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Practical Vim, Second Edition: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought


Cover image for Practical Vim, Second Edition

Practical Vim, Second Edition

Edit Text at the Speed of Thought


Vim is a fast and efficient text editor that will make you a faster and more efficient developer. It’s available on almost every OS, and if you master the techniques in this book, you’ll never need another text editor. In more than 120 Vim tips, you’ll quickly learn the editor’s core functionality and tackle your trickiest editing and writing tasks. This beloved bestseller has been revised and updated to Vim 8 and includes three brand-new tips and five fully revised tips.

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About this Title

Pages: 354
Published: 2015-10-31
Release: P2.0 (2017-01-17)
ISBN: 978-1-68050-127-8

A highly configurable, cross-platform text editor, Vim is a serious tool for programmers, web developers, and sysadmins who want to raise their game. No other text editor comes close to Vim for speed and efficiency; it runs on almost every system imaginable and supports most coding and markup languages.

Learn how to edit text the “Vim way”: complete a series of repetitive changes with The Dot Formula using one keystroke to strike the target, followed by one keystroke to execute the change. Automate complex tasks by recording your keystrokes as a macro. Discover the “very magic” switch that makes Vim’s regular expression syntax more like Perl’s. Build complex patterns by iterating on your search history. Search inside multiple files, then run Vim’s substitute command on the result set for a project-wide search and replace. All without installing a single plugin! Three new tips explain how to run multiple ex commands as a batch, autocomplete sequences of words, and operate on a complete search match.

Practical Vim, Second Edition will show you new ways to work with Vim 8 more efficiently, whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate Vim user. All this, without having to touch the mouse.

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What You Need

Vim version 8

Contents & Extracts

Full Table of Contents


The Vim Way

  • Modes
    • Normal Mode
    • Insert Mode
    • Visual Mode
    • Command-Line Mode
  • Files
    • Manage Multiple Files
    • Open Files and Save Them to Disk
  • Getting Around Faster
    • Navigate Inside Files with Motions
    • Navigate Between Files with Jumps excerpt
  • Registers
    • Copy and Paste
    • Macros
  • Patterns
    • Matching Patterns and Literals
    • Search
    • Substitution excerpt
    • Global Commands
  • Tools
    • Index and Navigate Source Code with ctags
    • Compile Code and Navigate Errors with the Quickfix List
    • Search Project-Wide with grep, vimgrep, and Others
    • Dial X for Autocompletion
    • Find and Fix Typos with Vim’s Spell Checker


Drew Neil is a programmer, trainer, and entrepreneur. He runs Studio Nelstrom, which specializes in making educational screencasts. At he publishes live coding videos; at he publishes articles and video tutorials about Vim.