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810bd03 Last changes for the 7.3 release!
Bram Moolenaar authored
1 *usr_04.txt* For Vim version 7.3. Last change: 2008 Sep 06
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vimboss authored
2
3 VIM USER MANUAL - by Bram Moolenaar
4
5 Making small changes
6
7
8 This chapter shows you several ways of making corrections and moving text
9 around. It teaches you the three basic ways to change text: operator-motion,
10 Visual mode and text objects.
11
12 |04.1| Operators and motions
13 |04.2| Changing text
14 |04.3| Repeating a change
15 |04.4| Visual mode
16 |04.5| Moving text
17 |04.6| Copying text
18 |04.7| Using the clipboard
19 |04.8| Text objects
20 |04.9| Replace mode
21 |04.10| Conclusion
22
23 Next chapter: |usr_05.txt| Set your settings
24 Previous chapter: |usr_03.txt| Moving around
25 Table of contents: |usr_toc.txt|
26
27 ==============================================================================
28 *04.1* Operators and motions
29
30 In chapter 2 you learned the "x" command to delete a single character. And
31 using a count: "4x" deletes four characters.
32 The "dw" command deletes a word. You may recognize the "w" command as the
33 move word command. In fact, the "d" command may be followed by any motion
34 command, and it deletes from the current location to the place where the
35 cursor winds up.
36 The "4w" command, for example, moves the cursor over four words. The d4w
37 command deletes four words.
38
39 To err is human. To really foul up you need a computer. ~
40 ------------------>
41 d4w
42
43 To err is human. you need a computer. ~
44
45 Vim only deletes up to the position where the motion takes the cursor. That's
46 because Vim knows that you probably don't want to delete the first character
47 of a word. If you use the "e" command to move to the end of a word, Vim
48 guesses that you do want to include that last character:
49
50 To err is human. you need a computer. ~
51 -------->
52 d2e
53
54 To err is human. a computer. ~
55
56 Whether the character under the cursor is included depends on the command you
57 used to move to that character. The reference manual calls this "exclusive"
58 when the character isn't included and "inclusive" when it is.
59
60 The "$" command moves to the end of a line. The "d$" command deletes from the
61 cursor to the end of the line. This is an inclusive motion, thus the last
62 character of the line is included in the delete operation:
63
64 To err is human. a computer. ~
65 ------------>
66 d$
67
68 To err is human ~
69
70 There is a pattern here: operator-motion. You first type an operator command.
71 For example, "d" is the delete operator. Then you type a motion command like
72 "4l" or "w". This way you can operate on any text you can move over.
73
74 ==============================================================================
75 *04.2* Changing text
76
77 Another operator is "c", change. It acts just like the "d" operator, except
78 it leaves you in Insert mode. For example, "cw" changes a word. Or more
79 specifically, it deletes a word and then puts you in Insert mode.
80
81 To err is human ~
82 ------->
83 c2wbe<Esc>
84
85 To be human ~
86
87 This "c2wbe<Esc>" contains these bits:
88
89 c the change operator
90 2w move two words (they are deleted and Insert mode started)
91 be insert this text
92 <Esc> back to Normal mode
93
94 If you have paid attention, you will have noticed something strange: The space
95 before "human" isn't deleted. There is a saying that for every problem there
96 is an answer that is simple, clear, and wrong. That is the case with the
97 example used here for the "cw" command. The c operator works just like the
98 d operator, with one exception: "cw". It actually works like "ce", change to
99 end of word. Thus the space after the word isn't included. This is an
100 exception that dates back to the old Vi. Since many people are used to it
101 now, the inconsistency has remained in Vim.
102
103
104 MORE CHANGES
105
106 Like "dd" deletes a whole line, "cc" changes a whole line. It keeps the
107 existing indent (leading white space) though.
108
109 Just like "d$" deletes until the end of the line, "c$" changes until the end
110 of the line. It's like doing "d$" to delete the text and then "a" to start
111 Insert mode and append new text.
112
113
114 SHORTCUTS
115
116 Some operator-motion commands are used so often that they have been given a
117 single letter command:
118
119 x stands for dl (delete character under the cursor)
120 X stands for dh (delete character left of the cursor)
121 D stands for d$ (delete to end of the line)
122 C stands for c$ (change to end of the line)
123 s stands for cl (change one character)
124 S stands for cc (change a whole line)
125
126
127 WHERE TO PUT THE COUNT
128
129 The commands "3dw" and "d3w" delete three words. If you want to get really
130 picky about things, the first command, "3dw", deletes one word three times;
131 the command "d3w" deletes three words once. This is a difference without a
132 distinction. You can actually put in two counts, however. For example,
133 "3d2w" deletes two words, repeated three times, for a total of six words.
134
135
136 REPLACING WITH ONE CHARACTER
137
138 The "r" command is not an operator. It waits for you to type a character, and
139 will replace the character under the cursor with it. You could do the same
140 with "cl" or with the "s" command, but with "r" you don't have to press <Esc>
141
142 there is somerhing grong here ~
143 rT rt rw
144
145 There is something wrong here ~
146
147 Using a count with "r" causes that many characters to be replaced with the
148 same character. Example:
149
150 There is something wrong here ~
151 5rx
152
153 There is something xxxxx here ~
154
155 To replace a character with a line break use "r<Enter>". This deletes one
156 character and inserts a line break. Using a count here only applies to the
157 number of characters deleted: "4r<Enter>" replaces four characters with one
158 line break.
159
160 ==============================================================================
161 *04.3* Repeating a change
162
163 The "." command is one of the most simple yet powerful commands in Vim. It
164 repeats the last change. For instance, suppose you are editing an HTML file
165 and want to delete all the <B> tags. You position the cursor on the first <
166 and delete the <B> with the command "df>". You then go to the < of the next
167 </B> and kill it using the "." command. The "." command executes the last
168 change command (in this case, "df>"). To delete another tag, position the
169 cursor on the < and use the "." command.
170
171 To <B>generate</B> a table of <B>contents ~
172 f< find first < --->
173 df> delete to > -->
174 f< find next < --------->
175 . repeat df> --->
176 f< find next < ------------->
177 . repeat df> -->
178
179 The "." command works for all changes you make, except for the "u" (undo),
180 CTRL-R (redo) and commands that start with a colon (:).
181
182 Another example: You want to change the word "four" to "five". It appears
183 several times in your text. You can do this quickly with this sequence of
184 commands:
185
186 /four<Enter> find the first string "four"
187 cwfive<Esc> change the word to "five"
188 n find the next "four"
189 . repeat the change to "five'
190 n find the next "four"
191 . repeat the change
192 etc.
193
194 ==============================================================================
195 *04.4* Visual mode
196
197 To delete simple items the operator-motion changes work quite well. But often
198 it's not so easy to decide which command will move over the text you want to
199 change. Then you can use Visual mode.
200
201 You start Visual mode by pressing "v". You move the cursor over the text you
202 want to work on. While you do this, the text is highlighted. Finally type
203 the operator command.
204 For example, to delete from halfway one word to halfway another word:
205
206 This is an examination sample of visual mode ~
207 ---------->
208 velllld
209
210 This is an example of visual mode ~
211
212 When doing this you don't really have to count how many times you have to
213 press "l" to end up in the right position. You can immediately see what text
214 will be deleted when you press "d".
215
216 If at any time you decide you don't want to do anything with the highlighted
217 text, just press <Esc> and Visual mode will stop without doing anything.
218
219
220 SELECTING LINES
221
222 If you want to work on whole lines, use "V" to start Visual mode. You will
223 see right away that the whole line is highlighted, without moving around.
224 When you move left or right nothing changes. When you move up or down the
225 selection is extended whole lines at a time.
226 For example, select three lines with "Vjj":
227
228 +------------------------+
229 | text more text |
230 >> | more text more text | |
231 selected lines >> | text text text | | Vjj
232 >> | text more | V
233 | more text more |
234 +------------------------+
235
236
237 SELECTING BLOCKS
238
239 If you want to work on a rectangular block of characters, use CTRL-V to start
240 Visual mode. This is very useful when working on tables.
241
242 name Q1 Q2 Q3
243 pierre 123 455 234
244 john 0 90 39
245 steve 392 63 334
246
247 To delete the middle "Q2" column, move the cursor to the "Q" of "Q2". Press
248 CTRL-V to start blockwise Visual mode. Now move the cursor three lines down
249 with "3j" and to the next word with "w". You can see the first character of
250 the last column is included. To exclude it, use "h". Now press "d" and the
251 middle column is gone.
252
253
254 GOING TO THE OTHER SIDE
255
256 If you have selected some text in Visual mode, and discover that you need to
257 change the other end of the selection, use the "o" command (Hint: o for other
258 end). The cursor will go to the other end, and you can move the cursor to
259 change where the selection starts. Pressing "o" again brings you back to the
260 other end.
261
262 When using blockwise selection, you have four corners. "o" only takes you to
263 one of the other corners, diagonally. Use "O" to move to the other corner in
264 the same line.
265
dee4bec Update documentation files.
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266 Note that "o" and "O" in Visual mode work very differently from Normal mode,
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267 where they open a new line below or above the cursor.
268
269 ==============================================================================
270 *04.5* Moving text
271
272 When you delete something with the "d", "x", or another command, the text is
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273 saved. You can paste it back by using the p command. (The Vim name for
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274 this is put).
275 Take a look at how this works. First you will delete an entire line, by
276 putting the cursor on the line you want to delete and typing "dd". Now you
277 move the cursor to where you want to put the line and use the "p" (put)
278 command. The line is inserted on the line below the cursor.
279
280 a line a line a line
281 line 2 dd line 3 p line 3
282 line 3 line 2
283
284 Because you deleted an entire line, the "p" command placed the text line below
285 the cursor. If you delete part of a line (a word, for instance), the "p"
286 command puts it just after the cursor.
287
288 Some more boring try text to out commands. ~
289 ---->
290 dw
291
292 Some more boring text to out commands. ~
293 ------->
294 welp
295
296 Some more boring text to try out commands. ~
297
298
299 MORE ON PUTTING
300
301 The "P" command puts text like "p", but before the cursor. When you deleted a
302 whole line with "dd", "P" will put it back above the cursor. When you deleted
303 a word with "dw", "P" will put it back just before the cursor.
304
305 You can repeat putting as many times as you like. The same text will be used.
306
307 You can use a count with "p" and "P". The text will be repeated as many times
308 as specified with the count. Thus "dd" and then "3p" puts three copies of the
309 same deleted line.
310
311
312 SWAPPING TWO CHARACTERS
313
314 Frequently when you are typing, your fingers get ahead of your brain (or the
315 other way around?). The result is a typo such as "teh" for "the". Vim
316 makes it easy to correct such problems. Just put the cursor on the e of "teh"
317 and execute the command "xp". This works as follows: "x" deletes the
318 character e and places it in a register. "p" puts the text after the cursor,
319 which is after the h.
320
321 teh th the ~
322 x p
323
324 ==============================================================================
325 *04.6* Copying text
326
327 To copy text from one place to another, you could delete it, use "u" to undo
328 the deletion and then "p" to put it somewhere else. There is an easier way:
329 yanking. The "y" operator copies text into a register. Then a "p" command
330 can be used to put it.
331 Yanking is just a Vim name for copying. The "c" letter was already used
332 for the change operator, and "y" was still available. Calling this
333 operator "yank" made it easier to remember to use the "y" key.
334
335 Since "y" is an operator, you use "yw" to yank a word. A count is possible as
336 usual. To yank two words use "y2w". Example:
337
338 let sqr = LongVariable * ~
339 -------------->
340 y2w
341
342 let sqr = LongVariable * ~
343 p
344
345 let sqr = LongVariable * LongVariable ~
346
347 Notice that "yw" includes the white space after a word. If you don't want
348 this, use "ye".
349
350 The "yy" command yanks a whole line, just like "dd" deletes a whole line.
351 Unexpectedly, while "D" deletes from the cursor to the end of the line, "Y"
352 works like "yy", it yanks the whole line. Watch out for this inconsistency!
353 Use "y$" to yank to the end of the line.
354
355 a text line yy a text line a text line
356 line 2 line 2 p line 2
357 last line last line a text line
358 last line
359
360 ==============================================================================
361 *04.7* Using the clipboard
362
363 If you are using the GUI version of Vim (gvim), you can find the "Copy" item
364 in the "Edit" menu. First select some text with Visual mode, then use the
365 Edit/Copy menu. The selected text is now copied to the clipboard. You can
366 paste the text in other programs. In Vim itself too.
367
368 If you have copied text to the clipboard in another application, you can paste
369 it in Vim with the Edit/Paste menu. This works in Normal mode and Insert
370 mode. In Visual mode the selected text is replaced with the pasted text.
371
372 The "Cut" menu item deletes the text before it's put on the clipboard. The
373 "Copy", "Cut" and "Paste" items are also available in the popup menu (only
374 when there is a popup menu, of course). If your Vim has a toolbar, you can
375 also find these items there.
376
377 If you are not using the GUI, or if you don't like using a menu, you have to
378 use another way. You use the normal "y" (yank) and "p" (put) commands, but
379 prepend "* (double-quote star) before it. To copy a line to the clipboard: >
380
381 "*yy
382
383 To put text from the clipboard back into the text: >
384
385 "*p
386
387 This only works on versions of Vim that include clipboard support. More about
388 the clipboard in section |09.3| and here: |clipboard|.
389
390 ==============================================================================
391 *04.8* Text objects
392
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393 If the cursor is in the middle of a word and you want to delete that word, you
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394 need to move back to its start before you can do "dw". There is a simpler way
395 to do this: "daw".
396
397 this is some example text. ~
398 daw
399
400 this is some text. ~
401
402 The "d" of "daw" is the delete operator. "aw" is a text object. Hint: "aw"
403 stands for "A Word". Thus "daw" is "Delete A Word". To be precise, the white
404 space after the word is also deleted (the white space before the word at the
405 end of the line).
406
407 Using text objects is the third way to make changes in Vim. We already had
408 operator-motion and Visual mode. Now we add operator-text object.
409 It is very similar to operator-motion, but instead of operating on the text
410 between the cursor position before and after a movement command, the text
411 object is used as a whole. It doesn't matter where in the object the cursor
412 was.
413
414 To change a whole sentence use "cis". Take this text:
415
416 Hello there. This ~
417 is an example. Just ~
418 some text. ~
419
420 Move to the start of the second line, on "is an". Now use "cis":
421
422 Hello there. Just ~
423 some text. ~
424
425 The cursor is in between the blanks in the first line. Now you type the new
426 sentence "Another line.":
427
428 Hello there. Another line. Just ~
429 some text. ~
430
431 "cis" consists of the "c" (change) operator and the "is" text object. This
432 stands for "Inner Sentence". There is also the "as" (a sentence) object. The
433 difference is that "as" includes the white space after the sentence and "is"
434 doesn't. If you would delete a sentence, you want to delete the white space
435 at the same time, thus use "das". If you want to type new text the white
436 space can remain, thus you use "cis".
437
438 You can also use text objects in Visual mode. It will include the text object
439 in the Visual selection. Visual mode continues, thus you can do this several
440 times. For example, start Visual mode with "v" and select a sentence with
441 "as". Now you can repeat "as" to include more sentences. Finally you use an
442 operator to do something with the selected sentences.
443
444 You can find a long list of text objects here: |text-objects|.
445
446 ==============================================================================
447 *04.9* Replace mode
448
449 The "R" command causes Vim to enter replace mode. In this mode, each
450 character you type replaces the one under the cursor. This continues until
451 you type <Esc>.
452 In this example you start Replace mode on the first "t" of "text":
453
454 This is text. ~
455 Rinteresting.<Esc>
456
457 This is interesting. ~
458
459 You may have noticed that this command replaced 5 characters in the line with
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460 twelve others. The "R" command automatically extends the line if it runs out
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461 of characters to replace. It will not continue on the next line.
462
463 You can switch between Insert mode and Replace mode with the <Insert> key.
464
465 When you use <BS> (backspace) to make correction, you will notice that the
466 old text is put back. Thus it works like an undo command for the last typed
467 character.
468
469 ==============================================================================
470 *04.10* Conclusion
471
472 The operators, movement commands and text objects give you the possibility to
473 make lots of combinations. Now that you know how it works, you can use N
474 operators with M movement commands to make N * M commands!
475
476 You can find a list of operators here: |operator|
477
478 For example, there are many other ways to delete pieces of text. Here are a
479 few often used ones:
480
481 x delete character under the cursor (short for "dl")
482 X delete character before the cursor (short for "dh")
483 D delete from cursor to end of line (short for "d$")
484 dw delete from cursor to next start of word
485 db delete from cursor to previous start of word
486 diw delete word under the cursor (excluding white space)
487 daw delete word under the cursor (including white space)
488 dG delete until the end of the file
489 dgg delete until the start of the file
490
491 If you use "c" instead of "d" they become change commands. And with "y" you
492 yank the text. And so forth.
493
494
495 There are a few often used commands to make changes that didn't fit somewhere
496 else:
497
498 ~ change case of the character under the cursor, and move the
499 cursor to the next character. This is not an operator (unless
500 'tildeop' is set), thus you can't use it with a motion
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501 command. It does work in Visual mode and changes case for
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502 all the selected text then.
503
504 I Start Insert mode after moving the cursor to the first
505 non-blank in the line.
506
507 A Start Insert mode after moving the cursor to the end of the
508 line.
509
510 ==============================================================================
511
512 Next chapter: |usr_05.txt| Set your settings
513
514 Copyright: see |manual-copyright| vim:tw=78:ts=8:ft=help:norl:
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