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Vim for beginners

Last year I made myself a bit acquainted with Vim. I’m by no means an expert and am not (yet :-)) advocating to replace your favourite IDE with Vim.  I use it for small things:

  • it’s much easier/faster to  to edit files on a server using Vim as opposed to opening and editing the files in a tool like Transmit. There’s a big chance that vim is already installed on your server.
  • editing your hostfile is breeze with vim.
  • if you need a small change, like deleting a line, in a file and you’re IDE isn’t open, Vim can help you.
  • there’s a big change that you already use Vim when Git promts you to specify a commit message

Unlike most pieces of software, Vim has absolutely no respect for the beginner. Even quitting it proves quite difficult. There’s really nobody that can use Vim without some training. But with same quick pointers everybody can do the tasks mentioned above.

Watch this video clearly explains the basic commands.


Freek Van der Herten is a partner and developer at Spatie, an Antwerp based company that specializes in creating web apps with Laravel. After hours he writes about modern PHP and Laravel on this blog. When not coding he’s probably rehearsing with his kraut rock band.