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Having Fun Learning Vim

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Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
I run Windows machines at the moment, but I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Linux and the open source philosophy. So I decided to start learning hard-core Vim. It's fun to see how powerful Vim is. I think I'm going to switch from TextPad to Vim for $\LaTeX$ editing now.



Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Jan 30, 2012
I am using Linux now and used vi a long time ago. However, having distinct insert and command modes seems a little crazy to me. It was fun for a while, but I felt relief when I could finally use a normal text editor where typing text always inserts it.

Some anecdotes and jokes about vi.

I read about a guy who opened a text in a vi-like editor and wanted to type "edit." He did not switch from the command mode to insert mode, so "e" selected the whole text ("everything"), "d" deleted it, "i" switched to insert mode. Thus, the whole document was replaced by the letter "t."

From Wikipedia:

vi-vi-vi is 6-6-6 in Roman numerals.

However, "Using a free version of vi is not a sin but a penance" (Richard Stallman).

vi has two modes – "beep repeatedly" and "break everything."

Tim O'Reilly said, in 1999, that O'Reilly Media's tutorial on vi sells twice as many copies as that on Emacs (which could mean either that vi is more popular or harder to learn).

Even earlier, I used a ed-style non-visual line-oriented text editor.

A joke from here:

Let's look at a typical novice's session with the mighty ed:

golem$ ed

eat flaming death

Note the consistent user interface and error reportage. Ed is generous enough to flag errors, yet prudent enough not to overwhelm the novice with verbosity.


New member
Feb 2, 2012
Vim is the best! i use vim for my main editor to write c code. it is a great editor and for programming and latex. there are lots of plugins for c and latex.

if you use vim on windows from the installer it does not have python support. but on Linux it does. and you can use python plugins. this one works quite nice for quick calculations.


also the nerdtree plugin works nice if you are just starting out.

the trick to vim is to learn how to use normal mode very good. then only use insert mode and visual mode when you need to to. most people never figure this out and spend all there time in insert mode which is much slower and does not use the good features of vim.
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