Learn to use Vim in 21 minutes

Vim is a text editor widely used by Advanced Linux users, but just because the user base are geeky users, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn and use this amazing text editor for your daily tasks.

Learning to use Vim its easier than you think, and once you get used to its options, its hard for you to go back and edit files the conventional way (ie. nano, leafpad, notepad, etc).

Vim is both simple and powerful (as in minimal effort, maximum effect).

Just to give you some motivation, here are a few things you can do on Vim very easily while with other text editors would be difficult/not ideal or time consuming:

  • Can you move your cursor exactly 7 lines forward or backward with just 2 keystrokes?
  • Can you select just the first column of text on any given file?
  • Can you use search and replace within a specific block of text inside a file?
  • Can you see the start and end of the same file even if it’s a 1000 pages file?

The above examples can all be achieved with vim with very little effort (all of those examples are provided along with keystroke combinations at the start of the e-book).

There are a TON of resources if you want to learn Vim, here are the best 3 in my opinion:

1) vimtutor (just type that in your terminal)

Its a complete tutorial from 0 to expert vim user, included with every installation of vim so you don’t have to download or install anything.

2) Linux Foundation’s Vim webinar

This video will explain the basics of Vim and why it is so powerful, recommended for newbies and novice users, this is all you need to start using and mastering Vim.

3) Byte of Vim e-book

Great resource straight from the makers or Vim, you will find all the information you need to be a Vim guru by reading this book. It’s very well written, its easy to understand and it’s not that long (89 pages).

Byte of Vim e-book

Also note that there is a GUI version of Vim, called Gvim, which is just prettier than normal Vim, although they are the same under the hood.

I hope that with this resources you can finally understand Vim and learn why so many people swear by it.

UPDATE: I also found an android app called VI Reference that works as a quick manual so you can carry the commands and learn them or check them while on the go! you can find it here

 

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