If you are not a regular Vim user, your experience with Vim is usually
How do I quit this damn editor, it is totally unusable!
The one thing that most people hate about Vim is also its greatest feature, modes. Modes allow you to navigate and edit the file with single keystrokes allowing for very efficient editing. But in order to utilize the full power of Vim you need to know the editor well and this is where Drew Neil comes in.
Drew wrote the Vim book, Practical Vim for the Pragmatic Bookshelf and it is very good. If you read this book, and practice, you will become a Vim power user and you will have a very hard time going back to another editor.
One of my favorite tips from the book is what Drew calls the dot formula. It is a technique used by most Vim users for quickly editing text. The technique got its name from the
dot (.) command which repeats the latest editing command you performed. So if you can make your editing command general, it can be reused many times allowing you to change text with two keystrokes, one to find the text and one, the dot, to change it. Pure joy! Drew describes techniques for doing this efficiently.
Drew is also the creator of Vimcasts, a Vim podcast that demonstrates how to use Vim to solve small specific problems. If you have never seen Vimcasts I can recommend that you watch the most recent episode, Prime Numbers. In this episode, Drew shows how to create a list of the first one hundred prime numbers with Vim.
Another show worth watching is Converting markdown to structured HTML with a macro where he shows of the power of Vim macros to convert markdown to HTML.
If you are not a touch-typist you will not be able to utilize the full power of the Vim. But, if you are not a touch-typist you should read Steve Yegge’s post Programming’s Dirtiest Little Secret.
Give yourself a present and come and watch Drew at Øredev and become a “Happy Vim Power User™”.