|Linux / Unix Command: vi, vim, gvim|
% vi [options] [file ..]
- The "vi" text editor is not recommended for newbies.
- To exit vi (no changes saved) use these five characters: <ESC>:q!<Enter>.
- vim: Modern Linux distributions use vim (="vi improved") in place of vi, and vim is somewhat better than the original vi.
- gvim: The GUI version of vi is also available: type gvim in an X terminal.
- The most
important thing to understand about vi is that is a "modal"
editor, i.e., it has a few modes of operation among which user must switch.
(The same keystrokes have different effects in different modes.) The quick
reference is below, with the 4 essential commands in red.
The commands to switch modes:
|Enters the mode||Remarks|
|<ESC>||command mode||(get back to the command mode from any editing mode)|
|i||"insert" editing mode||(start inserting before the current position of the cursor)|
DO NOT PRESS ANY OTHER KEYES IN THE COMMAND MODE. THERE ARE MORE COMMANDS AND MODES IN THE COMMAND MODE!
Copying, cutting and pasting (in the command mode):
v start highlighting text. Then, move the cursor to highlight text
y copy highlighted text
x cut highlighted text
p paste text that has been cut/copied
Saving and quitting (from the command mode):
:w write (=save)
:w filename write the contents to the file "filename"
:x save and exit
:q quit (it won't let you if changes not saved)
:q! quit discarding changes (you will not be prompted if changes not saved)
% vi parse_record.pl
Starts vi with the default settings and opens file parse_record.pl.
Important: Use the man command (% man) to see how a command is used on your particular computer.