MAN page from Trustix vim-5.7-3tr.i586.rpm


Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: 1998 December 28


vim - Vi IMproved, a programmers text editor 


vim[options] [file ..]
vim[options] -
vim[options] -t tag
vim[options] -q [errorfile]



Vimis a text editor that is upwards compatible to Vi.It can be used to edit any ASCII text.It is especially useful for editingprograms.

There are a lot of enhancements above Vi: multi level undo,multi windows and buffers, syntax highlighting, command lineediting, filename completion, on-line help, visual selection, etc..See ":help vi_diff.txt" for a summary of the differences betweenVimand Vi.

While runningVima lot of help can be obtained from the on-line help system, with the ":help"command.See the ON-LINE HELP section below.

Most oftenVimis started to edit a single file with the command

       vim file

More generallyVimis started with:

       vim [options] [filelist]

If the filelist is missing, the editor will start with an empty buffer.Otherwise exactly one out of the following four may be used to choose one ormore files to be edited.

file ..
A list of filenames.The first one will be the current file and read into the buffer.The cursor will be positioned on the first line of the buffer.You can get to the other files with the ":next" command.To edit a file that starts with a dash, precede the filelist with "--".
The file to edit is read from stdin. Commands are read from stderr, whichshould be a tty.
-t {tag}
The file to edit and the initial cursor position depends on a "tag", a sortof goto label.{tag} is looked up in the tags file, the associated file becomes the currentfile and the associated command is executed.Mostly this is used for C programs, in which case {tag} could be a functionname.The effect is that the file containing that function becomes the current fileand the cursor is positioned on the start of the function.See ":help tag-commands".
-q [errorfile]
Start in quickFix mode.The file [errorfile] is read and the first error is displayed.If [errorfile] is omitted, the filename is obtained from the 'errorfile'option (defaults to "AztecC.Err" for the Amiga, "errors.vim" on othersystems).Further errors can be jumped to with the ":cn" command.See ":help quickfix".

Vimbehaves differently, depending on the name of the command (the executable maystill be the same file).

The "normal" way, everything is default.
Start in Ex mode.Go to Normal mode with the ":vi" command.Can also be done with the "-e" argument.
Start in read-only mode. You will be protected from writing the files. Canalso be done with the "-R" argument.
gvim gview
The GUI version.Starts a new window.Can also be done with the "-g" argument.
rvim rview rgvim rgview
Like the above, but with restrictions. It will not be possible to start shellcommands, or suspendVim.Can also be done with the "-Z" argument.


The options may be given in any order, before or after filenames.Options without an argument can be combined after a single dash.
For the first file the cursor will be positioned on line "num".If "num" is missing, the cursor will be positioned on the last line.
For the first file the cursor will be positioned on thefirst occurrence of {pat}.See ":help search-pattern" for the available search patterns.
-c {command}
{command} will be executed after thefirst file has been read.{command} is interpreted as an Ex command.If the {command} contains spaces it must be enclosed in double quotes (thisdepends on the shell that is used).Example: Vim "+set si" main.c
Note: You can use up to 10 "+" or "-c" commands.
Binary mode.A few options will be set that makes it possible to edit a binary orexecutable file.
Compatible. Set the 'compatible' option.This will makeVimbehave mostly like Vi, even though a .vimrc file exists.
-d {device}
Open {device} for use as a terminal.Only on the Amiga.Example:"-d con:20/30/600/150".
StartVimin Ex mode, just like the executable was called "ex".
Foreground. For the GUI version,Vimwill not fork and detach from the shell it was started in.On the Amiga,Vimis not restarted to open a new window.This option should be used whenVimis executed by a program that will wait for the editsession to finish (e.g. mail).On the Amiga the ":sh" and ":!" commands will not work.
IfVimhas been compiled with FKMAP support for editing right-to-leftoriented files and Farsi keyboard mapping, this option startsVimin Farsi mode, i.e. 'fkmap' and 'rightleft' are set.Otherwise an error message is given andVimaborts.
IfVimhas been compiled with GUI support, this option enables the GUI.If no GUI support was compiled in, an error message is given andVimaborts.
Give a bit of help about the command line arguments and options.After thisVimexits.
IfVimhas been compiled with RIGHTLEFT support for editing right-to-leftoriented files and Hebrew keyboard mapping, this option startsVimin Hebrew mode, i.e. 'hkmap' and 'rightleft' are set.Otherwise an error message is given andVimaborts.
-i {viminfo}
When using the viminfo file is enabled, this option sets the filename to use,instead of the default "~/.viminfo".This can also be used to skip the use of the .viminfo file, by giving the name"NONE".
Same as -r.
Lisp mode.Sets the 'lisp' and 'showmatch' options on.
Modifying files is disabled.Resets the 'write' option, so that writing files is not possible.
No-compatible mode. Reset the 'compatible' option.This will makeVimbehave a bit better, but less Vi compatible, even though a .vimrc file doesnot exist.
No swap file will be used.Recovery after a crash will be impossible.Handy if you want to edit a file on a very slow medium (e.g. floppy).Can also be done with ":set uc=0".Can be undone with ":set uc=200".
Open N windows.When N is omitted, open one window for each file.
Read-only mode.The 'readonly' option will be set.You can still edit the buffer, but will be prevented from accidentlyoverwriting a file.If you do want to overwrite a file, add an exclamation mark to the Ex command,as in ":w!".The -R option also implies the -n option (see below).The 'readonly' option can be reset with ":set noro".See ":help 'readonly'".
List swap files, with information about using them for recovery.
-r {file}
Recovery mode.The swap file is used to recover a crashed editing session.The swap file is a file with the same filename as the text file with ".swp"appended.See ":help recovery".
Silent mode. Only when started as "Ex" or when the "-e" option was givenbefore the "-s" option.
-s {scriptin}
The script file {scriptin} is read.The characters in the file are interpreted as if you had typed them.The same can be done with the command ":source! {scriptin}".If the end of the file is reached before the editor exits, further charactersare read from the keyboard.
-T {terminal}
TellsVimthe name of the terminal you are using.Only required when the automatic way doesn't work.Should be a terminal knowntoVim(builtin) or defined in the termcap or terminfo file.
-u {vimrc}
Use the commands in the file {vimrc} for initializations.All the other initializations are skipped.Use this to edit a special kind of files.It can also be used to skip all initializations by giving the name "NONE".See ":help initialization" within vim for more details.
-U {gvimrc}
Use the commands in the file {gvimrc} for GUI initializations.All the other GUI initializations are skipped.It can also be used to skip all GUI initializations by giving the name "NONE".See ":help gui-init" within vim for more details.
Verbose. Give messages about which files are sourced and for reading andwriting a viminfo file.
StartVimin Vi mode, just like the executable was called "vi". This only has effectwhen the executable is called "ex".
-w {scriptout}
All the characters that you type are recorded in the file{scriptout}, until you exitVim.This is useful if you want to create a script file to be used with "vim -s" or":source!".If the {scriptout} file exists, characters are appended.
-W {scriptout}
Like -w, but an existing file is overwritten.
Use encryption when writing files. Will prompt for a crypt key.
Restricted mode. Works like the executable starts with "r".
Denotes the end of the options.Arguments after this will be handled as a file name.This can be used to edit a filename that starts with a '-'.


Type ":help" inVimto get started.Type ":help subject" to get help on a specific subject.For example: ":help ZZ" to get help for the "ZZ" command.Use <Tab> and CTRL-D to complete subjects (":help cmdline-completion").Tags are present to jump from one place to another (sort of hypertext links,see ":help").All documentation files can be viewed in this way, for example":help syntax.txt". 


TheVimdocumentation files.Use ":help doc-file-list" to get the complete list.
The tags file used for finding information in the documentation files.
System wide syntax initializations.
Syntax files for various languages.
System wideViminitializations.
System wide gvim initializations.
Script used for the ":options" command, a nice way to view and set options.
System wide menu initializations for gvim.
Script to generate a bug report. See ":help bugs".
Script to detect the type of a file by its name. See ":help 'filetype'".
Script to detect the type of a file by its contents. See ":help 'filetype'".

For recent info read the VIM home page:




Most ofVimwas made by Bram Moolenaar, with a lot of help from others.See ":help credits".
Vimis based on Stevie, worked on by: Tim Thompson,Tony Andrews and G.R. (Fred) Walter.Although hardly any of the original code remains. 


Probably.See ":help todo" for a list of known problems.

Note that a number of things that may be regarded as bugs by some, are in factcaused by a too-faithful reproduction of Vi's behaviour.And if you think other things are bugs "because Vi does it differently",you should take a closer look at the vi_diff.txt file (or type :helpvi_diff.txt when in Vim).Also have a look at the 'compatible' and 'cpoptions' options.




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