vi/vim arrow keys

vi/vim FAQ: Help, I'm on an older Unix system; what are the vi/vim arrow keys?

On older Unix systems, including HP-UX and other systems I've run across recently, you may not have access to the vim editor, and may just have access to the older vi editor. In that case the arrow keys on your keyboard may not work, and you'll have to use the "simulated" vi arrow keys on your keyboard to move up, down, left, and right. These vi arrow keys are:

h - move left
j - move down
k - move up
l - move right (that's the lowercase letter 'L')

Again, just referring to older vi editor implementations, you will only be able to use these vi arrow keys while you're in vi command mode. (Because if you're in insert mode you'll end up typing h, j, k, or l.)

These vi arrow keys make sense if you've ever seen older style keyboards ... another way to think about them is that if you look at the keys on the keyboard (h|j|k|l), it's easy to remember that 'h' goes left, and 'l' goes right. As for the 'j' and 'k', well, I never remember those, I just try them and then see which way they go. Fortunately almost all modern systems use the real arrow keys, so this isn't a huge issue any more.

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