Vim Motions

title: Motions

Vim Basic Motions

Cursors motions

First in VIM we can use the arrow keys if we like to move around the text file, but it is not the best way to do so,
and we lost the advantage of combined commands that VIM provides.

Instead, the default and best way to move through the text is using the keys h(left), j(down), k(up) and l(right).

^ | k <- h l -> j | v

The advantage in using these keys instead of the arrow keys is you can combine motions with other commands, like:

  • d2j -> delete 2 lines down
  • y10k -> copy 10 lines up
  • 10l -> move 10 characters right
  • 2h -> move 2 characters left

Words Motions

A word consists of a sequence of letters, digits and underscores, or a
sequence of other non-blank characters, separated with white space (spaces,
tabs, end of line). An empty line is also considered to be a word.

It is possible move through words with these commands:

  • w -> move to next word
  • W -> move to next WORD*
  • e -> move to the end of the next word
  • E -> move to the end of the next WORD
  • b -> move to previous word
  • B -> move to previous WORD
  • ge -> move to the end of previous word
  • gE -> move to the end of previous WORD

*A WORD consists of a sequence of non-blank characters, separated with white
space. An empty line is also considered to be a WORD, ie: quux(foo, bar, foo);

When these motions are combined with other commands you can do things like:

  • dw -> delete the word
  • 5e -> move to the end of the 5th word from here

Search motions

Another way to move to the position you like is using search motions. The search motions consist of the motion + a character to search

  • fx -> move to the next x
  • tx -> move to first position before the next x
  • ; -> next x
  • Fx -> move to the previous x
  • Tx -> move to first position after the previous x
  • , -> previous x

Begin and End of lines

You can also move to beginning or end of line with VIM, with these commands:

  • 0 -> Beginning of the line
  • ^ -> First non-blank character of the line
  • $ -> End of the line

File motions

In VIM you can move through the file using these commands:

  • gg -> move to the first line of the file
  • G -> move to the last line of the file
  • <ctrl> + f -> move one page down
  • <ctrl> + b -> move one page up
  • /text -> find text
  • n -> move to the next occurrence of the text (previous command)
  • ?text -> find previous text
  • N -> move to the previous occurrence of text
  • { -> move one paragraph up
  • } -> move one paragraph down
  • ( -> move one sentence up
  • ) -> move one sentence down
  • # -> find word under cursor up
  • * -> find word under cursor down

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