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I understand that vi has shortcut keys to delete character, word and line with various options. However, I could not find this:

  • to delete from cursor to the next specified character. I might type du" (example) expecting the editor to "delete until the next double quote character is found"

The closest I know is the d9w where 9 is the number of words to delete.

Anyone knows if this is possible?

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up vote 134 down vote accepted

Use dfc.

If you had:

delete until exclamation point!

And the cursor was at the first space and you typed df!, you would get:


Also dtc. This will delete upto but not including c. Using dt! on the same example above would give you:


Just about any "motion" can be used for the d, c, y and similar commands

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Exactly what i was after! Thanks @Arcege! – kctang Oct 8 '11 at 18:02
+1 for the "t" example – Skurpi Mar 4 '15 at 10:12
Presumably the mnemonic is t for "till"? Nice answer. – overthink Mar 5 '15 at 17:01
You can also delete to the previous instance of a character with the capitalized version of the movement commands. Maybe more useful for commas -- dT, and dF,. – cheflo Apr 28 '15 at 14:53
This doesn't work over multiple lines. – caffinatedmonkey Dec 29 '15 at 22:41

The input dt# (not a :command, use it like a movement like G)

will delete from the cursor until but not including the #. You can substitute any char for #.

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This is the right answer! df# will delete # as well. – Viet Dec 23 '14 at 15:30
been looking for this, this is awesome – Nadeem Khedr Apr 3 '15 at 7:29

It looks like @Arcege already answered the question, but I did d/l to delete until the character l; other characters would work as well.

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w moves to the following word. l moves to the following charactor.

So it's d9l to delete the next 9 characters.

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Close, l is Vim's right arrow key, so you're actually deleting right. Conversely, d9h would delete 9 characters left. – Walf May 30 at 2:24
  • To delete forward up to character 'X' type dtX

  • To delete forward through character 'X' type dfX

  • To delete backward up to character 'X' type dTX

  • To delete backward through character 'X' type dFX

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