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Vi Editor Tips and Tricks

By: Tariq Nazir (http://tariqnazir.tripod.com)

 

 


  For introduction to vi editor and commands, click here 


1-                        Search and Replace
 
Search STRING forward :   / STRING.
Search STRING backward:   ? STRING.
 
Repeat search:   n
Repeat search in opposite direction:  N  (SHIFT-n)


Search and Replace

 
First occurrence on current line:      :s/OLD/NEW
  
Globally (all) on current line:        :s/OLD/NEW/g 
 
Between two lines #,#:                 :#,#s/OLD/NEW/g
  
Every occurrence in file:              :%s/OLD/NEW/g 
 
 
2-                        Reading the output from a command into current file.
 
In a vi session, move the cursor to the position in the file where you want to bring the output of a command and run the command like: 
 
      :r !df -h 

 

Here df command is used for example. Replace it with your command.

 

 

3-                        To sort contents of the file.
 
Move the cursor to the line where apple is located, then run the following
 
:.,$ !sort
 
   . - represents the current line
   $ - represents the last line of the file
 
If you don't want to replace the text, but want to see the sorted output, do the following:
 
   :.,$w !sort | more
 
apple
orange
pear
lemon
lime
grape

 

        

Introduction to vi editor