Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought – #programming #bookreview

Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought
Drew Neil
(Pragmatic Bookshelf,

Vim is a popular, free text editor used by programmers, web developers, and others. If you are a reasonably good touch typist and know just two commands, i and :w, you can create simple code files and text files in a hurry. For serious Vim users, however, there is a fairly long learning curve that includes a large array of features and configurable settings.

Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought is for Vim users who have been through the basic tutorial offered through the program and now want to step up their skills.

The book focuses on “the core functionality of the editor…[m]aster Vim’s core, and you’ll gain portable access to a text editing power tool,” author Drew Neil promises.

Neil has structured his content as “a recipe book. It’s not designed to be read from start to finish.”

Instead, Practical Vim follows its opening chapter, “The Vim Way,” with 20 additional chapters separated into six parts:

  • Part 1 – Modes (Normal, Insert, Visual, Command Line)
  • Part 2 – Files (Manage Multiple Files, Open Files and Save Them to Disk)
  • Part 3 – Getting Around Faster (Navigate Inside Files with Motions, Navigate Between Files with Jumps)
  • Part 4 – Registers (Copy and Paste, Macros)
  • Part 5 – Patterns (Matching Patterns and Literals, Search, Substitution, Global Commands)
  • Part 6 – Tools (Index and Navigate Source Code with ctags; Compile Code and Navigate Errors with the Quickfix List; Search Project-Wide with grep, vimgrep, and Others; Dial X for Autocompletion; Find and Fix Typos with Vim’s Spell Checker; Now What?

There is one appendix, and its focus is: Customize Vim to Suit Your Preferences.

The book is well written, and it provides numerous how-to steps, illustrated sequences of commands, tips, explanations, and suggestions.

If you are a Vim novice and serious about getting good at using the program, Drew Neil’s Practical Vim can show you how to do it.

Si Dunn

Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought

For more information:  paperback