General commands for Visual Editor(vi)

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

What is vi?

The default editor that comes with the UNIX operating system is called vi (visual editor). [Alternate editors for UNIX environments include pico andemacs, a product of GNU.]

* vi filename edit filename starting at line 1
vi -r filename recover filename that was being edited when system crashed

Note: The cursor moves to bottom of screen whenever a colon (:) is typed. This type of command is completed by hitting the <Return> (or <Enter>) key.

* 😡<Return> quit vi, writing out modified file to file named in original invocation
:wq<Return> quit vi, writing out modified file to file named in original invocation
:q<Return> quit (or exit) vi
* :q!<Return> quit vi even though latest changes have not been saved for this vi call
* j or <Return>
[or down-arrow]
move cursor down one line
* k [or up-arrow] move cursor up one line
* h or <Backspace>
[or left-arrow]
move cursor left one character
* l or <Space>
[or right-arrow]
move cursor right one character
* 0 (zero) move cursor to start of current line (the one with the cursor)
* $ move cursor to end of current line
w move cursor to beginning of next word
b move cursor back to beginning of preceding word
:0<Return> or 1G move cursor to first line in file
:n<Return> or nG move cursor to line n
:$<Return> or G move cursor to last line in file
^f move forward one screen
^b move backward one screen
^d move down (forward) one half screen
^u move up (back) one half screen
^l redraws the screen
^r redraws the screen, removing deleted lines
* u UNDO WHATEVER YOU JUST DID; a simple toggle
* i insert text before cursor, until <Esc> hit
I insert text at beginning of current line, until <Esc> hit
* a append text after cursor, until <Esc> hit
A append text to end of current line, until <Esc> hit
* o open and put text in a new line below current line, until <Esc> hit
* O open and put text in a new line above current line, until <Esc> hit
* r replace single character under cursor (no <Esc> needed)
R replace characters, starting with current cursor position, until <Esc> hit
cw change the current word with new text,
starting with the character under cursor, until <Esc> hit
cNw change N words beginning with character under cursor, until <Esc> hit;
e.g., c5w changes 5 words
C change (replace) the characters in the current line, until <Esc> hit
cc change (replace) the entire current line, stopping when <Esc> is hit
Ncc or cNc change (replace) the next N lines, starting with the current line,
stopping when <Esc> is hit
* x delete single character under cursor
Nx delete N characters, starting with character under cursor
dw delete the single word beginning with character under cursor
dNw delete N words beginning with character under cursor;
e.g., d5w deletes 5 words
D delete the remainder of the line, starting with current cursor position
* dd delete entire current line
Ndd or dNd delete N lines, beginning with the current line;
e.g., 5dd deletes 5 lines
yy copy (yank, cut) the current line into the buffer
Nyy or yNy copy (yank, cut) the next N lines, including the current line, into the buffer
p put (paste) the line(s) in the buffer into the text after the current line
/string search forward for occurrence of string in text
?string search backward for occurrence of string in text
n move to next occurrence of search string
N move to next occurrence of search string in opposite direction
:.= returns line number of current line at bottom of screen
:= returns the total number of lines at bottom of screen
^g provides the current line number, along with the total number of lines,
in the file at the bottom of the screen
:r filename<Return> read file named filename and insert after current line
(the line with cursor)
:w<Return> write current contents to file named in original vi call
:w newfile<Return> write current contents to a new file named newfile
:12,35w smallfile<Return> write the contents of the lines numbered 12 through 35 to a new file named smallfile
:w! prevfile<Return> write current contents over a pre-existing file named prevfile


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *