vi(1) Reference Manual Summary

Ex Quick Reference

Vi Quick Reference

Ex Quick Reference

Entering/leaving ex

 % ex name         edit name, start at end
 % ex +n name      ... at line n
 % ex -t tag       start at tag
 % ex -r           list saved files
 % ex -r name      recover file name
 % ex name ...     edit first; rest via :n
 % ex -R name      read only mode
 : x               exit, saving changes
 : q!              exit, discarding changes

Ex states

Command Normal and initial state. Input prompted for by :. Your kill character cancels partial command.
Entered by a i and c. Arbitrary text then terminates with line having only . character on it or abnormally with interrupt.
Entered by open or vi, terminates with Q or ^\.

Ex commands

Ex Commands
abbrev ab next n unabbrev una
append a number nu undo u
args ar open o unmap unm
change c preserve pre version ve
copy co print p visual vi
delete d put pu write w
edit e quit q xit x
file f read re yank ya
global g recover rec window z
insert i rewind rew escape !
join j set se lshift <
list l shell sh print next CR
map source so resubst &
mark ma stop st rshift >
move m substitute s scroll ^D

Ex command addresses

n     line n      /pat   next with pat
.     current     ?pat   previous with pat
$     last        x-n    n before x
+     next        x,y    x through y
-     previous    'x     marked with x
+n    n forward   ''     previous context
%     1,$

Specifying terminal type

 % setenv TERM type           csh and all version 6
 $ TERM=type; export TERM     sh in Version 7

See also tset(1)

Some terminal types

2621   43     adm31    dw1     h19
2645   733    adm3a    dw2     i100
300s   745    c100     gt40    mime
33     act4   dm1520   gt42    owl
37     act5   dm2500   h1500   t1061
4014   adm3   dm3025   h1510   vt52

Initializing options

EXINIT       place set's here in environment var.
set x        enable option
set nox      disable option
set x=val    give value val
set          show changed options
set all      show all options
set x?       show value of option x

Useful options

autoindent   ai     supply indent
autowrite    aw     write before changing files
ignorecase   ic     in scanning
lisp                ( ) { } are s-exp's
list                print ^I for tab, $ at end
magic               . [ * special in patterns
number       nu     number lines
paragraphs   para   macro names which start ...
redraw              simulate smart terminal
scroll              command mode lines
sections     sect   macro names ...
shiftwidth   sw     for < >, and input ^D
showmatch    sm     to ) and } as typed
slowopen     slow   choke updates during insert
window              visual mode lines
wrapscan     ws     around end of buffer?
wrapmargin   wm     automatic line splitting

Scanning pattern formation

 ^           beginning of line
 $           end of line
 .           any character
 \<          beginning of word
 \>          end of word
 [str]       any char in str
 [^str]      ... not in str
 [x-y]       ... between x and y
 *           any number of preceding

Vi Quick Reference

Entering/leaving vi

 % vi name           edit name at top
 % vi +n name        ... at line n
 % vi + name         ... at end
 % vi -r             list saved files
 % vi -r name        recover file name
 % vi name ...       edit first; rest via :n
 % vi -t tag         start at tag
 % vi +/pat name     search for pat
 % view name         read only mode
 ZZ                  exit from vi, saving changes
 ^Z                  stop vi for later resumption

The display

Last line
Error messages, echoing input to : / ? and !, feedback about i/o and large changes.
@ lines
On screen only, not in file.
~ lines
Lines past end of file.
Control characters, ^? is delete.
Expand to spaces, cursor at last.

Vi states

Normal and initial state. Others return here. ESC (escape) cancels partial command.
Entered by a i A I o O c C s S R. Arbitrary text then terminates with ESC character, or abnormally with interrupt.
Last line
Reading input for : / ? or !; terminate with ESC or CR to execute, interrupt to cancel.

Counts before vi commands

line/column number   z  G  |
scroll amount        ^D  ^U
replicate insert     a  i  A  I
repeat effect        most of the rest

Simple commands

dw                delete a word
de                ... leaving punctuation
dd                delete a line
3dd               ... 3 lines
iabcESC          insert text abc
cwnewESC          change word to new
easESC            pluralize word
xp                transpose characters

Interrupting, cancelling

 ESC       end insert or incomplete cmd
 ^?        (delete or rubout) interrupts
 ^L        reprint screen if ^? scrambles it

File manipulation

 :w            write back changes
 :wq           write and quit
 :q            quit
 :q!           quit, discard changes
 :e name       edit file name
 :e!           reedit, discard changes
 :e + name     edit, starting at end
 :e +n         edit starting at line n
 :e #          edit alternate file
 ^^            synonym for :e #
 :w name       write file name
 :w! name      overwrite file name
 :sh           run shell, then return
 :!cmd         run cmd, then return
 :r name       read contents of file into editor
 :r! cmd       read output of command into editor
 :n            edit next file in arglist
 :n args       specify new arglist
 :f            show current file and line
 ^G            synonym for :f
 :f name       rename edit buffer
 :ta tag       to tag file entry tag
 ^]            :ta, following word is tag

Positioning within file

 ^F          forward screenfull
 ^B          backward screenfull
 ^D          scroll down half screen
 ^U          scroll up half screen
 G           goto line (end default)
 /pat        next line matching pat
 ?pat        prev line matching pat
 n           repeat last / or ?
 N           reverse last / or ?
 /pat/+n     n'th line after pat
 ?pat?-n     n'th line before pat
 ]]          next section/function
 [[          previous section/function
 %           find matching ( ) { or }

Marking and returning

 ``      previous context
 ''      ... at first non-white in line
 mx      mark position with letter x
 `x      to mark x
 'x      ... at first non-white in line

Adjusting the screen

 ^L          clear and redraw
 ^R          retype, eliminate @ lines
 zCR         redraw, current at window top
 z-          ... at bottom
 z.          ... at center
 /pat/z-     pat line at bottom
 zn.         use n line window
 ^E          scroll window down 1 line
 ^Y          scroll window up 1 line

Line positioning

 H          home window line
 L          last window line
 M          middle window line
 +          next line, at first non-white
 -          previous line, at first non-white
 CR         return, same as +
 v or j     next line, same column
 ^ or k     previous line, same column

Character positioning

 ^           first non white
 0           beginning of line
 $           end of line
 h or ->     forward
 l or <-     backwards
 ^H          same as <-
 space       same as ->
 fx          find x forward
 Fx          f backward
 tx          upto x forward
 Tx          back upto x
 ;           repeat last f F t or T
 ,           inverse of ;
 |           to specified column
 %           find matching ( { ) or }

Words, sentences, paragraphs

 w       word forward
 b       back word
 e       end of word
 )       to next sentence
 }       to next paragraph
 (       back sentence
 {       back paragraph
 W       blank delimited word
 B       back W
 E       to end of W

Commands for LISP

 )       Forward s-expression
 }       ... but don't stop at atoms
 (       Back s-expression
 {       ... but don't stop at atoms

Corrections during insert

 ^H        erase last character
 ^W        erases last word
 erase     your erase, same as ^H
 kill      your kill, erase input this line
 \         escapes ^H, your erase and kill
 ESC       ends insertion, back to command
 ^?        interrupt, terminates insert
 ^D        backtab over autoindent
 ^^D       kill autoindent, save for next
 0^D       ... but at margin next also
 ^V        quote non-printing character

Insert and replace

 a       append after cursor
 i       insert before
 A       append at end of line
 I       insert before first non-blank
 o       open line below
 O       open above
 rx      replace single char with x
 R       replace characters

Operators (double to affect lines)

 d       delete
 c       change
 <       left shift
 >       right shift
 !       filter through command
 =       indent for LISP
 y       yank lines to buffer

Miscellaneous operations

 C       change rest of line
 D       delete rest of line
 s       substitute chars
 S       substitute lines
 J       join lines
 x       delete characters
 X       ... before cursor
 Y       yank lines

Yank and put

 p       put back lines
 P       put before
 "xp     put from buffer x
 "xy     yank to buffer x
 "xd     delete into buffer x

Undo, redo, retrieve

 u       undo last change
 U       restore current line
 .       repeat last change
 "dp     retrieve d'th last delete