A Brief Intro to vi
The vi editor and its clones elvis, vim, vile, nvi and several others are common on various versions of Unix and Linux; vi is routinely shipped with MacOS X and there are versions for Windows. The purpose of these pages is not to make you an expert, but rather, to get you started with a powerful but sometimes difficult to learn editor. There are many much longer tutorials that try to make you a vi expert; the vi lovers home page has a good index of these.
Vi is designed with several interesting features that speed editing for experienced users but can be very frustrating for beginners:
Launching vi from the command line to edit file.txt vi file.txt[CR] ([CR] means return or enter) to create file.txt vi file.txt[CR] (file.text will be created by :w) Cursor movement left h (may use arrow keys) down j up k right l (or space) to next (previous) word w (b) to start of next line [CR] to line 55 of the file :55[CR] to end of the file :$[CR] Search to next xxx in file /xxx[CR] to previous xxx in file ?xxx[CR] match xpx or xqx or xrx /x.x[CR] match xx or xyx or xyyyx /xy*x[CR] match only xax or xbx /x[ab]x[CR] Undo undo last change u Save Changes and Exit save changes :w[CR] save to temp.c :w temp.c[CR] save this line to temp.c :.w temp.c[CR] exit :q[CR] force exit without saving :q![CR] Yank (copy) text into cut-paste buffer current word yw current line yy next 5 lines 5yy Delete text (cut into cut-paste buffer) current character x current word dw to end of line D current line dd next 5 lines 5dd all lines containing xxx :1,$g/xxx/d[CR] Paste from cut-paste buffer after this character or line p (lower case) before this character or line P (upper case) Insert text into file append xxx after cursor axxx[ESC] ([ESC] means the escape key) append xxx at end of this line Axxx[ESC] insert xxx before cursor ixxx[ESC] insert xxx at start of this line Ixxx[ESC] from temp.txt after this line :r temp.txt[CR] Replace current character with x rx next few characters with xxx Rxxx[ESC] on this line, all xxx with yy :s/xxx/yy/g[CR] globally, all xxx with yy :1,$g/xxx/s//yy/g[CR]