Our philosophy is to give you a good overview of what we feel are vi survival materials for the new user. Learning a new editor, especially an editor with all the options of vi, can seem like an overwhelming task. We have made an effort to present basic concepts and commands in an easy-to-read and logical manner.
After providing the basics for vi, which are usable everywhere, we move on to cover Vim in depth. We then round out our coverage of the vi landscape by looking at nvi, elvis, and vile. The following sections describe the conventions used in this book.
A picture of a keyboard button, like the one on the left, marks the main discussion of that particular keyboard command or of related commands. You will find a brief introduction to the main concept before it is broken down into task-oriented sections. We then present the appropriate command to use in each case, along with a description of the command and the proper syntax for using it.
descriptions and examples, what you would actually type is
shown in the
Courier font, as
are all command names. Filenames are also shown in
Courier, as are program
options. Variables (which you would not type literally, but
would replace with an actual value when you type the
command) are shown in
italic. Brackets indicate that a
variable is optional. For example, in the syntax line:
be replaced by an actual filename. The brackets indicate
that the vi command can be invoked
without specifying a filename at all. The brackets
themselves are not typed.
Certain examples show the
effect of commands typed at the Unix shell prompt. In such
examples, what you actually type is shown in
Bold, to distinguish it from the system
response. For example:
lsch01.xml ch02.xml ch03.xml ch04.xml
In code examples, italic indicates a comment that is not to be typed. Otherwise, italic introduces special terms and emphasizes anything that needs emphasis.
Following traditional Unix documentation
convention, references of the form printf(3) refer to the online
manual (accessed via the man
command). This example refers to the entry for the
printf() function in section
3 of the manual (you would type
printf on most systems to see
Special keystrokes are shown in a box. For example:
Throughout the book, you will also find columns of vi commands and their results:
"practice" [New file] 6 lines, 320 characters
Give the write and save command,
In the preceding example, the command
ZZ is shown in the left
column. In the window to the right is a line (or several
lines) of the screen that show the result of the command.
Cursor position is shown in reverse video. In this instance,
ZZ saves and writes the
file, you see the status line shown when a file is written;
the cursor position is not shown. Below the window is an
explanation of the command and its result.
vi commands are issued by
pressing the CTRL key and
another key simultaneously. In the text, this combination
keystroke is usually written within a box (for example,
CTRL-G). In code
examples, it is written by preceding the name of the key
with a caret (^). For example,
^G means to hold down CTRL while pressing the G key.
A problem checklist is included in those sections where you may run into some trouble. You can skim these checklists and go back to them when you actually encounter a problem. All of the problem checklists are also collected in Appendix C, for ease of reference.