vi/vim editor FAQ: Can you share some example vi/vim delete commands?
The vi editor can be just a little difficult to get started with, so I thought I’d share some more vi commands here today, specifically some commands about how to delete text in vi/vim.
A lot of times all people need is a quick reference, so I’ll start with a quick reference of vi/vim delete commands:
x - delete current character dw - delete current word dd - delete current line 5dd - delete five lines d$ - delete to end of line d0 - delete to beginning of line :1,.d delete to beginning of file :.,$d delete to end of file
If those commands don’t make sense on their own, the next sections will provide a brief description of each vi delete command.
When you’re in “command mode” in the vim editor (just hit the [Esc] key and you’ll be there) and you want to delete the character at the current cursor position, just use the vim delete character command -- the lowercase letter
x -- like this:
That command deletes the character at your current cursor position. If instead you want to delete ten characters, you can press the letter
x ten times, or you can use this command instead:
When you’re in command mode in the vi editor and you want to delete the current word, use the vi delete word command:
Just like the delete character command, if you want to delete the next five words, just precede the
dw command with the number 5, like this:
When you’re in command mode in the vi editor and you want to delete the current line, use the vi delete line command:
Just like the delete character and delete word commands, if you want to delete the next five lines, just precede the
dd command with the number 5, like this:
To delete all the characters from your current cursor position to the beginning of the current line, use the
d0 command, like this:
Similarly, to delete from your current cursor position to the end of the current line, use the
d$ command, like this:
Whenever you’re working with vi, the letter
0 (zero) typically refers to the beginning of the current line or the beginning of the file, and the
$ character typically refers to the end of the current line or end of file, so I find these commands fairly easy to remember.
To delete all the lines from the beginning of the file to your current cursor position in vim, use this command:
That command can be read as “From line 1 to the current position, delete”, or if you prefer, “Delete from line 1 to the current line position.”
Similarly, to delete everything from the current line to the end of the file, use this vim delete command:
Again, that can be read as “From the current position to the end of file, delete.”
If you’d like to see many of these vi/vim delete commands put to work, I’ve created this vi/vim delete commands video tutorial on YouTube.
I hope these vi/vim delete commands have been helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or other vi commands you’d like to share, just use the comment form below.