I have a file with data that goes like this.


This pattern repeats throughout the file. I want to do the following in a single vim command.

  1. Search for Engine1
  2. Copy the line that has the pattern Engine1
  3. Copy the next 2 lines (which has the data related to it)
  4. Output the results to a new file

This command needs to do this for the whole file wherever this pattern appears.

  • 1
    You can use let @c=''|:g/engine1/1,3y C then in the new file "cP will paste the match. regular expression deletion will help. Depending on what you mean by file :h :redir may assist
    – Steve
    Jan 4, 2021 at 23:27
  • 1
    This is the command I was looking for :g/Engine1/.,.+2w! >> Newfile.txt
    – Explorer
    Jan 5, 2021 at 14:55

1 Answer 1



You can use this:

:g/Engine1/.,.+2w! >> Newfile.txt

It will find all the occurence of Engine1 and copy his line with the two line below to the file Newfile.txt

You can also create a personnal command:

:command -nargs=1 MySearch :g/<args>/.,.+2w! >> file.txt

After entering this command, if you try writting :MySearch Engine1 It will do the same things but you can change your key (Engine2, Engine3, etc.)

More details

  • :g means global find all the lines conaining a pattern and execut a command for each of them :global/pattern/command (see :help :global)
  • :w means write write the content of the actual buffer to a file - :write file(see :help :write)
  • :command create a user-custom command (see :help command)
  • 4
    I think you would want to append rather than overwrite to the file. so you should probably use :g.../.,.+2w >> newfile.txt Jan 5, 2021 at 8:58
  • 1
    Good Idea! It can help this way. I will edit my answer. Jan 5, 2021 at 10:56
  • 3
    Note that :g abbreviates :global and :w! abbreviates :write! (I find myself among a minority that prefers longhand in scripts and answers; shorthands are reserved for interactive use)
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jan 5, 2021 at 13:45
  • 1
    @ChristianBrabandt That worked!
    – Explorer
    Jan 5, 2021 at 14:55
  • 2
    Note that you don't actually need the dots at all... :g/Engine1/,+2w >>file.txt works just as well. You don't need :w! either, just :w will do since you're appending.
    – filbranden
    Jan 5, 2021 at 17:31

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