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vi - anyway to jump line while in insert mode?

Link to this post 02 May 11

Hello,

I recently am put in a situation where I will be editing code on linux boxes that have nothing but vi or vim...

and have a hope that there is a way I can jump up a line while in insert mode in vi.

The reason is simply that I noticed in vi its very hard for me to enter my braces easily. In most editors, when I write a function, I add the open brace, hit enter twice and add the second brace (to avoid compilation problems)...it seems to me in vi this process requires I enter the first brace, enter twice and add the second brace, but then I have to leave insert mode and then issue a command to jump up a line and then back to insert mode.

This process I find quite annoying and problematic as its much easier for me to just use my right hand and the arrow keys in most editors. In vi the best process I have so far is - brace, enter, ,brace ESC, O, i ..then code.

Does anyone know if there is way to jump while in insert mode similar to way you can move back with CTRL-h? It would really make life easier for me...

Thanks in advance.

Link to this post 02 May 11

I think it can depend on what terminal you are using. But if I understand you correctly you want to go up one line in insert mode without going out of it.

I'm not so used to Vi (I use nano and Emacs etc) but just testing fast I had success with:

Ctrl-O + Up arrow

or

Ctrl-O + k

Is that working for you?

I think Ctrl-O enters normal mode for only the next command.

Edit: see: http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Use_Ctrl-O_instead_of_Esc_in_insert_mode_mappings

h,j,k,l is same as left, down, up, right

Alt-k also worked for me, but you go into command mode. But for me Alt-k + i and Alt-k + k + k + i etc worked.

Link to this post 02 May 11

agrayray wrote:

Hello,

I recently am put in a situation where I will be editing code on linux boxes that have nothing but vi or vim...

and have a hope that there is a way I can jump up a line while in insert mode in vi.

The reason is simply that I noticed in vi its very hard for me to enter my braces easily. In most editors, when I write a function, I add the open brace, hit enter twice and add the second brace (to avoid compilation problems)...it seems to me in vi this process requires I enter the first brace, enter twice and add the second brace, but then I have to leave insert mode and then issue a command to jump up a line and then back to insert mode.

This process I find quite annoying and problematic as its much easier for me to just use my right hand and the arrow keys in most editors. In vi the best process I have so far is - brace, enter, ,brace ESC, O, i ..then code.

Does anyone know if there is way to jump while in insert mode similar to way you can move back with CTRL-h? It would really make life easier for me...

Thanks in advance.

I didn't understand what you need but... MACRO POWAH!!!

Just make yourself a new macro that does exactly that and you are ready to go :)

Press q
Press "letter you want the macro in"
"do whatever you need to do" <--- this will be repeated every time you use the macro
Press "Esc"

And you have the macro recorded :)

To use:

Press "@" and then the letter of the macro <--- this will activate the macro

And that's it!!!

The beauty of this is that you can use things like

23@a

And will perform the macro twenty three times :)

Link to this post 03 May 11

Hi,

if you know the line number you want, you can:

vi <filename>
CTRL-C
":<line-number>"
then hit Enter

hope that helps

regards

Matt

Link to this post 03 May 11

asedt wrote:

I think Ctrl-O enters normal mode for only the next command.
That should work fine in Vim, but I don't believe it works in the original Vi.

marc wrote:

I didn't understand what you need but... MACRO POWAH!!!
Macros only work in normal mode, he's explicitly asking for a way to stay in insert mode ;)

The power of Vi(m) really comes from all the commands available at a fingertip in normal mode. If you intend to really learn to use Vi effectively, you should get used to always returning to normal mode by pressing Esc or Ctrl-C after an input sequence, so that you have the full navigational power of the normal mode available between inputs. If you have the choice between Vi and Vim, you should in my opinion choose Vim, as it's more modern (syntax highlighting, text objects, built-in help) and more customizable. If you're curious about learning Vi(m), some reasons to consider learning it can be found here, and the top answer here should be quite clarifying about how things work.

If you don't intend to master these editors, but need text editors available from a terminal, there are several options. First of all, you might want to try pico or it's more recent brother nano, as they are quite intuitive and are available almost everywhere. Newer versions of nano even has features like syntax highlighting and multiple file buffers.

If you have Vim available, as opposed to it's ancestor Vi, you can create the file .vimrc in your homefolder and add the line set nocompatible to it in order to disable Vi emulation. Then arrow keys should work in insert mode by default. If not, Vim also supports defining your own commands in input mode using the inoremap command. In Vim, the Ctrl-O trick mentioned above should also work.

If the only editor available is Vi, which is a rare situation these days, I don't know of any way to make the arrow keys do what you want. You might want to install vim or nano if you have administrative privileges. If the machines have an ssh server running, you could install an editor that supports editing remote files over ssh (e.g. Emacs with TRAMP) on your personal computer.

Link to this post 03 May 11

What's the point on not going to command mode?

Anyway... I *can* use the arrow keys while in insert mode... (both in vi and vim)

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