Basic Usage of VIM Editor

In this blog, we are going to discuss the very basic usage of the VIM editor.

What is VIM

Vim is an advanced text editor that seeks to provide the power of the de-facto Unix editor 'VI', in short VIM is an improved version of VI text editor.

Modes in VIM

VIM has six different modes, you can switch between these modes to perform different actions on the file you are editing. Here we will discuss NORMAL, INSERT and COMMAND-LINE modes.

Using VIM

By default, VIM opens in NORMAL mode. Type vim and press enter to open a blank file.


Type vim newfile to open a blank file with a name 'newfile' or edit a file by typing vim oldfile to edit an old file.

vim newfile

vim oldfile

To edit the file you need to enter the INSERT mode press i to enter this mode. Type anything you want and once you are done save or exit the file by entering the COMMAND-LINE mode.

If you are currently in INSERT mode press ESC to exit the INSERT mode and then press : to enter the COMMAND-LINE mode. You can use following commands in this mode.

:w - save the file

:q - exit

:wq - save and exit

:q! - exit without saving

If you initially opened a blank new file just by entering vim you can type the name of the file after the above command to save the file with the name you want.

:w mynewfile

:wq mynewfile