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It's almost always better to use nnoremap instead of nmap as it ignores recursive mappings. More at chapter 5 of Learn VimScript the Hard Way.

Check if mapping exists

:verbose imap <tab>

Disable a key

:inoremap <esc> <nop>

This effectively disables the escape key in insert mode by telling Vim to perform (no operation) instead. More here.


  • gj move to visual line below (can be used when lines wrap around)

  • W ignore special characters like ,.

  • t like f, but moves until the character

  • I like insert but ignores whitespace

  • A appends to end of line

  • s deletes current character and puts in insert mode

  • S deletes entire line and puts in insert mode

  • % can go directly to a brace, without needing to put cursor on it first

  • ? searches backwards

  • Ctrl o go back where you came from

  • Ctrl i go forwards to where you've been

  • Ctrl ^ move back to last used file

  • :%s substitute in the entire document

  • :w Ctrl d will display all available commands that start with w

  • fo ; ; repeats f in forward direction

  • fo , , repeats f in forward direction

  • va( highlights inner bracket, along with braces

  • mJ create mark j

  • 'J go to mark j

Lesser used motions

  • is -> inner sentence
  • as -> around sentence


d2i{ → deletes inner bracket plus one outer bracket

dip → deletes a paragraph (contiguous block of text)

Multi line editing

#Go to position
Ctrl V


Vim keeps a history of previous yanks/deletes. :reg lists them. "0p pastes register at 0.T

Remembering previous deletes/yanks

:copy, :move

:copy, :move are solid ways of moving text around without moving the cursor. Shorthands are :t, and :m respectively.

" Copy lines between -15 and -10 and paste it below.
" Same, but paste it 5 lines below.

More here.


## make this split take full window
## can be used to closed vim diff buffers quickly
## source:


:windo diffthis
// diff buffers in current tab

Execute in all tabs

:windo diffthis
execute in all windows in current tab

:tabdo windo diffthis
execute in all tabs in all windows


:mksession ~/vim-sessions/dotfiles.vim
save current session

:source ~/.vim-sessions/dotfiles.vim
#load saved session

vim -S ~/mysession.vim
open session from command line


from my vimrc

"folds on by default
 set foldmethod=indent
"prevents { or } from opening up a fold
set foldopen-=block

" leader fi to toggle opening/closing all folds
let $unrol=0
function UnrolMe()
if $unrol==0
    :exe "normal zR"
    " :exe "normal zA"
    let $unrol=1
    :exe "normal zM"
" :exe "normal zC"
    let $unrol=0

noremap <leader>fi :call UnrolMe()<CR>

"leader op opens fold
noremap <leader>op zA
"leader cl closes folds
noremap <leader>cl zC


<C-W> | --> make window take entire horizontal space

<C-W> = --> make windows equal in size

Command Line

<C-R><C-W> puts the current word in the command line

Show value of command

#show value of a command
:set command?
#eg. :set background?

Custom Commands

Here's how to create custom workspaces to switch between programming and writing prose in Vim


:map means map recursively
:noremap means map non-recursively
:inoremap means map only in insert mode
:nnoremap means map only in normal mode
autocmd is generally used to run commands for a particular filetype
cnoreabbrev is generally used to alias/map commands in the vim command line
set is used to change value of a internal vim variable
let is usually used to change configuration variables for plugins

3 of the Most Common Beginner Problems in Vim and How To Fix Them


gf ## opens file under cursor
<c-w>gf #opens file under cursor in a new tab


Create file under cursor

Create and open a non existent file under the cursor

noremap <leader>grf :tabe %:h/<cfile><CR>
noremap <leader>gcf :tabe <cfile><CR>

grf will create a file relative to current buffer. gcf will use the absolute <cfile> path.

More here and here.

Switching cases

  • ~: inverts case of current letter
  • g~w: inverts case of current word

Increment/Decrement Number

<C-a> increments number under cursor <C-x> decrements number under cursor