If you’re a software engineer or are tasked with enhancing or maintaining existing code, you will find this tool useful. It’s used for editing programs and is powerfully efficient, known to be highly customizable. It is an open-source text editor and an improvement upon Vi, a UNIX text editor. Though originally written for Commodore Amiga in 1988, it is now available in most platforms. It edits files in plain text, unlike the word processor.
Why Use Vim?
First off, it is important to note that it isn’t just for programmers. Vim can be used for all levels of text editing, from composing emails to configuring files. When using Vim, you work mouse – free, because commands for use are on the home row of the keyboard, that is, the modal user interface much like was the case with Vi. You can use existing keyboard shortcuts or simply customize your own, especially those that make repetitive tasks easier to execute. This means that your editor is now unique to you, increasing your efficiency as you work.
Key Features of Vim:
- Efficiency: The use of existing keyboard shortcuts and the ability to customize your frequently used commands into shortcuts cuts down the amount of time used in repetitive tasks;
- Vim is available on a variety of platforms, such as Windows, iOS, and Linux;
- Vim works over Telnet and SSH connections. You can work directly on the server, which cuts out navigating folder stress, making it even faster;
- Vim configuration is portable. You can copy your own tweaked configuration from windows to a remote Linux server, for instance;
- While free, it is also charity-ware. If you enjoy using it, you can donate to Children’s charity causes in Uganda.
Vim is very efficient and fast in text editing. It is important to note that for most new users, Vim ia a bit of a learning curve. However, not to worry, because Vimtutor will take you through what you need in order to start enjoying Vim. Not to forget, Vim has a very active and vibrant community, where a great number of questions you may have are already answered, and where you can enjoy news items and frequent script updates. If you are looking for a text editor with a difference, you may want to try this one and let us know what you think!
What's new in 8.1 version?
The main new feature of Vim 8.1 is support for running a terminal in a Vim window. This builds on top of the asynchronous features added in Vim 8.0. The terminal window can be used for many purposes, here are a few examples:
- Run a command, such as "make", while continuing to edit in other windows. The progress of the command can be observed, the terminal window is continuously updated.
- Run a shell where you can execute a series of commands.
- Use the new terminal debugger plugin for debugging inside Vim. This is especially useful over an ssh connection, when opening other terminals is not possible or impractical. I use this to fix problems in Vim when travelling.
- The terminal window is also used in tests, to grab a screenshot and compare it with the expected state. This allows for testing interactive actions, such as the popup menu.