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This is a sample section from the in-progress book 10 Minute Vim available DRM-free on Leanpub. If you find it helpful, the book has 50+ more sections like this!

The included exercises are contrived - they are designed to teach you the muscle memory needed to perform the specific command. The exercises should be performed on a pristine file: we recommend cloning this repository with git clone running a git checkout after each exercise to bring the files back to their pristine state.

Other Samples:

Complex Editing - Text Object Edits

Vim commands have another motion syntax for editing text objects. A text object edit allows for the action to grow in both directions up to a delimiter. You must provide a both a scope and a text object. The scope indicates how far the region should extend, and the text object is what character the region should use. Your cursor must also be inside the desired text object.

The two scopes are a and i. You can remember a as "A", and i as "Inside". The a scope will include both the contents inside the text object and the text object as well. The i scope will only include the contents inside the text objects.

Note that there are caveats for white space surrounding words and parentheses/braces/etc. when using the a scope. The object will include the whitespace after the object and will include the whitespace before the object if either; there was no whitespace after the object, or the cursor was in the whitespace before the object prior to the operation. Note that using the closing parentheses/braces/etc. will exclude the white space, but the opening one will include it. Excluding the whitespace surrounding quotes can be achieved using the i scope with a 2 count (i.e. d2i').

The text objects are restricted to common text objects. ( ) [ ] < > { } " ' ` w p s t are all valid.

Command Meaning
w Word
p Paragraph
s Sentence
t XML/HTML Tag (e.g. the TEXT in <body>TEXT</body>)

Your cursor must be inside the text object to work. Vim will grow the region in either direction until it finds the boundaries of the text object, so you can place your cursor anywhere inside the text object. Text object edits also work across multiple lines.

The grammar of the text object edits:

Command Definition
scope a i
text object ( ) [ ] < > { } " ' ` w p s t
action d y c v
text object edit {action}{scope}{text object}


Command Meaning
da( Delete contents AND surrounding parenthesis
dis Delete current sentence
ci( Change inside parenthesis
ciw Change current word
dip Delete inside current paragraph
diw Delete current word
daw Delete current word and following space
yi< Yank inside of < and >
vi' Visual select inside '

Exercise - Delete

Use the file region/beowulf_and_grendel_grapple.txt. You will find a story filled with random numbers all containing the number 0, sometimes surrounded with punctuation. Remove all numbers, quotes, angle brackets, curly brackets, square brackets, and parentheses using search / and delimited regions. Search for the number 0 with /0 and use n to find the next number. Then use delimited regions to delete the whole number and any surrounding punctuation.

Exercise - Change

Use the file html_sample.html. Change all the words inside angle brackets, quotes, parens, and tags to be the word "cat". For example,

can be changed to by moving the cursor inside the angle brackets and typing `ciExercise - Visual

Use the file html_sample.html. Capitalize using all the words inside angle brackets, quotes, parens, and tags. Use v to visually select the characters, then ~ to capitalize all the selected characters. For example, <html> can be changed to <HTML> by moving the cursor inside the angle brackets and typing vi<~

Exercise - Yank

Use the file yank-delimited.txt to yank and move the contents of the angle brackets, quotes, parens, and move it to the line below. So the line like:

(There is a )
place where the sidewalk ends

Should end up looking like:

(There is a )
There is a place where the sidewalk ends

To transform this line, you can use yank inside delimiter yi( to yank the words and space, then move your cursor down a line and paste at the start of the line with P.