Useful vi Resources and Tutorials
November 3, 2000 -- by J.t.Qbe
Like it or don't, vi is the standard Unix text editor, included with practically every form of Unix in existence. Although this may partially be an accident of history, vi does have features which merit its popularity and widespread use:
- vi is small. The entire editor can be smaller than 100K; even some Windows versions of vi will fit on a floppy disk.
- vi is powerful. A few small commands can make sweeping changes to large documents.
- vi is typist-friendly. Since vi doesn't use the mouse, you never have to take your hands away from the home row on your keyboard. This can speed up your editing quite a bit.
One feature lacking in vi, some feel, is user-friendliness (or maybe vi is just being selective about who its friends are). Below you will find links to several tutorials on vi which will help you understand, well, as much about vi as you wish to understand. Give vi a try! Like mold, it may just grow on you.
General information on vi
A good general reference is The VI Pages. Here you will find all sorts of general vi information, including links to versions of vi for every operating system you can imagine.
Another good site is the VI Lovers Home Page, with links to many versions of vi, tutorials and references.
Don't miss The UnixWorld vi tutorial, which covers many of the more advanced features of vi.
If these are too fun and user friendly for you, you can always take the drudgery route and use the Purdue University vi tutorial. You can also learn vi from this tutorial by Bill Joy, the creator of vi.
If you just need to get going and use vi as quickly as possible, check out An Extremely Quick and Simple Introduction to the Vi Text Editor.
On the other hand, if you prefer a book, the book to have is Learning the vi Editor, 6th Edition by Linda Lamb and Arnold Robbins. This one will cover everything you need to know and much more.
Maybe you just need a vi reference, such as a list of commands. You can find a nice reference list at http://www.ungerhu.com/jxh/vi.html. Another fairly complete reference is at http://www.splange.freeserve.co.uk/viref.html.