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468 votes
13 answers
560k 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?
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  • 15.5k
298 votes
5 answers
196k 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 ...
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294 votes
10 answers
159k views

What are the differences between the vim plugin managers?

I have been looking at the different package managers for vim, and the one I decided to use is vim-plug. However, I have seen others like pathogen and vundle, and I honestly don't know what the ...
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  • 3,043
225 votes
13 answers
142k 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.
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  • 15.5k
212 votes
6 answers
182k 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 ...
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  • 3,429
195 votes
6 answers
129k 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?
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  • 2,957
193 votes
5 answers
158k 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 ...
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187 votes
8 answers
223k 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?
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  • 2,956
185 votes
5 answers
80k 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?
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179 votes
11 answers
243k 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/...
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  • 5,800
178 votes
9 answers
68k 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 ...
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147 votes
2 answers
279k 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?
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  • 1,623
144 votes
4 answers
48k 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?
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  • 46.2k
138 votes
7 answers
192k 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?
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  • 2,339
127 votes
5 answers
141k 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.
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  • 3,413
126 votes
16 answers
141k 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, ...
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  • 1,931
123 votes
3 answers
12k 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?
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  • 32.8k
118 votes
4 answers
162k 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 ...
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  • 15.5k
117 votes
6 answers
30k 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 ...
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  • 2,483
115 votes
13 answers
83k views

Exit from Terminal mode in Neovim/Vim 8

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?
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113 votes
16 answers
100k 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 ...
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113 votes
7 answers
145k 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.
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  • 1,375
112 votes
7 answers
76k 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.
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  • 15.5k
106 votes
5 answers
116k 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 ...
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  • 2,618
103 votes
8 answers
29k 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 ...
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102 votes
1 answer
24k 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 ...
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  • 46.2k
102 votes
2 answers
76k 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 ...
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  • 8,779
100 votes
5 answers
25k 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 ...
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  • 1,859
99 votes
7 answers
207k views

what is the command for "Select All" in vim and VsVim?

How do I select all the content of a file in Vim and VsVim? Like in other editors ctrl+A does the job for select all.
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  • 1,093
96 votes
10 answers
140k 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 ...
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  • 2,868
92 votes
8 answers
57k views

How to format JSON file in Vim

Given a file with a large JSON object all on one line like {"versions":[{"count":2,"version":""},{"count":1,"version":"1.1.1"},{"count":14,"version":"2.9"},{... How can I format this to be human ...
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  • 1,697
91 votes
5 answers
83k views

How to share config between vim and Neovim

I started using neovim and moved my .vimrc to .config/nvim/init.vim and other stuff is located in .local/share/nvim. What is the best way to share configs or even plugins between vim and Neovim? ...
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  • 1,149
91 votes
4 answers
46k 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 ...
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  • 1,075
90 votes
4 answers
30k 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 ...
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  • 2,288
90 votes
2 answers
44k 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?
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  • 1,075
89 votes
2 answers
60k 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 ...
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  • 993
88 votes
4 answers
42k 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 ...
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86 votes
9 answers
59k 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 ...
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  • 3,236
85 votes
6 answers
45k 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 ...
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  • 23.8k
80 votes
4 answers
88k 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?
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78 votes
3 answers
25k views

Open filename under cursor like gf, but in a new tab (or split)?

The normal mode command gf go to a file with the path the cursor currently is at. But it does so in the current window, replacing the current text. That means you need to navigate back explicitly ...
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76 votes
6 answers
31k views

Vim search replace all files in current (project) folder

One of the open questions I have about Vim is if there is a way to perform a search/replace in the current project (bear with me if I use this notion inherited from other editors). For instance, let'...
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75 votes
4 answers
64k 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 ...
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73 votes
4 answers
24k 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 ...
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  • 2,957
72 votes
12 answers
21k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 793
72 votes
1 answer
30k views

How to open multiple files in split mode?

I know how to split windows in vim, but it's possible to open multiple files using vim in split mode (at startup) from the command line? In example: vim file1 file2 file3 or: vim *.cpp
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  • 16.6k
71 votes
8 answers
50k views

Fastest way to switch to a buffer in vim?

One way to select a buffer in vim could be to browse the buffers list, using standard commands as :ls, or with some external plugin / vimscript code to browse a list in a window. Let's say I want to ...
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69 votes
6 answers
109k 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 ...
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  • 2,868
68 votes
8 answers
110k views

How can I change the font size in gVim?

Is there a way to change the size of the font in gVim, using native commands? And if not, what script can be used to do it quickly?
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  • 3,429
68 votes
7 answers
38k views

Swap the position of two windows

Say the following is the current structure of my window: +-----+---------------------------- | | | A | | | +-----+ | | | B | The order of A and B is not quite natural. It would be ...
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  • 1,165

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