Ultimate Vim cheat sheet

Vim, short for “Vi Improved,” is a powerful and highly configurable text editor that has been a favorite among developers and system administrators for decades. Known for its efficiency and versatility, Vim is a modal text editor that allows users to navigate, edit, and manipulate text with lightning speed once they’ve mastered its unique keyboard-driven interface. Learning Vim can be a hard task for beginners, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Basic navigation

Vim provides a robust set of commands for navigating text. These commands allow you to move around your document quickly and efficiently, saving valuable time during coding or writing tasks. By combining them, you can quickly traverse your text, locate specific sections, and move precisely where you need to be.

Insert and edit text

Once you’ve learned Vim’s navigation, the next step is efficient text insertion and editing. Vim offers a wide array of commands for inserting, deleting, and replacing text. These commands empower you to make changes swiftly without needing to lift your hands from the keyboard.

Visual mode

Vim’s visual mode allows you to choose characters, lines, or even rectangular blocks of text with ease. Visual mode enhances your ability to manipulate text precisely, making it easier to copy, delete, or modify sections of your document.

Save and quit

Managing files within Vim is crucial, as it allows you to seamlessly switch between multiple documents and save your work.

Search and replace

With these commands, you can quickly locate specific content and perform global replacements, saving you time and effort during text editing

Advanced commands

Vim’s true power shines through its advanced commands and customization options. While the basics are essential, delving into advanced features can take your Vim proficiency to the next level.


Vim is highly customizable. You can create and use your own custom key mappings, define functions, and install plugins to enhance its functionality. To get started with customization, explore your .vimrc file.