I am very new to Vim and this problem has stumped me.

I am using vim to delete all lines containing a certain word. I have tried saving the edited text with to a new file but it always contains the exact same lines as the original file. What command do I use to save my edited text to a new file and keep the original file? Bear in mind, my file is very large and will take a long time to move to the bottom.

  • I have used :w then typed a new filename, but that file is exactly the same as the original, it isn't saving the changes I've made – Emma Nov 6 '15 at 11:38
  • @Emma try: vim +g/word/d +'w bar' +q! foo, where foo is the original file and bar is the target file, and word is the filtering word. What happens? – muru Nov 8 '15 at 18:51

I'm not sure to understand your need.

If you only want to save lines filtered into a new file, you can play with

" equivalent to "grep the_word > the-filename"
:let @a =''
:v/the_word/y A
:call writefile(@a, 'the-filename')

However a more likely scenario is: if you do multiple edits, :saveas will permit to save the current buffer under in another file. But the current filename won't be changed. If you do some more edits, and hit :save/:update, the old file will get overwritten. You need to call :file in order to change the filename of the current buffer. After that, all following saves will be done to the new file, leaving the old one unchanged.

| improve this answer | |

I'm not sure this is what you want, but let's say you've opened a file called foo, and after editing it you want to save the result to a new file called bar. To do this you can type :saveas bar.

If a file called bar already exists, you will have to tell vim to overwrite it by adding an exclamation mark :saveas! bar.

To navigate between the two files foo and bar, you can type :b# or<C-^> (the Control modifier key and the ^ key pressed at the same time).

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