Useful Vim Commands for SAS Administrators on UNIX

By | January 29, 2010

After a successful installation of SAS Enterprise BI Server on my Sun Servers, a certain amount of time is spent modifying configuration files and backup scripts, as well as browsing log files.  I use the vi editor to accomplish the editing.  I used used vi a lot back when all of my GIS work was performed in the UNIX environment, but once the Intel hardware matured and the GIS tools because available on Windows, I thought I would be able to forget all about the UNIX command line.  Wrong.  I’m back there again, but now I’m armed with a cheat sheet:

Working with files

Vim Command

Action

vi filename

Opens a file with the Vim editor.

:w filename

Save changes to a file. If you don’t specify a file name, Vim saves as the file name you were editing. For saving the file under a different name, specify the file name.

:q

Quit Vim. If you have unsaved changes, Vim refuses to exit.

:q!

Exit Vim without saving changes.

:wq

Write the file and exit.

Moving around in the file

Vim command

Action

j or Up Arrow

Move the cursor up one line.

k or Down Arrow

Down one line.

h or Left Arrow

Left one character.

l or Right Arrow

Right one character.

0

To the beginning of a line.

$

To the end of a line.

:n

Jump to line number n.

Inserting and overwriting text

Vim command

Action

i

Insert before cursor.

o

Open a new line below and insert.

O

Open a new line above and insert.

C

Change the rest of the current line.

r

Overwrite one character. After overwriting the single character, go back to command mode.

R

Enter insert mode but replace characters rather than inserting.

The ESC key

Exit insert/overwrite mode and go back to command mode.

Deleting text

Vim command

Action

x

Delete characters under the cursor.

X

Delete characters before the cursor.

dd or :d

Delete the current line.

Undo and redo

Vim command

Action

u

Undo the last action.

U

Undo all the latest changes that were made to the current line.

Ctrl + r

Redo.

There are obviously many more Vim commands out there.  Typically if I find myself in a situation where extensive modifications need to be made with a text editor, I will use Crimson Editor on Windows.

The list of commands above are a subset of The Vim commands cheat sheet – 1.2.

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