March 30, 2023

Start using vim

Updated in Jan. 2024.


  1. complete the VIM Tutor
  2. read (2000) written by vim’s creator Bram Moolenaar to get an idea of how to think about using vim. Using Vim is like a language with a grammar. Once you know the grammar, you can make your own sentence, you can be fluent using Vim.
  3. start using vim and learn on the go by running :h (help) when needed. For example, if you want to find out how to substitute some text run :h substitute to display the vim help file.

I’d suggest using no plugins at first. I use couple as of today.

To run the VIM Tutor open a terminal and run:

$ vimtutor

You should see this:


=    W e l c o m e   t o   t h e   V I M   T u t o r    -    Version 1.7      =

     Vim is a very powerful editor that has many commands, too many to
     explain in a tutor such as this.  This tutor is designed to describe
     enough of the commands that you will be able to easily use Vim as
     an all-purpose editor.

     The approximate time required to complete the tutor is 25-30 minutes,
     depending upon how much time is spent with experimentation.

     The commands in the lessons will modify the text.  Make a copy of this
     file to practice on (if you started "vimtutor" this is already a copy).

     It is important to remember that this tutor is set up to teach by
     use.  That means that you need to execute the commands to learn them
     properly.  If you only read the text, you will forget the commands!

     Now, make sure that your Caps-Lock key is NOT depressed and press
     the   j   key enough times to move the cursor so that lesson 1.1
     completely fills the screen.
                        Lesson 1.1:  MOVING THE CURSOR

   ** To move the cursor, press the h,j,k,l keys as indicated. **
             k              Hint:  The h key is at the left and moves left.
       < h       l >               The l key is at the right and moves right.
             j                     The j key looks like a down arrow.

See also:


I do self-funded research and I'm writing a book.

> What's the book about?

About technologies and agency.

Meaning, technologies can foster agency. No doubt. But I am also asking:

Can usage of technologies give us a sense of empowerment while in fact undermining our abilities?

I posted a summary of the prologue on the homepage:


vim personal computing command-line interface (cli) gnu linux learn start using text processing office applications wiki shell literacy

No affiliate links, no analytics, no tracking, no cookies. This work © 2016-2024 by is licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0 .   about me   contact me   all entries & tags   FAQ   GPG public key

GPG fingerprint: 2E0F FB60 7FEF 11D0 FB45 4DDC E979 E52A 7036 7A88