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251
votes
7answers
185k views

How can I copy text to the system clipboard from Vim?

Is there a way to copy a block of text to the system clipboard, so I can paste it in another program?
191
votes
10answers
84k views

What is the difference between the vim plugin managers?

I have been looking at the different package managers for vim and the one I decided to use vim-plug but I have seen others like pathogen and vundle and I honestly don't know what the difference is. ...
140
votes
4answers
95k views

Why doesn't the backspace key work in insert mode?

Trying to delete characters in insert mode with the backspace key sometimes doesn't seem to work. I can backspace sometimes, but at other times it does nothing; the cursor doesn't go to the left, and ...
133
votes
5answers
85k views

What's the simplest way to strip trailing whitespace from all lines in a file?

It's pretty common when programming or opening text files to encounter files with trailing whitespace at the end of a line. vim has a way to show this by setting the trail option in the listchars ...
129
votes
5answers
64k views

How do I reload the current file?

Quite often I am working with files that are version controlled, so it is possible for changes to be made to them outside of Vim. What is a quick way to reload the file without having to close and ...
112
votes
4answers
31k views

What is Neovim? How is it different from Vim? And why should I care?

I've been hearing about Neovim; how does it differ from Vim? All the points on the homepage are just architectural changes 'under the hood'. As a user, what's the difference for me?
110
votes
8answers
54k views

How can I see the full path of the current file?

When I'm editing a file in Vim, is there a command to see the path of the current file? Sometimes this is very handy if there are multiple files with the same name in a project.
110
votes
7answers
34k views

Does Ex mode have any practical use?

Vim has an Ex mode that can be entered by entering Q, and a command line mode that can be entered with q:. A common complaint amongst new vim users is that they enter these modes accidentally when ...
108
votes
6answers
105k views

Displaying tabs as characters

When I work on files in python, I sometimes mistake tabs for spaces and vice versa. Is there a way I can get Vim to display a character for a tab instead of a tab?
102
votes
4answers
26k views

What is the Vim8 package feature and how should I use it?

Vim 8 was released today and the release notes mentions a new "package" feature. What is it and how should I use it? Most importantly, does it replace the good old plugin managers?
100
votes
5answers
55k views

How do I change the current split's width and height?

I am working on split (using ^w+v, ^w+s) buffers, but sometimes I would like to widen a current split or change its height. How can I achieve that?
94
votes
6answers
121k views

How do I use vim as a diff tool?

I use vim as my primary editor. I would also like to use vim to diff files and modify the files while doing the diff to fix easy changes (rather than most diff techniques which are a cycle of diff/...
93
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I navigate to topics in Vim's documentation?

In Vim's built-in help system, how do I… search for topics that I want help on? follow hyperlinks? browse around for related material?
91
votes
7answers
128k views

How do I install a plugin in Vim/vi?

How do I install a plugin in Vim? Does it matter: Whether I use vi or Vim? Whether I use gVim? Which version of Vim I'm using? What my OS is?
89
votes
15answers
50k views

How do I delete a large block of text without counting the lines?

In vim, I often need to delete, or yank/put large blocks of text. I can count the lines of text and enter something like 50dd to delete 50 lines. But that's a bit of a pain. How can I delete this ...
82
votes
5answers
62k views

How to replace tabs with spaces?

Is it possible to convert tabs to spaces, while maintaining text alignment? Simply replacing only works usefully when there are no leading characters.
78
votes
7answers
14k views

How do I debug my vimrc file?

I have a problem in Vim, and I think it may be in my vimrc file (or have been told it could be my vimrc file). How do I verify this? If it is my vimrc file, how do I know where exactly the problem ...
75
votes
2answers
147k views

How can I use Vim as a hex editor? [duplicate]

Is there a neat way I can view binary files as hex in Vim, and save it back to binary from the hex?
75
votes
5answers
59k views

How to edit binary files with Vim?

Is there a way to edit binary files in some kind of hexadecimal mode? For example if I have some binary data shown by xxd or hexdump -C like this: $ hexdump -C a.bin | head -n 5 00000000 cf fa ed ...
69
votes
1answer
34k views

What is the purpose of swap files?

When I edit files, Vim tends to create files named .filename.swp, which I find annoying. From vim -h, I see that the -n option suppresses the creation of swap files. Is there a vimrc directive that ...
68
votes
9answers
30k views

How to execute shell commands silently?

:!<command> can be used to execute a command in the shell. But this "takes over" my terminal and fills it with stdout of that particular command. How do I execute a command in the background ...
68
votes
4answers
82k views

Is it possible to split Vim window to view multiple files at once?

When working with multiple files, it would be very handy if we can see more than one file in the screen at once. Is there any way in Vim to split the window (horizontally or vertically) so each split ...
68
votes
4answers
13k views

How to join lines without producing a space?

The standard J command for joining lines replaces the newline character(s) with a space. It's useful when editing 'literature' but can be troublesome if I, say, edit a hex dump by hand if I forget to ...
67
votes
11answers
50k views

Other ways to exit Insert mode besides Escape

The primary reason I like vim over emacs is that my hand movement distance away from the home row is very low (even as a programmer). However, the one main time that I do this is leaving insert mode, ...
66
votes
5answers
8k views

How do I jump to the location of my last edit?

I often make changes to the middle of a big file, use gg to jump to the top to check something, and then realize I forgot to set a mark where I was editing. Is there a built-in way to jump to the ...
63
votes
1answer
9k views

How to debug a mapping?

I see a lot of questions on here where a user has a mapping which doesn't work and most of the time the reasons are pretty similar. I suggest to make this question a reference for this kind of ...
63
votes
2answers
21k views

How can I find out what <Leader> is set to? And is it possible to remap <Leader>?

How can I figure out which key is set as my <Leader>, and how do I remap it?
62
votes
6answers
30k views

Is there a way to count the number of occurrences of a word in a file?

Is it possible to count how many times a word or a pattern appears in a file? This is sometimes useful to find out how many times a function has been called, etc.
60
votes
6answers
27k views

Is there an easy way to close a scratch buffer/preview window?

One of the plugins I have installed (probably Supertab) provides a nice view of documentation for the currently highlighted item in the completion menu: The (apparently) scratch buffer remains open ...
59
votes
4answers
45k views

How do I fix the status bar symbols in the Airline plugin?

I installed the Airline plugin in order to have a custom status bar, as seen in the figure below: However, my status bar is presenting the symbols <, >> and <. How do I fix this problem?
57
votes
4answers
23k views

Exit from Terminal mode in Neovim

I can't figure out how to go back to Normal mode after entering Terminal in Insert mode... Escape just doesn't seem to work. Any idea ?
55
votes
1answer
4k views

How much money has been raised for needy children in Uganda from Vim? [closed]

As it says under :help iccf… Vim is Charityware. You can use and copy it as much as you like, but you are encouraged to make a donation for needy children in Uganda. Please see kcc below or ...
54
votes
8answers
44k views

How can I clear word highlighting in the current document (e.g. such as after searching for a word)?

When you search for a word in a file with something like /console.log, all of the instances of console.log are highlighted. When you're no longer interested in these, the highlighting can be ...
54
votes
4answers
11k views

How to save window, split, and buffer layout?

I have several tasks I am working on in one repository. I would like to create "workspaces" for working on them. One "workspace" or "buffer layout" would have all files I need to work on open in the ...
53
votes
11answers
10k views

How to find and replace in Vim without having to type the original word?

I'd like to optimize my "find and replace" workflow in Vim. It's something I do often, as I'm sure most of you do too. Usually something along the lines of -- copy a block and change the name of a ...
53
votes
3answers
12k views

Why does vim use hjkl for cursor keys?

Why use the keys hjkl on the same line instead of keys in a triangle like wasd for moving on video games? Why not something equivalent with right hand, like ijkl or pl;'?
52
votes
5answers
67k views

Is it possible to have vim auto-complete function names, variables, etc. when using it to program?

Many IDEs automatically complete function names, variables, method names, etc. as the user types. The best ones complete the names based both on the language's built-in library as well as what has ...
49
votes
2answers
15k views

How can I get vim to stop putting comments in front of new lines?

I'm editing my .vimrc file, and I am including comments. When I have a comment like this: " example comment And then hit enter at the end of the line after finishing the comment, the next line is ...
49
votes
3answers
33k views

How can I integrate gdb with Vim?

Instead of gdbtui or ctrl+x under gdb which shows source code on top of the screen I would like to see this in my Vim editor that would jump between tabs, and buffers accordingly. How can I do this?
48
votes
2answers
30k views

Close and unload a buffer without exiting Vim

Often, I'll load some information into a temporary buffer, and then close it with :clo!. But this hides the buffer rather than unloading it entirely, even though I have nohidden set. I find this ...
48
votes
4answers
17k views

How can I show relative line numbers?

A lot of vim commands can take a number referring to the number of lines that the command will act on. Is it possible to show the line numbers relative to the current line? Something like the ...
48
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I reload my vimrc without leaving Vim?

When I do a change in my .vimrc, I usually exit Vim and open it again. Is there an easier way to reload the new .vimrc changes?
47
votes
3answers
12k views

List known filetypes

How can I get a list of the names of filetypes that vim currently knows about? I want to be able to do this so that when vim doesn't automatically detect a filetype I can try some of the filetypes ...
46
votes
3answers
25k views

How can I set up a ruler at a specific column?

When coding in different languages, I tend to need to restrict my lines to a specific length (usually 79 or 80 characters). I've seen this done in other editors through the use of a ruler (solid line ...
45
votes
3answers
21k views

How can I yank (copy) the single character on which the cursor rests?

I know many ways to copy things: yiw = yank in current word yaw = yank all word (includes a trailing space) yy = yank the current line 3yy = yank three lines starting at the current one yap = yank ...
43
votes
4answers
42k views

How can I easily move a line?

What is the command (or shortcut) to move a line up or down in vim? My current workflow is to yank (copy) the line and than delete that line and than to put (paste) that line.
42
votes
8answers
15k views

Why is using arrow keys in normal mode considered bad practice?

I have read it in many articles (e.g.) that it's a bad practice to use arrow keys in normal mode. Could somebody explain why is it considered a wrong practice, if at all?
42
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I add line numbers to Vim?

I'd like to see line numbers, starting with 1 at the top, on the left side of Vim. Ideally it would look like this: 1 | foo = Foo.new 2 | bar = Bar.new 3 | baz = foo.baz(bar) ... 10| test = ...
42
votes
3answers
9k views

How to jump between matching HTML/XML tags?

How to jump between matching tags (such as <div>, <span>, etc.) when editing HTML/XHTML/XML documents similarly as % is used to jump between matching parentheses?
41
votes
2answers
10k views

What are the differences between LaTeX plugins?

There are a number of Tex plugins for vim (vim-latex, AutomaticLatexPlugin to say a couple). What are the differences in the provided functionalities between these (the ones I named and possibly ...

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