vim is amazing

vim is a text editor. Text editors are a very mundane tool; it’s hard to get excited about one. At least, if it’s not vim. It’s very, very easy to get excited about vim, because vim is amazing.

There is one reason vim is absolutely amazing. It seems incredibly simple and small, but it makes working with text incredibly easy: instead of selecting character by character, vim lets you select by units that mean something. (Of course, you can still select by characters if you want to.)

What does that mean? It means that instead of clicking and dragging or using Shift and arrow keys to select a sentence you want to get rid of, you can do das: delete a sentence. If you typed a word entirely different from what you meant to type, you can do cw: change word. If you use semantic linefeeds, like I do when drafting blog posts, you can use dd (delete a line – to select a line you repeat the operator) to get rid of a structure.

I’ll make it easy for you: download vim from here, and get my .vimrc (configuration file) from here. Once you’ve got vim, run vimtutor – it takes about half an hour, and teaches you everything you need to know to use vim.