How to begin using Vim

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How to begin using Vim

Tony Mechelynck
Bram's advice (on one of the PDFs on his home site) is to read the
whole "user manual" at one sitting (or that's how I understood it).
Mine (which is not The Word From On High but just my own point of
view) is to go even more slowly but more steadily:

1. Subscribe to the vim_use list (but if you're here, you probably
already did that). If you are on a Mac, subscribe also to the vim_mac
list: these two are not about the same subjects. Later, but maybe not
immediately, you may want to add the vim_dev list which is more
technical than the other two.
2. Do all the Vimtutor lessons one after another — but not without
breaks: take a break whenever you feel you've got enough for one
sitting, and if possible before it gives you a headache. Then clear
your head: play with your children if you have any, walk your dog (if
you have any) around the block, take a walk in the park, do some
shopping, whatever. But come back later.
3. Hit <F1> to start reading help, and after reading that very
elementary help (you may skip fast over the table of contents, you'll
come back to it later), do ":help helphelp" without the quotes but
with <Enter> at the end (yes, "I tell you three times") which will
tell you how to find your way around in Vim's help (and how to find
what you want to know when you want to know it).
4. Read the rest of the help (including, but not limited to, the user
manual), no more than one helpfile at a time (and probably less)
whenever you find a help subject which is relevant to the kind of
editing you are doing at that time; and once you've understood the
part you need, use it immediately. Come back if the new commands you
use don't do what you want, it just might mean that you skipped over
one important sentence.
5. If you happen to have a free hour or so with nothing better to do,
it is "not forbidden" to read any random part of the help which looks
like it might be interesting (this is where you might want to come
back to the table of contents); but don't forget to stop before you
get bored, or as soon as some more urgent duty calls you, whichever
comes first.

Where I agree with Bram is that there are two errors to avoid: (a) not
reading any of the help, and staying forever with a very few extremely
elementary commands, maybe using Vim as one would Notepad; and (b)
wanting to know everything at once, and never getting started on real
editing. Vim's help is so complete — so encyclopædic — that it might
take someone forever to know it all, especially since it is constantly
being added to, whenever Vim gets a new feature. (Well, maybe Bram
knows it all but he had a head start ;-) ). I won't pretend I know all
about Vim — I don't — but I'm beginning to know a fair bit of it. I
started in the way described above at some point between Vim 6.0 and
6.1 IIRC (at a time when Unicode support was new and tabpages didn't
yet exist), and I still discover new things about Vim every day. Like
Socrates, "the more I know, and the better I realize how little I
know".

That's all — oh, I almost forgot one more thing, and a very important
one at that: Have fun!


Best regards,
Tony.

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Re: How to begin using Vim

Antharia Jack
Le mercredi 8 août 2018 10:48:44 UTC+2, Tony Mechelynck a écrit :

> Bram's advice (on one of the PDFs on his home site) is to read the
> whole "user manual" at one sitting (or that's how I understood it).
> Mine (which is not The Word From On High but just my own point of
> view) is to go even more slowly but more steadily:
>
> 1. Subscribe to the vim_use list (but if you're here, you probably
> already did that). If you are on a Mac, subscribe also to the vim_mac
> list: these two are not about the same subjects. Later, but maybe not
> immediately, you may want to add the vim_dev list which is more
> technical than the other two.
> 2. Do all the Vimtutor lessons one after another — but not without
> breaks: take a break whenever you feel you've got enough for one
> sitting, and if possible before it gives you a headache. Then clear
> your head: play with your children if you have any, walk your dog (if
> you have any) around the block, take a walk in the park, do some
> shopping, whatever. But come back later.
> 3. Hit <F1> to start reading help, and after reading that very
> elementary help (you may skip fast over the table of contents, you'll
> come back to it later), do ":help helphelp" without the quotes but
> with <Enter> at the end (yes, "I tell you three times") which will
> tell you how to find your way around in Vim's help (and how to find
> what you want to know when you want to know it).
> 4. Read the rest of the help (including, but not limited to, the user
> manual), no more than one helpfile at a time (and probably less)
> whenever you find a help subject which is relevant to the kind of
> editing you are doing at that time; and once you've understood the
> part you need, use it immediately. Come back if the new commands you
> use don't do what you want, it just might mean that you skipped over
> one important sentence.
> 5. If you happen to have a free hour or so with nothing better to do,
> it is "not forbidden" to read any random part of the help which looks
> like it might be interesting (this is where you might want to come
> back to the table of contents); but don't forget to stop before you
> get bored, or as soon as some more urgent duty calls you, whichever
> comes first.
>
> Where I agree with Bram is that there are two errors to avoid: (a) not
> reading any of the help, and staying forever with a very few extremely
> elementary commands, maybe using Vim as one would Notepad; and (b)
> wanting to know everything at once, and never getting started on real
> editing. Vim's help is so complete — so encyclopædic — that it might
> take someone forever to know it all, especially since it is constantly
> being added to, whenever Vim gets a new feature. (Well, maybe Bram
> knows it all but he had a head start ;-) ). I won't pretend I know all
> about Vim — I don't — but I'm beginning to know a fair bit of it. I
> started in the way described above at some point between Vim 6.0 and
> 6.1 IIRC (at a time when Unicode support was new and tabpages didn't
> yet exist), and I still discover new things about Vim every day. Like
> Socrates, "the more I know, and the better I realize how little I
> know".
>
> That's all — oh, I almost forgot one more thing, and a very important
> one at that: Have fun!
>
>
> Best regards,
> Tony.
I suggest: learn how to switch to normal/insert mode. And that's all. When you're tired of something, or if you miss a feature, learn the solution.

For example, replace arrows by "hjkl". Then, if you dislike using <Esc>, learn to edit .vimrc to remap to something you like (<Caps Lock> or jj) etc. If you find "hjkl" movement too slow, use "w" and "b"...

If you use another editor (like Visual Studio Code, install vim plugin).
And yes, read and practice vimtutor at your own pace. Learn to use vim help instead of google or stack overflow after learning movement basics.

And keep believing one day you'll be faster than anyone else with a mouse ;)

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Re: How to begin using Vim

meine van essen
> I suggest: learn how to switch to normal/insert mode. And that's all. When you're tired of something, or if you miss a feature, learn the solution.

excellent suggestion, and worked well for me learning Vim!

after the basics learnt from vimtutor, just start working with vim and
leave other editors to force yourself learning

you'll encounter situations where you ask yourself if there is a 'vim
solution' --- search for it and use it! (just use a browser and mouse,
be nice to yourself)

try to learn one, maybe two new vim commands a week

train your curiosity and skills eg. by cleaning up a pdf-to-text
converted file. this is a nice way to excersise find, substitute, funny
characters. take a file that you need to use for other purposes to get
some _drive_

//meine

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Re: How to begin using Vim

Efraim Yawitz
Once you have motivation, you will find your own path (but go slow!)

On Sat, Aug 25, 2018 at 11:33 AM meine <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I suggest: learn how to switch to normal/insert mode. And that's all. When you're tired of something, or if you miss a feature, learn the solution.

excellent suggestion, and worked well for me learning Vim!

after the basics learnt from vimtutor, just start working with vim and
leave other editors to force yourself learning

you'll encounter situations where you ask yourself if there is a 'vim
solution' --- search for it and use it! (just use a browser and mouse,
be nice to yourself)

try to learn one, maybe two new vim commands a week

train your curiosity and skills eg. by cleaning up a pdf-to-text
converted file. this is a nice way to excersise find, substitute, funny
characters. take a file that you need to use for other purposes to get
some _drive_

//meine

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