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Learning the vi Editor

Learning the vi EditorSearch this book
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Preface

Text editing is one of the most common uses of any computer system, and vi is one of the most useful standard text editors on your system. With vi you can create new files or edit any existing UNIX text file.

Scope of This Handbook

This book consists of twelve chapters and five appendixes, divided into three parts. Part I, Basic and Advanced vi , is designed to get you started using vi quickly, and to follow up with advanced skills that will let you use it effectively.

The first two chapters, Chapter 1, The vi Text Editor and Chapter 2, Simple Editing , present some simple vi commands with which you can get started. You should practice these until they are second nature. You could stop at the end of Chapter 2 , having learned some elementary editing tools.

But vi is meant to do a lot more than rudimentary word processing; the variety of commands and options enables you to shortcut a lot of editing drudgery. Chapter 3, Moving Around in a Hurry , and Chapter 4, Beyond the Basics , concentrate on easier ways to do tasks. During your first reading, you'll get at least an idea of what vi can do and what commands you might harness for your specific uses. Later, you can come back to these chapters for further study.

Chapter 5, Introducing the ex Editor , Chapter 6, Global Replacement , and Chapter 7, Advanced Editing , provide tools that help you shift more of the editing burden to the computer. They introduce you to the ex line editor underlying vi , and show you how to issue ex commands from within vi .

Part II, Extensions and Clones , describes extensions to "standard" vi that are commonly available in many or all of the vi clones.

Chapter 8, vi Clones Feature Summary , covers multiwindow editing, GUI interfaces, extended regular expressions, facilities that make editing easier, and several other features.

Chapter 9, nvi -- New vi , through Chapter 12, vile -- vi Like Emacs , cover the various vi clones -- nvi , elvis , vim , and vile  -- showing you how to use their extensions to vi and discussing the features that are specific to each one.

Part III, Appendixes , provides useful reference material.

Appendix A, Quick Reference , lists all vi and ex commands, sorted by function.

Appendix B, ex Commands , is an alphabetical list of ex commands.

Appendix C, Setting Options , lists set command options.

Appendix D, Problem Checklists , consolidates checklists found in the book.

Appendix E, vi and the Internet , describes vi 's place in the larger UNIX and Internet culture.


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