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Vim is a powerful text editor. Keystrokes can be chained together to combine actions, movements and selections into coolness. Folk using Vim 20 years still don't know it all. See also Emacs (and take care of your wrists (and posture)).

todo; big refactor to rearrange commands into motion, action, etc.

See also Documents



  • Shortcut layout - a sample of movement/selection, layed out in their direction


  • 7 Habits For Effective Text Editing 2.0 - "A large percentage of time behind the computer screen is spent on editing text. Investing a little time in learning more efficient ways to use a text editor pays itself back fairly quickly. This presentation will give an overview of the large number of ways of using Vim in a smart way to edit programs, structured text and documentation. Examples will be used to make clear how learning a limited number of habits will avoid wasting time and lower the number of mistakes. Bram Moolenaar is mostly known for being the benevolent dictator of the text editor Vim."

to sort

  • Vim Master - Android app that was created in order to master the operation of vim editor. You can learn a vim operations in quiz format. There are three types of difficulty, Easy, Normal, and Hard. There are 150 questions in total. There are explanations for all questions. You can browse the history of the answered results of yours and other players. You can register your name as Vim Masters for the top grades. This app supports English and Japanese.

  • - Hard Mode is a plugin which disables the arrow keys, the hjkl keys, the page up/down keys, and a handful of other keys which allow one to rely on character-wise navigation. The philosophy behind Hard Mode is that you'll never master Vim's advanced motion and search functionality if you can fall back on the anti-pattern of fumbling around your code with the arrow keys.


Some scripts require Vim 7.3, but some distros have older builds. You can build 7.3 locally though or use a provision system.

Had syntax issue errors. Rumtime path also should include distro base config..;

Packages and support



  perform normal mode command in insert mode


  • vim-expand-region is a Vim plugin that allows you to visually select increasingly larger regions of text using the same key combination.

Command line

What you get pressing :

  beginning of line
  end of line



An area of Vim's memory used to hold text read from a file. In addition, an empty buffer with no associated file can be created to allow the entry of text.

:b [buffer number of any part of name]
  switch to a buffer
set wildchar=<Tab> wildmenu wildmode=full
  with this, :b [tab] gives a menu
  • spinner.vim : fast buffer/file/tab/window switching plugin with only 3 keys.


Windows are like tmux panes, awesome clients, i3 windows, etc. Windows can hold file buffers or plugins like Nerdtree, which are browsable via searches, etc.

:sp [filename]
  open file in new split window
Ctrl-W w
  move forward window
Ctrl-W W
  move backwards window
Ctrl-W then h, j, k, l
  move window focus to left, below, above, right
Ctrl-W then H, J, K, L
  move window in the direction of left, below, above, right
Ctrl-W x
  switch windows around
Ctrl-W =
  balance window splits

Ctrl-W _
  maximize focused window horizontally
Ctrl-W |
  maximize focused window vertically
  quit all buffer windows on current tab

  • golden-ratio - Resize windows automatically using the Golden Ratio


map <silent> <C-J> <C-W>w
map <silent> <C-K> <C-W>W
map <silent> <C-,> :call DWM_Rotate(0)<CR>
map <silent> <C-.> :call DWM_Rotate(1)<CR>

map <silent> <C-N> :call DWM_New()<CR>
map <silent> <C-C> :call DWM_Close()<CR>
map <silent> <C-Space> :call DWM_Focus()<CR>
map <silent> <C-@> :call DWM_Focus()<CR>

map <silent> <C-H> :call DWM_GrowMaster()<CR>
map <silent> <C-L> :call DWM_ShrinkMaster()<CR>


:tab new
  create new tab

  close tab
  list existing tabs
  go to next tab
  go to previous tab
  go to tab in position i
:tab drop {file}
  open {file} in a new tab, or jump to a window/tab containing the file if there is one
:tab split
  copy the current window to a new tab of its own

:tabm [n]
  move tab to nth position
  move tab to last
:tab ball
  split all buffers into tabs
:tab help
  open a new help window in its own tab page
:bufdo qall
  send qall command to all tabs
  to check

File operations

Command line

vim filename
  edit file (or create a buffer if file doesn't exist)

If you want to start vim with several files in a splitted window, just type;

vim -o a b c

for the horizontal split, and

vim -O a b c

for the vertical split.

  • - z for vim. uses viminfo's list of recently edited files to open one quickly no matter where you are in the filesystem. by default, it will open the most recently edited file matching all of the provided regular expressions.

In Vim

:e filename
  open filename in vim

:w filename
  save as
  quit if saved
  save if changed and quit, same as :wq
  save as above
  even if not saved (also :q!)

:ex .
  explore files in file directory. opens in split pans if file modified.
  as above but forces split
  as above but vertical split
  as above but in new tab

  open file
  open file in new split buffer


:echo @%
  directory/name of file
:echo expand('%:t')
  name of file ('tail')
:echo expand('%:p')
  full path
:echo expand('%:p:h')
  directory containing file ('head')

File navigation


:e ..
  • why_does_nerdtree_exist_whats_wrong_with_netrw


:set cursorline


  start of file
  end of file

  move to line 123
  move to line 123 (easier imo)
  line beginning
  first non-whitespace character
  line end
  forward to start next word
  forward to start of next WORD (ignoring hyphens, etc.)

  forward to end of word
  forward to end of WORD (ignoring hyphens, etc.)

  backward word
  backward WORD

  backward to the end of word [count] |inclusive|.
  backward to the end of WORD [count] |inclusive|. [15]
  beginning of previous sentence
  next sentence
  current brace
  beginning of previous
  next paragraph
  cursor to top of screen (high)
  cursor to middle of screen (middle)
  cursor to bottom of screen (low)
  move cursor down half-page
  move cursor up half-page 

  mark cursor position 'a'
  move to mark position 'a'
  move back location
  move forward location
  move down a soft linebreak line

  centre screen on cursor
  move screen top to cursor
  move screen bottom to cursor
  Moves screen up one line
  Moves screen down one line
  Moves screen up ½ page
  Moves screen down ½ page
  Moves screen up one page
  Moves screen down one page [16]

Finding things

  search for text
  search for text under cursor

  repeat search forwards
  repeat search backwards

  move to next X on same line

  move to third last X on same line

  move to character before next X on same line

  move to second previous X on same line

  repeat find/to movement command
  repeat find/to movement in opposite direction

  • vim-extended-ft - adds the following behaviour to the default behaviour of the f, F, t, and T commands: Multiline - Can search across multiple lines or continue searching across multiple lines using ; and , keys, Smart Case - When the search character is lower case it matches both lower and upper case, and when the character is uppercase it matches only upper case. Allow repeating t and T commands using ; or , commands. Highlighting - Which is disabled automatically when moving your cursor afterwards. It's also worth noting that it only adds the new position to the jumplist if you've changed lines.

  • Seek is a vim plugin that aims to make inline navigation effortless. The motion seek, summoned with s by default, is similar to f, but instead of one it expects two characters.

  • EasyMotion provides a much simpler way to use some motions in vim. It takes the <number> out of <number>w or <number>f{char} by highlighting all possible choices and allowing you to press one key to jump directly to the target.

  • Command-T plug-in for VIM provides an extremely fast, intuitive mechanism for opening files with a minimal number of keystrokes. It's named "Command-T" because it is inspired by the "Go to File" window bound to Command-T in TextMate. Files are selected by typing characters that appear in their paths, and are ordered by an algorithm which knows that characters that appear in certain locations (for example, immediately after a path separator) should be given more weight. [19]
  • FuzzyFinder -FuzzyFinder provides convenient ways to quickly reach the

buffer/file/command/bookmark/tag you want. FuzzyFinder searches with the fuzzy/partial pattern to which it converted an entered pattern.

  • ctrlp.vim - Full path fuzzy file, buffer, mru, tag, ... finder for Vim.

Line numbers


  repeat last change. doesn't work with plugin actions without script.
  insert at cursor
  insert at line beginning
  append after the cursor
  append at the end of the line
  add ('open') line below and insert
  add line above and insert
  delete character under cursor
  delete character before cursor
  change one character and insert

Delete, yank and paste

Cut, copy, paste.

  yank (copy) current text
  yank current line
  yank current line to system clipboard

  yank all lines to clipboard [21]
  delete and yank (cut)
  delete to (find) and including *
  delete character (alias: "x")
  delete current line including linebreak
  delete to end of word from cursor including space
  delete to end of word from cursor leaving spae
  delete to end of line from cursor

  delete inner word
  delete inner WORD
  delete word, up to delimiter
  delete WORD, including previous space
  delete inner sentence
  delete a sentence
  delete inner '(' ')' block
  delete a '(' ')' block
  delete inner paragraph
  delete a paragraph
  delete inner '{' '}' block
  delete a '{' '}' block
3dk would delete 4 lines in the upward direction
  delete line, yank to 'a' register
  delete line, append yank to 'a' register

  delete line to blackhole register (no yank)
  paste yanked text after cursor/line
  paste yanked text before cursor/line

  paste 'a' register
  paste last yanked (not deleted) item


c - change (delete and insert)

  delete current line including linebreak, insert
  delete to end of word from cursor, insert
  delete to end of line from cursor, insert
  delete inner word, insert
  change inner quoted string
  change inner brackets
  change inner contents of [].. ci], ci) for insert on closing bracket
  change an object
  change an object, including space


Selection highlighting.

v - visual select text

  visual inner word
  visual inner word, toggle case
  visual inner paragraph
  visual, end of word, change highlighted

  visual select lines
  visual select a block


  # indent right

  # indent left
  # fix indentation for selection

  # fix indentation for one line

  # visual select lines, then reformat with =


Ctrl-Y - copy character from line above
Ctrl-E - copy character from line below

Ctrl-N - auto-completion next match
Ctrl-P - auto-completion previous match

Search and replace

:s/foo/bar/ - search and replace first occurrence
:s/foo/bar/s - search and replace, global current line
:%s/foo/bar/g - search and replace, global whole file
:%s/foo/bar/gc - search and replace, with confirm

Global action


:g/text string/d
  delete all lines with text string

:!g/text string/d
  delete all lines without text string [23]

  fast delete
  delete all lines without a #

qaq:g/pattern/y A
  Explanation qaq is a trick to clear register a (qa starts recording a macro to register a, then q stops recording, leaving a empty). y A is an Ex command (:help :y). It yanks the current line into register A (append to register a).


qa - start recording macro 'a', q - stop recording
qA - start appending to macro 'a'
@a - play macro a
@@ - execute again
3@a - play macro 3 thrice

:let @a='macrogoeshere' - write macro manually
Ctrl-R Ctrl-R a - insert mode
:let @a='Ctrl-R Ctrl-R a - edit existing macro

(macros are saved in registers)


  delete word into the a register
  delete word into no register

  system clipboard



:mks sessionsave.file
  save session

vim -S sessionsave.file
  load session from cli
  • session.vim improves upon Vim's built-in :mksession command by enabling you to easily and (if you want) automatically persist and restore your Vim editing sessions. It works by generating a Vim script that restores your current settings and the arrangement of tab pages and/or split windows and the files they contain.
  • obsession.vim - Vim features a :mksession command to write a file containing the current state of Vim: window positions, open folds, stuff like that. For most of my existence, I found the interface way too awkward and manual to be useful, but I've recently discovered that the only thing standing between me and simple, no-hassle Vim sessions is a few tweaks: Instead of making me remember to capture the session immediately before exiting Vim, allow me to do it at any time, and automatically re-invoke :mksession immediately before exit. Also invoke :mksession whenever the layout changes (in particular, on BufEnter), so that even if Vim exits abnormally, I'm good to go. If I load an existing session, automatically keep it updated as above. If I try to create a new session on top of an existing session, don't refuse to overwrite it. Just do what I mean. If I pass in a directory rather than a file name, just create a Session.vim inside of it. Don't capture options and maps. Options are sometimes mutilated and maps just interfere with updating plugins.
  • - provides dynamically created headers or footers and uses configurable lists to show recently used or bookmarked files and persistent sessions. All of this can be accessed in a simple to use menu that even allows to open multiple entries at once.


  • movar is a Vim plugin that adds a couple of movements that make working with variables easier.
  • CamelCaseMotion - A vim script to provide CamelCase motion through words
  • textobj-word-column.vim - word-based column text-object makes operating on columns of code conceptually simpler and reduces keystrokes.
  • Surround.vim is all about "surroundings": parentheses, brackets, quotes, XML tags, and more. The plugin provides mappings to easily delete, change and add such surroundings in pairs.
  • vim-pasta - Pasting in Vim with indentation adjusted to destination context.
  • delimitMate provides insert mode auto-completion for quotes, parens, brackets, etc.


  undo last change
  undo whilst in insert mode 
  undo all changes to current line
  create new undo point
  • Gundo is a plugin to make browsing the undo tree less painful.


  # autocomplete keyword forwards
  # autocomplete keyword backwards
  # completion mode
Ctrl-x Ctrl-f
  # filepath completion mode

  • YouCompleteMe YouCompleteMe is a fast, as-you-type, fuzzy-search code completion engine for Vim. It has several completion engines: an identifier-based engine that works with every programming language, a semantic, Clang-based engine that provides native semantic code completion for C/C++/Objective-C/Objective-C++ (from now on referred to as "the C-family languages"), a Jedi-based completion engine for Python and an omnifunc-based completer that uses data from Vim's omnicomplete system to provide semantic completions for many other languages (Ruby, PHP etc.).[24]
  • neocomplcache is the abbreviation of "neo-completion with cache". It provides keyword completion system by maintaining a cache of keywords in the current buffer. neocomplcache could be customized easily and has a lot more features than the Vim's standard completion feature.
  • Supertab is a vim plugin which allows you to use <Tab> for all your insert completion needs (:help ins-completion).


  • vim-pad - A quick notetaking plugin for vim.
  • vimroom - Simulating a vaguely WriteRoom-like environment in Vim.
  • scratch.vim - Plugin to create and use a scratch Vim buffer

the above requires;


Folds are sections of text reduced to one line (based on brackets, indentation, etc.). Folding is on by default. I have the foldlevel dialed up to 20 to avoid them.

zo - open fold
zO - open fold recursively
zc - close fold
zC - close fold resursive
zR - open all folds
zM - close all
zj - go down and up a fold
zk - go up a fold


:Gwrite - git add file
:Gread - git checkout (revert) open to staged version
:Gremove - git rm and close buffer
:Gmove - git mv file. with /, relative to git root; without, relative to file
:Gcommit - git commit, opens message buffer
:Gblame - open split window with git blame details
:Gbrowse - open Github, else git instaweb for local sevrer
  exit :Gdiff mode

vim#diff resolution:

:diffget [buffer] - get diff from another buffer
:diffput [buffer] - put diff into another buffer
:diffupdate - update diff colouring
dg - get from other buffer pane (only 2 pane)
dp - put to other buffer pane (works in 3 pane)
[c - jump to previous changeset
]c - jump to next changeset
:only - close buffers other than active
  • gitgutter.vim - shows a git diff in the 'gutter' (sign column). It shows whether each line has been added, modified, and where lines have been removed. breaks vim on script load on server side git repos for me.
  • vim-signify - Sy shows all added, deleted and modified lines since the last commit via Vim its sign column. It supports several version control systems.
  • gitv is a ‘gitk clone’ plugin for the text editor Vim. The goal is to give you a similar set of functionality as a repository viewer. Using this plugin you can view a repository’s history including branching and merging, you can see which commits refs point to. You can quickly and easily view what changed to which files and when. You can perform arbitrary diffs (using Vim’s excellent built in diff functionality) and you can easily check out whole commits and branches or just individual files if need be.
  • gitsessions.vim - Automatically saves and loads sessions based on the current working directory and git branch name after the first manual save.



  • Syntastic is a syntax checking plugin that runs files through external syntax checkers and displays any resulting errors to the user. This can be done on demand, or automatically as files are saved. If syntax errors are detected, the user is notified and is happy because they didn't have to compile their code or execute their script to find them. At the time of this writing, syntax checking plugins exist for applescript, c, coffee, cpp, css, cucumber, cuda, docbk, erlang, eruby, fortran, gentoo_metadata, go, haml, haskell, html, javascript, json, less, lua, matlab, perl, php, puppet, python, rst, ruby, sass/scss, sh, tcl, tex, vala, xhtml, xml, xslt, yaml, zpt
  • taglist.vim - Source code browser (supports C/C++, java, perl, python, tcl, sql, php, etc)
    • Taglist-plus provides excellent Javascript support via jsctags- best fork of the fork



Creating and editing

  • xml.vim : helps editing xml (and [x]html, sgml, xslt) files







Doesn't work with some languages

  toggle comments (for small comments)
  toggle comment for the current line
  comment region
  comment the current line

Arrow keys


I chose /usr/share/config/vim

/usr/local/share/vim is a default $VIMRUNTIME though

If you're editing .vimrc, you can reload it with:

:so %

% stands for current file name (see :h current-file) and :so is short for :source, which reads the content of the specified file and treats it as Vim code. [27]

In general, to re-load the currently active .vimrc, use the following (see Daily Vim):



Script management

  • NeoBundle is Vim plugin manager based on Vundle.
  • VAM is short name for vim-addon-manager. You declare a set of plugins. VAM will fetch & activate them at startup or runtime depending on your needs. Activating means handling runtimepath and making sure all .vim file get sourced.
  • vim-plug - A single-file Vim plugin manager. Somewhere between Pathogen and Vundle, but with faster parallel installer. [29]


  • - If you start Vim without giving any filenames to it (or pipe stuff to it so it reads from STDIN), startify will show a small but pretty start screen which shows recently used files (using viminfo) and sessions by default. Additionally, you can define bookmarks, thus entries for files that always should be available in the start screen. It also eases handling of loading and saving sessions by only working with a certain directory.



  • SmartusLine is Vim plugin that changes the color of the statusline of the focused window according with the current mode (normal/insert/replace)



  • Vmail is a Vim interface to Gmail.

To sort

  • Vim-OrgMode - Text outlining and task management for Vim based on Emacs’ Org-Mode

  • ZoomWin - Zoom in/out of windows (toggle between one window and multi-window)

  • subvim Vim customized to be like SublimeText

  • spf13-vim is a distribution of vim plugins and resources for Vim, GVim and MacVim. It is a completely cross platform distribution that stays true to the feel of vim while providing modern features like a plugin management system, autocomplete, tags and tons more.



  • Conque is a Vim plugin which allows you to run interactive programs, such as bash on linux or powershell.exe on Windows, inside a Vim buffer. In other words it is a terminal emulator which uses a Vim buffer to display the program output.
:ConqueTerm zsh

:ConqueTermSplit <command>
:ConqueTermVSplit <command>
:ConqueTermTab <command>
  • browser-connect.vim - implements a VIM interface for browser-connect-server in order to provide a live coding environment similar to the one currently available in LightTable.





Tmux integration

  • vimux - Easily interact with tmux from vim.


  • netrw.vim : Network oriented reading, writing, and browsing




:e scp:// - open remote file
$ vim scp://
:reg - list register contents
K - in normal mode, run man for current word (opens "man word" in shell)

Vim everywhere




Chrome extension. As Chrome can't spawn child processes, text is passed to a local server which launches Vim.

It's All Text

Firefox extension. Only does textarea, no WYSIWYG support. Doesn't launch Vim correctly be default if FF not launched from terminal.