Getting beyond vi with the vim text editor


Article from Issue 85/2007

You don’t have to use the vim text editor as a latter day vi. These simple tricks will save you time and keystrokes.

Vim has become the de facto replacement for vi in most Linux distributions. If you have been using Unix systems for a while, you probably have not even noticed that you are now using vim instead of vi because all the usual vi commands work as you would expect in vim. However, vim is an extremely powerful editor – think emacs without the need to grow additional fingers and attend yoga classes – and therefore is much more than just a vi clone. These features are ready for you to use, and once you start using them, you might wonder how you survived without them. This article puts you on the road to vim enlightenment by highlighting some useful features you might not know about if you’re accustomed to using vim as another form of vi.

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