The philosophy of this handbook is to give you a good overview of what we feel are vi survival materials for the new user. Learning a new editor, especially an editor with all the options of vi , can seem like an overwhelming task. We have made an effort to present basic concepts and commands in an easy-to-read and logical manner. The following sections describe the conventions used in this handbook.
[i] A picture of a keyboard button, like the one on the left, marks the main discussion of that particular keyboard command or of related commands. You will find a brief introduction to the main concept before it is broken down into task-oriented sections. The appropriate command to use in each case is then presented, along with a description of the command and the proper syntax for using it.
In syntax descriptions and examples, what you would actually type is
shown in the
vi [ filename ]
would be replaced by an actual filename. The brackets
indicate that the
Certain examples show the effect of commands typed at the UNIX shell
prompt. In such examples, what you actually type is shown in
In examples, italics are used to indicate a comment which is not to be typed. Otherwise, italics are used for emphasizing special terms and for the names of files.
Special keystrokes are shown in a box. For example:
iWith a [ESC]
Throughout this handbook, you will also find columns of vi commands and their results:
In the example above, the command
commands are issued by pressing the
key and another key simultaneously.
In the text, this combination keystroke is written within a box (for
In examples, it is written by preceding the name of the key
with a caret (^). For example,