A curated list of those Vim How-Tos we search frequently in our daily coding

Vim has been my editor for day to day work for a while, and often times I find myself questing same vim How-To on stackoverflow and websites as such. To help manage a list of my frequent used Vim tips/commands, and potentially be useful to you, I am curating this list of vim How-Tos.

  • visual selection in vim ?
    Ctl-v - visual block. v - select chars. V - select current line.

  • Shortcuts to move cursor in vim ?
    gg - to move to start of file. G - to move to end of file. '' - to move to last active point. 0 - to move to start of current line. $ - to move to end of current line.

  • How to run command within vim ?
    Syntax: :%![cmd]:
    Here % represent that we pass in whole buffer of vim into command for filtering. We can also specify a range instead of passing the whole buffer. For example: :2,5![cmd], :1,100![cmd] A list of examples of running commands within vim:
    # Do word count.

    For buffer to be used, when a visual selection is active, that will automatically be used as buffer input.

    For reference:

    • %!: pass current buffer.
    • 4,!: line 4 through end of file.
  • How to beautify ugly json within vim?
    With command python -m json.tool:
    :%!python -m json.tool

    This trys to beautify the whole file.
    If there is a need to only beautify a range of lines, use following instead:

    :[start],[end]!python -m json.tool

    To make it even more convenient for your daily work, nmap this command to some short cut.
    Following nmap maps the first command to =j shortcut:

    nmap =j :%!python -m json.tool<CR>
  • How to search within visually selected text in vim ?
    For many reasons/occasions, we need to search within a scope, for example within visually selected text in vim. A simple way:

    1. Visually select text. (With v, V or Control-V)
    2. Press ‘:’ (colon)

      Now you should see prompt as :'<,'>

    3. Following that, type in seach or seach replace command, then the search/search and replace will only apply within the selected scope

    Say you have a list in python and you forgot to quote items, and you can take advantage of this vim tip instead of adding quotes for each of them mannually.

  • How to cancel search hilight ?
    There are times when you have unwanted search highlight, and you simplely want to cancel the highlight. :noh command exactly do the trick:

    1. Simply type : (colon) and follow with noh

    Demo: cancel-search-highlight

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