Best of Vim Tips

zzapper 16 Years of Vi + 8+ years of Vim and still learning
14Jun15 : Last Update (Now in VIM Help Format :h helptags)
### These Tips are now being maintained at
With corrections by Richard Russon 14Jun15

Tips Home

Vim Tips Blog (NEW)




Buy Vim Book Support VIM

Submit to Social Websites
*vimtips.txt*	For Vim version 7.3.
" new items marked [N] , corrected items marked                              [C]
" *best-searching*
/joe/e                      : cursor set to End of match
3/joe/e+1                   : find 3rd joe cursor set to End of match plus 1 [C]
/joe/s-2                    : cursor set to Start of match minus 2
/joe/+3                     : find joe move cursor 3 lines down
/^joe.*fred.*bill/          : find joe AND fred AND Bill (Joe at start of line)
/^[A-J]/                    : search for lines beginning with one or more A-J
/begin\_.*end               : search over possible multiple lines
/fred\_s*joe/               : any whitespace including newline               [C]
/fred\|joe                  : Search for fred OR joe
/.*fred\&.*joe              : Search for fred AND joe in ANY ORDER!
/\<fred\>/                  : search for fred but not alfred or frederick    [C]
/\<\d\d\d\d\>               : Search for exactly 4 digit numbers
/\D\d\d\d\d\D               : Search for exactly 4 digit numbers
/\<\d\{4}\>                 : same thing
/\([^0-9]\|^\)%.*%          : Search for absence of a digit or beginning of line
" finding empty lines
/^\n\{3}                    : find 3 empty lines
/^str.*\nstr                : find 2 successive lines starting with str
/\(^str.*\n\)\{2}           : find 2 successive lines starting with str
" using rexexp memory in a search find fred.*joe.*joe.*fred                  [C]
" Repeating the Regexp (rather than what the Regexp finds)
" visual searching
:vmap // y/<C-R>"<CR>       : search for visually highlighted text
:vmap <silent> // y/<C-R>=escape(@", '\\/.*$^~[]')<CR><CR> : with spec chars
" \zs and \ze regex delimiters :h /\zs
/<\zs[^>]*\ze>              : search for tag contents, ignoring chevrons
" zero-width :h /\@=
/<\@<=[^>]*>\@=             : search for tag contents, ignoring chevrons
/<\@<=\_[^>]*>\@=           : search for tags across possible multiple lines
" searching over multiple lines \_ means including newline
/<!--\_p\{-}-->             : search for multiple line comments
/fred\_s*joe/               : any whitespace including newline               [C]
/bugs\(\_.\)*bunny          : bugs followed by bunny anywhere in file
:h \_                       : help
" search for declaration of subroutine/function under cursor
:nmap gx yiw/^\(sub\<bar>function\)\s\+<C-R>"<CR>
" multiple file search
:bufdo /searchstr/          : use :rewind to recommence search
" multiple file search better but cheating
:bufdo %s/searchstr/&/gic   : say n and then a to stop
" How to search for a URL without backslashing
?        : (first) search BACKWARDS!!! clever huh!
" Specify what you are NOT searching for (vowels)
/\c\v([^aeiou]&\a){4}       : search for 4 consecutive consonants
/\%>20l\%<30lgoat           : Search for goat between lines 20 and 30        [N]
/^.\{-}home.\{-}\zshome/e   : match only the 2nd occurence in a line of "home" [N]
:%s/home.\{-}\zshome/alone  : Substitute only the occurrence of home in any line [N]
" find str but not on lines containing tongue
'a,'bs/extrascost//gc       : trick: restrict search to between markers (answer n) [N]
" *best-substitution*
:%s/fred/joe/igc            : general substitute command
:%s//joe/igc                : Substitute what you last searched for          [N]
:%s/~/sue/igc               : Substitute your last replacement string        [N]
:%s/\r//g                   : Delete DOS returns ^M
" Is your Text File jumbled onto one line? use following
:%s/\r/\r/g                 : Turn DOS returns ^M into real returns
:%s=  *$==                  : delete end of line blanks
:%s= \+$==                  : Same thing
:%s#\s*\r\?$##              : Clean both trailing spaces AND DOS returns
:%s#\s*\r*$##               : same thing
" deleting empty lines
:%s/^\n\{3}//               : delete blocks of 3 empty lines
:%s/^\n\+/\r/               : compressing empty lines
:%s#<[^>]\+>##g             : delete html tags, leave text (non-greedy)
:%s#<\_.\{-1,}>##g          : delete html tags possibly multi-line (non-greedy)
:%s#.*\(\d\+hours\).*#\1#   : Delete all but memorised string (\1)           [N]
" parse xml/soap
:%s#><\([^/]\)#>\r<\1#g     : split jumbled up XML file into one tag per line [N]
:%s/</\r&/g                 : simple split of html/xml/soap                  [N]
:%s#<[^/]#\r&#gic           : simple split of html/xml/soap  but not closing tag [N]
:%s#<[^/]#\r&#gi            : parse on open xml tag                          [N]
:%s#\[\d\+\]#\r&#g          : parse on numbered array elements [1]           [N]
ggVGgJ                      : rejoin XML without extra spaces                [N]
" Vim Power Substitute
:'a,'bg/fred/s/dick/joe/igc : VERY USEFUL
" duplicating columns
:%s= [^ ]\+$=&&=            : duplicate end column
:%s= \f\+$=&&=              : Dupicate filename
:%s= \S\+$=&&               : usually the same
" memory
:%s#example#& = &#gic       : duplicate entire matched string                [N]
:%s#.*\(tbl_\w\+\).*#\1#    : extract list of all strings tbl_* from text   [NC]
:s/\(.*\):\(.*\)/\2 : \1/   : reverse fields separated by :
:%s/^\(.*\)\n\1$/\1/        : delete duplicate lines
:%s/^\(.*\)\(\n\1\)\+$/\1/  : delete multiple duplicate lines                [N]
" non-greedy matching \{-}
:%s/^.\{-}pdf/new.pdf/      : delete to 1st occurence of pdf only (non-greedy)
:%s#^.\{-}\([0-9]\{3,4\}serial\)#\1#gic : delete up to 123serial or 1234serial [N]
" use of optional atom \?
:%s#\<[zy]\?tbl_[a-z_]\+\>#\L&#gc : lowercase with optional leading characters
" over possibly many lines
:%s/<!--\_.\{-}-->//        : delete possibly multi-line comments
:help /\{-}                 : help non-greedy
" substitute using a register
:s/fred/<c-r>a/g            : sub "fred" with contents of register "a"
:s/fred/\=@a/g              : better alternative as register not displayed (not *) [C]
" multiple commands on one line
:%s/\f\+\.gif\>/\r&\r/g | v/\.gif$/d | %s/gif/jpg/
:%s/a/but/gie|:update|:next : then use @: to repeat
" ORing
:%s/goat\|cow/sheep/gc      : ORing (must break pipe)
:'a,'bs#\[\|\]##g           : remove [] from lines between markers a and b   [N]
:%s/\v(.*\n){5}/&\r         : insert a blank line every 5 lines              [N]
" Calling a Vim function
:s/__date__/\=strftime("%c")/ : insert datestring
:inoremap \zd <C-R>=strftime("%d%b%y")<CR>    : insert date eg 31Jan11       [N]
" Working with Columns sub any str1 in col3
" Swapping first & last column (4 columns)
" format a mysql query
:%s#\<from\>\|\<where\>\|\<left join\>\|\<\inner join\>#\r&#g
" filter all form elements into paste register
:redir @*|sil exec 'g#<\(input\|select\|textarea\|/\=form\)\>#p'|redir END
:nmap ,z :redir @*<Bar>sil exec 'g@<\(input\<Bar>select\<Bar>textarea\<Bar>/\=form\)\>@p'<Bar>redir END<CR>
" substitute string in column 30                                             [N]
" decrement numbers by 3
" increment numbers by 6 on certain lines only
" better
:h /\zs
" increment only numbers gg\d\d  by 6 (another way)
:h zero-width
" rename a string with an incrementing number
:let i=10 | 'a,'bg/Abc/s/yy/\=i/ |let i=i+1 # convert yy to 10,11,12 etc
" as above but more precise
:let i=10 | 'a,'bg/Abc/s/xx\zsyy\ze/\=i/ |let i=i+1 # convert xxyy to xx11,xx12,xx13
" find replacement text, put in memory, then use \zs to simplify substitute
" Pull word under cursor into LHS of a substitute
:nmap <leader>z :%s#\<<c-r>=expand("<cword>")<cr>\>#
" Pull visually highlighted text into LHS of a substitute
:vmap <leader>z :<C-U>%s/\<<c-r>*\>/
" substitute singular or plural
:'a,'bs/bucket\(s\)*/bowl\1/gic                                              [N]
" all following performing similar task, substitute within substitution
" Multiple single character substitution in a portion of line only
:%s,\(all/.*\)\@<=/,_,g     : replace all / with _ AFTER "all/"
" Same thing
:s#all/\zs.*#\=substitute(submatch(0), '/', '_', 'g')#
" Substitute by splitting line, then re-joining
" Substitute inside substitute
:%s/.*/\='cp '.submatch(0).' all/'.substitute(submatch(0),'/','_','g')/
" *best-global* command
:g/gladioli/#               : display with line numbers (YOU WANT THIS!)
:g/fred.*joe.*dick/         : display all lines fred,joe & dick
:g/\<fred\>/                : display all lines fred but not freddy
:g/^\s*$/d                  : delete all blank lines
:g!/^dd/d                   : delete lines not containing string
:v/^dd/d                    : delete lines not containing string
:g/joe/,/fred/d             : not line based (very powerful)
:g/fred/,/joe/j             : Join lines                                     [N]
:g/-------/.-10,.d          : Delete string & 10 previous lines
:g/{/ ,/}/- s/\n\+/\r/g     : Delete empty lines but only between {...}
:v/\S/d                     : Delete empty lines (and blank lines ie whitespace)
:v/./,/./-j                 : compress empty lines
:g/^$/,/./-j                : compress empty lines
:g/<input\|<form/p          : ORing
:g/^/put_                   : double space file (pu = put)
:g/^/m0                     : Reverse file (m = move)
:g/^/m$                     : No effect!                                     [N]
:'a,'bg/^/m'b               : Reverse a section a to b
:g/^/t.                     : duplicate every line
:g/fred/t$                  : copy (transfer) lines matching fred to EOF
:g/stage/t'a                : copy (transfer) lines matching stage to marker a (cannot use .) [C]
:g/^Chapter/t.|s/./-/g      : Automatically underline selecting headings     [N]
:g/\(^I[^^I]*\)\{80}/d      : delete all lines containing at least 80 tabs
" perform a substitute on every other line
:g/^/ if line('.')%2|s/^/zz /
" match all lines containing "somestr" between markers a & b
" copy after line containing "otherstr"
:'a,'bg/somestr/co/otherstr/ : co(py) or mo(ve)
" as above but also do a substitution
:%norm jdd                  : delete every other line
" incrementing numbers (type <c-a> as 5 characters)
:.,$g/^\d/exe "norm! \<c-a>": increment numbers
:'a,'bg/\d\+/norm! ^A       : increment numbers
" storing glob results (note must use APPEND) you need to empty reg a first with qaq.
" save results to a register/paste buffer
:g/fred/y A                 : append all lines fred to register a
:g/fred/y A | :let @*=@a    : put into paste buffer
:let @a=''|g/Barratt/y A |:let @*=@a
" filter lines to a file (file must already exist)
:'a,'bg/^Error/ . w >> errors.txt
" duplicate every line in a file wrap a print '' around each duplicate
:g/./yank|put|-1s/'/"/g|s/.*/Print '&'/
" replace string with contents of a file, -d deletes the "MARK"
:g/^MARK$/r tmp.txt | -d
" display prettily
:g/<pattern>/z#.5                    : display with context
:g/<pattern>/z#.5|echo "=========="  : display beautifully
" Combining g// with normal mode commands
:g/|/norm 2f|r*             : replace 2nd | with a star
" send output of previous global command to a new window
:nmap <F3>  :redir @a<CR>:g//<CR>:redir END<CR>:new<CR>:put! a<CR><CR>
" *Best-Global-combined-with-substitute* (*power-editing*)
:'a,'bg/fred/s/joe/susan/gic             : can use memory to extend matching
:/fred/,/joe/s/fred/joe/gic              : non-line based (ultra)
:/biz/,/any/g/article/s/wheel/bucket/gic : non-line based                    [N]
" Find fred before beginning search for joe
" create a new file for each line of file eg 1.txt,2.txt,3,txt etc
:g/^/exe ".w ".line(".").".txt"
" chain an external command
:.g/^/ exe ".!sed 's/N/X/'" | s/I/Q/                                         [N]
" Operate until string found                                                 [N]
d/fred/                     : delete until fred
y/fred/                     : yank until fred
c/fred/e                    : change until fred end
v12|                        : visualise/change/delete to column 12           [N]
" Summary of editing repeats                                                 [N]
.                           : last edit (magic dot)
:&                          : last substitute
:%&                         : last substitute every line
:%&gic                      : last substitute every line confirm
g%                          : normal mode repeat last substitute
g&                          : last substitute on all lines
@@                          : last recording
@:                          : last command-mode command
:!!                         : last :! command
:~                          : last substitute
:help repeating
" Summary of repeated searches
;                           : last f, t, F or T
,                           : last f, t, F or T in opposite direction
n                           : last / or ? search
N                           : last / or ? search in opposite direction
" *Absolutely-essential*
* # g* g#           : find word under cursor (<cword>) (forwards/backwards)
%                   : match brackets {}[]()
.                   : repeat last modification
@:                  : repeat last : command (then @@)
matchit.vim         : % now matches tags <tr><td><script> <?php etc
<C-N><C-P>          : word completion in insert mode
<C-X><C-L>          : Line complete SUPER USEFUL
/<C-R><C-W>         : Pull <cword> onto search/command line
/<C-R><C-A>         : Pull <CWORD> onto search/command line
:set ignorecase     : you nearly always want this
:set smartcase      : overrides ignorecase if uppercase used in search string (cool)
:syntax on          : colour syntax in Perl,HTML,PHP etc
:set syntax=perl    : force syntax (usually taken from file extension)
:h regexp<C-D>      : type control-D and get a list all help topics containing
                      regexp (plus use TAB to Step thru list)
" Make it easy to update/reload _vimrc
:nmap ,s :source $VIM/_vimrc
:nmap ,v :e $VIM/_vimrc
:e $MYVIMRC                 : edits your _vimrc wherever it might be         [N]
" How to have a variant in your .vimrc for different PCs                     [N]
  ab mypc vista
  ab mypc dell25
" splitting windows
:vsplit other.php           : vertically split current file with other.php   [N]
" Visual mode (easy to add other HTML Tags)
:vmap sb "zdi<b><C-R>z</b><ESC>  : wrap <b></b> around VISUALLY selected Text
:vmap st "zdi<?= <C-R>z ?><ESC>  : wrap <?=   ?> around VISUALLY selected Text
" vim 7 tabs
vim -p fred.php joe.php     : open files in tabs
:tabe fred.php              : open fred.php in a new tab
:tab ball                   : tab open files
:close                      : close a tab but leave the buffer               [N]
" vim 7 forcing use of tabs from .vimrc
:nnoremap gf <C-W>gf
:cab      e  tabe
:tab sball                  : retab all files in buffer (repair)             [N]
" Exploring
:e .                        : file explorer
:Exp(lore)                  : file explorer note capital Ex
:Sex(plore)                 : file explorer in split window
:browse e                   : windows style browser
:ls                         : list of buffers
:cd ..                      : move to parent directory
:args                       : list of files
:pwd                        : Print Working Directory (current directory)    [N]
:args *.php                 : open list of files (you need this!)
:lcd %:p:h                  : change to directory of current file
:cd :h                      : change to directory of current file            [N]
:autocmd BufEnter * lcd %:p:h   : change to directory of current file automatically (put in _vimrc)
" Changing Case
guu                         : lowercase line
gUU                         : uppercase line
Vu                          : lowercase line
VU                          : uppercase line
g~~                         : flip case line
vEU                         : upper case word
vE~                         : flip case word
ggguG                       : lowercase entire file
" Titlise Visually Selected Text (map for .vimrc)
:vmap ,c :s/\<\(.\)\(\k*\)\>/\u\1\L\2/g<CR>
" Title Case A Line Or Selection (better)
:vnoremap <F6> :s/\%V\<\(\w\)\(\w*\)\>/\u\1\L\2/ge<cr>                       [N]
" titlise a line
:nmap ,t :s/.*/\L&/<bar>:s/\<./\u&/g<cr>                                     [N]
" Uppercase first letter of sentences
gf                              : open file name under cursor (SUPER)
:nnoremap gF :view <cfile><cr>  : open file under cursor, create if necessary
ga                              : display hex,ascii value of char under cursor
ggVGg?                          : rot13 whole file
ggg?G                           : rot13 whole file (quicker for large file)
:8 | normal VGg?                : rot13 from line 8
:normal 10GVGg?                 : rot13 from line 8
<C-A>,<C-X>                     : increment,decrement number under cursor
                                  win32 users must remap CTRL-A
<C-R>=5*5                       : insert 25 into text (mini-calculator)
" Make all other tips superfluous
:h 42                       : also
:h holy-grail
" disguise text (watch out)                                                  [N]
ggVGg?                      : rot13 whole file (toggles)
:set rl!                    : reverse lines right to left (toggles)
:g/^/m0                     : reverse lines top to bottom (toggles)
:%s/\(\<.\{-}\>\)/\=join(reverse(split(submatch(1), '.\zs')), '')/g   : reverse all text [N]
" History, Markers & moving about (what Vim Remembers)                       [C]
'.               : jump to last modification line (SUPER)
`.               : jump to exact spot in last modification line
g;               : cycle thru recent changes (oldest first)
g,               : reverse direction
:h changelist    : help for above
<C-O>            : retrace your movements in file (starting from most recent)
<C-I>            : retrace your movements in file (reverse direction)
:ju(mps)         : list of your movements
:help jump-motions
:history         : list of all your commands
:his c           : commandline history
:his s           : search history
q/               : Search history Window (puts you in full edit mode) (exit CTRL-C)
q:               : commandline history Window (puts you in full edit mode) (exit CTRL-C)
:<C-F>           : history Window (exit CTRL-C)
" Abbreviations & Maps
" Maps are commands put onto keys, abbreviations expand typed text           [N]
" Following 4 maps enable text transfer between Vim sessions
:map <f7>  :'a,'bw! c:/aaa/x       : save text to file x
:map <f8>  :r c:/aaa/x             : retrieve text
:map <f11> :.w! c:/aaa/xr<CR>      : store current line
:map <f12> :r c:/aaa/xr<CR>        : retrieve current line
:ab php                     : list of abbreviations beginning php
:map ,                      : list of maps beginning ,
" allow use of F10 for mapping (win32)
:set wak=no                 : :h winaltkeys
" For use in Maps
<CR>                        : carriage Return for maps
<ESC>                       : Escape
<LEADER>                    : normally \
<BAR>                       : | pipe
<BACKSPACE>                 : backspace
<SILENT>                    : No hanging shell window
" display RGB colour under the cursor eg #445588
:nmap <leader>c :hi Normal guibg=#<c-r>=expand("<cword>")<cr><cr>
:map <f2> /price only\\|versus/ :in a map need to backslash the \
" type table,,, to get <table></table>       ### Cool ###
:imap ,,, <esc>bdwa<<esc>pa><cr></<esc>pa><esc>kA
" list current mappings of all your function keys
:for i in range(1, 12) | execute("map <F".i.">") | endfor                    [N]
" for your .vimrc
:cab ,f :for i in range(1, 12) \| execute("map <F".i.">") \| endfor
" chain commands in abbreviation
:cabbrev vrep tabe \| tabe report.php   : chain commands           [N]
" Simple PHP debugging display all variables yanked into register a
:iab phpdb exit("<hr>Debug <C-R>a  ");
" Using a register as a map (preload registers in .vimrc)
:let @m=":'a,'bs/"
:let @s=":%!sort -u"
" Useful tricks
"ayy@a                      : execute "Vim command" in a text file
yy@"                        : same thing using unnamed register
u@.                         : execute command JUST typed in
"ddw                        : store what you delete in register d            [N]
"ccaw                       : store what you change in register c            [N]
" Get output from other commands (requires external programs)
:r!ls -R                    : reads in output of ls
:put=glob('**')             : same as above                                  [N]
:r !grep "^ebay" file.txt   : grepping in content                            [N]
:20,25 !rot13               : rot13 lines 20 to 25                           [N]
!!date                      : same thing (but replaces/filters current line)
" Sorting with external sort
:%!sort -u                  : use an external program to filter content
:'a,'b!sort -u              : use an external program to filter content
!1} sort -u                 : sorts paragraph (note normal mode!!)
:g/^$/;/^$/-1!sort          : sort each block (note the crucial ;)
" Sorting with internal sort
:sort /.*\%2v/              : sort all lines on second column                [N]
" number lines  (linux or cygwin only)
:new | r!nl #                                                                [N]
" Multiple Files Management (Essential)
:bn                    : goto next buffer
:bp                    : goto previous buffer
:wn                    : save file and move to next (super)
:wp                    : save file and move to previous
:bd                    : remove file from buffer list (super)
:bun                   : Buffer unload (remove window but not from list)
:badd file.c           : file from buffer list
:b3                    : go to buffer 3                                      [C]
:b main                : go to buffer with main in name eg main.c (ultra)
:sav php.html          : Save current file as php.html and "move" to php.html
:sav! %<.bak           : Save current file to alternative extension (old way)
:sav! %:r.cfm          : Save current file to alternative extension
:sav %:s/fred/joe/          : do a substitute on file name
:sav %:s/fred/joe/:r.bak2   : do a substitute on file name & ext.
:!mv % %:r.bak              : rename current file (DOS use Rename or DEL)
:help filename-modifiers
:e!                         : return to unmodified file
:w c:/aaa/%                 : save file elsewhere
:e #                        : edit alternative file (also cntrl-^)
:rew                        : return to beginning of edited files list (:args)
:brew                       : buffer rewind
:sp fred.txt                : open fred.txt into a split
:sball,:sb                  : Split all buffers (super)
:scrollbind                 : in each split window
:map   <F5> :ls<CR>:e #     : Pressing F5 lists all buffer, just type number
:set hidden                 : Allows to change buffer w/o saving current buffer
" Quick jumping between splits
:map <C-J> <C-W>j<C-W>_
:map <C-K> <C-W>k<C-W>_
" Recording (BEST Feature of ALL)
qq                          : record to q your complex series of commands
q                           : end recording
@q                          : to execute
@@                          : to Repeat
5@@                         : to Repeat 5 times
qQ@qq                       : Make an existing recording q recursive         [N]
" editing a register/recording
"qp                         : display contents of register q (normal mode)
<ctrl-R>q                   : display contents of register q (insert mode)
" you can now see recording contents, edit as required
"qdd                        : put changed contents back into q
@q                          : execute recording/register q
" Operating a Recording on a Visual Block (blockwise)
" 1) define recording/register
qq:s/ to/ from/g^Mq
" 2) Define Visual Block
" 3) hit : and the following appears
" 4) Complete as follows
:'<,'>norm @q
" combining a recording with a map (to end up in command mode)
" here we operate on a file with a recording, then move to the next file     [N]
:nnoremap ] @q:update<bar>bd
" Visual is the newest and usually the most intuitive editing mode
" Visual basics
v                           : enter visual mode
V                           : visual mode whole line
<C-V>                       : enter VISUAL BLOCKWISE mode (remap on Windows to say C-Q [C]
gv                          : reselect last visual area (ultra)
o                           : navigate visual area
"*y or "+y                  : yank visual area into paste buffer             [C]
V%                          : visualise what you match
V}J                         : Join Visual block (great)
V}gJ                        : Join Visual block w/o adding spaces
`[v`]                       : Highlight last insert
:%s/\%Vold/new/g            : Do a substitute on last visual area            [N]
" Delete 8th and 9th characters of 10 successive lines                       [C]
08l<c-v>10j2ld              : (use Control Q on win32)                       [C]
" how to copy a set of columns using VISUAL BLOCK
" visual block (AKA columnwise selection) (NOT BY ordinary v command)
<C-V> then select "column(s)" with motion commands (win32 <C-Q>)
then c,d,y,r etc
" how to overwrite a visual-block of text with another such block            [C]
" move with hjkl etc
Pick the first block: ctrl-v move y
Pick the second block: ctrl-v move P <esc>
" text objects :h text-objects                                               [C]
daW                         : delete contiguous non whitespace
di<   yi<  ci<              : Delete/Yank/Change HTML tag contents
da<   ya<  ca<              : Delete/Yank/Change whole HTML tag
dat   dit                   : Delete HTML tag pair
diB   daB                   : Empty a function {}
das                         : delete a sentence
" _vimrc essentials
:imap <TAB> <C-N>           : set tab to complete                            [N]
:set incsearch : jumps to search word as you type (annoying but excellent)
:set wildignore=*.o,*.obj,*.bak,*.exe : tab complete now ignores these
:set shiftwidth=3                     : for shift/tabbing
:set vb t_vb=".                       : set silent (no beep)
:set browsedir=buffer                 : Make GUI File Open use current directory
" launching Win IE
:nmap ,f :update<CR>:silent !start c:\progra~1\intern~1\iexplore.exe file://%:p<CR>
:nmap ,i :update<CR>: !start c:\progra~1\intern~1\iexplore.exe <cWORD><CR>
" FTPing from Vim
:cmap ,r  :Nread
:cmap ,w  :Nwrite
vim : uses netrw.vim
" appending to registers (use CAPITAL)
" yank 5 lines into "a" then add a further 5
[I                      : show lines matching word under cursor <cword> (super)
" Conventional Shifting/Indenting
" visual shifting (builtin-repeat)
:vnoremap < <gv
:vnoremap > >gv
" Block shifting (magic)
" also
>% and <%
==                          : indent current line same as line above         [N]
" Redirection & Paste register *
:redir @*                   : redirect commands to paste buffer
:redir END                  : end redirect
:redir >> out.txt           : redirect to a file
" Working with Paste buffer
"*yy                        : yank curent line to paste
"*p                         : insert from paste buffer
" yank to paste buffer (ex mode)
:'a,'by*                    : Yank range into paste
:%y*                        : Yank whole buffer into paste
:.y*                        : Yank Current line to paster
" filter non-printable characters from the paste buffer
" useful when pasting from some gui application
:nmap <leader>p :let @* = substitute(@*,'[^[:print:]]','','g')<cr>"*p
:set paste                  : prevent vim from formatting pasted in text     [N]
" Re-Formatting text
gq}                         : Format a paragraph
gqap                        : Format a paragraph
ggVGgq                      : Reformat entire file
Vgq                         : current line
" break lines at 70 chars, if possible after a ;
" Operate command over multiple files
:argdo %s/foo/bar/e         : operate on all files in :args
:bufdo %s/foo/bar/e
:windo %s/foo/bar/e
:argdo exe '%!sort'|w!      : include an external command
:bufdo exe "normal @q" | w  : perform a recording on open files
:silent bufdo !zip %:p   : zip all current files
" Command line tricks
vim -h                      : help
ls | vim -                  : edit a stream!!
cat xx | vim - -c "v/^\d\d\|^[3-9]/d " : filter a stream
vim -o file1 file2          : open into a horizontal split (file1 on top, file2 on bottom) [C]
vim -O file1 file2          : open into a vertical split (side by side,for comparing code) [N]
" execute one command after opening file
vim -c "/main" joe.c        : Open joe.c & jump to "main"
" execute multiple command on a single file
vim -c "%s/ABC/DEF/ge | update" file1.c
" execute multiple command on a group of files
vim -c "argdo %s/ABC/DEF/ge | update" *.c
" remove blocks of text from a series of files
vim -c "argdo /begin/+1,/end/-1g/^/d | update" *.c
" Automate editing of a file (Ex commands in convert.vim)
vim -s "convert.vim" file.c
" load Vim without .vimrc and plugins (clean Vim) e.g. for HUGE files
vim -u NONE -U NONE -N
" Access paste buffer contents (put in a script/batch file)
vim -c 'normal ggdG"*p' c:/aaa/xp
" print paste contents to default printer
vim -c 's/^/\=@*/|hardcopy!|q!'
" vim's use of external grep (win32 or *nix)
:!grep somestring *.php     : creates a list of all matching files           [C]
" use :cn(ext) :cp(rev) to navigate list
:h grep
" Using vimgrep with copen                                                   [N]
:vimgrep /keywords/ *.php
" Vim Difference Function (Brilliant)
vim -d file1 file2          : vimdiff (compare differences)
dp                          : "put" difference under cursor to other file
do                          : "get" difference under cursor from other file
[c                          : jump backwards to changec
]c                          : jump forwards to change
:set diffopt+=icase         : switch case sensitivity on and off
" complex diff parts of same file                                            [N]
:1,2yank a | 7,8yank b
:tabedit | put a | vnew | put b
:windo diffthis
" Vim traps
" In regular expressions you must backslash + (match 1 or more)
" In regular expressions you must backslash | (or)
" In regular expressions you must backslash ( (group)
" In regular expressions you must backslash { (count)
/fred\+/                    : matches fred/freddy but not free
/\(fred\)\{2,3}/            : note what you have to break
" \v or very magic (usually) reduces backslashing
/codes\(\n\|\s\)*where      : normal regexp
/\vcodes(\n|\s)*where       : very magic
" pulling objects onto command/search line (SUPER)
<C-R><C-W> : pull word under the cursor into a command line or search
<C-R><C-A> : pull WORD under the cursor into a command line or search
<C-R>-                  : pull small register (also insert mode)
<C-R>[0-9a-z]           : pull named registers (also insert mode)
<C-R>%                  : pull file name (also #) (also insert mode)
<C-R>=somevar           : pull contents of a variable (eg :let sray="ray[0-9]")
" List your Registers
:reg             : display contents of all registers
:reg a           : display content of register a
:reg 12a         : display content of registers 1,2 & a                      [N]
"5p              : retrieve 5th "ring"
"1p....          : retrieve numeric registers one by one
:let @y='yy@"'   : pre-loading registers (put in .vimrc)
qqq              : empty register "q"
qaq              : empty register "a"
:reg .-/%:*"     : the seven special registers                               [N]
:reg 0           : what you last yanked, not affected by a delete            [N]
"_dd             : Delete to blackhole register "_ , don't affect any register [N]
" manipulating registers
:let @a=@_                  : clear register a
:let @a=""                  : clear register a
:let @a=@"                  : Save unnamed register                          [N]
:let @*=@a                  : copy register a to paste buffer
:let @*=@:                  : copy last command to paste buffer
:let @*=@/                  : copy last search to paste buffer
:let @*=@%                  : copy current filename to paste buffer
" help for help (USE TAB)
:h quickref                 : Vim Quick Reference Sheet (ultra)
:h tips                     : Vim's own Tips Help
:h visual<C-D><tab>         : obtain  list of all visual help topics
                            : Then use tab to step thru them
:h ctrl<C-D>                : list help of all control keys
:helpg uganda               : grep HELP Files use :cn, :cp to find next
:helpgrep edit.*director    : grep help using regexp
:h :r                       : help for :ex command
:h CTRL-R                   : normal mode
:h /\r                      : what's \r in a regexp (matches a <CR>)
:h \\zs                     : double up backslash to find \zs in help
:h i_CTRL-R                 : help for say <C-R> in insert mode
:h c_CTRL-R                 : help for say <C-R> in command mode
:h v_CTRL-V                 : visual mode
:h tutor                    : Vim Tutor
<C-]>                       : jump to {keyword} under  cursor in help file   [C]
<C-[>, <C-T>                : Move back & forth in HELP History
vim -h                      : Vim Command Line Help
:cabbrev h tab help         : open help in a tab                             [N]
" where was an option set
:scriptnames                : list all plugins, _vimrcs loaded (super)
:verbose set history?       : reveals value of history and where set
:function                   : list functions
:func SearchCompl           : List particular function
" making your own Vim help
:helptags /vim/vim64/doc    : rebuild all *.txt help files in /doc
:help add-local-help
" save this page as a Vim Help File                                          [N]
:sav! $VIMRUNTIME/doc/vimtips.txt|:1,/^__BEGIN__/d|:/^__END__/,$d|:w!|:helptags $VIMRUNTIME/doc
" running file thru an external program (eg php)
:map <f9> :update<CR>:!c:/php/php.exe %<CR>
:map <f2> :update<CR>:!perl -c %<CR>
" capturing output of current script in a separate buffer
:new | r!perl #             : opens new buffer,read other buffer
:new! x.out | r!perl #      : same with named file
" create a new buffer, paste a register "q" into it, then sort new buffer
:new +put q|%!sort
" Inserting DOS Carriage Returns
:%s/$/\<C-V><C-M>&/g        : that's what you type
:%s/$/\<C-Q><C-M>&/g        : for Win32
:%s/$/\^M&/g                : what you'll see where ^M is ONE character
" automatically delete trailing Dos-returns,whitespace
:autocmd BufRead * silent! %s/[\r \t]\+$//
:autocmd BufEnter *.php :%s/[ \t\r]\+$//e
" perform an action on a particular file or file type
:autocmd VimEnter c:/intranet/note011.txt normal! ggVGg?
:autocmd FileType *.pl exec('set fileformats=unix')
" Retrieving last command line command for copy & pasting into text
" Retrieving last Search Command for copy & pasting into text
" more completions
<C-X><C-F>                  : insert name of a file in current directory
" Substituting a Visual area
" select visual area as usual (:h visual) then type :s/Emacs/Vim/ etc
:'<,'>s/Emacs/Vim/g         : REMEMBER you don't type the '<,'>
gv                          : Re-select the previous visual area (ULTRA)
" inserting line number into file
:g/^/exec "s/^/".strpart(line(".")."    ", 0, 4)
:%s/^/\=strpart(line(".")."     ", 0, 5)
:%s/^/\=line('.'). ' '
" *numbering lines Vim way*
:set number                 : show line numbers
:map <F12> :set number!<CR> : Show linenumbers flip-flop
:%s/^/\=strpart(line('.')."        ",0,&ts)
" numbering lines (need Perl on PC) starting from arbitrary number
:'a,'b!perl -pne 'BEGIN{$a=223} substr($_,2,0)=$a++'
" Produce a list of numbers
" Type in number on line say 223 in an empty file
qqmnYP`n^Aq                 : in recording q repeat with @q
" increment existing numbers to end of file (type <c-a> as 5 characters)
:.,$g/^\d/exe "normal! \<c-a>"
" advanced incrementing
" *advanced incrementing* (really useful)
" put following in _vimrc
let g:I=0
function! INC(increment)
  let g:I =g:I + a:increment
  return g:I
" eg create list starting from 223 incrementing by 5 between markers a,b
:let I=223
" create a map for INC
:cab viminc :let I=223 \| 'a,'bs/$/\=INC(5)/
" *generate a list of numbers*  23-64
unmap =                     : get the original vim command on a mapped key   [N]
" editing/moving within current insert (Really useful)
<C-U>                       : delete all entered
<C-W>                       : delete last word
<HOME><END>                 : beginning/end of line
<C-LEFTARROW><C-RIGHTARROW> : jump one word backwards/forwards
<C-X><C-E>,<C-X><C-Y>       : scroll while staying put in insert
" encryption (use with care: DON'T FORGET your KEY)
:X                          : you will be prompted for a key
:h :X
" modeline (make a file readonly etc) must be in first/last 5 lines
// vim:noai:ts=2:sw=4:readonly:
" vim:ft=html:              : says use HTML Syntax highlighting
:h modeline
" Creating your own GUI Toolbar entry
amenu  Modeline.Insert\ a\ Vim\ modeline <Esc><Esc>ggOvim:ff=unix ts=4 ss=4<CR>vim60:fdm=marker<esc>gg
" A function to save word under cursor to a file
function! SaveWord()
  normal yiw
  exe ':!echo '.@0.' >> word.txt'
:map ,p :call SaveWord()
" function to delete duplicate lines
function! Del()
  if getline(".") == getline(line(".") - 1)
    norm dd
:g/^/ call Del()
" Digraphs (non alpha-numerics)
:digraphs                   : display table
:h dig                      : help
i<C-K>e'                    : enters 
i<C-V>233                   : enters  (Unix)
i<C-Q>233                   : enters  (Win32)
ga                          : View hex value of any character
" Deleting non-ascii characters (some invisible)
:%s/[\x00-\x1f\x80-\xff]/ /g         : type this as you see it
:%s/[<C-V>128-<C-V>255]//gi          : where you have to type the Control-V
:%s/[-]//gi                     : Should see a black square & a dotted y
:%s/[<C-V>128-<C-V>255<C-V>01-<C-V>31]//gi : All pesky non-asciis
:exec "norm /[\x00-\x1f\x80-\xff]/"        : same thing
" Pull a non-ascii character onto search bar
yl/<C-R>"                         :
/[^a-zA-Z0-9_[:space:][:punct:]]  : search for all non-ascii
" All file completions grouped (for example main_c.c)
:e main_<tab>               : tab completes
gf                          : open file under cursor  (normal)
main_<C-X><C-F>             : include NAME of file in text (insert mode)
" Complex Vim
" swap two words
:%s/\<\(on\|off\)\>/\=strpart("offon", 3 * ("off" == submatch(0)), 3)/g
" swap two words
:vnoremap <C-X> <Esc>`.``gvP``P
" Swap word with next word
:nmap <silent> gw "_yiw:s/\(\%#\w\+\)\(\_W\+\)\(\w\+\)/\3\2\1/<cr><c-o><c-l> [N]
" Convert Text File to HTML
:runtime! syntax/2html.vim  : convert txt to html
:h 2html
" Vim has internal grep
:grep some_keyword *.c      : get list of all c-files containing keyword
:cn                         : go to next occurrence
" Force Syntax coloring for a file that has no extension .pl
:set syntax=perl
" Remove syntax coloring (useful for all sorts of reasons)
:set syntax off
" change coloring scheme (any file in ~vim/vim??/colors)
:colorscheme blue
:colorscheme morning        : good fallback colorscheme                      [N]
" Force HTML Syntax highlighting by using a modeline
" vim:ft=html:
" Force syntax automatically (for a file with non-standard extension)
:au BufRead,BufNewFile */Content.IE?/* setfiletype html
" make cursor standout against highlighted text for vim terminal (linux)     [N]
:highlight search term=reverse ctermbg=5
:set noma (non modifiable)  : Prevents modifications
:set ro (Read Only)         : Protect a file from unintentional writes
" Sessions (Open a set of files)
vim file1.c file2.c lib/lib.h lib/lib2.h : load files for "session"
:mksession                  : Make a Session file (default Session.vim)
:mksession MySession.vim    : Make a Session file named file                 [C]
vim -S                      : Reload all files (loads Session.vim)           [C]
vim -S MySession.vim        : Reload all files from named session            [C]
" tags (jumping to subroutines/functions)
taglist.vim                 : popular plugin
:Tlist                      : display Tags (list of functions)
<C-]>                       : jump to function under cursor
" columnise a csv file for display only as may crop wide columns
:let width = 20
:let fill=' ' | while strlen(fill) < width | let fill=fill.fill | endwhile
:%s/\([^;]*\);\=/\=strpart(submatch(1).fill, 0, width)/ge
" Highlight a particular csv column (put in .vimrc)
function! CSVH(x)
  execute 'match Keyword /^\([^,]*,\)\{'.a:x.'}\zs[^,]*/'
  execute 'normal ^'.a:x.'f,'
command! -nargs=1 Csv :call CSVH(<args>)
" call with
:Csv 5                      : highlight fifth column
zf1G                        : fold everything before this line               [N]
" folding : hide sections to allow easier comparisons
zf}                         : fold paragraph using motion
v}zf                        : fold paragraph using visual
zf'a                        : fold to mark
zo                          : open fold
zc                          : re-close fold
" also visualise a section of code then type zf                              [N]
:help folding
zfG      : fold everything after this line                                   [N]
" displaying "non-asciis"
:set list
:h listchars
" How to paste "normal vim commands" w/o entering insert mode
:norm qqy$jq
" manipulating file names
:h filename-modifiers       : help
:w %                        : write to current file name
:w %:r.cfm                  : change file extention to .cfm
:!echo %:p                  : full path & file name
:!echo %:p:h                : full path only
:!echo %:t                  : filename only
:reg %                      : display filename
<C-R>%                      : insert filename (insert mode)
"%p                         : insert filename (normal mode)
/<C-R>%                     : Search for file name in text
" delete without destroying default buffer contents
"_d                         : what you've ALWAYS wanted
"_dw                        : eg delete word (use blackhole)
" pull full path name into paste buffer for attachment to email etc
:nnoremap <F2> :let @*=expand("%:p")<cr> :unix
:nnoremap <F2> :let @*=substitute(expand("%:p"), "/", "\\", "g")<cr> :win32
" Simple Shell script to rename files w/o leaving vim
$ vim
:r! ls *.c
:%s/\(.*\).c/mv & \1.bla
:w !sh
" count words/lines in a text file
g<C-G>                      : counts words
:echo line("'b")-line("'a") : count lines between markers a and b            [N]
:'a,'bs/^//n                : count lines between markers a and b
:'a,'bs/somestring//gn      : count occurences of a string
:s/,/,/gn                   : count commas in a line (csv/parameters)
" example of setting your own highlighting
:syn match DoubleSpace "  "
:hi def DoubleSpace guibg=#e0e0e0
" reproduce previous line word by word
:imap ]  @@@<ESC>hhkyWjl?@@@<CR>P/@@@<CR>3s
:nmap ] i@@@<ESC>hhkyWjl?@@@<CR>P/@@@<CR>3s
" Programming keys depending on file type
:autocmd bufenter *.tex map <F1> :!latex %<CR>
:autocmd bufenter *.tex map <F2> :!xdvi -hush %<.dvi&<CR>
" allow yanking of php variables with their dollar                           [N]
:autocmd bufenter *.php :set iskeyword+=\$
" reading Ms-Word documents, requires antiword (not docx)
:autocmd BufReadPre *.doc set ro
:autocmd BufReadPre *.doc set hlsearch!
:autocmd BufReadPost *.doc %!antiword "%"
" a folding method
vim: filetype=help foldmethod=marker foldmarker=<<<,>>>
A really big section closed with a tag <<<
--- remember folds can be nested ---
Closing tag >>>
" Return to last edit position (You want this!)                              [N]
autocmd BufReadPost *
  \ if line("'\"") > 0 && line("'\"") <= line("$") |
  \   exe "normal! g`\"" |
  \ endif
" store text that is to be changed or deleted in register a
"act<                       : Change Till <                                  [N]
" installing/getting latest version of vim on Linux (replace tiny-vim)       [N]
yum install vim-common vim-enhanced vim-minimal
" using Vim with Cygwin on a Windows PC
if has('win32')
  source $VIMRUNTIME/mswin.vim
behave mswin
  set shell=c:\\cygwin\\bin\\bash.exe shellcmdflag=-c shellxquote=\"
" *Just Another Vim Hacker JAVH*
vim -c ":%s%s*%Cyrnfr)fcbafbe[Oenz(Zbbyranne%|:%s)[[()])-)Ig|norm Vg?"
"Read Vimtips into a new vim buffer 
:silent r ! lynx -dump "" [N]
" read webpage source html into vim
gvim &
updated version at
Please email any errors, tips etc to
" Information Sources
Vim Wiki *** VERY GOOD *** [N]
Vim Use VIM newsgroup [N]
comp.editors "VIM" specific newsgroup
VIM Webring
VimTips PDF Version (PRINTABLE!)
Vimtips in Belarusian 
" : commands to neutralise < for HTML display and publish
" use yy@" to execute following commands
:w!|sav! vimtips.html|:/^__BEGIN__/,/^__END__/s#<#\<#g|:w!|:!vimtipsftp