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Linux Tutorial - Editing Files - Vi - More vi Magic
  Command Output in vi ---- vi Odds and Ends  

More vi Magic

If we need to, we can also edit multiple files. This is done like this:

vi file1 file2 file3

Once we are editing, we can switch between files with :n for the next file and :p for the previous one. Keep in mind that the file names do not wrap around. In other words, if we keep pressing :n and get to file3, doing it again does not wrap around and bring me to file1. If we know the name of the file, we can jump directly there, with the ex-mode edit command, as in

:e file3

The ability to edit multiple files has another advantage. Do you remember those numbered and named buffers? They are assigned for a single instance of vi, not on a per-file basis. Therefore, you can delete or yank text from one file, switch to the next and then insert it. This is a crude but effective cut and paste mechanism between files.

You can specify line numbers to set your position within a file. If you switch to editing another file (using :n or :r), or reload an original file (using :rew!), the contents of the deletion buffers are preserved so that you can cut and paste between files. The contents of all buffers are lost, however, when you quit vi.

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Copyright 2002-2009 by James Mohr. Licensed under modified GNU Free Documentation License (Portions of this material originally published by Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Inc). See here for details. All rights reserved.

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