Chuck Carroll

Vim Basics

Published: 2022-11-07

Vim has been my text editor of choice for a couple of years. Vim (a contraction of vi improved) is a CLI text editor based on vi. It does have a learning curve as it's keyboard driven rather than menus or icons. I've been using for the entirety of this website, for posts (including this one), for editing configs, and also for to do lists. Although running vimtutor has been helpful in learning Vim, here are some basics for navigation and other functionality.


Command Description
j move down
k move up
h move left
l move right
L move to bottom of screen
H move to top of screen
$ move to end of the line
0 move to beginning of the line
i insert text
I insert text at the beginning of the line
gg move to very top of document
G move to very bottom of document
shift+left/right arrow next word/previous word

Saving & Exiting

Command Description
:w write/save file
:q quit
:q! force quit without saving
:wq write/save and quit


Command Description
yy yank/copy
dd cut line
p paste text after cursor
P paste text before cursor
x delete
X backspace
u undo
:redo redo

Other Useful Commands

Command Description
gq reformat line to paragraph
:set spell spelllang=en_us enables English spellcheck
:%s/value1/value2/g Find and replace 'value1' with 'value2'
:set linebreak Creates linebreaks after word rather than character. Useful for writing.
:colorscheme [space] [tab] Cycle through the different preinstalled vim color themes.
:w !wc -w Display wordcount

Useful websites

Vim Tips and Tricks

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