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<HTML> <H3>What is <TT>vi</TT>?</H3> <DL> <DD>The default editor that comes with the UNIX operating system is called <TT>vi</TT> (<B>vi</B>sual editor). [Alternate editors for UNIX environments include <TT>pico</TT> and <TT>emacs</TT>, a product of GNU.] <P> <DD>The UNIX <TT>vi</TT> editor is a full screen editor and has two modes of operation:

<LI> <I>Command mode</I> commands
	which cause action to be taken on the file, and 
<LI><I>Insert mode</I> in which entered text is inserted into the file.

In the command mode, every character typed is a command that does something to the text file being edited; a character typed in the command mode may even cause the <TT>vi</TT> editor to enter the insert mode. In the insert mode, every character typed is added to the text in the file; pressing the <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> (<I>Escape</I>) key turns off the Insert mode. <P> <DD>While there are a number of <TT>vi</TT> commands, just a handful of these is usually sufficient for beginning <TT>vi</TT> users. To assist such users, this Web page contains a sampling of basic <TT>vi</TT> commands. The most basic and useful commands are marked with an asterisk (<TT>*</TT> or star) in the tables below. With practice, these commands should become automatic. <P> <DD><B>NOTE:</B> Both UNIX and <TT>vi</TT> are <B>case-sensitive</B>. Be sure not to use a capital letter in place of a lowercase letter; the results will not be what you expect. </DL> <P>

<P> <H3>To Get Into and Out Of <TT>vi</TT></H3> <P> <H4>To Start <TT>vi</TT></H4> <DL> <P> <DD>To use <TT>vi</TT> on a file, type in <TT>vi filename</TT>. If the file named <TT>filename</TT> exists, then the first page (or screen) of the file will be displayed; if the file does not exist, then an empty file and screen are created into which you may enter text. </DL> <P> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>vi filename</TT>

<TD> <I>edit <TT>filename</TT> starting at line 1</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>vi -r filename</TT>

<TD> <I>recover <TT>filename</TT> that was being
	edited when system crashed</I>

<TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P> <H4>To Exit <TT>vi</TT></H4> <P> <DL> <DD>Usually the new or modified file is saved when you leave <TT>vi</TT>. However, it is also possible to quit <TT>vi</TT> without saving the file. <P> <DD><B>Note:</B> The cursor moves to bottom of screen whenever a colon (<TT>:</TT>) is typed. This type of command is completed by hitting the <TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT> (or <TT>&lt;Enter&gt;</TT>) key. </DL> <P> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TR> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>:x</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

<TD> <I>quit <TT>vi</TT>, writing out modified file
	to file named in original invocation</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>:wq</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

<TD> <I>quit <TT>vi</TT>, writing out modified file
	to file named in original invocation</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>:q</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

<TD> <I>quit (or exit) <TT>vi</TT></I>

<TR> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>:q!</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

<TD> <I>quit <TT>vi</TT> even though latest changes
	have not been saved for this <TT>vi</TT> call</I>


<P> <H3>Moving the Cursor</H3> <DL> <P> <DD>Unlike many of the PC and MacIntosh editors, <B>the mouse does not move the cursor</B> within the <TT>vi</TT> editor screen (or window). You must use the the key commands listed below. On some UNIX platforms, the arrow keys may be used as well; however, since <TT>vi</TT> was designed with the Qwerty keyboard (containing no arrow keys) in mind, the arrow keys sometimes produce strange effects in <TT>vi</TT> and should be avoided. <P> <DD>If you go back and forth between a PC environment and a UNIX environment, you may find that this dissimilarity in methods for cursor movement is the most frustrating difference between the two. <P> <DD>In the table below, the symbol <TT>^</TT> before a letter means that the <TT>&lt;Ctrl&gt;</TT> key should be held down while the letter key is pressed. </DL> <P> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>j</TT> <I>or</I> <TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

	<BR> &#160; [<I>or</I> down-arrow]
<TD> <I>move cursor down one line</I>

<TR> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>k</TT> [<I>or</I> up-arrow]

<TD> <I>move cursor up one line</I>

<TR> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>h</TT> <I>or</I> <TT>&lt;Backspace&gt;</TT>

	<BR> &#160; [<I>or</I> left-arrow]
<TD> <I>move cursor left one character</I>

<TR> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>l</TT> <I>or</I> <TT>&lt;Space&gt;</TT>

	<BR> &#160; [<I>or</I> right-arrow]
<TD> <I>move cursor right one character</I>

<TR> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>0</TT> (zero)

<TD> <I>move cursor to start of current line
	(the one with the cursor)</I>


<TD><I>move cursor to end of current line</I>


<TD><I>move cursor to beginning of next word</I>


<TD><I>move cursor back to beginning of preceding word</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>:0</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt; <I>or</I> 1G</TT>

<TD> <I>move cursor to first line in file</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>:n</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt; <I>or</I> nG</TT>

<TD> <I>move cursor to line <TT>n</TT></I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>:$</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt; <I>or</I> G</TT>

<TD> <I> move cursor to last line in file</I>


<P> <H3>Screen Manipulation</H3> <DL> <P> <DD>The following commands allow the <TT>vi</TT> editor screen (or window) to move up or down several lines and to be refreshed. </DL> <P> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>^f</TT>

<TD> <I>move forward one screen</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>^b</TT>

<TD> <I>move backward one screen</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>^d</TT>

<TD> <I>move down (forward) one half screen</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>^u</TT>

<TD> <I>move up (back) one half screen</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>^l</TT>

<TD> <I>redraws the screen</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>^r</TT>

<TD> <I>redraws the screen, removing deleted lines</I>


<P> <H3>Adding, Changing, and Deleting Text</H3> <DL> <P> <DD>Unlike PC editors, you cannot replace or delete text by highlighting it with the mouse. Instead use the commands in the following tables. <P> <DD>Perhaps the most important command is the one that allows you to back up and <I>undo</I> your last action. Unfortunately, this command acts like a toggle, undoing and redoing your most recent action. You cannot go back more than one step. </DL> <P> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>u</TT>

<TD> <I>UNDO WHATEVER YOU JUST DID; a simple toggle</I>

<TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <DL> <P> <DD>The main purpose of an editor is to create, add, or modify text for a file. <P> </DL> <H4>Inserting or Adding Text</H4> <DL> <P> <DD> The following commands allow you to insert and add text. Each of these commands puts the <TT>vi</TT> editor into insert mode; thus, the <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> key must be pressed to terminate the entry of text and to put the <TT>vi</TT> editor back into command mode. <P> </DL> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>i</TT>

<TD> <I>insert text before cursor, until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit</I>


<TD> <I>insert text at beginning of current line,
	until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit</I>


<TD> <I>append text after cursor, until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit</I>


<TD> <I>append text to end of current line,
	until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit</I>


<TD> <I>open and put text in a new line below current line,
	until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit</I>


<TD> <I>open and put text in a new line above current line,
	until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit</I>

<TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P> <H4>Changing Text</H4> <DL> <P> <DD>The following commands allow you to modify text. <P> </DL> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>r</TT>

<TD> <I> replace single character under cursor
	(no <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> needed)</I>


<TD> <I>replace characters, starting with current cursor position,
	until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>cw</TT>

<TD> <I>change the current word with new text,
	<BR>starting with the
	character under cursor, until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit</I>


<TD> <I>change <TT>N</TT> words beginning with character under cursor,
	until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit;
	<BR> &#160; e.g., <TT>c5w</TT> changes 5 words</I>


<TD> <I>change (replace) the characters in the current line,
	until <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> hit</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>cc</TT>

<TD> <I>change (replace) the entire current line, 
	stopping when <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> is hit</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>Ncc</TT> <I>or</I> <TT>cNc</TT>

<TD> <I>change (replace) the next N lines,
	starting with the current line,<BR>
	stopping when <TT>&lt;Esc&gt;</TT> is hit</I>

<TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P> <H4>Deleting Text</H4> <DL> <P> <DD>The following commands allow you to delete text. <P> </DL> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> * <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>x</TT>

<TD> <I>delete single character under cursor</I>


<TD> <I>delete N characters, starting with character under cursor</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>dw</TT>

<TD> <I>delete the single word beginning with character under cursor</I>


<TD> <I>delete <TT>N</TT> words beginning with character under cursor;
	<BR> &#160; e.g., <TT>d5w</TT> deletes 5 words</I>


<TD> <I>delete the remainder of the line,
	starting with current cursor position</I>


<TD> <I>delete entire current line</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>Ndd</TT> <I>or</I> <TT>dNd</TT>

<TD> <I>delete <TT>N</TT> lines, beginning with the current line;
	<BR> &#160; e.g., <TT>5dd</TT> deletes 5 lines</I>

<TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P> <H4>Cutting and Pasting Text</H4> <DL> <P> <DD>The following commands allow you to copy and paste text. <P> </DL> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>yy</TT>

<TD> <I>copy (yank, cut) the current line into the buffer</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>Nyy</TT> <I>or</I> <TT>yNy</TT>

<TD> <I>copy (yank, cut) the next N lines, including the current line,
	into the buffer</I>


<TD> <I>put (paste) the line(s) in the buffer into the
	text after the current line</I>


<P> <H3>Other Commands</H3> <P> <H4>Searching Text</H4> <DL> <P> <DD> A common occurrence in text editing is to replace one word or phase by another. To locate instances of particular sets of characters (or strings), use the following commands. <P> </DL> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>/string</TT>

<TD> <I> search forward for occurrence of <TT>string</TT> in text<I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>?string</TT>

<TD> <I> search backward for occurrence of <TT>string</TT> in text<I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>n</TT>

<TD> <I> move to next occurrence of search string</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>N</TT>

<TD> <I> move to next occurrence of search string in opposite

<TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P> <H4>Determining Line Numbers</H4> <DL> <P> <DD> Being able to determine the line number of the current line or the total number of lines in the file being edited is sometimes useful. <P> </DL> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>:.=</TT>

<TD> <I> returns line number of current line at bottom of screen<I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT><TT>:=</TT>

<TD> <I> returns the total number of lines at bottom of screen<I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>^g</TT>

<TD> <I>provides the current line number, along with the total
	number of lines,<BR>
	in the file at the bottom of the screen</I>


<P> <H3>Saving and Reading Files</H3> <P> These commands permit you to input and output files other than the named file with which you are currently working. <P> <CENTER> <TABLE BORDER> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>:r filename</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

<TD> <I> read file named <TT>filename</TT> and insert after
	current line
	<BR>(the line with cursor)</I>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>:w</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

<TD> <I>write current contents to file named in original 
	<TT>vi</TT> call

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>:w newfile</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

<TD> <I>write current contents to a new file named <TT>newfile</TT>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>:12,35w smallfile</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

<TD> <I>write the contents of the lines numbered 12 through 35
	to a new file named <TT>smallfile</TT>

<TR> <TH> &#160; <TH ALIGN=LEFT NOWRAP><TT>:w! prevfile</TT><TT>&lt;Return&gt;</TT>

<TD> <I>write current contents over a pre-existing file
	named <TT>prevfile</TT>


wiki/freebsd/vi_commands.txt · Last modified: 2016/09/13 15:53 by