7 Relatively Unknown But Very Powerful Vim Features
I’m a bit obsessed with mastering vim. I kind of feel like I’m killing kittens every time I do something inefficiently. I know plenty of commands, but you don’t truly know a command (like in the Biblical sense) until you find yourself using it without thinking. I am on a continuous mission to raise the number of commands that I know in this way. This post is my latest attempt to lock in some good ones.
I compiled this list from a wide range of other collections online, including my own tutorial, contributions from friends, and this article, which is currently my favorite stand-alone introduction to vim.
View/edit two files at once.:vsplit foo.txtYou can then switch between the windows with ctrl-ww.
Run an external command and capture the output.:r ! date
Repeat your last command by typing “.” (a period).So elegant.
Auto-complete text using ctrl-n.If the text is elsewhere in your document, vim will know and try and complete it for you.
Hide blocks of text by “folding”.Highlight the area you want to fold (using v or V) and press zf. Think “f” for fold. To “open” it, press zo.
Quickly switch between Unix and Windows file formats.Type :set filetype=Unix or :set filteype=dos respectively.
More easily edit code by enabling syntax highlighting.Create a file called ~/.vimrc and put syntax on in it.