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Vim Cheat Sheet

Vim Cheat Sheet

Vim is an advanced CLI based text editor. Many key combinations used in Vim are easily associated with a memorable phrase. One effective way to use Vim is to associate phrases with Operators, Text Objects and Motions. Then compose a phrase for what you want to do. Start with an Operator followed by a Text Object or Motion. Prefix an Operator, Command or Motion with a number/count to extend it.

Table of Contents

Modes

Essentially a Mode sets the available keyboard interactions. The default Mode is Normal when Vim is started.

Esc - Normal –– Commands, Operators, Motions, Text Objects and navigation
i - Insert –– Insert text, word and line completion
: - Command-Line –– Vim internal Command-Lines, Operators and external Shell Commands
v - Visual –– Visual selecting
TOC

Operators

Operators are generally used to delete or change text. A Motion or Text Object may be used after an Operator.

y - Yank –– copy text
d - Delete –– cut text
c - Change –– cut and enter Insert Mode
> - Indent –– shift text right
< - Unindent –– shift text left
gU - Uppercase –– make text uppercase
gu - Lowercase –– make text lowercase
~ - Toggle Case –– toggle case of character(s)
! - Shell Command –– External Filter
= - Format automatically
TOC

Motions

Motions move the cursor and may be used after an Operator to define a text range in which to operate.

Left-Right Line Motions

h - Left –– cursor left one character
l - Right –– cursor right one character
0 - First –– cursor to first character of line
^ - First –– cursor to first non-blank character of line
$ - End –– cursor to last character of line
g_ - Go to last –– cursor to last non-blank character of line
f<character> - Find the next character after the cursor
F<character> - Find the next character before the cursor
t<character> - Till the next character after the cursor
T<character> - Till the next character before the cursor
TOC

Up-Down Motions

k - Up –– cursor up one character
j - Down –– cursor down character
TOC

Word Motions

w - Word –– cursor to start of word
W - Word –– cursor to start of word (non-blank characters separated by whitespace)
e - End –– cursor to end of word
E - End –– cursor to end of word (non-blank characters separated by whitespace)
b - Back –– to begining of word before cursor
B - Back –– to begining of word before cursor (non-blank characters separated by whitespace)
ge - Go End –– to end of word before cursor
gE - Go End –– to end of word before cursor (non-blank characters separated by whitespace)
TOC

Text Object Motions

) - Sentence –– cusor forward a sentence
TOC

Jump Motions

Ctrl+f - Forward –– cursor page down
Ctrl+b - Back –– cursor page up
H - Home top line of window
M - Middle line of window
L - Last line of window
gg - Go to top of file
G - Go to end of file
#gt - Go To tab number #
TOC

Text Objects

Text Objects may be used after an Operator to define a text range in which to operate.

w - Word
s - Sentence
p - Paragraph
t - Tag
i - Inside
iw - Inner Word
it - Inner Tag
ip - Inner Paragraph
as - A Sentence
TOC

Command-Lines

A Vim Command-Line should not be confused with a Command in Normal Mode or a Shell Command. Complete a Command-Line by Enter or Return key.

:h - Help open help view
:q - Quit quit current view. quits vim if no views are open
:q! - Quit quit and ignore any modifications
:w - Write buffer to file (save)
:wq - Write and Quit (save, exit)
/ - Search after cursor for match –– Jump Motion
? - Search before cursor for match –– Jump Motion
:edit! - Reload reload current file ignoring any buffer modifications
:#,#m# - Move Lines move line number range #,# to line number #
:noh - No Highlights clear search highlights
:set paste - Paste enable Insert Paste sub-mode which does not format pasted text
:set nopaste - No Paste disable Insert Paste sub-mode
:!<shell-command> - Interpret Shell Command
:%w !pbcopy - Copy whole buffer to clipboard –– OS X specific
:%w !xclip -i -sel c - Copy whole buffer to clipboard –– GNU/Linux Distribution specific
:%w !xsel -i -b - Copy whole buffer to clipboard –– GNU/Linux Distribution specific
:%s/old/new/gc - Substitute all old occurences with new throughout file with confirmations. similar to sed
:%s/\%Vold/new/gc - Substitute Selection substitute in last visual selection all old occurences with new throughout file with confirmations.
TOC

Buffers

:ls - List numbered buffers (loaded files)
:ls! - List numbered buffers including hidden ones
:#bw - Buffer Wipeout –– wipeout buffer by # number
:b# - Buffer Show –– show buffer by # number in current view
TOC

Windows

ToDo TOC

Tabs

:tabnew <file> - New Tab –– open file in a new tab
:tabnew +b# - New Tab –– open existing buffer by number # in a new tab
:tabm # - Tab Move –– move tab to position number #
:tab ball - Tab All –– open all existing buffers in tabs
TOC

Multi-File Command-Lines

ToDo TOC

Commands

Normal Mode Commands which may or may not enter Insert Mode.

A - Append to end of line
a - Append after cursor
o - Open new blank line below
O - Open new blank line above
D - Delete (cut) to end of line
C - Change to end of line (delete, enter insert mode)
Y - Yank (copy) whole line
p - Paste after cursor
P - Paste before cursor
Ctrl+r - Redo
. - Repeat last command
u - Undo
TOC

Insert Mode

Ctrl+n - Next match –– Word completion
Ctrl+p - Previous match –– Word completion
Ctrl+x Ctrl+l - Line completion
TOC

Terminology

Filter - A program or Shell Command that accepts text at standard input, changes it in some way, and sends it to standard output.

Shell Command - Any external (outside of Vim) executable providing a command-line interface (CLI).
TOC

Caveats

Substitution search pattern \n matches a line-feed character whereas \n does NOT insert a line-feed in the replacement (:%s/\n/\n/). Try using \r instead (:%s/\n/\r/).
TOC

Useful Plugins

Tabulous - Enhanced tabline
Pathogen - Runtime path manager
NERDTree - File tree explorer
CtrlP - Fuzzy file finder
Repeat - Repeat plugin maps
Surround - Surrond text with characters
Commentary - Add code comments
Fugitive - Git wrapper
TOC

Additional Information

Vim.Org
VimDoc
VimGitHub
VimAwesome
VimAdventures
$ vimtutor
TOC

References

ViEmu.Com –– Vim cheat sheet
Vim.Rtorr.Com –– Vim cheat sheet
TuxRadar.Com –– Vim modes
TOC

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