Vim, with vigour

Around a month ago I decided that it would be a good idea to begin to learn and use Vim as my primary text editor. Prior to that I had used Notepad++ on Windows-based machines and either Mousepad or Leafpad on my Linux-based machines.

Vim (pronounced, not surprisingly to rhyme with “him”) is an updated, improved version of a program called Vi (pronounced, somewhat surprisingly as “vee-eye”). Vim stands for Vi-improved.

Vim is a standard offering on linux machines and works in console mode whereas many other text editors such as Leafpad, Gedit, Mousepad etc work only in Linux desktop or windows environments.

So why Vim? It’s accessible. It’s pre-installed. It works. It has a small footprint. It’s powerful. It can be operated mouse-free. It is this last aspect that particularly attracts me as I much prefer keyboard shortcuts to using a mouse.

As mentioned it comes as standard or pre-installed on my Manjaro XFCE machine, and has windows-executables for my Windows machine.

It comes with a built-in tutorial (unbelievably called vimtutor) which contains 7 lessons that describe the basics of Vim. I’ve currently finished 5 of the 7 (I’m a slow learner). Once I’ve finished that I’ll tackle a Byte of Vim which is another tutorial. Both the vimtutor and byte of vim advocate learning by doing.

I also have Vim set as my default text editor on each machine so when I open a text file, it opens in Vim (or GVim, to be precise).

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