How to Use Vim – Vim Cheat Sheet

Cursor movement

  • h – move cursor left
  • j – move cursor down
  • k – move cursor up
  • l – move cursor right
  • 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)
  • 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 – 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
  • } – Jump to next paragraph (or function/block, when editing code)
  • { – Jump to previous paragraph (or function/block, when editing code)

Insert mode – inserting/appending text

  • 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

Editing

  • r – replace a single character
  • J – join line below to the current one
  • cc – change (replace) entire line
  • cw – change (replace) to the end of the word
  • c$ – change (replace) to the end of the line
  • 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

Cut and paste

  • yy – yank (copy) a line
  • 2yy – yank (copy) 2 lines
  • yw – yank (copy) 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) 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
  • :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

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

Working with multiple files

  • :e filename – 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)
  • :sp filename – open a file in a new buffer and split window
  • :vsp filename – 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)

Tabs

  • :tabnew filename or :tabn filename – open a file in a new tab
  • Ctrl + wT – move the current split window into its own tab
  • gt or :tabnext or :tabn – move to the next tab
  • gT or :tabprev or :tabp – move to the previous tab
  • #gt – move to tab number #
  • :tabmove # – move current tab to the #th position (indexed from 0)
  • :tabclose or :tabc – close the current tab and all its windows
  • :tabonly or :tabo – close all tabs except for the current one

 

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