VI Cheat Sheet

Basic Usage

vim or vi Run vim and open the given filename.

:w Save file.

:x or SHIFT ZZ Save and exit.

:q Exit if no changes have been made.

:q! Exit and undo any changes made.

:set nu Display line numbers.

Entering Insert mode

i At the cursor.

a After the cursor.

I Before the current line.

A After the current line.

o Insert a new line after the current line.

O Insert a new line before the current line.

C Ovewrite the whold current line.

ESC Exit Insert mode.


h Move left one character.

j Move down one character.

k Move up one character.

l Move right one character.

w Move forward one word.

b Move to the start of the word.

e Move to the end of the word.

( Move back one sentence.

) Move forward one sentence.

{ Move back one paragraph.

} Move forward one paragraph.

^ Move to the beginning of the line.

$ Move to the end of the line.

G Move to the nth line.

G Move to the last line.

gg Move to the first line.

% Move to the matching bracket.



Delete a single character.


Delete the rest of the line.


Delete the entire current line.


Delete the next n words.

ndd Delete the next n lines. :x,yd

Delete from line x through to line y.

Search and Replace

/pattern Search for pattern.

n Find the next occurrence of pattern.

:%s/pattern/replace/g Replace every occurrence of pattern with replace..

Cut and Paste

p Paste the clipboard contents before cursor

yy Yank (copy) a line.

yw Yank a word.

y$ Yank to the end of the line.

y5l yank 5 characters right

P paste after cursor

Visual Mode

Place your cursor anywhere on the first or last line of the text you want to manipulate.

Press Shift+V to enter line mode. The words VISUAL LINE will appear at the bottom of the screen.

Use navigation commands, such as the Arrow keys, to highlight multiple lines of text

Once the desired text is highlighted, use commands to manipulate it.

Press d to delete, then move the cursor to the new location, and press p to paste the text.

y (yank) can be used instead of d (delete) if you want to copy the task.

VIMRC file

The VIMRC file is located in the user's home directory and is .vimrc, a sample .vimrc file is below

set number
syntax on
colorscheme industry
set tabstop=4
set autoindent
set expandtab
set softtabstop=4
set cursorline

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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.