5

Is there a Vim regex to delete all leading blank lines in the file?


text
more text

some more text

Should become:

text
more text

some more text

4 Answers 4

7

The following should do the job:

:%s/\%^\_\s*\n//

Here is an explanation:

  • \%^ match the beginning of the file
  • \_\s match any space character including new line
  • * repeat the match
  • \n match the last new line

I include the \n to not match the leading space on the first non white-space line (line that that is only made of white-spaces)

Remark: If by blank line you mean empty line the regex is more simple:

:%s/\%^\n*//
4
  • This only removes a blank first line not subsequent blank lines. @mas answer works if there are no spaces in the line, not possible to tell from the question. If there are then :g/^\s\+/d will work on every line
    – Steve
    Sep 30, 2022 at 1:16
  • Not in the test I made. The \_\s item match new line and the * make it work for multiple lines Sep 30, 2022 at 1:44
  • 1
    I tested it and it works. It does remove subsequent blank lines.
    – Amarakon
    Sep 30, 2022 at 2:34
  • Thanks for the feedback :-) Sep 30, 2022 at 2:37
5

Probably the most concise way to do this is with a range and the :delete command:

:1,/\S/-1d
             # Explanation
             # -----------
         d   # Delete all the lines
:1,          # in the range that starts at the beginning of the file
       -1    # and ends one line before
   /\S/      # the first line containing a non-whitespace character

If you don't want to delete whitespace-only lines it's even shorter:

:1,/./-1d

        d   # Delete all the lines
:1,         # in the range that starts at the beginning of the file
      -1    # and ends one line before
   /./      # the first line containing anything
2

This is the method I use:

:g/^$/d
1
  • 4
    That will remove all blank lines though, not just the ones at the start of the file. The way I read the question, it should only remove blank lines at the start of the file. Sep 30, 2022 at 1:27
1

On the off chance that one or more of the lines isn't exactly blank, but contains whitespace, this variant on @mas answer works:

:g/^\s*$/d

You asked about leading blank lines. That implies to me that you don't want to delete any lines that come either between text-containing lines or after them. If that's the case, you want to put a range between the : and the g. In your sample's case, where it appears to me there are two blank lines, it'd look like:

:1,2g/^\s*$/d
4
  • If you already know how many blank lines there are, there's no need to use :g at all: :1,2d. Although note that in the sample, there's actually only one blank line, so :1d.
    – Rich
    Sep 30, 2022 at 10:31
  • @Rich I agree. Deleting blank lines need be no more complicated than deleting non-blank lines.
    – MDeBusk
    Sep 30, 2022 at 13:18
  • I'm not sure if I made my point clearly. You wrote: "If that's the case, you want to put a range between the : and the g". But if you add a range specifying where the blank lines are, then you don't need the g or the regular expression at all.
    – Rich
    Sep 30, 2022 at 13:22
  • @Rich Dang, you're right. I even removed the g when I was testing it, but forgot to do so when I typed the answer.
    – MDeBusk
    Sep 30, 2022 at 13:25

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