Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Man Pages

Man Page or Keyword Search:
Man Architecture
Apropos Keyword Search (all sections) Output format
home | help
VIM(1)                  FreeBSD General Commands Manual                 VIM(1)

NAME
       vim - Vi IMproved, a programmers text editor

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

       ex
       view
       gvim gview
       rvim rview rgvim rgview

DESCRIPTION
       Vim is a text editor that is upwards compatible to Vi.  It can be used
       to edit all kinds of plain text.  It is especially useful for editing
       programs.

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

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

       Most often Vim is started to edit a single file with the command

            vim file

       More generally Vim is 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 or more 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, which should be a tty.

       -t {tag}    The file to edit and the initial cursor position depends on
                   a "tag", a sort of goto label.  {tag} is looked up in the
                   tags file, the associated file becomes the current file and
                   the associated command is executed.  Mostly this is used
                   for C programs, in which case {tag} could be a function
                   name.  The effect is that the file containing that function
                   becomes the current file and 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
                   other systems).  Further errors can be jumped to with the
                   ":cn" command.  See ":help quickfix".

       Vim behaves differently, depending on the name of the command (the
       executable may still be the same file).

       vim       The "normal" way, everything is default.

       ex        Start in Ex mode.  Go to Normal mode with the ":vi" command.
                 Can also be done with the "-e" argument.

       view      Start in read-only mode.  You will be protected from writing
                 the files.  Can also 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 shell commands, or suspend Vim.  Can also
                 be done with the "-Z" argument.

OPTIONS
       The options may be given in any order, before or after filenames.
       Options without an argument can be combined after a single dash.

       +[num]      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.

       +/{pat}     For the first file the cursor will be positioned on the
                   first occurrence of {pat}.  See ":help search-pattern" for
                   the available search patterns.

       +{command}

       -c {command}
                   {command} will be executed after the first file has been
                   read.  {command} is interpreted as an Ex command.  If the
                   {command} contains spaces it must be enclosed in double
                   quotes (this depends on the shell that is used).  Example:
                   Vim "+set si" main.c
                   Note: You can use up to 10 "+" or "-c" commands.

       --cmd {command}
                   Like using "-c", but the command is executed just before
                   processing any vimrc file.  You can use up to 10 of these
                   commands, independently from "-c" commands.

       -b          Binary mode.  A few options will be set that makes it
                   possible to edit a binary or executable file.

       -C          Compatible.  Set the 'compatible' option.  This will make
                   Vim behave mostly like Vi, even though a .vimrc file
                   exists.

       -d          Start in diff mode.  There should be two or three file name
                   arguments.  Vim will open all the files and show
                   differences between them.  Works like vimdiff(1).

       -d {device} Open {device} for use as a terminal.  Only on the Amiga.
                   Example: "-d con:20/30/600/150".

       -e          Start Vim in Ex mode, just like the executable was called
                   "ex".

       -f          Foreground.  For the GUI version, Vim will not fork and
                   detach from the shell it was started in.  On the Amiga, Vim
                   is not restarted to open a new window.  This option should
                   be used when Vim is executed by a program that will wait
                   for the edit session to finish (e.g. mail).  On the Amiga
                   the ":sh" and ":!" commands will not work.

       -F          If Vim has been compiled with FKMAP support for editing
                   right-to-left oriented files and Farsi keyboard mapping,
                   this option starts Vim in Farsi mode, i.e. 'fkmap' and
                   'rightleft' are set.  Otherwise an error message is given
                   and Vim aborts.

       -g          If Vim has been compiled with GUI support, this option
                   enables the GUI.  If no GUI support was compiled in, an
                   error message is given and Vim aborts.

       -h          Give a bit of help about the command line arguments and
                   options.  After this Vim exits.

       -H          If Vim has been compiled with RIGHTLEFT support for editing
                   right-to-left oriented files and Hebrew keyboard mapping,
                   this option starts Vim in Hebrew mode, i.e. 'hkmap' and
                   'rightleft' are set.  Otherwise an error message is given
                   and Vim aborts.

       -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".

       -L          Same as -r.

       -l          Lisp mode.  Sets the 'lisp' and 'showmatch' options on.

       -m          Modifying files is disabled.  Resets the 'write' option, so
                   that writing files is not possible.

       -N          No-compatible mode.  Reset the 'compatible' option.  This
                   will make Vim behave a bit better, but less Vi compatible,
                   even though a .vimrc file does not exist.

       -n          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".

       -o[N]       Open N windows.  When N is omitted, open one window for
                   each file.

       -R          Read-only mode.  The 'readonly' option will be set.  You
                   can still edit the buffer, but will be prevented from
                   accidently overwriting 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'".

       -r          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".

       -s          Silent mode.  Only when started as "Ex" or when the "-e"
                   option was given before 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
                   characters are read from the keyboard.

       -T {terminal}
                   Tells Vim the name of the terminal you are using.  Only
                   required when the automatic way doesn't work.  Should be a
                   terminal known to Vim (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.

       -V          Verbose.  Give messages about which files are sourced and
                   for reading and writing a viminfo file.

       -v          Start Vim in Vi mode, just like the executable was called
                   "vi".  This only has effect when the executable is called
                   "ex".

       -w {scriptout}
                   All the characters that you type are recorded in the file
                   {scriptout}, until you exit Vim.  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.

       -x          Use encryption when writing files.   Will prompt for a
                   crypt key.

       -Z          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 '-'.

       --help      Give a help message and exit, just like "-h".

       --version   Print version information and exit.

       --remote    Connect to a Vim server and make it edit the files given in
                   the rest of the arguments.

       --serverlist
                   List the names of all Vim servers that can be found.

       --servername {name}
                   Use {name} as the server name.  Used for the current Vim,
                   unless used with a --serversend or --remote, then it's the
                   name of the server to connect to.

       --serversend {keys}
                   Connect to a Vim server and send {keys} to it.

       --socketid {id}
                   GTK GUI only: Use the GtkPlug mechanism to run gvim in
                   another window.

       --echo-wid  GTK GUI only: Echo the Window ID on stdout

ON-LINE HELP
       Type ":help" in Vim to 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".

FILES
       /usr/share/vim/vim61/doc/*.txt
                      The Vim documentation files.  Use ":help doc-file-list"
                      to get the complete list.

       /usr/share/vim/vim61/doc/tags
                      The tags file used for finding information in the
                      documentation files.

       /usr/share/vim/vim61/syntax/syntax.vim
                      System wide syntax initializations.

       /usr/share/vim/vim61/syntax/*.vim
                      Syntax files for various languages.

       /usr/share/vim/vimrc
                      System wide Vim initializations.

       /usr/share/vim/gvimrc
                      System wide gvim initializations.

       /usr/share/vim/vim61/optwin.vim
                      Script used for the ":options" command, a nice way to
                      view and set options.

       /usr/share/vim/vim61/menu.vim
                      System wide menu initializations for gvim.

       /usr/share/vim/vim61/bugreport.vim
                      Script to generate a bug report.  See ":help bugs".

       /usr/share/vim/vim61/filetype.vim
                      Script to detect the type of a file by its name.  See
                      ":help 'filetype'".

       /usr/share/vim/vim61/scripts.vim
                      Script to detect the type of a file by its contents.
                      See ":help 'filetype'".

       /usr/share/vim/vim61/*.ps
                      Files used for PostScript printing.

       For recent info read the VIM home page:
       <URL:http://www.vim.org/>

SEE ALSO
       vimtutor(1)

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

BUGS
       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 fact caused 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 :help
       vi_diff.txt when in Vim).  Also have a look at the 'compatible' and
       'cpoptions' options.

                                  2002 Feb 22                           VIM(1)

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | OPTIONS | ON-LINE HELP | FILES | SEE ALSO | AUTHOR | BUGS

Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:
<https://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=vi&sektion=1&manpath=Red+Hat+Linux%2fi386+9>

home | help