Learning Vim in 2014 was a series of posts I wrote in July & August 2014 documenting a process for newcomers to learn Vim. It was inspired by my own experience learning Vim, running into many out of date resources and online resources that gave me just a quick list of tips, plugins or commands.

This is a “point in time” snapshot of one man’s advice on how to learn Vim. It is by no means comprehensive. I covered some topics in depth, and only skimmed others. But it’s intended to get new Vim users to a point of comfort where they understand the options available to them in Vim, and can continue learning on their own as they go forward.

Below is a collected page of the posts in the series:

  1. The Basics - A quick look at getting started in Vim. Gives instructions for installing Vim, a minimal vimrc file, and learning the basics of the editor using vimtutor.

  2. Vim as Language - An exploration of Vim’s composable command language, and the power that it provides.

  3. Working With Files - A look at managing files using Vim, both using built-in methods and plugins.

  4. Configuring Vim - Vim is a highly configurable editor. This is a look at the different things you can change, along with some tips and hints.

  5. Vim as Art - A look at the power of Vim’s repetition commands, and the tremendous efficiency gains they allow.

  6. Getting more from Vim with plugins - A look at how plugins can add to your Vim experience, and when to use them. I also look at the current (2014) Vim plugin ecosystem and make some suggestions for plugins to meet common use cases.

  7. Copy And Paste The Vim Way - Vim ignores modern copy and paste conventions in favor of it’s own system, keybindings, and vocabulary. This piece explains the method behind Vim’s copy and paste madness.

  8. Search - Good search techniques, either for text or files, is one of the most important things you need when working with large code bases or documents. This takes a look at different search techniques in Vim and when to use them.


I’m heavily indebted to Drew Neil and Wynn Netherland. Drew’s book Practical Vim helped me to really understand Vim and influenced the posts above. His Vimcasts site also continues to be the best Vim resource on the internet. Wynn’s talk at BlendConf 2013 inspired me to get a deeper understanding of Vim, after being frustrated by trying to use it for a while without really understanding it.