Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

What would you like to do?
Vim shortcuts


  • C-a == Ctrl-a
  • M-a == Alt-a


:q        close
:w        write/saves
:wa[!]    write/save all windows [force]
:wq       write/save and close
:x        save and quit, same as wq
:q!       force close if file has changed and not save changes
v        Enter visual mode for selection of LINES
C-v      Enter visual mode for selection of BLOCKS
y        Yank/copy selected region
yy       Yank/copy entire line
"<reg>y  Yank/copy marked region into register <reg> (register from a-z)
c        Cut selection
p        Paste yanked content
"<reg>p  Paste yanked content in register <reg> (from a-z)
P        Paste yanked content BEFORE
u        Undo
C-r      Redo
:!<cmd>  Execute shell command <cmd>
C-z      send vim to background (fg brings it to front again)


C-ws     Split current window horizontally (alternative :split)
C-wv     Split current window vertically (alternative :vsplit)
C-ww     Jump to the next window
C-wARROW Jump to window left/right/top/bottom (arrow keys) to the current
C-w#<    Shrink/resize current window from the right by # (default 1) 
C-w#>    Increase/resize current window to the right by # (default 1) 

Entering insert mode

a        Append text after the cursor
A        Append text at the end of the line
i        Insert text before the cursor
I        Insert text before the first non-blank in the line
o        Begin a new line BELOW the cursor and insert text
O        Begin a new line ABOVE the cursor and insert text, 
s        Erase the current letter under the cursor
S        Erase the whole line
cc       Delete the current line
cw       Delete word.


Vim has 26 registers (a-z), select the one you want to record in, see below. Exit Record mode with ESC

q[a-z]   Start recording, everything will be recorded including movement actions.
@[a-z]   Execute the recorded actions.    

Spell checking

See vimcast #19 as an introduction:

Assuming that you have the following in .vimrc:

nnoremap <silent> <leader>s :set spell!<cr>
<leader>s Toggle Spelling
]s       Next spelling mistake
[s       Previous spelling mistake
z=       Give Suggestions (prepent 1, use first suggestions automatically)
zg       Add misspelled to spellfile
zug      Remove word from spellfile




h        cursor left
j        cursor down
l        cursor right
k        cursor up
H        Jump to TOP of screen
M        Jump to MIDDLE of screen
L        Jump to BOTTOM of screen
C-b      Move back one full screen (page up)
C-f      Move forward one full screen (page down)
C-d      Move forward 1/2 screen; half page down
C-u      Move back (up) 1/2 screen; half page up
w        jump by start of words (punctuation considered words)
e        jump to end of words (punctuation considered words)
b        jump backward by words (punctuation considered words)
0 (zero) start of line
^        first non-blank character of line
$        end of line
G        bottom of file
gg       top of file

good to know

E        jump to end of words (no punctuation)
W        jump by words (spaces separate words)
B        jump backward by words (no punctuation)
#G       goto line #
#gg      goto line #

Search, jump

consider consulting :help [ and :help g

*        search for word under cursor (forward) and highlight occurrence (see incsearch, hlsearch below)
%        jump from open/close ( / #if / ( / { to corresponding ) / #endif / } 
[{       jump to start of current code block
]}       jump to end of current code block
gd       jump to var declaration (see incsearch, hlsearch below)
f<c>     Find char <c> from current cursor position -- forwards
F<c>     Find char <c> from current cursor position -- backwards
,        Repeat previous f<c> or F<c> in opposite direction
;        Repeat previous f<c> or F<c> in same direction
'.       jump back to last edited line.
g;       jump back to last edited position.
[m       jump to start of funtion body
[i       show first declartion/use of the word under cursor
[I       show all occurrences of word under cursor in current file
[/       cursor to N previous start of a C comment

vimgrep and quickfix list

built-in grep, vimgrep uses vim's quickfix list. see vimcasts#44 for introduction:

:vimgrep /<regex>/g %        Search for <regex> with multiple occasions per line (g) 
                             in current file (%)
:vimgrep /<C-r>// %          On the command line, <C-r>/ (that is: CTRL-R followed by /) 
                             will insert the last search pattern.  
:vimgrep /<a>/g <filelist>   Search in the given files (<filelist>) 
:vimgrep /<a>/g *.cc         Search in all *.cc files current directory
:vimgrep /<a>/g **/*.cc      Search in all *.cc files in every sub-directory (recursively) 
:vimgrep /<a>/g `find . -type f`     
                             Search in all files that are returns by the backtick command.

:vim     short for :vimgrep

:cnext   Jump to next record/match in quickfix list
:cprev   Jump to previous record/match in quickfix list

Unimpaired plugin ( provides the following mappings:

[q       see :cprev
]q       see :cnext
[Q       see :cfirst
]Q       see :clast

see also: and


Mark a position in a buffer and jump back to it. see also

ma       set mark a at current cursor location
'a       jump to line of mark a (first non-blank character in line)
`a       jump to position (line and column) of mark a
d'a      delete from current line to line of mark a
d`a      delete from current cursor position to position of mark a
c'a      change text from current line to line of mark a
y`a      yank text to unnamed buffer from cursor to position of mark a
:marks   list all the current marks
:marks aB list marks a, B

(text is copied from link above)


x        Delete char UNDER cursor
X        Delete char BEFORE cursor
#x       Delete the next # chars. starting from char under cursor
dw       Delete next word
dW       Delete UP TO the next word
d^       Delete up unto the beginning of the line
d$       Delete until end of the line 
D        See d$, delete until end of the line  
dd       Delete whole line
dib      Delete contents in parenthesis '(' ')' block (e.g. function args)
diB      Delete inner '{' '}' block
daB      Delete a '{' '}' block
das      Delete a senctence
ciB      Change inner '{' '}' block
#J       Merge # number of lines together
C-n      Keyword completion
Tab      Keyword completion (SuperTab plugin)
r<c>     Replace char <c>
#r<c>    Replace follow # chars with <c>, : csock, cursor on s, 3re ceeek
:s/xxx/yyy/    Replace xxx with yyy at the first occurrence
:s/xxx/yyy/g   Replace xxx with yyy first occurrence, global (whole sentence)
:s/xxx/yyy/gc  Replace xxx with yyy global with confirm
:%s/xxx/yyy/g  Replace xxx with yyy global in the whole file
u        Convert selection (visual mode) to lowercase
U        Convert selection (visual mode) to uppercase
:g/^#/d  Delete all lines that begins with #
:g/^$/d  Delete all lines that are empty


ga       Show ASCII of char under cursor

Key sequences

Replace a word in a number of occurrences with 'bar'; use word under cursor (* or /foo)

* cw bar ESC n .

*     word under cursor 'foo'
cw    change word (enter insert mode)
bar   typed new word 'bar'
ESC   exit insert mode
n     next occurrence
.     repeat previous command 

Insert 3 times "Help!": Help! Help! Help!

3i Help!_ ESC

Insert previously yanked text in line after current


Search for selected text

<select> y / C-r0

<select> Select text in VISUAL mode (v)
y        Yank selection
/        Search for
C-r0     Press Ctrl-R and 0 to paste in

Comment out selection

C-v <select> # ESC ESC

C-v   Enter VISUAL block mode
<sel> Select lines
#     Comment char for programming language (perl, python, bash, etc)
ESC   Exit
ESC   Completes adding comment char for previous selected block


auto correction of frequently misspelled words.

:abbr Lunix Linux
:abbr accross across
:abbr hte the


  • If you set the incsearch option, Vim will show the first match for the pattern, while you are still typing it. This quickly shows a typo in the pattern.
  • If you set the hlsearch option, Vim will highlight all matches for the pattern with a yellow background. This gives a quick overview of where the search command will take you. In program code it can show where a variable is used. You don't even have to move the cursor to see the matches.


F3       Toogle NERD-Tree visible 


C-p      Open ctrlp window (alternative :CtrlP)
:CtrlP d Open CtrlP with specific d = directory
C-b      Change mode: mru (most recent used) | buffers | files


Cheat sheets


tipps and tricks


  • NERDTree
  • NERDCommenter
  • Ctrl-P
  • easytags
  • unimpard
  • supertab
  • tagbar
  • omnicomplete (C++)


  • zenburn
  • tango

Color column

:set colorcolumn=81
highlight ColorColumn ctermbg=8

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Owner Author

@albacoretuna albacoretuna commented Aug 14, 2015

This is great, specially the edit section had many new stuff for me!

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment