Friday, May 31, 2013

Vim Cheat Sheet and Syntax Highlighting

Vim Cheat Sheet

Saving and Exiting Vim

  • :wq save changes and exit
  • :q! quit changes and exit
  • :q quit and exit provide no changes
  • :x save changes and exit

Moving around lines

  • Use arrow keys to move around
  • For laptop users use hjkl:
  • h left
  • l right
  • k up
  • j down

  • <ctrl>+F page up
  • <ctrl>+B page down
  • e end of the word (forward)
  • b begin of the word (backward)
  • w beging of the word (forward)
  • 0 begin of the line
  • $ end of the line
  • H first line of screen
  • L last line of screen
  • :n goto line number

Text Editing

  • i inset before cursor
  • a append after cursor
  • A append to the end of current line
  • o open an new line below cursor and inset
  • C change the rest of current line
  • r replace current character e.g. rd replace current character to d


  • x delete cha under cursor
  • dw delete word
  • dd delete current line
  • d$ delete the rest of the line form cursor

Copy and Paste

  • yy copy current line
  • dd delete current line or cut current line
  • p paste

Copy and Paste in Visual Mode

  • v enter visual mode, highlight the text
  • y copy highlighted
  • x delete highlight
  • p paste

Undo and Redo (normal mode)

  • u undo
  • U undo all the changes for the current line
  • <ctrl>+r redo

Syntax Highlighting

Enable Syntax Highlighting

  • :syntax on

To enable autoindent

  • :set autoindent

To enable line number

  • :set number

To see the default file type

  • :set filetype

To set filetype manually:

  • :set filetype=perl
  • :set filetype=php
  • :set filetype=python

To configure syntax highlighting permanently, go to the configuration file under vim ~/.vimrc

Add the following:
syntax on
set number
set autoindent

Note: The previous tips should worked on Linux, Max OS X and Unix. If it doesn't work please refer to the man page or check the documentation of vim for the particular OS.


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