Vim Search and Replace

title: Search and Replace

Searching and Replacing in Vim

Search and replace in vim will search for all instances of a given text pattern and replace it with a string.

Command Keys

The commands used for search and replace:

  • :substitute
  • :s (short abbreviated form of substitute)

Command Structure

The structure used for search and replace:

:[range] s/[pattern]/[string]/[flags] [count]


  • [range] indicates the lines to search (e.g. 1: first line, $: last line, %: all lines).
  • [pattern] is the text pattern to be searched.
  • [string] is the string that will replace the text pattern.
  • [flags] turn on additional search and replace options (e.g. c: confirm substitution, g: replace all occurrences in each line, i: ignore case).
  • [count] replaces in [count] lines starting from the last line in [range] (or current line if [range] omitted).

Common Examples

Some common search and replace examples are listed below:

  • :s/foo/bar/ Change the first ‘foo’ to ‘bar’ in the current line.
  • :s/foo/bar/g Change each ‘foo’ to ‘bar’ in the current line.
  • :%s/foo/bar/g Change each ‘foo’ to ‘bar’ in all the lines.
  • :13s/foo/bar/g Change each ‘foo’ to ‘bar’ in line 13.
  • :%s/foo/bar/cgi Change every ‘foo’ to ‘bar’ in all lines.

This article needs improvement. You can help improve this article. You can also write similar articles and help the community.