VIM Starter Guide

July 11, 2013

By Tad Fry

Behold, an amazing introduction to the mystical beast that is VIM!

What This Starter Guide Is

A tiny set of commands that will drastically increase how fast you edit and move around files.

What This Starter Guide Is Not

This is not a full reference. Venture to the wise being in the mountains to call upon more commands when you want to learn more:

How to Get VIM

Command Mode vs. Insert Mode

VIM has a few modes, but we’re only going to discuss Command Mode and Insert Mode.

Command Mode allows you to move about the file with haste, perform simple/bulk edits and other insanely helpful tasks.

Insert Mode allows you to type in the file. Plain and simple—you type characters and they appear on the screen; not nearly as epic as Command Mode.

The Commands

The following list of commands will only work when you’re in Command Mode. Press ESC to get into Command Mode.

Command Mode


Move Cursor

Insert Mode