Software Engineer

text editors

· by jsnby · Read in about 2 min · (265 Words)

Everyone in my line of work has a favorite text editor. Mine is ‘vim’. A lot of the developers here use emacs. I don’t know why, but I absolutely cannot stand emacs. I think that it has a lot to do with the kind of work I do. I do a lot of work on remote servers via ssh.

If you’ve never used vi before, it will be very uncomfortable for a while until you learn your way around. vi is not like MS Word or even notepad where all you can do is type and move the cursor….vi has two modes of operation….insert mode and command mode. When you initially open up vim, you are in command mode. In this mode, the alphabetical characters and some of the symbols on the keyboard control different functions. For example, if you wanted to search the document for the string jive you would type a forward-slash and then the string jive. This will take you to the first instance of the string jive in your document. To move to the next match, you would press the n key. To move to the previous match, you would type a N.

Anyways, regarding vi, there is a way that you can set your preferences. On windows, open up a file called _vimrc in the same directory as your vi.exe file and add your preferences. On a unix/linux box, open up a file called .vimrc in your home directory. I found a pretty good example of a .vimrc file here. If/when I get my .vimrc nailed down, i’ll post it.