17.7. Get Back What You Deleted with Numbered Buffers
Being able to delete large blocks of text in a single bound is all very well and good, but what if you mistakenly delete 53 lines that you need? There's a way to recover any of your past nine deletions, because they're saved in numbered buffers. The last delete is saved in buffer 1, the second-to-last in buffer 2, and so on.
To recover a deletion, type <"> (the double quote character), identify the buffered text by number, then give the put command. To recover your second-to-last deletion from buffer 2, type the following:
The deletion in buffer 2 is placed on the line below the cursor.
If you're not sure which buffer contains the deletion you want to restore, you don't have to keep typing <">np over and over again. If you use the repeat command (.) with p after u (undo), it automatically increments the buffer number. As a result, you can search through the numbered buffers as follows:
to put the contents of each succeeding buffer in the file one after the other. Each time you type u, the restored text is removed; when you type a dot (.), the contents of the next buffer is restored to your file. Keep typing u and . until you've recovered the text you're looking for.
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