Vi is probably the most powerful text editor for *NIX, but if you have ever tried to use it, you probably walked away frustrated. This article walks through all the capabilities and features of Vi - from the basics, such as saving and quitting, to the more advanced topics of searching for strings.
starts vi with the file specified already loaded. But why
restrict yourself to one - you can load multiple files in this manner:
$ vi file1 file2 file3
To switch between files, use these commands:
go to the next file in the file list :rewind = go to the first file in the file list :last = go to the last file in the file list
To exit all files at once, use
to exit without saving, or
to save all changes and exit [the "a" here means
Once you've started vi, you can also load a new file into the editor with the "edit" command, like this
If you'd prefer to insert the contents of another file
directly into the document you're currently editing, there's a "read" command designed to do just that. Try it!
If you're a programmer, you'll definitely appreciate vi's
ability to provide you with multiple views of the same file, referred to in geek speak as "window splitting". And the command is, naturally,
Each of the windows created can be manipulated independent of
the others, although changes made to the file will be immediately visible in all of them.
Let's take it one step further - how about having *different* files loaded into each of the windows? For example, wouldn't it be nice if you could load an HTML form into one, the associated CGI script into another, some help documentation into the third, and have all three visible at the same time?
Well, you can - simply use the "new" command to create a new window for each file, like this:
To switch between windows, use
^W W [that's Ctrl-W, immediately followed by W]
This article copyright Melonfire 2000. All rights reserved.