The following is my handy post for vim notes, tips, and tricks.


Simply type vimtutor into the terminal to open up the tutor. Go through it a few times until it becomes familiar.

Basic Commands

  • u - undo
  • U - undo all changes on a line
  • Ctrl + r - redo

Note that u and undo U

Basic Movements


  • hjkl - move around like cursors
  • w - start of next word
  • e - end of the word
  • b - beginning of the word (sort of like opposite of w)
  • gg - beginning of file
  • G - end of file
  • 3w - move 3 words
  • 3igo - write the word “go” three times

  • fo - find next “o”

  • 3fq - find third instance of “q”

  • % - jump from a { to a } or ( to a )

  • 0 - beginning of line
  • % - end of line
  • * - find the next instance of the word under the cursor
  • # - find the previous instance of the word under the cursor

  • 2G - go to line 2

Often, you can use shift to do the reverse of what you were trying to do:

  • n - next
  • N - previous

  • O - insert new line above (The letter O, not the number 0)
  • o - insert new line below

  • x - delete character under cursor
  • X - delete character to the left of cursor

  • A - append to end of line

  • r - replace single character without switching to insert mode

  • d - delete
  • dw - delete first word on right side of cursor
  • d$ - delete to the end of the line
  • p - print the deleted word

  • d2e - delete two words?
  • . - keep deleting

  • v - visual mode

show line numbers - set number (or set nu for short)

Operator and Motion


  • w - until the start of the next word, EXCLUDING its first character.
  • e - to the end of the current word, INCLUDING the last character.
  • $ - to the end of the line, INCLUDING the last character.

Typing a number before a motion means it repeats that many times.


Using c to change text automatically puts you in insert mode.

  • ce - change to end of word
  • c$ - change to end of line
  • cc - delete entire line

Operator number motion

Searching for Text

To find a word in Vim, simply type / or ?


  • set breakpoint: 158 b

Explore - lets you look at other files; navigate the file structure

ls to see multiple files open in vim

Copy and Paste

yy to yank one line p to paste

So in a lot of ways yy is like dd

Cursor and File Status

  • Ctrl + g to get file info

Find and Replace

First, you’ll need to change your username

  • :%s/jsimonelli/yourusernamehere/g

To get confirmation before you make each change:

  • :%s/old/new/gc

Then, your folder path

If you’re in data ops, it would be

  • :%s/orig_path1\/orig_path2\/orig_path3/new_path1\/new_path1/g

If you’re in computer vision, it would be

  • :%s/orig_word/new_word/g


  • g means global (change every case, not just the first)
  • % means all lines

  • :%s/username/[NAME]/g

Running External Commands

  • Type : to get the cursor to the bottom of the screen.
  • Type ! then the command. For example !ls

In VSCode

use kj to enter vim mode in vscode

Configuring Defaults

Edit your .vimrc file in your home directory.

For example, you can add set number here to always show the line numbers.