I think vi editor is one of the most popular file editor in linux world and almost every linux user used it ones in a life. But most of us don’t know or cant remember all the commands that we need when editing a file. So this article will help you to remember the vi Editor commends. Bookmark this page for future reference.

General Startup

vi filename To use vi
ZZ or :wq To exit vi and save changes
:q! To exit vi without saving changes
[esc] To enter vi command mode

Cursor Movement

h move left (backspace)
j move down
k move up
l move right (spacebar)
[return] move to the beginning of the next line
$ last column on the current line
0 move cursor to the first column on the current line
^ move cursor to first nonblank column on the current line
w move to the beginning of the next word or punctuation mark
W move past the next space
b move to the beginning of the previous word or punctuation mark
B move to the beginning of the previous word, ignores punctuation
e end of next word or punctuation mark
E end of next word, ignoring punctuation
H move cursor to the top of the screen
M move cursor to the middle of the screen
L move cursor to the bottom of the screen

Screen Movement

G move to the last line in the file
xG move to line x
z+ move current line to top of screen
z move current line to the middle of screen
z- move current line to the bottom of screen
^F move forward one screen
^B move backward one line
^D move forward one half screen
^U move backward one half screen

Inserting

r replace character under cursor with next character typed
R keep replacing character until [esc] is hit
i insert before cursor
a append after cursor
A append at end of line
O open line above cursor and enter append mode

Deleting

x  delete character under cursor
dd delete line under cursor
dw delete word under cursor
db delete word before cursor

Copying Code

yy  (yank)’copies’ line which may then be put by
the p(put) command. Precede with a count for
multiple lines.

Put Command

 brings back previous deletion or yank of lines, words, or characters
P bring back before cursor
p bring back after cursor

Find Commands

?  finds a word going backwards
/ finds a word going forwards
f finds a character on the line under the cursor going forward
F finds a character on the line under the cursor going backwards
t find a character on the current line going forward and stop one character before it
T find a character on the current line going backward and stop one character before it
; repeat last f, F, t, T

Miscellaneous Commands

 .  repeat last command
u undoes last command issued
U undoes all commands on one line
xp deletes first character and inserts after second (swap)
J join current line with the next line
^G display current line number
% if at one parenthesis, will jump to its mate
mx mark current line with character x
‘x find line marked with character x

NOTE: Marks are internal and not written to the file.

Line Editor Mode

 

Any commands form the line editor ex can be issued upon entering line mode.
: To enter
[return] or [esc] To exit

Reading Files

 copies (reads) filename after cursor in file currently editing
:r filename

Write file

 :w  saves the current file without quitting

Moving

 :#  move to line #
:$ move to last line of file