• How to edit, save, exit Vi (VIM): A Complete Vi Cheat Sheet for Linux users

    (VIM) Vi text editor is meant for the Unix operating system, originally. Most of the Linux system uses the Vi text editor along with embedded systems. It is similar to Windows NotePad but without a user-friendly interface. It is just like Nano text editor, however, the Nano is a bit interactive & easy to operate than the Vi.

    You also might be heard about VIM which is an enhanced version based on original Vi. If you are started using Vi text editor to edit some file on Linux OS then you always struggle with the Keyboard shortcuts that needed to operate it. So, just make your editing a bit easy with Vi in Putty or Command terminal; here a list of commands or keyboard shortcuts used in Linux Vi text editor.

    VIM VI commands

    (VIM) Vi editor cheat sheet to know about how to exit, edit, insert, write, quite, save and more…

    Vi editor shortcuts pdf:

    Click here to download VI cheat sheet ACNS bulletin

    Vi Text editor Mode

    The Vi has two Mode one is command mode where the user can only move the cursor to select the text to perform deletion and pasting jobs, the second one insertion which enables when you press the INSERT button from the keyboard to perform insert or change command. The insertion mode allows to edit and insert text from the file. When the insertion is over you can press the ESC button to come back to the command mode of VI. To Exit and save your file in VI just from command mode type :wq and for only quite the or exit the VI just type :q or :quite and press Enter Key/return key.

    Commands for VIM-Vi Quit and Save

    : xTo Exit Vi and saving changes
    :qTo Exit Vi if there have been no changes
    ZZExit Vi in case of saving changes if any have been made
    :q!Exit and ignore any changes

    Vi text deletes Commands

    To delete text in Vi you can simply use the Delete button from the keyboard, however, here are some other commands:

    xDelete character to the right of cursor
    XDelete character to the left of the cursor
    DDelete to the end of the line
    ddDelete current line
    :dDelete current line


    VI Inserting Text Commands

    These are commands to insert text:

    iInsert before cursor
    IInsert before line
    aAppend after cursor
    AAppend after line
    oOpen a new line after current line
    OOpen a new line before current line
    rReplace one character
    RReplace many characters


    Vi Navigation commands

    hMove left
    jMove down
    kMove up
    lMove right
    wMove to next word
    WMove to next blank delimited word
    bMove to the beginning of the word
    BMove to the beginning of blank delimted word
    eMove to the end of the word
    EMove to the end of Blank delimited word
    (Move a sentence back
    )Move a sentence forward
    {Move a paragraph back
    }Move a paragraph forward
    0Move to the begining of the line
    $Move to the end of the line
    1GMove to the first line of the file
    GMove to the last line of the file
    nGMove to nth line of the file
    :nMove to nth line of the file
    fcMove forward to c
    FcMove back to c
    HMove to top of screen
    MMove to middle of the screen
    LMove to botton of screen
    %Move to associated ( ), { }, [ ]


    Vi Yanking Text commands

    The Vi Yank commands are same like delete command but use by typing y followed by arrow keys. Yanking means cut, copy and paste. It used to insert the text again which killed or delete using the Yanl command. It is the usual way in Vi to move or copy text. For example, y$ yanks to the end of the line. Other commands are:

    yyYank the current line
    :yYank the current line


    Vi Changing text Commands

    This command is another deletion command of the Vi text editor which works in the insert mode.

    CChange to the end of the line
    ccChange the whole line


    Vi Putting text Commands

    pPut after the position or after the line
    PPut before the poition or before the line

    Vi commands to Search for strings

    /stringSearch forward for string
    ?stringSearch back for string
    nSearch for next instance of string
    NSearch for previous instance of string


    Vi Replace commands

    :s/pattern/string/flagsReplace pattern with string according to flags.
    gFlag – Replace all occurences of the pattern
    cFlag – Confirm replaces.
    &Repeat last :s command


    Vi Regular Expressions

    . (dot)Any single character except newline
    *zero or more occurances of any character
    […]Any single character specified in the set
    [^…]Any single character not specified in the set
    ^Anchor – beginning of the line
    $Anchor – end of line
    <Anchor – begining of word
    >Anchor – end of word
    (…)Grouping – usually used to group conditions
    nContents of nth grouping


    […] – Set Examples

    [A-Z]The SET from Capital A to Capital Z
    [a-z]The SET from lowercase a to lowercase z
    [0-9]The SET from 0 to 9 (All numerals)
    [./=+]The SET containing . (dot), / (slash), =, and +
    [-A-F]The SET from Capital A to Capital F and the dash (dashes must be specified first)
    [0-9 A-Z]The SET containing all capital letters and digits and a space
    [A-Z][a-zA-Z]In the first position, the SET from Capital A to Capital Z
    In the second character position, the SET containing all letters


    Regular Expression Examples

    /Hello/Matches if the line contains the value Hello
    /^TEST$/Matches if the line contains TEST by itself
    /^[a-zA-Z]/Matches if the line starts with any letter
    /^[a-z].*/Matches if the first character of the line is a-z and there is at least one more of any character following it
    /2134$/Matches if line ends with 2134
    /(21|35)/Matches is the line contains 21 or 35
    Note the use of ( ) with the pipe symbol to specify the ‘or’ condition
    /[0-9]*/Matches if there are zero or more numbers in the line
    /^[^#]/Matches if the first character is not a # in the line
    1. Regular expressions are case sensitive
    2. Regular expressions are to be used where pattern is specified


    The Rang command in Vi text editor followed by the colon(:). For example, if you want to delete the 4th & 8the line of the file then the command will be :4,8d.

    :n,m  Range – Lines n-m
    :.Range – Current line
    :$Range – Last line
    :’cRange – Marker c
    :%Range – All lines in file
    :g/pattern/Range – All lines that contain pattern


    Files Managment commands

    :w fileWrite to file
    :r fileRead the file in after the line
    :nGo to next file
    :pGo to the previous file
    :e fileEdit file
    !!programReplace line with the output from a program


    Other Vi text editor commands

    ~Toggle upp and lower case
    JJoin lines
    .Repeat last text-changing command
    uUndo last change
    UUndo all changes to the line


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    1. 88.vn October 1, 2018

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