3.4 Movement by Line Number
A file contains sequentially numbered lines, and you can move through a file by specifying line numbers.
Line numbers are useful for identifying the beginning and end of large blocks of text you want to edit. Line numbers are also useful for programmers, since compiler error messages refer to line numbers. Line numbers are also used by ex commands, which you will learn in the next chapters.
If you are going to move by line numbers, you must
have a way to identify them.
Line numbers can be displayed on
the screen using the
The command [CTRL-G] causes the following to be displayed at the bottom of your screen: the current line number, the total number of lines in the file, and what percentage of the total the present line number represents. For example, for the file practice , [CTRL-G] might display:
"practice" line 3 of 6 --50%--
[CTRL-G] is useful either for displaying the line number to use in a command or for orienting yourself if you have been distracted from your editing session.
3.4.1 The G (Go To) Command if
You can use line numbers to move the cursor through a file.
Typing two backquotes (` `) returns you to your
original position (the position where you issued the last
The total number of lines shown with [CTRL-G] can be used to give yourself a rough idea of how many lines to move. If you are on line 10 of a 1,000 line file:
"practice" line 10 of 1000 --1%--
and know that you want to begin editing near the end of that file, you could give an approximation of your destination with:
Movement by line number is a tool that can move you quickly from place to place through a large file.