The Vim Editor FAQ
Created: Tue Mar 12 00:00:00 EST 1996
Last Updated: Date: 1997/08/11 02:21:58
Version: Revision: 1.20
Author: Laurent DUPERVAL <laurent@...
This Page: <URL:http://www.grafnetix.com/~laurent/vim/
Vim Pages: <URL:http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/vim/
This article contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Vim
editor. Questions marked by [CHANGED] are questions that have been modified
since the last release of the FAQ. Questions marked by [NEW] are new
questions. The following topics are addressed:
* 1 ABOUT THIS FAQ
o 1.1 What versions of Vim does this FAQ cover?
o 1.2 Who maintains this FAQ?
o 1.3 Why him?
o 1.4 Can I add to it?
o 1.5 What are the restrictions on this FAQ?
o 1.6 [CHANGED] Acknowledgements
* 2 GENERAL INFORMATION
o 2.1 What is Vim?
o 2.2 Who wrote Vim?
o 2.3 Is Vim compatible with Vi?
o 2.4 What are some of the improvements of Vim over Vi?
o 2.5 What are the improvements of Vim 4 over Vim 3.x?
o 2.6 [NEW] What are the improvements of Vim 5.x over Vim 4.x?
o 2.7 Is Vim free?
* 3 RESOURCES
o 3.1 Where can I learn more about Vim?
o 3.2 Is there a mailing list available?
o 3.3 Is there an archive available for the Vim mailing list?
o 3.4 Where can I report bugs?
o 3.5 Where can the FAQ be found?
o 3.6 [CHANGED] What if I don't find an answer in this FAQ?
* 4 AVAILABILITY
o 4.1 [CHANGED] What is the latest version of Vim?
o 4.2 Where can I find the latest version of Vim?
o 4.3 What platform does it run on?
o 4.4 [CHANGED] What do I need to compile and install Vim?
* 5 TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
o 5.1 How do I use the help files?
o 5.2 Why is a backup file written even if I set nobackup?
o 5.3 [CHANGED] How can I keep Vim from beeping all the time?
o 5.4 How do I map the Tab key?
o 5.5 How do I map the Esc key?
o 5.6 How do I tell Vim where the helpfile is?
o 5.7 How do I get back to the exact position within a line I have
marked with 'a'?
o 5.8 How do I read in the output of a command?
o 5.9 Why can't I abbreviate ``'xy''?
o 5.10 How do I jump to the beginning/end of the highlighted text?
o 5.11 Why does completion of ``:set n'' not show negated settings,
e.g., ``noautoindent''? Completion of ``:set no'' seems to work.
o 5.12 Is there a command to remove any or all digraphs?
o 5.13 How do I use a spell checker with Vim?
o 5.14 Can I copy the character above the cursor to the current
o 5.15 How do I remove empty lines?
o 5.16 How do I reduce a range of empty lines into one line only?
o 5.17 How can I paste large amounts of text between two running
sessions of Vim?
o 5.18 Can I use compressed versions of the help files?
o 5.19 How come I can't set option ``xxxx''?
o 5.20 How do I format a block of C code?
o 5.21 How do I put a command onto the command history without
o 5.22 Why do I hear a beep (why does my window flash) about 1
second after I hit the Escape key?
o 5.23 How do I make the 'c' and 's' commands display a '$' instead
of deleting the characters I'm changing?
o 5.24 How do I add a line before each line with ``pattern'' in it?
o 5.25 How can I delete the newline which is followed by a given
character, such as ``|''?
o 5.26 How do I use the join command within a range of lines that
ends with ``*'' and begins with the previous ``|''?
o 5.27 How do I map/unmap an abbreviation or a map!ed key sequence?
o 5.28 When I use my arrow keys, Vim changes modes, inserts weird
characters in my document but doesn't move the cursor properly.
What's going on?
o 5.29 How do I ``auto-outdent'' some lines containing certain
keywords (i.e.have auto-indenting but towards the left margin
instead of the right margin)?
o 5.30 Is there a repository for Vim macros?
o 5.31 If I have a mapping/abbreviation whose ending is the
beginning of another mapping/abbreviation, how do I keep the first
from expanding into the second one?
o 5.32 Modelines are cool but Vim's modeline support is too
restrictive. How can I improve it?
o 5.33 [NEW] How can I use different .vimrc settings for different
types of files?
o 5.34 [NEW] How can I search for tags when running Vim over a
* 6 DOS-, WINDOWS-, WIN32-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
o 6.1 Why does the Win32 version of Vim update the screen so slowly
on Windows 95?
o 6.2 So if the Win32 version updates the screen so slowly on
Windows 95 and the 16-bit DOS version updates the screen quickly,
why would I want to run the Win32 version?
o 6.3 And what about the 16-bit DOS version versus the Win32 version
o 6.4 Why can't I paste into Vim when running Windows 95?
o 6.5 How do I type dead keys on Windows 95?
o 6.6 How do I type dead keys on Windows NT?
o 6.7 When will a real GUI version of Vim (gvim) for Win32 with
scrollbars, menus, pasting from the clipboard, and so on become
o 6.8 On a Win32 machine, I'm using Vim to edit a symbolically
linked file on a Unix NFS file server. When I write the file, Vim
does not "write through" the symlink. Instead, it deletes the
symbolic link and creates a new file in its place. Why?
o 6.9 How do I copy text from Windows applications to the DOS
version of Vim?
o 6.10 Why does my Caps Lock affect all the keys characters for all
the keys instead of just the letters?
o 6.11 How do I change Vim's window size in Windows?
* 7 UNIX-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
o 7.1 How do I turn off the message ``Thanks for flying Vim'' on
o 7.2 How do I prevent <Ctrl-Z> from suspending Vim?
o 7.3 How can I make Vim faster on a Unix station?
o 7.4 In Unix, how do I make Vim more colorful?
Laurent Duperval, Vim FAQ Maintainer <laurent@...
Vim FAQ: http://www.grafnetix.com/~laurent/vim/faq.html
Vim Pages: http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/vim/
Vim Mailing List: vim@...
Laurent Duperval, Systems Analyst Grafnetix Systems Inc.
Tel: (514) 861-3389 777, de la Commune Ouest
Fax: (514) 866-6206 Suite 101, Montreal, Qc
Canada, H3C 1Y1
Personal URL: http://www.Grafnetix.COM/~laurent/