Easy Vim Setup
For Linux, for example, Ubuntu,
Shipped with vim, vimtutor is one of the most effective tutorials to vim. It covers many actions and commands that help beginners to become productive using vim. After installation of vim, one could enter vimtutor by running the following command in terminal (for windows, it can be located at the vim installation folder):
It may take 25 to 30 minutes for one to complete the tutorial. But it will definitely take more time to get used to the modal editing philosophy of vim. In my opinion, all editors are trying to solve one core issue:
How to be (more) productive with a limited number of keys provided by a keyboard?
One typical way to solve this is using modifier keys like
alt. A daily usage case is we use
ctrl + c to copy and
ctrl + p to paste. And some times one need to chain multiple key chords to archive certain task. For example, one need to press
ctrl + c
ctrl + x
ctrl + l in org-mode to preview LaTex math equations.
Instead of heavily relying on the modifier key, vim uses different modals to assign different “meanings” to the same key. For example,
- In insert mode,
wwill enter the character.
- But in normal mode,
dmeans “delete” and
wactually moves the cursor to the “word”
I am not saying the second approach (vim) is better than the first approach (emacs). They are just different “answers” to the issue above.
After entering vim, one could type the following commands to:
Show the line number1:set number
Use syntax highlighting1:syntax on
Use relative line number1:set relativenumber
Not compatible to vi1:set nocompatible
In most cases, we put configurations of vim in a file named
_vimrc on Windows) and vim will execute commands in the configuration file when it starts. The file is located at
And we can put the following lines in the
With some practices and usage of some plugins, you can be really productive using vim. Happy Vimming!
And here is the link to the Chinese version of this post.
- 1.Homebrew is a package manager for macOS ↩