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Learning the vi Editor

Learning the vi EditorSearch this book
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4. Beyond the Basics

You have already been introduced to the basic vi editing commands, i , a , c , d , and y . This chapter expands on what you already know about editing. It covers:

  • Description of additional editing facilities, with a review of general command form

  • Additional ways to enter vi

  • Making use of buffers that store yanks and deletions

  • Marking your place in a file

4.1 More Command Combinations

In Chapter 2, Simple Editing , you learned the edit commands c , d , and y , as well as how to combine them with movements and numbers (such as 2cw or 4dd ). In Chapter 3, Moving Around in a Hurry , you added many more movement commands to your repertoire. Although the fact that you can combine edit commands with movement is not a new concept to you, Table 4.1 gives you a feel for the many editing options you now have.

Table 4.1: More Editing Commands
Change Delete Copy from Cursor to ...
cH dH yH top of screen
cL dL yL bottom of screen
c+ d+ y+ next line
c5| d5| y5| column 5 of current line
2c) 2d) 2y) second sentence following
c{ d{ y{ previous paragraph
c/ pattern d/ pattern y/ pattern pattern
cn dn yn next pattern
cG dG yG end of file
c13G d13G y13G line number 13

Notice how all of the above sequences follow the general pattern:

(number )(command )(text object )

number is the optional numeric argument. command in this case is one of c , d , or y . text object is a movement command.

The general form of a vi command is discussed in Chapter 2 . You may wish to review Table 2.1 and Table 2.2 as well.

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