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 *intro.txt* For Vim version 5.4. Last change: 1999 Jul 24 VIM REFERENCE MANUAL by Bram Moolenaar Introduction to Vim *ref* *reference* 1. Introduction |intro|
2. Vim on the internet |internet|
3. Credits |credits|
4. Notation |notation|
5. Modes, introduction |vim-modes-intro|
6. Switching from mode to mode  |mode-switching|
7. The window contents |window-contents| ============================================================================== 1. Introduction *intro* Vim stands for Vi IMproved. It used to be Vi IMitation, but there are so many
improvements that a name change was appropriate. Vim is a text editor which
includes almost all the commands from the Unix program "Vi" and a lot of new
ones. It is very useful for editing programs and other 8-bit ASCII text. All
commands are given with the keyboard. This has the advantage that you can
keep your fingers on the keyboard and your eyes on the screen. For those who
want it, there is mouse support and a GUI version with scrollbars and menus
(see |gui.txt|). A summary of this manual can be found in the file "help.txt", |help.txt|. It
can be accessed from within Vim with the  or  key and with the
|:help| command (just type ":help", without the bars or quotes). The
'helpfile' option can be set to the name of the help file, so you can put it
in any place you like. You can jump to subjects like with tags: Use CTRL-] to
jump to a subject under the cursor, use CTRL-T to jump back. Throughout this manual the differences between Vi and Vim are mentioned in
curly braces. See |vi_diff.txt| for a summary of the differences. This manual refers to Vim on various machines. There may be small differences
between different computers and terminals. Besides the remarks given in this
document, there is a separate document for each supported system, see
|sys-file-list|. This manual is a reference for all the Vim commands and options. This is not
an introduction to the use of Vi or Vim, it gets a bit complicated here and
there. For beginners, there is a hands-on |tutor|. For setting up your
preferences and writing Vim scripts see |vimrc-intro|. There are many books on Vi that contain a section for beginners. I can
recommend "Learning the Vi editor" by Linda Lamb and Arnold Robbins, published
by O'Reilly. The sixth edition includes a chapter on Vim. ISBN:
1-56592-426-6. ============================================================================== 2. Vim on the internet *internet* *www* *faq* *FAQ* *ftp* *distribution* *download*
The Vim pages contain the most recent information about Vim. They also
contain links to the most recent version of Vim. The FAQ is a list of
Frequently Asked Questions. Read this if you have problems. VIM home page: VIM FAQ: Downloading: Usenet News group where Vim is discussed: *news* *usenet* comp.editors See *mail-list* *maillist*
There are three mailing lists for Vim:
 For discussions about using existing versions of Vim: Useful mappings, questions, answers, where to get a specific version, etc.  *vim-dev* *vimdev* For discussions about changing Vim: New features, porting, patches, beta-test versions, etc.  *vim-announce* Announcements about new versions of Vim; also for beta-test versions and ports to different systems.  *vim-multibyte* For discussions about using and improving the multi-byte aspects of Vim. This list is new, it's not archived at egroups yet (but it might be by the time you read this). See NOTE:
- You can only send messages to these lists if you have subscribed!
- You need to send the messages from the same location as where you subscribed from (to avoid spam mails).
- Maximum message size is 40000 characters. *subscribe-maillist*
If you want to join, send a message to  Make sure that your "From:" address is correct. Then the list server will
give you help on how to subscribe. You can retrieve old messages from the maillist software, and an index of
messages. Ask vim-help for instructions. Archives are kept at: Bug reports: *bugs* *bug-reports* *bugreport.vim* Bram Moolenaar  Please be brief; all the time that is spend on answering mail is subtracted
from the time that is spent on improving Vim! Always give a reproducible
example and try to find out which settings or other things influence the
appearance of the bug. Try different machines, if possible. Send me patches
if you can! In case of doubt, use:
 :so $VIMRUNTIME/bugreport.vim
This will create a file "bugreport.txt" in the current directory, with a lot
of information of your environment. Before sending this out, check if it
doesn't contain any confidential information! *debug*
When Vim crashes in one of the test files, and you are using gcc for
compilation, here is what you can do to find out exactly where Vim crashes: 1. Compile Vim with the "-g" option (there is a line in the Makefile for this, which you can uncomment). 2. Execute these commands (replace "11" with the test that fails):
     cd testdir
     gdb ../vim
     run -u vimrc.unix -U NONE -s 3. Check where Vim crashes, gdb should give a message for this. 4. Get a stack trace from gdb with this command:
     where You can check out different places in the stack trace with:
     frame 3 Replace "3" with one of the numbers in the stack trace. *year-2000* *Y2K*
Since Vim internally doesn't use dates for editing, there is no year 2000
problem to worry about. Vim does use the time in the form of seconds since
January 1st 1970. It is used for a time-stamp check of the edited file and
the swap file, which is not critical and should only cause warning messages. There might be a year 2038 problem, when the seconds don't fit in a 32 bit int
anymore. This depends on the compiler, libraries and operating system.
Specifically, time_t and the ctime() function are used. And the time_t is
stored in four bytes in the swap file. But that's only used for printing a
file date/time for recovery, it will never affect normal editing. The Vim strftime() function directly uses the strftime() system function.
localtime() uses the time() system function. getftime() uses the time
returned by the stat() system function. If your system libraries are year
2000 compliant, Vim is too. The user may create scripts for Vim that use external commands. These might
introduce Y2K problems, but those are not really part of Vim itself. ============================================================================== 3. Credits *credits* *author* Most of Vim was written by Bram Moolenaar . Parts of the documentation come from several Vi manuals, written by: W.N. Joy Alan P.W. Hewett Mark Horton The Vim editor is based on Stevie and includes (ideas from) other software,
worked on by the people mentioned here. Other people helped by sending me
patches, suggestions and giving feedback about what is good and bad in Vim. Vim would never have become what it is now, without the help of these people! Ron Aaron Win32 GUI changes Dany St-Amant Macintosh port Tony Andrews Stevie Gert van Antwerpen  changes for DJGPP on MS-DOS Berkeley DB(3) ideas for swap file implementation Keith Bostic Nvi Ralf Brown SPAWNO library for MS-DOS Robert Colon many useful remarks Marcin Dalecki GTK+ GUI port, toolbar icons Kayhan Demirel sent me news in Uganda Chris & John Downey    xvi (ideas for multi-windows version) Henk Elbers first VMS port Eric Fischer Mac port, 'cindent', and other improvements Bill Foster Athena GUI port Loic Grenie xvim (ideas for multi windows version) Sven Guckes Vim WWW page maintainer Darren Hiebert Exuberant ctags Bruce Hunsaker improvements for VMS port Andy Kahn Cscope support, GTK+ GUI port Steve Kirkendall        Elvis Sergey Laskavy Vim's help from Moscow Felix von Leitner Maintainer of Vim Mailing Lists David Leonard Port of Python extensions to Unix Avner Lottem Edit in right-to-left windows Flemming Madsen Various features and patches MicroSoft Gave me a copy of DevStudio to compile Vim with Paul Moore Python interface extensions Katsuhito Nagano    Work on multi-byte versions Sung-Hyun Nam Work on multi-byte versions Vince Negri Win32 GUI and generic console enhancements George V. Reilly  Win32 port, Win32 GUI start-off Stephen Riehm bug collector Stefan Roemer various patches and help to users Olaf Seibert DICE and BeBox version, regexp improvements Mortaza Shiran Farsi patches Peter da Silva termlib Paul Slootman OS/2 port Henry Spencer regular expressions Tim Thompson Stevie G. R. (Fred) Walter    Stevie Sven Verdoolaege Perl interface Robert Webb Command-line completion, GUI versions, and lots of patches Ingo Wilken Tcl interface Juergen Weigert Lattice version, AUX improvements, UNIX and MS-DOS ports, autoconf Stefan 'Sec' Zehl      Maintainer of I wish to thank all the people that sent me bug reports and suggestions. The
list is too long to mention them all here. Vim would not be the same without
the ideas from all these people: They keep Vim alive! ============================================================================== 4. Notation *notation* When syntax highlighting is used, text that is not typed literally is often
highlighted with the Special group. These are items in [], {} and , and
CTRL-X. [] Characters in square brackets are optional. *count* *[count]*
[count] An optional number that may precede the command to multiply or iterate the command. If no number is given, a count of one is used, unless otherwise noted. Note that in this manual the [count] is not mentioned in the description of the command, but only in the explanation. This was done to make the commands easier to look up. If the 'showcmd' option is on, the (partially) entered count is shown at the bottom of the window. You can use  to erase the last digit (|N|). *[quotex]*
["x] An optional register designation where text can be stored. See |registers|. The x is a single character between 'a' and 'z' or 'A' and 'Z' or '"'', and in some cases (with the put command) between '0' and '9', '%', '#', ':' or '.'. The uppercase and lower case letter designate the same register, but the lower case letter is used to overwrite the previous register contents, while the uppercase letter is used to append to the previous register contents. Without the ""x" or with """" the stored text is put into the unnamed register. *{}*
{} Curly braces denote parts of the command which must appear, but which can take a number of different values. The differences between Vim and Vi are also given in curly braces (this will be clear from the context). *{char1-char2}*
{char1-char2}      A single character from the range char1 to char2. For example: {a-z} is a lowercase letter. Multiple ranges may be concatenated. For example, {a-zA-Z0-9} is any alphanumeric character. *{motion}*
{motion}        A command that moves the cursor. See the list at |motion.txt|. This is used after an operator command |operator| to move over the text that is to be operated upon. If the motion includes a count and the operator also had a count, the two counts are multiplied. For example: "2d3w" deletes six words. The motion can also be a mouse click. The mouse is currently only supported for MS-DOS, Win32, Linux console with GPM and xterm under Unix. The ":omap" command can be used to map characters while an operator is pending. *{Visual}*
{Visual}        A piece of text that is started with the "v", "V", or CTRL-V command and ended by the cursor position. This is used before an operator command |operator| to highlight the text that is to be operated upon. See |Visual-mode|. **
      A special character from the table below or a single ASCII character with modifiers. *'character'*
'c' A single ASCII character. *CTRL-{char}*
CTRL-{char}  {char} typed as a control character; that is, typing {char} while holding the CTRL key down. The case of {char} does not matter; thus CTRL-A and CTRL-a are equivalent. But on some terminals, using the SHIFT key will produce another code, don't use it then. *'option'*
'option'    An option, or parameter, that can be set to a value, is enclosed in single quotes. See |options|. *quotecommandquote*
"command"     In examples, the commands you can type are enclosed in double quotes. *key-notation* *key-codes* *keycodes*
These names for keys are used in the documentation. They can also be used
with the ":map" command. notation        meaning equivalent      decimal value(s)          zero CTRL-@ 0 (stored as 10) **  backspace CTRL-H 8 *backspace*  tab CTRL-I 9    *tab* *linefeed*
 linefeed CTRL-J 10 (used for )  formfeed CTRL-L 12   *formfeed*  carriage return CTRL-M 13     *carriage-return*  same as  **  escape CTRL-[ 27  *escape* **  space 32  *space*  less-then < 60     **  backslash \ 92 *backslash* **  vertical bar |    124     **
 delete 127  end-of-line (can be ,  or , depends on system and 'fileformat')    **  cursor-up *cursor-up* *cursor_up*  cursor-down *cursor-down* *cursor_down*  cursor-left *cursor-left* *cursor_left*  cursor-right *cursor-right* *cursor_right*
       control-cursor-right  -  function keys 1 to 12 *function_key* *function-key*  -  shift-function keys 1 to 12      **
 help key
 undo key
 insert key  home *home*  end *end*   page-up *page_up* *page-up*       page-down *page_down* *page-down*  keypad home (upper left)       *keypad-home*  keypad end (lower left) *keypad-end*     keypad page-up (upper right)     *keypad-page-up*     keypad page-down (lower right) *keypad-page-down*  keypad + *keypad-plus*  keypad - *keypad-minus*        keypad * *keypad-multiply*         keypad / *keypad-divide*     keypad Enter *keypad-enter*  shift-key *shift*  control-key *control* *ctrl*  alt-key or meta-key *meta* *alt*
 key with "xx" entry in termcap Note: The shifted cursor keys, the help key, and the undo key are only
available on a few terminals. On the Amiga, shifted function key 10 produces
a code (CSI) that is also used by key sequences. It will be recognized only
after typing another key. Note: There are two codes for the delete key. 127 is the decimal ASCII value
for the delete key, which is always recognized. Some delete keys send another
value, in which case this value is obtained from the termcap entry "kD". Both
values have the same effect. Also see |:fixdel|. Note: The keypad keys are used in the same way as the corresponding "normal"
keys. For example,  has the same effect as . If a keypad key
sends the same raw key code as it non-keypad equivalent, it will be recognized
as the non-keypad code. For example, when  sends the same code as
, when pressing  Vim will think  was pressed. Mapping
 will not work then. **
Examples are often given in the  notation. Sometimes this is just to make
clear what you need to type, but often it can be typed literally, e.g., with
the ":map" command. The rules are: 1. Any printable characters are typed directly, except backslash and '