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Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,251 ratings  ·  131 reviews
Vim is a fast and efficient text editor that will make you a faster and more efficient developer. It's available on almost every OS--if you master the techniques in this book, you'll never need another text editor. Practical Vim shows you 120 vim recipes so you can quickly learn the editor's core functionality and tackle your trickiest editing and writing tasks.

Vim, like
Paperback, 300 pages
Published September 2012 by The Pragmatic Bookshelf
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Vít Kotačka
I tell you a story. True story. Thirteen years ago I had a classic, archetypal dilemma - Emacs, or Vim? By fortune, or by accident, I had chosen Vim and have used it for pleasant twelve years. I thought that I know something and that I've learned something...

But boy, I was wrong. After reading Practical Vim I already know that I've known very little. Even though I was quite efficient and fluent in Vim usage, all the time, I was staying at the Gates.

This book is the right key to the Gates. Use it
James Tomasino
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing

This was hands down one of the very best technical books I've ever had the pleasure to read. Drew Neil has found a way to organize the book into a tip format without making it lose focus or seem endlessly unimaginative. Rather, by organizing the tips into themes, he gives the editor itself structure where before there was only the grey void of endless features.

I was an intermediate vim user before this book. It was my primary editor, and I used navigation keys and some basic yank and put operati

This was the best technical book I've read in a while! It covers a lot of topics and the author takes his time to explain the thought behind his own approach to solving different problems instead of just presenting the solution. It's easy to read given the quite technical nature of it. I even read the few boring parts. :-)

This is a book that I will get back to many times.

Note on the ebook: Although I usually read technical literature on paper, I was amazed by the simplicity of reading it on my
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text-editor, vim
If you've ever wondered what text editor you should learn to use and master for either your programming needs or your normal editing purposes, then my answer would be Vim. Sure, you might use other text editors depending on your circumstances, whether at home or work, but I would recommend making Vim as your primary text editor for your daily use. With that out of the way, the best way to learn Vim, if you are an absolute beginner, is by typing 'vimtutor' on the command line, and going through t ...more
Mr. Banks
Read the majority of it and now using it as a reference book. I go to this before :help and then if I want to learn more, I dig into the hidden VIM documentation.
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You hear it from everyone who uses Vim, "tough learning curve, but totally worth it in the end." This book takes the tough learning curve and flattens it dramatically. I think every page of this book has made me love Vim more. I wonder how much time the world would save if all text fields allowed vim-style movements and editing commands. If they come out with a second volume, I'd buy that too. ...more
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the definitive hitchhiker's guide to Vim. Handbook for both a newbie and an experienced vimmer. Should be reread several times. ...more
Kevin Plattret
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-paper
I have been using Vim as my main code editor for over a year now and I picked this up to take things to the next level. It is full of useful tips; most of which I already knew, but I also learnt quite a few tricks that will save me loads of time! I enjoyed the read overall and I definitely recommend it if you're considering reading it, no matter if you're a beginner or a more advanced Vim user, there will be something in there for you to learn. I will certainly get back to some sections myself t ...more
Hussein Elsayed
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to this book now I’ve finally use vim as the default text/code editor. Its helped me discovering all the powerful commands and the reasoning behind them and now I can combine them to build more set of commands performing complex tasks without even thinking about how or what to combine. I totally recommend the book as its full of useful and easy to follow examples, It also follows a good way to explain tips and tricks of vim as a very powerful editor.
Aug 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great technical read. Written to show the reader approaches to using the editor through practical examples rather than a mass information dump.

Personally, learned a ton of functionality and new ways to optimize how I use vim. Will definitely come back for more.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to vim users, who got familiar with basic commands and want to unleash the true power of vim. It will teach you the philosophy of the editor, so you could put it to your use instead of fighting it.

If you are just starting with “:wq”, you may want to get some experience before starting with this book.
Himavanth Reddy
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great read for Vim enthusiasts. Quite possibly a must read as well as it teaches tons of things that you would never think that Vim was ever capable of.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I never thought I would ever read a book about some text editor. But I read this from cover to cover! I use Vim daily. I realized I was just a noob. This book helped me to learn a lot of practical tricks. I'm planning to read the next book from the same author: 'Modern Vim' ...more
Daniel Sociu
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I knew about vim for a long while, since the how to exit vim memes and since I heard so many about it, especially seeing it in action at a very fast programmer, twitch streamer, Pajlada(weirdest songs ever, on that stream...) I decided to give it a try. I downloaded it and at the beginning I didn't know how to use it(nor how to exit, kappa, so I had to restart my computer...) so I just put it aside and kept using Atom, that was a while ago. But now I decided to give it another try, and also to l ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you do anything at all with computers, make sure you get really good at text editing. If you want to get really good at text editing, pick a really good text editor and get to know that editor really well. Vim is a really good text editor. I picked vim as my editor of choice and this book is invaluable in my journey to becoming a vim master.

I already had some working knowledge of vim and was using it as my day to day programming evironment for some years. After reading this book I realised I
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-paperback
I can't say I've read the book and that's my only problem with it. It doesn't have beginning and end, it's set of tricks and instructions categorized into few groups.
Why that was a problem? Because I'm not VIM master yet. I was looking for a book to would help me get from 'almost zero' to somewhat proficient VIM user and I think that's not the best one.
Don't get me wrong, it's great book (hence four stars) with lot's of knowledge, you just need to be a bit better prepared to get most of it.
Michał Szajbe
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Changed my way of thinking when working with vim. I will be picking this book again and again as it is not possible and not expected to turn all into practice at once. Great reference and nice read too.
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Drew's book is very clean and well-polished for a non-linear book, and it is both a nice introduction to the text editor [for newbies] *and* a good curated list of small "formulae" and recipes on how to get better on vim, but presented without being annoying. Highly recommended. ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you never heard of vim, read the first few chapter. You will be amazed with what vim can do. If you already knew vim, this book explains practical tips to effectively use vim.

I read this book a few years ago. Although not all tips are memorized my muscle, I am still happy vim user now.
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
the content is comprehensive,and not read and practise every tricks.you can learn some trick,and use it feel the efficiency of vim,and be used to vim.
and then dip more trick of vim
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Vimtutor is > this book. Would not recommend had I not gotten it for free.
Max  Darling
Mar 09, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: software
A cohesive and comprehensive tour of vanilla Vim. And all the more valuable considering the content landscape for Vim is dominated by shallow "tips and tricks" style articles and videos. For instance, at time of writing, programming "content creator" Ben Awad has 400,000+ views on YouTube for his "Vim Tutorial", in which he showcases his tentative grasp of basic motions and editing to his audience's apparent delight. New Vim users seem to jump on colorschemes and the hottest new plugins, but hav ...more
Tony Cheang
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book encourages atomic, repeatable, composable actions to refine your vim workflow. Combine this with the developments in language server protocol (e.g. use tsserver for linting, completions, go-to-def etc for js in vim) makes for a powerful editing experience. I'm a convert.

If you'd like a taste for what vim's capable of, start with "Learn vim For the Last Time", an article by Daniel Miessler. Then when you're wondering how you'd browse through files, read the top StackOverflow answer to "
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Discovering VIM mode in Intellij Idea and VSCode was my best productivity hint this year.
Good portion of this book(70% maybe) is applicable to both real vim (& clones) and vim emulators. But some is very vim-core specific and wouldn't fly in VSCode or Idea or Both.
I wouldn't recommend this book for vim newbies as the "Tip" format implies that you have core understanding that can be enrich with tips. But if you have some vim experience, this book is a gem.
I've learned a ton of power moves from
Srijan R Shetty
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technical
I've been eyeing this book since my days at college. The three months it took to complete this book is a testament for the amount of word for word knowledge this book presents.

The book is an easy read but not a light one. Having spent close to seven years using vim, I realized that I had barely scratched the surface of this powerful beast, and with this book I take home numerous little snippets which will make my day to day life much easier.

Would definitely recommend reading this book if you wa
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best single resource to learn the Vim as far as I know. Covers lot of techniques and lists recipes for different situations. Remembering all the features might be difficult after one read over so I recommend you to pick the book up occasionally and study and learn a tip or two and start using them.

I recommend to work through at least Vim tutor before this book, since while it actually covers the very basics of the Vim, I think knowing the very basics before hand helps you a lot to get most o
Željko Filipin
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read a lot of books, 50-150 in a year. A lot of those are audiobooks, a lot are books for kids, but some of them are work related, like Practical Vim. For every book I have read in the last few years, I have an 1-5 rating and at least one sentence written. Work related books deserve a few more sentences.

I’ve been using Vim since 2014. I’ve started reading this book in December 2017, so it took me almost a year to finish it. The book is divided into more than a hundred tips. I was reading a tip
Apr 02, 2022 rated it liked it
Even though I've been using Vim daily for over 4 year I still got a lot out of this book.

I would suggest focusing heavily on the basics (macro's, fast navigation, normal commands) instead of installing 10 different plugins and rebinding everything.

Start with the simple and work your way up!

PS: Using a good IDE like IntelliJ is still a big chunk of my software development workflow which imo can't be replaced by Vim. But the fast nature of Vim is ideal for scripts/devopsy/quick code lookups/config
Jan Locke
Jul 17, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022, technology
Even though the content partially feels a bit dated,
it's still a great compilation of scenarios and resources to get going with vim.

I definitely learned valuable stuff to further improve my workflows.

On a different note, it's quite fascinating how powerful vim is for such a long time.
Unfortunately the vim-helppages aren't that accessible if one just got started.
However "Practival Vim" is kind of the missing manual here.
I can definitely recommend it to anyone seeking to understand the vim way.
Brian Salehi
Aug 09, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I literally had no way of knowing how powerful and great Vim is without reading this book!
Drew just saved me days, if not months of my life struggling in editing source files.
One great thing about this book is frequent citations to Vim's reference manual. This makes readers the habit of referring to the original manual and not ever needing to refer back to the book later. Once you read this, you will know it all forever. Without a doubt, there's nothing wrong with this book. Vim warriors must ha
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