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  • Insert Normal mode: In insert mode, press Ctrl-o to quickly execute a command and come back to insert mode


  • Save current buffer as file.txt: :sav file.text. If you use :w to write the current buffer contents into a new file, post-write, you will still be editing the current buffer

vim opening commands

  • +NUM: File will be opened and cursor positioned on line, NUM
  • +/{pattern}: File will be opened and cursor positioned on first occurence of pattern
  • +"NUMd|x" : Delete a specific line from the file

Cursor movement

  • Move to the line below: j
  • Move the line above: k
  • Move to the character on the right: l
  • Move to the character on the left: h
  • Move forward to the start of the next word: w
  • Move forward to the end of the next word: e
  • Move backward to the start of the previous word: b
  • Move backward to the end of the previous word: ge
  • Jump to the beginning of a line: 0
  • Jump the end of a line: $

Line search

f<c> to go the next occurence of c, ; to repeat this search, , to repeat the search in backward direction F<c> to go the previous occurence of c, ; to repeat this search, , to repeat the search in forward direction

Replacing a word in a block

  • Go the beginning of a word in the block
  • Press Ctrl+v, select the word
  • Select all the words using down arrow
  • c, type in the new word, esc

Changing a word at n positions

  • Search for the word
  • cgn - change it
  • Press the . key to change the next, n to skip it

Recording and playing macros

  • Start macro recording: q<key> where key is the register you want to store the macro in
  • <perform actions>. One point to note here is to make your steps so that you start from the beginning of a line.
  • Press q to save
  • To apply the macro on a line: @<key>
  • To apply the macro to a selection:
  • Visually select the area
  • :'<,'> normal @<key>

Swap two characters

  • Place cursor on the first character
  • xp
  • Learn more:

Switch case

  • Select the character, word
  • Press ~.

Replace character

  • Select
  • Shift+R

Move block of text

  • Left: <<
  • Right: >>


  • Delete till a character on the current line: dt<character>
  • Delete current word: diw
  • Delete text between quotes: di"
  • Delete all the contents: gg to go to the beginning + dG
  • Delete from current position to the end of line: d$
  • Delete entire file contents: :%d


  • * searches forward for the word under cursor, # searches backward for the word under cursor.
  • ggn - go to the top of the file and find next occurence
  • Search history: / and type Ctrl+r, ctrl+w to search in reverse and forward

Miscellaneous movements

  • zz to center the current line to the center
  • G to go the last line of the document
  • gg to go the first line of the document
  • H to move to the top of the screen
  • M to move to the middle of the screen
  • L to move to the bottom of the screen
  • Scroll down half page: Ctrl-d
  • Scroll up half page: Ctrl-u
  • Scroll down full page: Ctrl-f
  • Scroll up full page: Ctrl-b
  • Go to line at 50% of file: 50%
  • In Insert mode, shift+right/left arrow to jump forward/backward by words

External Resources

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