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vi - anyway to jump line while in insert mode?

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.

Comments

  • asedtasedt Posts: 96
    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.
  • marcmarc Posts: 647
    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

    [email protected]

    And will perform the macro twenty three times :)
  • mpalmerukmpalmeruk Posts: 26
    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
  • jabiralijabirali Posts: 157
    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.
  • marcmarc Posts: 647
    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)
  • jabiralijabirali Posts: 157
    marc wrote:
    Anyway... I *can* use the arrow keys while in insert mode... (both in vi and vim)
    Many systems don't provide descendants of the original Vi anymore. I know the BSDs and ArchLinux provides it, but at least Ubuntu by default provides a a symlink to Vim, which goes into a Vi emulation mode when invoked by the name of vi. Follow all the symlinks from /usr/bin/vi, or check which package provides the file ;)
  • asedtasedt Posts: 96
    marc wrote:
    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)

    In GNOME Terminal 2.32.0 i get A, B, C and D inserted on arrow keys. In VT/tty it moves and change to normal/command mode. What terminal are you using?

    Using Ctrl-C instead of ESC thats makes it way better. (Ctrl-C + k + i)
  • marcmarc Posts: 647
    jabirali wrote:
    marc wrote:
    Anyway... I *can* use the arrow keys while in insert mode... (both in vi and vim)
    Many systems don't provide descendants of the original Vi anymore. I know the BSDs and ArchLinux provides it, but at least Ubuntu by default provides a a symlink to Vim, which goes into a Vi emulation mode when invoked by the name of vi. Follow all the symlinks from /usr/bin/vi, or check which package provides the file ;)

    I do use Archlinux and FreeBSD... :)

    Anyway, my CentOS installs come with /bin/vi which seem to be vim executable renamed :S Wierd, uh?

    Regards

    EDIT:
    rpm -qf /bin/vi 
    vim-minimal-7.0.109-7.el5
    

    and
    yum info vim-minimal
    Installed Packages 
    Name       : vim-minimal  
    Arch       : x86_64  
    Epoch      : 2  
    Version    : 7.0.109  
    Release    : 7.el5 
    Size       : 616 k  
    Repo       : installed 
    Summary    : A minimal version of the VIM editor.
    License    : freeware
    Description: VIM (VIsual editor iMproved) is an updated and improved version of the
               : vi editor.  Vi was the first real screen-based editor for UNIX, and is
               : still very popular.  VIM improves on vi by adding new features:
               : multiple windows, multi-level undo, block highlighting and more. The
               : vim-minimal package includes a minimal version of VIM, which is
               : installed into /bin/vi for use when only the root partition is
               : present. NOTE: The online help is only available when the vim-common
               : package is installed.
    
    
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