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Learning the vi Editor

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C. ex commands

This appendix presents an alphabetical list of ex commands, but first, it describes the syntax of ex commands.

C.1 Command Syntax

To enter an ex command from vi , use this form:

:[
address
]
command
[
options
]

address is the line number or range of lines that are the object of command . If no address is given, the current line is the object of the command.

C.1.1 Address Symbols

In ex command syntax, address can be specified by any of the following:

1,$ All lines in the file.
x , y Lines x through y .
x ; y

Lines x through y , with current line reset to x .

0 Top of file.
. Current line.
n Absolute line number n .
$ Last line.
% All lines; same as 1,$ .
x-n n lines before x .
x+n n lines after x .
-[ n ] One or n lines previous.
+[ n ] One or n lines ahead.
'x Line marked with x .
'' Previous mark.
/ pat / or ? pat ? Ahead or back to line matching pat .

C.1.2 Option Symbols

In ex command syntax, options might be any of the following:

!

Indicates a variant form of the command, overriding the normal behavior.

count

The number of times the command is to be repeated. count cannot precede the command, because a number preceding an ex command is treated as a line address. d3 deletes three lines beginning with the current line; 3d deletes line 3.

file

The name of a file that is affected by the command. %  stands for current file; # stands for previous file.


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