Is it possible to select all the text and delete it it in vi other than hitting backspace?

  • By pressing "d"?
    – Heptite
    Nov 29, 2022 at 14:52
  • 2
    if you want to delete it anyhow, just use :%d Nov 29, 2022 at 14:55

2 Answers 2


To delete text, use the d operator. This can be done from visual mode, but is normally done with a motion or text object, such as

  • daw delete a word
  • d} delete to end of paragraph
  • dd delete a line

There is also a line-wise Ex command :delete. Coupled with the range % "all lines", :%delete deletes everything in a buffer.

  • I didn't know about %delete. Thanks for sharing this! Nov 30, 2022 at 15:39

If you want to empty the file with a simple mapping, then you can use:

nnoremap <Leader>g ggdG

This will map your leader key + g to execute the following:

  • gg - Bounce to the first line in the file
  • dG - This will delete the current line until the end of the file

Let me know if this answered your question!

  • To use D. Ben Knoble's answer, you can map <Leader>g :%delete<CR>. Nov 30, 2022 at 15:45
  • @D.BenKnoble I fixed up my answer. Thank you for your help! Dec 1, 2022 at 21:21

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