Vim Cheat Sheet Mac

Posted on  by admin

I’ve compiled a list of essential Vim commands that I use every day. I have then given a few instructions on how to make Vim as great as it should be, because it’s painful without configuration.

#A Great Vim Cheat Sheet. Note: If you’re decent at vim and want your mind blown, check out Advanced Vim. I’ve compiled a list of essential vim commands that I use every day. I then give a few instructions on how to making vim as great as it should be, because it’s painful without configuration. ##Cursor movement (Inside command/normal mode). Contribute to macwoj/vim-cheatsheet development by creating an account on GitHub.

Essentials

  • Instead of the standard arrow keys, vim uses hjkl (h for left, j for down, k for up, and l for right) for navigation. It may seem counter-productive at first. But, vim does this to save the time it takes users to reach the arrow keys across their keyboard. Also, like many console-based editors, vim encourages users to stay away from the mouse.
  • Alright, that’s a bit harsh, but you should really give this fine editor with an unmatched pedigree a shot. At first you might find its command/edit mode dichotomy a bit bizarre. Stick with it and you will realise the power it affords. And to help you along, here is a very simple cheat sheet for Vim.

Cursor movement (Normal/Visual Mode)

  • hjkl - Arrow keys
  • w / b - Next/previous word
  • W / B - Next/previous word (space seperated)
  • e / ge - Next/previous end of word
  • 0 / $ - Start/End of line
  • ^ - First non-blank character of line (same as 0w)

Editing text

  • i / a - Start insert mode at/after cursor
  • I / A - Start insert mode at the beginning/end of the line
  • o / O - Add blank line below/above current line
  • Esc or Ctrl+[ - Exit insert mode
  • d - Delete
  • dd - Delete line
  • c - Delete, then start insert mode
  • cc - Delete line, then start insert mode

Operators

  • Operators also work in Visual Mode
  • d - Deletes from the cursor to the movement location
  • c - Deletes from the cursor to the movement location, then starts insert mode
  • y - Copy from the cursor to the movement location
  • > - Indent one level
  • < - Unindent one level
  • You can also combine operators with motions. Ex: d$ deletes from the cursor to the end of the line.

Marking text (visual mode)

  • v - Start visual mode
  • V - Start linewise visual mode
  • Ctrl+v - Start visual block mode
  • Esc or Ctrl+[ - Exit visual mode

Clipboard

  • yy - Yank (copy) a line
  • p - Paste after cursor
  • P - Paste before cursor
  • dd - Delete (cut) a line
  • x - Delete (cut) current character
  • X - Delete (cut) previous character
  • d / c - By default, these copy the deleted text

Exiting

  • :w - Write (save) the file, but don’t quit
  • :wq - Write (save) and quit
  • :q - Quit (fails if anything has changed)
  • :q! - Quit and throw away changes

Vim Help Sheet

Search/Replace

  • /pattern - Search for pattern
  • ?pattern - Search backward for pattern
  • n - Repeat search in same direction
  • N - Repeat search in opposite direction
  • :%s/old/new/g - Replace all old with new throughout file (gn is better though)
  • :%s/old/new/gc - Replace all old with new throughout file with confirmations

General

  • u - Undo
  • Ctrl+r - Redo

Advanced

Cursor movement

  • Ctrl+d - Move down half a page
  • Ctrl+u - Move up half a page
  • } - Go forward by paragraph (the next blank line)
  • { - Go backward by paragraph (the next blank line)
  • gg - Go to the top of the page
  • G - Go the bottom of the page
  • : [num] [enter] - Go to that line in the document
  • ctrl+e / ctrl+y - Scroll down/up one line

Character search

  • f [char] - Move forward to the given char
  • F [char] - Move backward to the given char
  • t [char] - Move forward to before the given char
  • T [char] - Move backward to before the given char
  • ; / , - Repeat search forwards/backwards

Editing text

  • J - Join line below to the current one
  • r [char] - Replace a single character with the specified char (does not use Insert mode)

Visual mode

  • O - Move to other corner of block
  • o - Move to other end of marked area

File Tabs

Cheat
  • :e filename - Edit a file
  • :tabe - Make a new tab
  • gt - Go to the next tab
  • gT - Go to the previous tab
  • :vsp - Vertically split windows
  • ctrl+ws - Split windows horizontally
  • ctrl+wv - Split windows vertically
  • ctrl+ww - Switch between windows
  • ctrl+wq - Quit a window

Marks

  • Marks allow you to jump to designated points in your code.
  • m{a-z} - Set mark {a-z} at cursor position
  • A capital mark {A-Z} sets a global mark and will work between files
  • '{a-z} - Move the cursor to the start of the line where the mark was set
  • ' - Go back to the previous jump location

Text Objects

  • Say you have def (arg1, arg2, arg3), where your cursor is somewhere in the middle of the parenthesis.
  • di( deletes everything between the parenthesis. That says “change everything inside the nearest parenthesis”. Without text objects, you would need to do T(dt).

General

  • . - Repeat last command
  • Ctrl+r + 0 in insert mode inserts the last yanked text (or in command mode)
  • gv - reselect (select last selected block of text, from visual mode)
  • % - jumps between matching () or {}

Vim is quite unpleasant out of the box. It’s an arcane experience:

  • Autocomplete is missing
  • System clipboard is not used
  • Act of typing :w to save is cumbersome
  • Mouse doesn’t work
  • Management of multiple files is tricky
  • Ability to indent multiple lines is missing

It does have a significant strength though: your fingers can stay on the main keyboard keys to do most editing actions. This is faster and more ergonomic. I find that the toughest part about VIM is guiding people towards getting the benefits of VIM without the drawbacks. Here are two ideas on how to go about this.

Vim commands mac cheat sheet

Switch caps lock and escape

  • I highly recommend you switch the mapping of your caps lock and escape keys. You’ll love it, promise! Switching the two keys is platform dependent.

Visual Studio Code

  • VSCode is the simplest way to give you a fantastic editor that also gives you the benefits of VIM. Just install the VIM extension.
  • I made a few slight changes which improved the experience for me.

Configure native VIM

Vim Cheat Sheet Wallpaper

For all the given limitations, you’ll need to find a solution. You can either solve the issues one by one, or you can use a reference .vimrc settings file that fix most of the issues out-of-the-box.

  • My .vimrc file could be a good starting point. Honestly, it’s a bit old and not the best. I now use VSCode mainly so I haven’t kept a great vimrc.

Using the system clipboard

  • '+y copy a selection to the system clipboard
  • '+p paste from the system clipboard
  • If this doesn’t work, it’s probably because Vim was not built with the system clipboard option. To check, run vim --version and see if +clipboard exists. If it says -clipboard, you will not be able to copy from outside of Vim.
    • For Mac users, homebrew install Vim with the clipboard option. Install homebrew and then run brew install vim.
      • then move the old Vim binary: $ mv /usr/bin/vim /usr/bin/vimold
      • restart your terminal and you should see vim --version now with +clipboard

Sublime Text

  • Another option is to use Vintageous in Sublime Text (version 3). This gives you Vim mode inside Sublime. I suggest this (or a similar setup with the Atom editor) if you aren’t a Vim master. Check out Advanced Vim if you are.
  • Vintageous is great, but I suggest you change a few settings to make it better.
    • Clone this repository to ~/.config/sublime-text-3/Packages/Vintageous, or similar. Then check out the “custom” branch.
      • Alternatively, you can get a more updated Vintageous version by cloning the official repository and then copying over this patch.
    • Change the user settings (User/Preferences.sublime-settings) to include:
      • 'caret_style': 'solid'
      • This will make the cursor not blink, like in Vim.
      • Sublime Text might freeze when you do this. It’s a bug; just restart Sublime Text after changing the file.
    • ctrl+r in Vim means “redo”. But there is a handy Ctrl + R shortcut in Sublime Text that gives an “outline” of a file. I remapped it to alt+r by putting this in the User keymap
      • { 'keys': ['alt+r'], 'command': 'show_overlay', 'args': {'overlay': 'goto', 'text': '@'} },
    • Mac users: you will not have the ability to hold down a navigation key (like holding j to go down). To fix this, run the commands specified here: https://gist.github.com/kconragan/2510186
  • Now you should be able to restart sublime and have a great Vim environment! Sweet Dude.
Vim cheat sheet mac commands

Other

I don’t personally use these yet, but I’ve heard other people do!

  • :wqa - Write and quit all open tabs (thanks Brian Zick)

Additional resources

  • Practical Vim is a fantastic resource on many of the useful hidden features of vim.

How to Exit

:q[uit]Quit Vim. This fails when changes have been made.
:q[uit]!Quit without writing.
:cq[uit]Quit always, without writing.
:wqWrite the current file and exit.
:wq!Write the current file and exit always.
:wq {file}Write to {file}. Exit if not editing the last
:wq! {file}Write to {file} and exit always.
:[range]wq[!][file] Same as above, but only write the lines in [range].
ZZWrite current file, if modified, and exit.
ZQQuit current file and exit (same as ':q!').

Editing a File

:e[dit]Edit the current file. This is useful to re-edit the current file, when it has been changed outside of Vim.
:e[dit]!Edit the current file always. Discard any changes to the current buffer. This is useful if you want to start all over again.
:e[dit] {file}Edit {file}.
:e[dit]! {file}Edit {file} always. Discard any changes to the current buffer.
gfEdit the file whose name is under or after the cursor. Mnemonic: 'goto file'.

Inserting Text

aAppend text after the cursor [count] times.
AAppend text at the end of the line [count] times.
iInsert text before the cursor [count] times.
IInsert text before the first non-blank in the line [count] times.
gIInsert text in column 1 [count] times.
oBegin a new line below the cursor and insert text, repeat [count] times.
OBegin a new line above the cursor and insert text, repeat [count] times.

Inserting a file

:r[ead] [name]Insert the file [name] below the cursor.
:r[ead] !{cmd}Execute {cmd} and insert its standard output below the cursor.

Deleting Text

<Del> or
x
Delete [count] characters under and after the cursor
XDelete [count] characters before the cursor
d{motion}Delete text that {motion} moves over
ddDelete [count] lines
DDelete the characters under the cursor until the end of the line
{Visual}x or
{Visual}d
Delete the highlighted text (for {Visual} see Selecting Text).
{Visual}CTRL-H or
{Visual}
When in Select mode: Delete the highlighted text
{Visual}X or
{Visual}D
Delete the highlighted lines
:[range]d[elete]Delete [range] lines (default: current line)
:[range]d[elete] {count}Delete {count} lines, starting with [range]

Changing (or Replacing) Text

r{char}replace the character under the cursor with {char}.
REnter Insert mode, replacing characters rather than inserting
~Switch case of the character under the cursor and move the cursor to the right. If a [count] is given, do that many characters.
~{motion}switch case of {motion} text.
{Visual}~Switch case of highlighted text

Substituting

:[range]s[ubstitute]/{pattern}/{string}/[c][e][g][p][r][i][I] [count]For each line in [range] replace a match of {pattern} with {string}.
:[range]s[ubstitute] [c][e][g][r][i][I] [count] :[range]&[c][e][g][r][i][I] [count]Repeat last :substitute with same search pattern and substitute string, but without the same flags. You may add extra flags

Copying and Moving Text

'{a-zA-Z0-9.%#:-'}Use register {a-zA-Z0-9.%#:-'} for next delete, yank or put (use uppercase character to append with delete and yank) ({.%#:} only work with put).
:reg[isters]Display the contents of all numbered and named registers.
:reg[isters] {arg}Display the contents of the numbered and named registers that are mentioned in {arg}.
:di[splay] [arg]Same as :registers.
['x]y{motion}Yank {motion} text [into register x].
['x]yyYank [count] lines [into register x]
['x]Yyank [count] lines [into register x] (synonym for yy).
{Visual}['x]yYank the highlighted text [into register x] (for {Visual} see Selecting Text).
{Visual}['x]YYank the highlighted lines [into register x]
:[range]y[ank] [x]Yank [range] lines [into register x].
:[range]y[ank] [x] {count}Yank {count} lines, starting with last line number in [range] (default: current line), [into register x].
['x]pPut the text [from register x] after the cursor [count] times.
['x]PPut the text [from register x] before the cursor [count] times.
['x]gpJust like 'p', but leave the cursor just after the new text.
['x]gPJust like 'P', but leave the cursor just after the new text.
:[line]pu[t] [x]Put the text [from register x] after [line] (default current line).
:[line]pu[t]! [x]Put the text [from register x] before [line] (default current line).

Undo/Redo/Repeat

uUndo [count] changes.
:u[ndo]Undo one change.
CTRL-RRedo [count] changes which were undone.
:red[o]Redo one change which was undone.
UUndo all latest changes on one line. {Vi: while not moved off of it}
.Repeat last change, with count replaced with [count].

Moving Around

h or
[count] characters to the left (exclusive).
l or
or
[count] characters to the right (exclusive).
k or
or
CTRL-P
[count] lines upward
j or
or
CTRL-J or
or
CTRL-N
[count] lines downward (linewise).
0To the first character of the line (exclusive).
<Home>To the first character of the line (exclusive).
^To the first non-blank character of the line
$ or
<End>
To the end of the line and [count - 1] lines downward
g0 or
g<Home>
When lines wrap ('wrap on): To the first character of the screen line (exclusive). Differs from '0' when a line is wider than the screen. When lines don't wrap ('wrap' off): To the leftmost character of the current line that is on the screen. Differs from '0' when the first character of the line is not on the screen.
g^When lines wrap ('wrap' on): To the first non-blank character of the screen line (exclusive). Differs from '^' when a line is wider than the screen. When lines don't wrap ('wrap' off): To the leftmost non-blank character of the current line that is on the screen. Differs from '^' when the first non-blank character of the line is not on the screen.
g$ or
g<End&gr;
When lines wrap ('wrap' on): To the last character of the screen line and [count - 1] screen lines downward (inclusive). Differs from '$' when a line is wider than the screen. When lines don't wrap ('wrap' off): To the rightmost character of the current line that is visible on the screen. Differs from '$' when the last character of the line is not on the screen or when a count is used.
f{char}To [count]'th occurrence of {char} to the right. The cursor is placed on {char} (inclusive).
F{char}To the [count]'th occurrence of {char} to the left. The cursor is placed on {char} (inclusive).
t{char}Till before [count]'th occurrence of {char} to the right. The cursor is placed on the character left of {char} (inclusive).
T{char}Till after [count]'th occurrence of {char} to the left. The cursor is placed on the character right of {char} (inclusive).
;Repeat latest f, t, F or T [count] times.
,Repeat latest f, t, F or T in opposite direction [count] times.
- <minus>[count] lines upward, on the first non-blank character (linewise).
+ or
CTRL-M or
<CR>
[count] lines downward, on the first non-blank character (linewise).
_ <underscore>[count] - 1 lines downward, on the first non-blank character (linewise).
<C-End> or
G
Goto line [count], default last line, on the first non-blank character.
<C-Home> or
gg
Goto line [count], default first line, on the first non-blank character.
<S-Right> or
w
[count] words forward
<C-Right> or
W
[count] WORDS forward
eForward to the end of word [count]
EForward to the end of WORD [count]
<S-Left> or
b
[count] words backward
<C-Left> or
B
[count] WORDS backward
geBackward to the end of word [count]
gEBackward to the end of WORD [count]
These commands move over words or WORDS.

A word consists of a sequence of letters, digits and underscores, or asequence of other non-blank characters, separated with white space (spaces,tabs, ). This can be changed with the 'iskeyword' option.

A WORD consists of a sequence of non-blank characters, separated with whitespace. An empty line is also considered to be a word and a WORD.

([count] sentences backward
)[count] sentences forward
{[count] paragraphs backward
}[count] paragraphs forward
]][count] sections forward or to the next '{' in the first column. When used after an operator, then the '}' in the first column.
][[count] sections forward or to the next '}' in the first column
[[[count] sections backward or to the previous '{' in the first column
[][count] sections backward or to the previous '}' in the first column

Screen movement commands

z.Center the screen on the cursor
ztScroll the screen so the cursor is at the top
zbScroll the screen so the cursor is at the bottom

Marks

m{a-zA-Z}Set mark {a-zA-Z} at cursor position (does not move the cursor, this is not a motion command).
m' or
m`
Set the previous context mark. This can be jumped to with the '' or '``' command (does not move the cursor, this is not a motion command).
:[range]ma[rk] {a-zA-Z}Set mark {a-zA-Z} at last line number in [range], column 0. Default is cursor line.
:[range]k{a-zA-Z}Same as :mark, but the space before the mark name can be omitted.
'{a-z}To the first non-blank character on the line with mark {a-z} (linewise).
'{A-Z0-9}To the first non-blank character on the line with mark {A-Z0-9} in the correct file
`{a-z}To the mark {a-z}
`{A-Z0-9}To the mark {A-Z0-9} in the correct file
:marksList all the current marks (not a motion command).
:marks {arg}List the marks that are mentioned in {arg} (not a motion command). For example:

Searching

/{pattern}[/]Search forward for the [count]'th occurrence of {pattern}
/{pattern}/{offset}Search forward for the [count]'th occurrence of {pattern} and go {offset} lines up or down.
/<CR>Search forward for the [count]'th latest used pattern
//{offset}<CR>Search forward for the [count]'th latest used pattern with new. If {offset} is empty no offset is used.
?{pattern}[?]<CR>Search backward for the [count]'th previous occurrence of {pattern}
?{pattern}?{offset}<CR>Search backward for the [count]'th previous occurrence of {pattern} and go {offset} lines up or down
?<CR>Search backward for the [count]'th latest used pattern
??{offset}<CR>Search backward for the [count]'th latest used pattern with new {offset}. If {offset} is empty no offset is used.
nRepeat the latest '/' or '?' [count] times.
NRepeat the latest '/' or '?' [count] times in opposite direction.

Selecting Text (Visual Mode)

To select text, enter visual mode with one of the commands below, and usemotion commands to highlight the text you are interestedin. Then, use some command on the text.

Vim Cheat Sheet For Programmer

vstart Visual mode per character.
Vstart Visual mode linewise.
<Esc>exit Visual mode without making any changes

How to Suspend

CTRL-ZSuspend Vim, like ':stop'. Works in Normal and in Visual mode. In Insert and Command-line mode, the CTRL-Z is inserted as a normal character.
:sus[pend][!] or
:st[op][!]
Suspend Vim. If the '!' is not given and 'autowrite' is set, every buffer with changes and a file name is written out. If the '!' is given or 'autowrite' is not set, changed buffers are not written, don't forget to bring Vim back to the foreground later!
Daniel Gryniewicz / [email protected]