I know that vim (like emacs) is very powerful editor for programmers, as long as you know how to use it, its shortcuts, and so on. What steps can I take and what tutorials can I read to become an advanced vim user?
closed as not constructive by Seth♦, rɑːdʒɑ, Flimm, Jorge Castro, user25656 Apr 23 '13 at 16:36
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Step 0: learn to touch type. Seriously - if your fingers don't know where the keys are then vim is going to be a pain. And even if you reject vim, touch typing will improve your programming (ask Steve Yegge) by making the mind to monitor link friction free. There is a lot of software that can help you improve your typing.
Step 1: Use the keyboard preferences to swap Caps Lock and Escape - seriously, how often do you use Caps Lock? Using vim you will be using Escape all the time, and having it available on the home row makes a huge difference. With the standard Ubuntu desktop, go through the menus: System -> Preferences -> Keyboard -> Layouts tab. Then hit the "Layout Options" button, click on the triangle next to "Caps Lock key behaviour" and select "Swap ESC and CapsLock". (Note how to do this has changed - see this for how to do this in 14.04.
Step 2: use vimtutor to get you started. It is in gvim (under the help menu I think) or you can just type 'vimtutor' at the command line. It will take 30-45 minutes of your time and then your fingers will know the basics of vi/vim and you should be able to edit files without wanting to hurl your keyboard out of the window.
Step 3: use vim everywhere. See
question from StackOverflow
for tips and links for using vim and vi key bindings at the command
line, from your web browser, for composing emails, in your IDE ... You
need to use vim to embed the key bindings in your muscle memory.
Step 4: learn more about vim. You will only have scratched the surface with vimtutor. You can
- watch screencasts at vimcasts or those by Derek Wyatt;
- watch this video or read this article (both about the "Seven habits of effective text editing";
- read about some of the many tips and tricks on StackOverflow;
- browse vimtips.
Learn a litle often would be my advice - there is so much out there that sticking to bite-size chunks will be the best way to make the knowledge stick.
Step 5: Profit :)
"vimtutor" form package "vim" is probably the best place to start.
That is a pretty good tutorial. It has videos and such.
This will sound silly, but get to know vim's help command. The help system is remarkably intuitive and easy to navigate.
Help is available by typing
:help . You can find out about a specific topic by including that on the command line (eg
:help insert). You can cycle through topics by hitting tab after typing one or more characters of topic.
The help is hyperlinked, with links denoted at either bold or coloured text. You can follow links by hitting <Ctrl-]> when your cursor is on it, and <Ctrl-t> to go back. To get out of help, type
Some great answers. Definitely try to integrate it into daily life and make sure you don't try to flood your brain with too much at a time. There's just too much to vim to learn it all in a week.
At first just start with one/two new commands/keys a week. Use them and ingrain them into your brain. You don't want to have to refer to a cheat sheet all day.
I've got a sample vim config setup that's really well documented I publish for people: http://github.com/mitechie/pyvim
Don't just copy/paste though. Make sure you understand what's going into your vim config so you don't forget/misunderstand what it's doing for you.
and I've started doing some vim screencasts: http://lococast.net/archives/111
I know that I might get negative feedback for this answer, as it may hurt vim fans and users: First ask yourself what you want to do. And only if vim is the best tool for that specific task, do what all the other answers tell you.
Or to say it with more images: You can try to get twice as fast or good with a hammer than you are now. But depending on the situation a screw driver may help more than the hammer. :)
I haven't really learned Vim yet but I think that by doing all my browsing with the Pentadactyl extension for Firefox it will be less difficult when I get around to do so.
Any text fields and the command line can be treated like Vim normal mode with a Ctrl T (or automatically, if you change a setting); however, here's where it falls down at the moment for me since many actions are interpreted to be global e.g. attempting to paste with p opens a url with the text that's in the buffer and attempting to overwrite text with r reloads the page. But you can open the text field in Gvim by pressing Control I, so it's not really an issue.
Another problem is that it makes websites like Gmail or Remember the Milk trickier to use since you have yet another mode to contend with.
To reiterate my answer from that question:
I learnt a lot from the O'Reilly book "Learning the Vi and Vim editors". It's the best Vim book I've read.
I'd also recommend checking out: