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9.2. Alphabetical Summary of ex Commands

ex commands can be entered by specifying any unique abbreviation. In this listing, the full name appears in the margin, and the shortest possible abbreviation is used in the syntax line. Examples are assumed to be typed from vi, so they include the : prompt.

abbrev

ab [string text]

Define string when typed to be translated into text. If string and text are not specified, list all current abbreviations.

Examples

Note: ^M appears when you type ^V followed by Return.

:ab ora O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
:ab id Name:^MRank:^MPhone:
append[address] a[!]
text

.

Append text at specified address, or at present address if none is specified. Add a ! to toggle the autoindent setting that is used during input. That is, if autoindent was enabled, ! disables it.

args

ar

Print the members of the argument list (files named on the command line), with the current argument printed in brackets ([]).

change[address] c[!]
text

.
Replace the specified lines with text. Add a ! to switch the autoindent setting during input of text.

copy

[address] co destination

Copy the lines included in address to the specified destination address. The command t (short for “to”) is a synonym for copy.

Example

:1,10 co 50
delete

[address] d [buffer]

Delete the lines included in address. If buffer is specified, save or append the text to the named buffer. Buffer names are the lowercase letters a–z. Uppercase names append text to the buffer.

Examples

:/Part I/,/Part II/-1d  Delete to line above "Part II"
:/main/+d               Delete line below "main"
:.,$d                   Delete from this line to last line
edit

e[!] [+n] [filename]

Begin editing on filename. If no filename is given, start over with a copy of the current file. Add a ! to edit the new file even if the current file has not been saved since the last change. With the +n argument, begin editing on line n. Or n may be a pattern, of the form /pattern.

Examples

:e file
:e#
:e!
file

f [filename]

Change the name of the current file to filename, which is considered “not edited.” If no filename is specified, print the current status of the file.

Example

:f %.new
global

[address] g[!]/pattern/[commands]

Execute commands on all lines which contain pattern or, if address is specified, on all lines within that range. If commands are not specified, print all such lines. Add a ! to execute commands on all lines not containing pattern. See also v.

Examples

:g/Unix/p
:g/Name:/s/tom/Tom/
insert[address] i[!]
text

.

Insert text at line before the specified address, or at present address if none is specified. Add a ! to switch the autoindent setting during input of text.

join

[address] j[!] [count]

Place the text in the specified range on one line, with whitespace adjusted to provide two space characters after a period (.), no space characters after a ), and one space character otherwise. Add a ! to prevent whitespace adjustment.

Example

:1,5j!		Join first five lines, preserving whitespace
k

[address] k char

Mark the given address with char, a single lowercase letter. Return later to the line with 'x. k is equivalent to mark.

list

[address] l [count]

Print the specified lines so that tabs display as ^I, and the ends of lines display as $. l is like a temporary version of :set list.

map

map[!] [char commands]

Define a keyboard macro named char as the specified sequence of commands. char is usually a single character, or the sequence #n, representing a function key on the keyboard. Use a ! to create a macro for input mode. With no arguments, list the currently defined macros.

Examples

:map K dwwP        Transpose two words
:map q :w^M:n^M    Write current file; go to next
:map! + ^[bi(^[ea) Enclose previous word in parentheses
mark

[address] ma char

Mark the specified line with char, a single lowercase letter. Return later to the line with 'x. Same as k.

move

[address] m destination

Move the lines specified by address to the destination address.

Example

:.,/Note/m /END/    Move text block after line containing "END"
next

n[!] [[+n] filelist]

Edit the next file from the command-line argument list. Use args to list these files. If filelist is provided, replace the current argument list with filelist and begin editing on the first file. With the +n argument, begin editing on line n. Or n may be a pattern, of the form /pattern.

Example

:n chap*            Start editing all "chapter" files
number

[address] nu [count]

Print each line specified by address, preceded by its buffer line number. Use # as an alternate abbreviation for number. count specifies the number of lines to show, starting with address.

open

[address] o [/pattern/]

Enter open mode (vi) at the lines specified by address, or at the lines matching pattern. Exit open mode with Q. Open mode lets you use the regular vi commands, but only one line at a time. It can be useful on slow dialup lines (or on very distant Internet telnet connections).

preserve

pre

Save the current editor buffer as though the system were about to crash.

print

[address] p [count]

Print the lines specified by address. count specifies the number of lines to print, starting with address. P is another abbreviation.

Example

:100;+5p		Show line 100 and the next five lines
put

[address] pu [char]

Restore previously deleted or yanked lines from named buffer specified by char, to the line specified by address. If char is not specified, the last deleted or yanked text is restored.

quit

q[!]

Terminate current editing session. Use ! to discard changes made since the last save. If the editing session includes additional files in the argument list that were never accessed, quit by typing q! or by typing q twice.

read

[address] r filename

Copy the text of filename after the line specified by address. If filename is not specified, the current filename is used.

Example

:0r $HOME/data	Read file in at top of current file
read

[address] r !command

Read the output of Unix command into the text after the line specified by address.

Example

:$r !cal		Place a calendar at end of file
recover

rec [file]

Recover file from the system save area.

rewind

rew[!]

Rewind argument list and begin editing the first file in the list. Add a ! to rewind even if the current file has not been saved since the last change.

set

se parameter1 parameter2 ...

Set a value to an option with each parameter, or, if no parameter is supplied, print all options that have been changed from their defaults. For toggle options, each parameter can be phrased as option or nooption; other options can be assigned with the syntax option=value. Specify all to list current settings. The form set option? displays the value of option. See the list of set options in Chapter 8.

Examples

:set nows wm=10
:set all
shell

sh

Create a new shell. Resume editing when the shell terminates.

source

so file

Read and execute ex commands from file.

Examples

:so $HOME/.exrc
substitute

[address] s [/pattern/replacement/] [options] [count]

Replace each instance of pattern on the specified lines with replacement. If pattern and replacement are omitted, repeat last substitution. count specifies the number of lines on which to substitute, starting with address. See additional examples in Chapter 6. (Spelling out the command name does not work in Solaris vi.)

Options

c

Prompt for confirmation before each change.

g

Substitute all instances of pattern on each line (global).

p

Print the last line on which a substitution was made.

Examples

:1,10s/yes/no/g      Substitute on first 10 lines
:%s/[Hh]ello/Hi/gc   Confirm global substitutions
:s/Fortran/\U&/ 3    Uppercase "Fortran" on next three lines
t

[address] t destination

Copy the lines included in address to the specified destination address. t is equivalent to copy.

Example

:%t$               Copy the file and add it to the end
tag

[address] ta tag

Switch the focus of editing to tag.

Example

Run ctags, then switch to the file containing myfunction:

:!ctags *.c
:tag myfunction
unabbreviate

una word

Remove word from the list of abbreviations.

undo

u

Reverse the changes made by the last editing command.

unmap

unm[!] char

Remove char from the list of keyboard macros. Use ! to remove a macro for input mode.

v

[address] v/pattern/[commands]

Execute commands on all lines not containing pattern. If commands are not specified, print all such lines. v is equivalent to g!.

Example

:v/#include/d	Delete all lines except "#include" lines
version

ve

Print the editor's current version number and date of last change.

visual

[address] vi [type] [count]

Enter visual mode (vi) at the line specified by address. Exit with Q. type can be one of -, ^, or . (See the z command). count specifies an initial window size.

visual

vi [+ n] file

Begin editing file in visual mode (vi), optionally at line n.

write

[address] w[!] [[>>] file]

Write lines specified by address to file, or write full contents of buffer if address is not specified. If file is also omitted, save the contents of the buffer to the current filename. If >> file is used, write contents to the end of the specified file. Add a ! to force the editor to write over any current contents of file.

Example

:1,10w name_list		Copy first 10 lines to name_list
:50w >> name_list		Now append line 50
write

[address] w !command

Write lines specified by address to command.

Example

:1,66w !pr -h myfile | lp	Print first page of file
wq

wq[!]

Write and quit the file in one movement. The file is always written. The ! flag forces the editor to write over any current contents of file.

xit

x

Write the file if it was changed since the last write; then quit.

yank

[address] ya [char] [count]

Place lines specified by address in named buffer char. If no char is given, place lines in general buffer. count specifies the number of lines to yank, starting with address.

Example

:101,200 ya a
z

[address] z [type] [count]

Print a window of text with the line specified by address at the top. count specifies the number of lines to be displayed.

Type

+
Place specified line at the top of the window (default).

-
Place specified line at the bottom of the window.

.
Place specified line in the center of the window.

^
Print the previous window.

=
Place specified line in the center of the window and leave the current line at this line.

!

[address] !command

Execute Unix command in a shell. If address is specified, apply the lines contained in address as standard input to command, and replace the lines with the output and error output. (This is called filtering the text through the command.)

Examples

:!ls		     List files in the current directory
:11,20!sort -f	     Sort lines 11–20 of current file
=

[address] =

Print the line number of the line indicated by address. Default is line number of the last line.

< >[address] < [count]
    or
[address] > [count
]

Shift lines specified by address either left (<) or right (>). Only leading spaces and tabs are added or removed when shifting lines. count specifies the number of lines to shift, starting with address. The shiftwidth option controls the number of columns that are shifted. Repeating the < or > increases the shift amount. For example, :>>> shifts three times as much as :>.

address

address

Print the lines specified in address.

RETURN

Print the next line in the file.

&

[address] & [options] [count]

Repeat the previous substitute (s) command. count specifies the number of lines on which to substitute, starting with address. options are the same as for the substitute command.

Examples

:s/Overdue/Paid/	  Substitute once on current line
:g/Status/&	          Redo substitution on all “Status” lines
~

[address] ~ [count]

Replace the last used regular expression (even if from a search, and not from an s command) with the replacement pattern from the most recent s (substitute) command. This is rather obscure; see Chapter 6 of Learning the vi Editor for details.



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