5G - go to line 5
Tip Prefix a cursor movement command with a number to repeat it. For example, 4j moves down 4 lines.

Insert mode - inserting/appending text

  • i - insert before the cursor
  • I - insert at the beginning of the line
  • a - insert (append) after the cursor
  • A - insert (append) at the end of the line
  • o - append (open) a new line below the current line
  • O - append (open) a new line above the current line
  • ea - insert (append) at the end of the word
  • Esc - exit insert mode

Editing

  • r - replace a single character
  • J - join line below to the current one
  • cc - change (replace) entire line
  • cw - change (replace) to the end of the word
  • c$ - change (replace) to the end of the line
  • s - delete character and substitute text
  • S - delete line and substitute text (same as cc)
  • xp - transpose two letters (delete and paste)
  • u - undo
  • Ctrl + r - redo
  • . - repeat last command

Marking text (visual mode)

  • v - start visual mode, mark lines, then do a command (like y-yank)
  • V - start linewise visual mode
  • o - move to other end of marked area
  • Ctrl + v - start visual block mode
  • O - move to other corner of block
  • aw - mark a word
  • ab - a block with ()
  • aB - a block with {}
  • ib - inner block with ()
  • iB - inner block with {}
  • Esc - exit visual mode

Visual commands

  • > - shift text right
  • < - shift text left
  • y - yank (copy) marked text
  • d - delete marked text
  • ~ - switch case

Cut and paste

  • yy - yank (copy) a line
  • 2yy - yank (copy) 2 lines
  • yw - yank (copy) word
  • y$ - yank (copy) to end of line
  • p - put (paste) the clipboard after cursor
  • P - put (paste) before cursor
  • dd - delete (cut) a line
  • 2dd - delete (cut) 2 lines
  • dw - delete (cut) word
  • D - delete (cut) to the end of the line
  • d$ - delete (cut) to the end of the line
  • x - delete (cut) character

Exiting

  • :w - write (save) the file, but don't exit
  • :wq - write (save) and quit
  • :x - write (save) and quit
  • :q - quit (fails if there are unsaved changes)
  • :q! - quit and throw away unsaved changes

Search and replace

  • /pattern - search for pattern
  • ?pattern - search backward for pattern
  • n - repeat search in same direction
  • N - repeat search in opposite direction
  • :%s/old/new/g - replace all old with new throughout file
  • :%s/old/new/gc - replace all old with new throughout file with confirmations

Working with multiple files

  • :e filename - edit a file in a new buffer
  • :bnext or :bn - go to the next buffer
  • :bprev or :bp - go to the previous buffer
  • :bd - delete a buffer (close a file)
  • :sp filename - open a file in a new buffer and split window
  • :vsp filename - open a file in a new buffer and vertically split window
  • Ctrl + ws - split window
  • Ctrl + ww - switch windows
  • Ctrl + wq - quit a window
  • Ctrl + wv - split window vertically

Tabs

  • :tabnew filename or :tabn filename - open a file in a new tab
  • Ctrl + wt - move the current split window into its own tab
  • gt or :tabnext or :tabn - move to the next tab
  • gT or :tabprev or :tabp - move to the previous tab
  • #gt - move to tab number #
  • :tabmove # - move current tab to the #th position (indexed from 0)
  • :tabclose or :tabc - close the current tab and all its windows
  • :tabonly or :tabo - close all tabs except for the current one

Languages