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VIM Quick Reference Guide

The most important VIM commands

Press the <ESC> (escape) key to get to normal mode, then:

:q! quits without saving

:wq saves and quits (write quit)

x deletes individual characters

i inserts text

dw deletes to the end of a word (d2w deletes two words, d3w deletes three words, etc.)

d$ deletes to the end of a line

dd deletes an entire line (2dd deletes two lines, 23dd deletes 23 lines, etc.)

u undoes the last command

U fixes an entire line

<CTRL>R redoes the command

p puts the last deletion after the cursor

r replaces the character under the cursor

cw is the “change word” command, that deletes the word (from the cursor to the right) and places you in “insert” mode

c$ is the “change line” command, that deletes the line (from the cursor to the right) and places you in “insert” mode

<CTRL>g shows your location in a file

<SHIFT>G moves to the end of the file, [number]<SHIFT>G moves to the line number specified in the command, for example 1<SHIFT>G moves to line #1.

/[search term] searches forward through a file for the search term.  For example, “/apache” will search for the next instance of the word “apache” in the file

?[search term] searches backwards through a file for the search term.  For example, “?apache” will search for the last instance before the cursor of the word “apache” in the file

:s/[old]/[new] will replace the next instance of “old” with “new”.  For example, :s/blue/red will replace the next instance of “blue” with “red”.

:s/[old]/[new]/g will replace the every instance of “old” on the current line with “new”.  For example, :s/blue/red will replace the every instance of “blue” with “red”.

:#,#s/[old]/[new]/g will replace every instance of “old” with “new” in the range of lines specified with the # sign.

:! allows you to execute external commands

:set nu turns on line numbering

:nohlsearch turns off highlighting of search terms

Learn more about working with Linux systems in our Linux server training workshop. Click here for details

Click here for a free PDF of this guide, formatted to tape to the side of your monitor.

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