Blessed are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth

VIM Cheatsheet

by Joe Ritchey


Posted on Sun 10 November 2019 in cheatsheets


Summary: VIM - Noun, engery; enthusiasm

Vim (a contraction of vi improved) is a clone, with additions, of Bill Joy's vi text editor program for Unix. Its almost 30 yrs old and still the go to text editor for many admins. There is always that set of key commands I need to look up. So I'm publish a cheatsheet as a quick go to.

Global

:help keyword - open help for keyword

:saveas file - save file as

:close - close current pane

K - open man page for word under the cursor

Navigation

h - move cursor left

j - move cursor down

k - move cursor up

l - move cursor right

H - move to top of screen

M - move to middle of screen

L - move to bottom of screen

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)

% - move to matching character (default supported pairs: '()', '{}', '[]' - use :h matchpairs in vim for more info)

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_ - jump to the last non-blank character of the line

gg - go to the first line of the document

G - go to the last line of the document

5G - go to line 5

fx - jump to next occurrence of character x

tx - jump to before next occurrence of character x

Fx - jump to previous occurence of character x

Tx - jump to after previous occurence of character x

; - repeat previous f, t, F or T movement

, - repeat previous f, t, F or T movement, backwards

} - jump to next paragraph (or function/block, when editing code)

{ - jump to previous paragraph (or function/block, when editing code)

zz - center cursor on screen

Ctrl + e - move screen down one line (without moving cursor)

Ctrl + y - move screen up one line (without moving cursor)

Ctrl + b - move back one full screen

Ctrl + f - move forward one full screen

Ctrl + d - move forward 1/2 a screen

Ctrl + u - move back 1/2 a screen

Tip Prefix a cursor movement command with a number to repeat it. For example, 4j moves down 4 lines.

Editing

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

r - replace a single character

J - join line below to the current one with one space in between

gJ - join line below to the current one without space in between

gwip - reflow paragraph

cc - change (replace) entire line

C - change (replace) to the end of the line

c$ - change (replace) to the end of the line

ciw - change (replace) entire word

cw - change (replace) to the end of the word

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

Registers

:reg - show registers content

"xy - yank into register x

"xp - paste contents of register x

Tip Registers are being stored in ~/.viminfo, and will be loaded again on next restart of vim.

Tip Register 0 contains always the value of the last yank command.

Marks

:marks - list of marks

ma - set current position for mark A

`a - jump to position of mark A

y`a - yank text to position of mark A

Macros

qa - record macro a

q - stop recording macro

@a - run macro a

@@ - rerun last run macro

Clipboard

yy - yank (copy) a line

2yy - yank (copy) 2 lines

yw - yank (copy) the characters of the word from the cursor position to the start of the next 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) the characters of the word from the cursor position to the start of the next 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

:w !sudo tee % - write out the current file using sudo

:wq or :x or ZZ - write (save) and quit

:q - quit (fails if there are unsaved changes)

:q! or ZQ - quit and throw away unsaved changes

:wqa - write (save) and quit on all tabs

Search and replace

/pattern - search for pattern

?pattern - search backward for pattern

\vpattern - 'very magic' pattern: non-alphanumeric characters are interpreted as special regex symbols (no escaping needed)

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

:noh - remove highlighting of search matches

Search in multiple files

:vimgrep /pattern/ {file} - search for pattern in multiple files

e.g.:vimgrep /foo/ */

:cn - jump to the next match

:cp - jump to the previous match

:copen - open a window containing the list of matches

Working with multiple files

:e file - 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)

:ls - list all open buffers

:sp file - open a file in a new buffer and split window

:vsp file - 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

Ctrl + wh - move cursor to the left window (vertical split)

Ctrl + wl - move cursor to the right window (vertical split)

Ctrl + wj - move cursor to the window below (horizontal split)

Ctrl + wk - move cursor to the window above (horizontal split)