Link Search Menu Expand Document

VIM User Manual

Table of Contents

Further Resources

R1 - Vim Website
R2 - Vim Wiki
R3 - Adventures
R4 - Casts
R5 - Cheat Sheet
R6 - Reddit


VIM (Vi IMproved) is a highly configurable and powerful text editor designed for efficient text editing.
It is an enhanced version of the classic vi editor, originally developed for Unix systems.
VIM is available for many platforms, including Windows, Linux, macOS, and more.


Depending on your operating system, follow the steps below to install VIM:

  • Linux (Debian-based distributions): sudo apt-get install vim
  • Linux (Red Hat-based distributions): sudo yum install vim
  • macOS (using Homebrew): brew install vim
  • Windows: Download the installer from


VIM operates in several modes, primarily:

  • Normal mode (default): navigation and manipulation of text
  • Insert mode: insertion of new text
  • Visual mode: selection of text
  • Command-line mode: execution of VIM commands

Basic Commands

i:Enter Insert mode before the current cursor position
a:Enter Insert mode after the current cursor position
v:Enter Visual mode to select text
::Enter Command-line mode
Esc:Return to Normal mode
:w:Save changes (write to disk)
:q:Quit VIM (will not quit if there are unsaved changes)
:wqor :x: Save changes and quit VIM
:q!:Quit VIM without saving changes (force quit)

Advanced Commands

u:Undo last change
Ctrl+r:Redo last undone change
yy:Yank (copy) the current line
dd:Delete the current line
p:Put (paste) the yanked or deleted text after the cursor
P:Put (paste) the yanked or deleted text before the cursor
/pattern:Search for a pattern in the text
n:Repeat the last search (find next occurrence)
N:Repeat the last search in the opposite direction

Configuring VIM

To customize VIM, create a .vimrc file in your home directory.
This file contains VIM commands and settings that are executed when VIM starts.
Some common customizations include:

Enable syntax highlightingsyntax on
Set tabs to spacesset expandtab
Set tab widthset tabstop=4
Enable line numbersset number


VIM supports plugins to extend its functionality.
Popular plugin managers include Vundle, Pathogen, and Vim-Plug.
To install a plugin, follow the instructions provided by the plugin’s author or the plugin manager documentation.

Tips and Tricks

  • Learn touch typing to improve VIM efficiency
  • Use .vimrc to customize VIM to your preferences
  • Learn and use VIM’s built-in help system (:help)
  • Practice VIM with tutorials and exercises, such as vimtutor


If VIM behaves unexpectedly, check your .vimrc for errors Consult the VIM documentation (:help) or online resources for assistance Search for or ask questions on forums, such as Stack Overflow