Turkeybytes: Vim Text Editor

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for Vim. Vim, which stands for “Vi Improved,” is a text editor that is based on Vi, an older editor that was used with the original Unix operating system. Vim is free, open source software that comes with most modern Linux distributions. It is mostly for writing programs and scripts, but can be used to edit any sort of basic text file. It is designed so that the user never has to take their hands off of the keyboard or touch a mouse. If you use Vim properly, your palms can stay in the same position while only your fingers move. For this reason, Vim users are occasionally referred to as keyboard cowboys.

VimHow do you use Vim?

Vim can can take some time to get used to at first, and it’s not clear how to do anything when you first open it up. Fortunately, it comes with a couple of built-in resources to help you get started. First off, you can type :help in order to view a full list of commands. You can also type vimtutor at the command line to access a 30 minute tutorial. If that’s not the way you learn, here are some basic commands to get you started. Vim has two modes, command mode and insert mode. Type i to enter insert mode, and press the ESC key to go back to command mode. While in insert mode, you can type normally. In command mode, each key does something different. In case you want to leave Vim once you’ve opened it, the command to quit is :q. You can also type :q! to quit without saving, or :wq to save and quit. Finally, here is a handy cheat sheet of commands for you to try out:

vi-vim-cheat-sheet

Vim is included in most Unix-based operating systems. If you don’t have it, you can download it using your package manager. On Debian-based distributions, that command is: apt-get install vim .

Happy coding!

To download, click here

For more information, check out the Vim Tips Wiki