Editing files

vi commands

The following tables contain all the basic vi commands.

Starting vi

Command Description
vi file start at line 1 of file
vi +n file start at line n of file
vi +$ file start at last line of file
vi +/pattern file start at pattern in file (do not insert a space between the ``+'' and ``/'' characters.
vi -r file recover file after a system crash

Saving files and quitting vi

Command Description
:e file edit file (save current file with :w first)
:w save (write out) the file being edited
:w file save as file
:w! file save as an existing file
:q quit vi
:wq save the file and quit vi
:x save the file if it has changed and quit vi
:q! quit vi without saving changes

Moving the cursor

Keys pressed Effect
h left one character
l or <Space> right one character
k up one line
j or <Enter> down one line
b left one word
w right one word
( start of sentence
) end of sentence
{ start of paragraph
} end of paragraph
1G top of file
nG line n
G end of file
<Ctrl>W first character of insertion
<Ctrl>U up ½ screen
<Ctrl>D down ½ screen
<Ctrl>B up one screen
<Ctrl>F down one screen

Inserting text

Keys pressed Text inserted
a after the cursor
A after last character on the line
i before the cursor
I before first character on the line
o open line below current line
O open line above current line

Changing and replacing text

Keys pressed Text changed or replaced
cw word
3cw three words
cc current line
5cc five lines
r current character only
R current character and those to its right
s current character
S current line
~ switch between lowercase and uppercase

Deleting text

Keys pressed Text deleted
x character under cursor
12x 12 characters
X character to left of cursor
dw word
3dw three words
d0 to beginning of line
d$ to end of line
dd current line
5dd five lines
d{ to beginning of paragraph
d} to end of paragraph
:1,. d to beginning of file
:.,$ d to end of file
:1,$ d whole file

Using markers and buffers

Command Description
mf set marker named ``f''
`f go to marker ``f''
´f go to start of line containing marker ``f''
"s12yy copy 12 lines into buffer ``s''
"ty} copy text from cursor to end of paragraph into buffer ``t''
"ly1G copy text from cursor to top of file into buffer ``l''
"kd`f cut text from cursor up to marker ``f'' into buffer ``k''
"kp paste buffer ``k'' into text

Searching for text

Search Finds
/and next occurrence of ``and'', for example, ``and'', ``stand'', ``grand''
?and previous occurrence of ``and''
/^The next line that starts with ``The'', for example, ``The'', ``Then'', ``There''
/^The\> next line that starts with the word ``The''
/end$ next line that ends with ``end''
/[bB]ox next occurrence of ``box'' or ``Box''
n repeat the most recent search, in the same direction
N repeat the most recent search, in the opposite direction

Searching for and replacing text

Command Description
:s/pear/peach/g replace all occurrences of ``pear'' with ``peach'' on current line
:/orange/s//lemon/g change all occurrences of ``orange'' into ``lemon'' on next line containing ``orange''
:.,$/\<file/directory/g replace all words starting with ``file'' by ``directory'' on every line from current line onward, for example, ``filename'' becomes ``directoryname''
:g/one/s//1/g replace every occurrence of ``one'' with 1, for example, ``oneself'' becomes ``1self'', ``someone'' becomes ``some1''

Matching patterns of text

Expression Matches
. any single character
* zero or more of the previous expression
.* zero or more arbitrary characters
\< beginning of a word
\> end of a word
\ quote a special character
\* the character ``*''
^ beginning of a line
$ end of a line
[set] one character from a set of characters
[XYZ] one of the characters ``X'', ``Y'', or ``Z''
[[:upper:]][[:lower:]]* one uppercase character followed by any number of lowercase characters
[^set] one character not from a set of characters
[^XYZ[:digit:]] any character except ``X'', ``Y'', ``Z'', or a numeric digit

Options to the :set command

Option Effect
all List settings of all options.
noautoindent Prevent the preparation of structured program text.
autoprint Display the current line after each ex copy, move, or substitute command.
noautowrite Do not automatically write the contents of the modified buffer to the current file when you give a next, rewind, tag, or ``!'' command, or a <Ctrl>^ (switch files) or <Ctrl>] (goto tag) command.
nobeautify Do not discard all control characters except <Tab>, newline and formfeed from the input.
directory=/var/preserve Set the default directory for the vi editing buffer. noedcompatible the absence of g and c suffixes on substitute commands is not remembered.
noerrorbells Do not precede error messages with a bell.
hardtabs=8 Set the boundaries on which terminal hardware tabs are set or on which tabs the system expands.
noignorecase Do not map all uppercase characters to thier lowercase equivalent.
nolisp Do not autoindent to indent appropriately for LISP code.
nolist Do not display the tabs and end of line characters.
magic With nomagic set, the number of regular expression metacharacters is greatly reduced, with only caret ``^'' and dollar sign ``$'' having special effects. In addition, the metacharacters tilde ``~'' and ampersand ``&'' in replacement patterns are treated as normal characters.
mesg Prevent other users writing to your screen with the UNIX write command and scrambling your screen as you edit.
nomodelines Disable the first five and last five lines of a file being read in to be interpreted as vi or ex commands.
nonumber Do not display output lines with their line numbers.
nooptimize Allow the terminal perform automatic carriage returns when displaying more than one line of output.
paragraphs=IPLPPPQPP LIpplpipnpb Set the paragraph delimiters for the { and } operations.
prompt Force ex input to be prompted for with a colon ``:''.

redraw Simulate (using great amounts of output) an intelligent terminal on a dumb terminal.
remap Mapped characters are repeatedly tried until they are unchanged. For example, if o is mapped to O and O is mapped to I, o will map to I if remap is set, and to O if noremap is set.
report=5 Set the threshold for feedback from commands.
scroll=11 The number of logical lines scrolled when <Ctrl>-D is received from a terminal input.
sections=NHSHH HUuhsh+c Set the section macros for the [[ and ]] operations.
shell=/usr/bin/ksh Set the pathname of the shell forked for the shell escape ``!'' command, and by the shell command.
shiftwidth=8 Set the width of a software tab stop, used in reverse tabbing with <Ctrl>-D when using autoindent to append text, and by the shift commands.
noshowmatch When a ``)'' or ``}'' is typed, move the cursor to the matching ``('' or ``{'' for one second if this matching character is on the screen.
noshowmode Prevent the message ``INPUT MODE'' from being displayed on the lower right corner of the screen when insert mode is activated.
noslowopen Enable the display of updates during inserts.
tabstop=8 Expand tabs in the input file to be on n boundaries for the purposes of display.
taglength=0 Accept the first n characters in a tag name to be significant, but all others to be ignored.
tags=tags /usr/lib/tags Set a path of files to be used as tag files for the tag command.
term=value of shell TERM variable Set the terminal type of the output device.
timeout Set the milliseconds to wait for subsequent input characters.
warn Display ``[No write since last change]'' before a shell escape command (!) if file has not been saved.
window=23 Set the number of lines in a text window.
wrapscan Search using the regular expressions in addressing wrap around past the end of the file.
wrapmargin=0 Define the margin for automatic insertion of newlines during text input.
nowriteany Perform all checks normally made before write commands.

© 2004 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 22 April 2004