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vi is a family of text mode-oriented text editors. For general usage/setup questions please use instead.

vi is a family of text mode-oriented text editors which share certain characteristics, such as methods of invocation from the operating system command interpreter, and characteristic user interface features. The portable subset of the behavior of vi programs, and the ex editor language supported within these programs, is described by (and thus standardized by) the Single Unix Specification and posix.

vi family is required for in cases when graphic environment with other editors available is not present, has failed to boot, is slow to access remotely or avoided just for that edit as the editor must be launched under root rights.

Developers and administrators who know vi may choose to use it as the main editor.

Command Reference:

     vi filename    edit a file named "filename"
     vi newfile     create a new file named "newfile"
     i            insert text left of cursor
     a            append text right of cursor
     h            left one space
     j            down one line
     k            up one line
     l            right one space
     x         delete character
     nx        delete n characters
     X         delete character before cursor
     dw        delete word
     ndw       delete n words
     dd        delete line
     ndd       delete n lines
     D         delete characters from cursor to end of line
     r         replace character under cursor
     cw        replace a word
     ncw       replace n words
     C         change text from cursor to end of line
     o         insert blank line below cursor
                  (ready for insertion)
     O         insert blank line above cursor
                  (ready for insertion)
     J         join succeeding line to current cursor line
     nJ        join n succeeding lines to current cursor line
     u         undo last change
     U         restore current line
     w            forward word by word
     b            backward word by word
     $            to end of line
     0 (zero)     to beginning of line
     H            to top line of screen
     M            to middle line of screen
     L            to last line of screen
     G            to last line of file
     1G           to first line of file
     <Control>f   scroll forward one screen
     <Control>b   scroll backward one screen
     <Control>d   scroll down one-half screen
     <Control>u   scroll up one-half screen
     n            repeat last search in same direction
     N            repeat last search in opposite direction
     ZZ            save file and then quit
     :w            save file
     :q!            discard changes and quit file

Related tags:

  • macvim
  • vim
  • vimrc
  • vimscript

See also vi.stackexchange, a stackexchange site dedicated to vi/vim.